So, you’ve finally finished creating your very first (or second or third) digital product. Congratulations! Bask in that sense of accomplishment but then buckle up, because your work isn’t quite finished yet. Next on the docket? In order to start actually selling your digital products (and, eventually, boosting your sales), you’re going to need to get your product in front an audience. And that means promoting it.
Implementing a solid marketing strategy is one of the best ways to maximize your digital product sales. New to marketing or don’t know where to get started? No worries! We’ve compiled a list of 10 of the most effective ways to promote your digital products.
New to selling digital products? Download our free Digital Product Launch Checklist for tips to start on the right foot!
What are digital products?
In a nutshell, a digital product is anything you can sell as a downloadable file. “Digital product” is an umbrella term that encompasses a broad range of different types of products. Examples include ebooks, templates, website themes, digital art, printables, online courses, stock music, and much more.
Basically, if you can dream it up and download it, it’s a digital product — and one that’s sure to earn you a piece of the $627 billion digital media pie.
Why sell digital products online?
Two words: passive income. Digital products are a powerful source of passive income. That means they can earn you money while you sleep — or while you spend time doing other things, like creating content or taking some well-earned R & R.
Digital products enable you to earn a passive income because producing them is relatively inexpensive, and requires relatively little time and effort compared to physical products. Let’s break it down.
When customers purchase your digital product, what they’re actually buying (and downloading) is a copy of a digital file. This means that you only need to produce your digital product once. After that, copies can be purchased ad infinitum with no extra effort expended on your part. And because digital products exist online, their creators don’t need to invest in real-world solutions like a brick-and-mortar storefront or a warehouse, or time and effort into replenishing inventory. Besides strategically promoting your digital product (more on that in a minute), you can just watch the cash roll in.
10 Ways to promote your digital products and boost sales
As mentioned, the digital media market is booming right now. But while this means there’s tons of money to be earned, there’s also lots of competition. From content creators to businesses and brands, it seems everyone wants to get in on the digital product game, making it difficult to stand out among the crowd. This is where your marketing strategy comes in.
Not only does marketing help differentiate your digital product from those of competitors, it also increases your product’s visibility, broadening your audience by getting it in front of as many eyes as possible. From there, your marketing efforts also help transform this pool of potential buyers into paying customers, giving them the push they need to make a purchase.
Marketing is key when it comes to monetizing your digital products. From creating a landing page to holding a giveaway, there are tons of different ways to promote your digital products. Here, we’ve outlined 10 of the most effective ways to promote your digital products — and, ultimately, generate sales.
1. Build an email list
Did you know that email marketing is one of the most effective digital marketing strategies out there? Sure, in the era of TikTok videos and Instagram posts, emails might seem antiquated, but the numbers don’t lie.
According to studies, email marketing generates a ROI of $36 for every dollar spent, which is higher than any other digital marketing channel. This means that, beyond just being a great way to build an audience for your digital product, email marketing is a powerful way to convert followers and subscribers into paying customers. With all this in mind, email marketing is definitely a strategy you’ll want to leverage when promoting your digital products.
Before you start your email marketing campaign, you’ll first want to build an email list. This is the list of subscribers who will receive your newsletters. There are a few different methods — and a plethora of email marketing platforms — that you can use to capture your followers’ emails and build out your list.
How to start building your email list
As a content creator, the first and easiest method to capture your followers’ emails is through your social channels and content. Start by adding an opt-in link for your newsletter to your link in bio tool. Then, promote your newsletter through content, driving followers to the opt-in link conveniently placed in your bio or your content caption. Your newsletter is a place where your audience can receive your expertise and important updates directly and immediately. So, we’d suggest promoting it as such. It doesn’t hurt to drum up a little FOMO!
If you have your own website or landing page, opt-in pop-ups are another effective way to build out your email list by capturing visitors’ emails as they browse. Even if you have no coding experience, email marketing platforms like OptInMonster make it easy to integrate these pop-up forms into your website and provide tons of features — like targeted, triggered newsletter — that help you convert subscribers into sales.
2. Create a landing page
Don’t have a landing page yet? If you’re selling digital products — or marketing them — you’ll definitely want to have one of these powerful promotional tools.
