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Looking for the best way to sell digital products like ebooks, courses, or webinars? Or maybe you’re only just now asking yourself whether it’s possible to build a business off your expertise?
Either way, you’re in the right place. In this guide, we’ll show you step-by-step how you can sell digital products and build your audience.
Throughout this guide, we’ll use GetResponse to build on all the concepts we discuss. And as you’ll soon find out for yourself, it’s pretty much the only tool you’ll need to start selling your knowledge.
Table Of Contents
- Step 1. Build an audience
- Step 2. Communicate and nurture your audience
- Step 3. Make the sale
- Step 4. Upsell your customers
- Step 5. Retarget lost customers
- Step 6. Reach a wider audience
- Your next step
Step 1. Build an audience
If you’re starting fresh, you’ll want to focus on attracting an audience to market your products to. And even if you already have an existing audience you can sell to – it probably won’t be long before you’ll want to expand your reach.
Here’s how you can start building a loyal audience:
I. Place signup forms on your website
You might already have a website where visitors come to learn more about your content. Whether you write blog articles, record short video tutorials, or release free audio samples – you can use them to collect emails from your visitors.
With these emails, you’ll have a direct way to contact your audience. You’ll be able to continue engaging them with your content & eventually upsell them on one of your paid products or services.
Using the GetResponse Web Form Builder, you can build various types of signup forms you can then place on your website. Starting from static embedded forms prominently displayed on your page, to eye-catching pop-ups that appear when you meet specific conditions, all the way to exit-intent interstitials.
Here’s one example of a scroll-form created using GetResponse, offering a newsletter subscription to visitors who’ve engaged with an interesting article.
II. Create dedicated landing pages
As the name implies, squeeze pages “squeeze” visitors and turn them into leads. As their primary goal is to collect emails, you’ll often find that they offer a very simplified experience and only include the essential elements – a form, headline, benefit-oriented copy, and one main call to action.
While the average squeeze page conversion rate is between 3.5-5%, it’s not uncommon to see them reach double-digit email signup rates.
Take Alex Terrier as an example. This jazz musician and a music teacher saw a 19% email signup rate when promoting his online course using GetResponse.
Even if you don’t know how to code, you can build squeeze pages like this using the GetResponse drag-and-drop Landing Page Creator. The tool enables you to build, test, and optimize your pages using a simple drag-and-drop editor. And it offers a large number of pre-made templates you can customize to fit your brand.
This video tutorial shows the process in more detail.
And what should you put on your squeeze page to collect emails effectively? We’ve already created a list of lead magnets worth considering, but some of the more popular ones include:
- Free ebook
- Book sample
- Video course sample
- Audio sample
- A tool or checklist
Pro tip: Don’t forget to integrate your landing page with Google Analytics & Facebook Pixel. This way you’ll have more detailed information about who visits your page and will be able to retarget them via Facebook ads.
III. Host free webinars
As an expert, there’s no better way to connect with your audience than to host a free webinar. Especially if you’re targeting a global audience in this day and age.
By hosting a free webinar you can build rapport with your target audience, show your expertise, and give them a sample of what they’ll experience if they buy your online course or ebook. Plus, it’s a great way for you to gather questions and feedback from your potential buyers. These can help you improve your digital products and make them even more valuable for your target audience.
Using GetResponse Webinars, you can host live webinars and even turn them into on-demand webinars that your audience can access after providing their email address. This is a perfect solution for anyone who wants to attract a large audience in a scalable way.
What makes this tool even better is the fact that it’s fully integrated with all the other features you’ll find in GetResponse. That means you can both build webinar registration pages and send automated email communication to anyone who signs up for your events.
Within our team, we’re big fans of webinar marketing. Every month we host several events where we invite guests and share best practices on how to run marketing campaigns and grow your business. Here’s one example of a recent webinar we’ve run with Matthew Smith of Really Good Emails.
