3 Effective Marketing Strategies For Selling Digital Products Online

How to get your foot in the door of what could be a $325 billion industry.

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By Tina Dahmen

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Selling digital goods and getting started in the online education sector has never been easier in today's online world. According to Research and Markets, the online education industry is poised to become a $325 billion dollar industry by 2025, increasing from $187.877 billion in 2019.

Not only do we live in an instant gratification economy, where we want to have products delivered instantly to our doorstep (or even better via our email inbox), but we also demand location-independent freedom from both sides, the consumer and the business perspective.

Consumers are purchasing more and more digital goods, for example: membership sites, ebooks, audiobooks, digital courses or live lessons and tutorials, videos, songs, design, photography, templates, apps, masterminds or worksheets. There are literally hundreds of digital product options out there that you can add to your product suite.

Related: How to Improve Your Online Course (and Increase Student Engagement)

There are countless benefits to selling digital goods online. For instance, the entry barrier on getting started is very low, digital goods are low-maintenance in general, you have full creative freedom and digital products have huge scalability.

Here are the top three tips and marketing strategies on how you can promote and sell digital products best to achieve the highest profits possible, listed in no particular order.

1. Online summits

Online events and online summits have become a very popular and important marketing channel over the past few months. Many events and conferences have forcefully been cancelled, and the smartest businesses have moved their events online.

Virtual summits run generally between one to 10 days, and attendees are able to watch expert's interviews and presentations free of charge for a short amount of time. Usually, online summits are so value-packed, with many speakers presenting per day, that overwhelmed attendees don't find the mental capacity or even the time to consume all the content in one go.

The hosts then offer one or several up-sells to the viewers, so they can purchase the recordings all together and watch them on their own time.

You can host an online summit on any topic and don't even need to be an expert in the particular topic you are representing. If you or your speakers have additional digital goods, such as online courses or ebook that they can throw in to make the up-sell offer more appealing to the buyer, then this will increase your chances of a higher sales rate. The bonus is it doesn't really cost you or the creator of the course more money.

Related: How to Earn Six Figures From a Virtual Summit

2. Online challenges

Online challenges, and in particular five-day challenges, have become increasingly popular amongst online marketers, as they achieve fast results. An online challenge consists mostly of a video series the attendees will watch and corresponding "homework" assignments. According to Yahoo Finance, one minute of video is worth 1.8 million words. So, seeing you on video every day, especially when it's live and you can interact with your audience, increases your trust score tremendously.

A challenge will help your ideal customer avatar get started creating something like an outline for their next online course or a launch plan for their next book promotion. This way your up-sell at the end (which in this case could be a full program or course on how to create your online course or how to write your first ebook) will become very easy, as the prospects have already started to do the work and feel motivated to keep going with it.

The most effective challenges run usually between three and five days, as this is a healthy timeframe to get people through their daily tasks without dropping out. Most marketers run a low-cost and high-turnout challenge on Facebook. According to Hootsuite, Facebook is the third-most visited website and has become the most popular platform to execute and market a challenge.


3. Membership sites and online learning platforms

Membership sites and online learning platforms are another awesome but much more indirect way to sell digital products. You can either build your own e-learning platform where you can sell your own digital products or you can sell digital goods from fellow experts in the industry.

There are many different types of membership site models and online course platforms you can either join or create. To name just a few:

  • The drip-fed model: Content will be added every month.
  • The all-in membership: Members get access to everything straight away.
  • The online community membership: Members get access to private forums, masterminds or online groups.

A consultant and course creator, for example, isn't necessarily interested in creating ongoing new content and therefore isn't looking to build an entire membership site themselves. However, most consultants, coaches and course creators are more than eager to get involved in a joint venture and have their online course listed on the best e-learning platforms in return for an affiliate commission or simply for exposure.

Related: 4 Ways to Continue to Get Paid from Home During Quarantine

Tina Dahmen


Tina Dahmen helps entrepreneurs gain more influence in their space and scale their businesses and online presences. She teaches them how to build digital products including online courses, masterminds, membership sites, coaching programs and more.

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