A landing page is a webpage with a single topic and purpose. In this case, your landing page functions as a sales page dedicated entirely to your digital product, with the goal of persuading visitors to purchase it.
Landing pages are effective marketing tools because they deliver visitors with all your product’s selling features with absolutely zero distractions (like the kind you’d run into on social media channels or elsewhere.) Essentially, your digital product is the star of the show.
A sales page is your product’s place to shine. It’s also the place where you’ll be converting visitors to customers. You’ll want to load it up with tons of selling features and elements that will persuade visitors to make a purchase. First and foremost, this means highlighting your product’s use value (i.e. how it solves your audience’s pain points.) From there, you can also include additional marketing, like customer reviews, testimonials, and UGC to demonstrate your product’s popularity and effectiveness.
In addition to including selling features, you’ll also want to make your sales page as user-friendly and readable as possible in order to drive sales. This could mean listing your product’s selling features in easy-to-digest bullet points, adding eye-catching images and video, and embedding attention-grabbing CTA buttons, so potential customers can make their purchase in just one click.
3. Launch a pre-launch campaign
Want to create hype (read: demand) for your digital product? Consider launching a pre-launch campaign.
A pre-launch campaign is a type of marketing campaign that creates awareness about a product and builds anticipation within an audience, ultimately generating leads — and sales — before a product launches. Pre-launch campaign activities include both marketing and selling digital products prior to their official release.
Pre-launch marketing assets can be deployed across pretty much any marketing channel at your disposal, from your social media platforms to your newsletter and even your own website. What’s most important is the content of your campaign: your pre-launch assets should highlight your product’s selling features and the reasons why your audience needs it.
Pre-launch marketing is effective because it generates leads for your digital product, meaning that once your product launches, you’ll already have customers lined up and willing to purchase it.
Another effective pre-launch activity is a presale. Also known as a preorder, a presale allows your customers to purchase your digital product before it launches. Oftentimes, a presale campaign includes exclusive discounted pricing to further incentivize potential customers to make a purchase. Preorders aren’t only a great way to gauge early interest in your digital product, they’re also a great way to offset the cost of production — that is, if you’re stringent about sticking to your presale deadlines.
Back in November 2020, Miss Excel — known for her popular Microsoft Office online courses — launched a successful presale for her best-selling Excelerator Course. A month later, the course went live and landed in satisfied customers’ inboxes. “As long as you’re really clear on those deadlines for presale and launch, then it’s all good,” she said. “That really helped me get the course off the ground and stayed on a strict editing schedule in those first six months.”
4. Promote your product through your content
If you’re a content creator, one of the most intuitive and effective ways to promote your digital products is with, well, content.
Content creators with an audience of any size already have a built-in pool of potential customers for their product. Once they’ve launched their product, all they need to do is let their audience know it’s out there — through content of course.
Whether your content wheelhouse is YouTube videos, Instagram Reels, or TikToks, there are a few things to keep in mind when promoting your digital products through content. First, it’s important that your marketing content doesn’t view (or read or listen) like an advertisement or sales pitch. Remember, your audience follows you for your expertise and the value your content brings to their lives, so even your marketing content should be educational or entertaining.
Miss Excel corroborates: “I want every piece of content to be useful,” she told My Wife Quit Her Job podcast, speaking to the ways in which she integrates marketing messages into her TikTok videos.
We suggest creating content that’s topically similar to your product, and then integrating a subtle CTA that advises your audience they can access more of your expertise by purchasing your product.
5. Partner with other creators
Want your digital products to reach a whole new audience (or audiences)? Consider partnering with other creators.
Content creators exist within the same digital media ecosystem as you and your digital products. They’re such effective marketing tools, because creators have influence over a built-in, dedicated target audience. In partnering up with another creator, you’re essentially turning their entire following into a pool of potential buyers for your digital products. Neat, right?
The key to these collaborations lies in choosing the right partnering creator. We suggest choosing a creator with a similar yet markedly different audience than your own. Ensure that your partnering creator’s audience generally has the same pain point that your product is designed to solve, but, also, that both of your audiences don’t overlap entirely — otherwise you’ll just end up reaching people who likely already know about your product, and the collaboration becomes futile.