Pro tip: Don’t worry if you don’t feel confident in front of the camera. There are different types of webinars and visuals you can use to make your events effective. You’ll find more on how webinars work in our guide.
IV. Build lead magnet funnels
If you’re looking for a more organized way to build an audience using lead magnets, you’ll want to check out Lead Magnet Funnels.
What lead magnet funnels do is they connect all the individual pieces – like landing pages, lead magnets, drip campaigns, paid ads – into a simple and visual dashboard.
Rather than having to figure out how to best integrate your pages with other elements of your communication, lead magnet funnels guide you through every step in the process and offer an easy way to measure the success of your campaigns.
Here’s what a typical funnel created with our sales funnel software looks like.
Bear in mind this is just a dashboard where you can track your campaign results. Behind it are all your messages and pages, which you can create using the pre-made templates that you’ll find inside the platform.
Below you’ll also find a quick video tutorial where we explain in detail how you can set up lead magnet funnels with ease.
Pro tip: Building lead magnet funnels is a great way to start learning about digital marketing. You can try them out completely free with GetResponse.
V. Run social media campaigns and paid ads
All of the tactics I’ve mentioned above partly rely on your existing traffic and the audience you’ve already successfully built. Now, what if you want to go beyond that and reach new buyers outside of your network? The answer is – start running social media and paid advertising campaigns.
Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram are perfect for finding new prospects and people interested in buying your digital products. Part of it is because Facebook’s reach is massive and their advertising platform lets you target your audience in many smart ways.
For example, you can specifically target people who’ve visited your landing page but haven’t left their email address. Or reach people similar to the most-engaged students who signed up for your online course. These are just two ways you can use Facebook’s targeting but should give you the idea of how powerful their platform is.
GetResponse offers three solutions that can help you run your social media and paid advertising campaigns more effectively:
Social ads creator– lets you create highly engaging social media posts for your business profiles. You just customize the templates using our drag-and-drop tool inside the app and schedule your posts whenever you want them to be live. Best of all? The templates match the ones you’ll be using in the conversion funnels.
Facebook and Instagram ads – no need to log into the Facebook Ads Manager, learn the UI, and connect it with GetResponse. You can design and publish your Facebook Ads right inside GetResponse – and even use your email lists and segments when optimizing your target audience.
Google ads – looking for the hottest leads who are actively searching for your digital products? GetResponse lets you run Google Search Ads inside the platform. Once again, no need to log into multiple dashboards to market and sell your knowledge effectively.
And the results? Paid ad campaigns can be very powerful – and cost-effective.
Infoshare Academy, which offers intensive programming courses for beginners who want to start working in IT, attracted 1,200 new contacts in just one month using Facebook Lead Ads. And the acquisition cost per contact was just around $0.35.
Step 2. Communicate and nurture your audience
Now that you’ve built an audience, it’s time to keep them engaged & convince them to buy your digital products.
Here are a few ways how you can do this:
I. Create a short email course
Email courses are great for a number of reasons:
They’re a great lead magnet that we’ve ourselves used multiple times in GetResponse. They can help you expand your audience in a short amount of time.
They’re also easy to set up. You can use the same email template, customize the content, and schedule your messages using an intuitive calendar view. Using GetResponse Autoresponders it’s super simple.
They keep your audience engaged for a long period of time. By dividing your content into several lessons, you’ll make each lesson more digestible and will get the chance to keep your subscribers engaged long-term.
Not surprisingly too, our Email Marketing Benchmarks data shows that autoresponders have much higher average open and click-through rates than basic newsletters.
Here’s how we’ve set up one of the free email courses you’ll find in GetResponse Resources.
The GetResponse Email Creator makes it super easy to design and re-use email templates to set up an email course like the one above. And thanks to the advanced analytics, you’ll also know which lessons engage your audience and which ones could do with a little optimization.