Creator collaborations generally happen one of two ways, one of which is paying for sponsored posts. This means you’ll be paying your partnering creator to create a post (or series of posts) dedicated to promoting your digital products.
6. Start an affiliate program
The second way to partner with other creators is to start an affiliate program. An affiliate program is a marketing program where “affiliates” promote a business’s products or services and receive a cut of each sale they generate.
Generally, with an affiliate program, you’ll provide partnering creators with an affiliate link or promotional code that they can share with their audience while promoting your digital products. Then, the partnering creator will earn a percentage of the profits of each sale made through their affiliate link or code.
7. Hold a giveaway
One of the best ways to boost your digital product sales is by growing your following. And an effective way to do this is by holding a giveaway. Offering your followers a chance to win a prize is a surefire way to drum up engagement on your social channels, ultimately earning you tons of new followers and even the chance of going viral.
So, how do you hold a giveaway? Well, luckily you already have a great prize on hand — your digital product!
To run a giveaway, you’ll need to decide on one or a combination of entry actions — these are the ways that people can enter themselves in the contest. Popular entry actions to drive engagement include asking users to:
- Follow you on social media
- Like your post
- Tag a friend in the comments or refer a friend
- Subscribe to your newsletter.
All these actions ensure that the giveaway will earn you the new followers, subscribers, and engagement that will give your digital products tons of new visibility — and a larger pool of potential buyers.
8. Join an online marketplace
Want to multiply your digital product’s reach? Try joining an online marketplace.
An online marketplace is an e-commerce platform where customers can search for and purchase products from third-party sellers. These platforms are effective marketing tools for two reasons:
- Their oftentimes large, built-in user base.
- Their powerful search engines, which match these potential customers with your digital products.
By uploading your digital products to an online marketplace, you’re essentially placing them in front of the eyes of thousands of new potential customers.
There are tons of online marketplaces tailored to selling digital products, from ebooks to templates. The types of digital products you’re selling, however, should ultimately determine which platform you choose. This is because most online marketplaces corner a specific niche or category. Here are some examples of the most popular online marketplaces and the product categories they favor:
This DIY and arts and crafts-oriented marketplace is a great place to sell templates (like digital planners and social media templates), digital art, printables (like thank you cards and wedding invitations), knitting patterns, and more.
This design-centered marketplace is the number one place to sell templates, graphics and clip art, Lightroom presets, fonts, iPhone wallpapers, and digital brushes, and more.
This general marketplace is a great place for creators to sell all types of digital products.
This marketplace is the number one place to sell code, plugins, website themes, and other digital assets for websites.
This ecommerce megalith is known for its book selection, making is a great place to sell ebooks and audiobooks.
9. Ask for reviews
Social validation is a powerful marketing tool. Look at platforms like Yelp or Tripadvisor, whose rating systems drive traffic to restaurants, hotels, and other businesses all through the power of social proof. So why not take a page from their books and ask your customers to review your digital products?
In the world of marketing, social proof is the phenomenon where people will copy the actions of others in a chosen situation. In this particular situation, high ratings and glowing reviews make potential customers more likely to purchase a product.
Ecommerce platforms like Gumroad allow customers to leave rating and reviews on your digital products. To boost the amount of reviews you receive, we’d suggest reaching out to customers via email or social media to ask them to leave a rating or review, or even provide you with a testimonial that you can include in your marketing or landing page copy.
10. Use UGC
UGC (user-generated content) is another form of powerful social proof marketing.
UGC is original content created by customers and published on a brand or creator’s social media channels as part of their marketing strategy. To use UGC as part of your strategy, reach out to your customers and ask them to create content about the product. This could be a video review of the product, a video on how to use the product, or a video highlighting the product’s benefits.
In addition to giving potential customers the push they need to make a purchase, UGC also has the secondary benefit of showing potential customers exactly what they’re in for when they purchase the product, which is another selling point in itself.
Start marketing your digital products!
So, there you have it: 10 of the most effective ways to successfully market digital products. Whether you decide to start with only a few of these methods or go all in is up to you. The most important thing is to just get started. Roll out your marketing initiatives, and watch the dollars roll in.