II. Nurture your audience with automated messages
Yes, your audience will receive your autoresponder emails automatically. But autoresponders (sometimes called drip campaigns) are also a bit limited since they only allow for linear communication. If you’d like to nurture your audience in a non-linear and more targeted way, marketing automation is the way forward.
GetResponse Marketing Automation lets you create more advanced scenarios, through which you can target your audience in response to the contact information or their actions. These so-called marketing automation workflows, tie in together with forms, webinars, landing pages, and everything else we’ve discussed so far. And even though they may sound complex, they can be just as robust or simple as you want them to be.
Here are a few ways you can use them:
- Create an email follow-up series to your webinar registrants, automatically personalizing the messaging based on who attended and who missed your event.
- Create an advanced email course where you’ll score, tag, and respond to each student differently, based on how engaged they are with your content or how they performed on your tests.
- Create a lead nurturing campaign that’ll automatically move your students from the free communication workflow to the paid one the moment they convert.
Here’s how you could set up a simple welcome email series using a workflow:
And here’s a slightly more complex marketing automation workflow to target the different groups among your webinar registrants:
Pro tip: Marketing Automation may feel overwhelming at first. That’s why it’s best to start small, even with a simple onboarding flow. Once you’ve built your first workflow, you can expand it and create more complex scenarios. Getting started with marketing automation guide will help you get a hang of it in no time.
III. Keep your audience informed with web push notifications
What if your contacts aren’t checking their email throughout the day, even though they’re spending time in front of their computer? A great way to keep such consumers engaged is to send them web push notifications.
With these short prompts appearing in a browser, you can notify them about all the new content that you’re publishing on your website or new sales promotions you’re about to launch.
While they’re not as popular as emails, web push notifications have very high engagement rates and that’s what makes them worth your time. Plus, if you only use them to deliver content your audience wants to hear about, you’ll have yet another way to keep your brand top of their mind.
Naturally, we’ve built GetResponse Web Push Notifications to match our UI. So if you’re already familiar with some of our tools, you’ll learn how to use them in no time.
To learn more about these eye-catching and highly engaging prompts, read our article where explain how to create web push notifications in GetResponse.
IV. Connect all the different touchpoints
The beauty of online marketing is that you can target your audience across multiple channels and gather all your contact information in one place.
Whether you’re going to use a CRM to store your contacts’ data or a dedicated platform to build your online course – you can automatically transfer the information between all of these tools via Zapier, API, or one of our pre-built integrations.
GetResponse connects with thousands of other software so that you can react in real-time and target your audience with the right messaging.
Here are a few scenarios:
- You’d like to run a survey among your students using Survicate and transfer this information to GetResponse
- You’d like to transfer new contacts who’ve downloaded your ebook from one of your Facebook Lead Ads campaigns
- You’d like to schedule a meeting or follow up with those who booked a consultation with you via Calendly
- You’d like to add new students to your course created in Teachable after they converted from one of your emails
As you can see, there are many possibilities of how you can keep your leads or students engaged not only via email.
Step 3. Make the sale
Once you’ve built your audience and made sure they’re engaging with your content, it’s time to make the sale and start getting paid for your knowledge.
Here are a few ways you can start selling digital products with GetResponse.
Note: While the setup process for individual products might be slightly different, the common theme is that you’ll be creating a sales funnel inside GetResponse. If instead of reading, you’d prefer to watch a video walkthrough, here’s our guide to creating a sales funnel from scratch:
I. Run paid webinars
Much like free webinars, paid webinars have huge potential in this day and age. Your audience can join them from anywhere in the world and if they’ve already seen and enjoyed your free content, they’re likely to consider reaching for more exclusive resources.
If you’re using GetResponse, the best way to set up a paid webinar is by using Conversion Funnels. The “Host paid webinar” funnel type is best suited for this.
There, you’ll first need to set up your live event – give it a title, pick the time, and set the price you want to charge for your webinar.
Next, you’ll need to prepare all your assets:
- the signup page leading to your subscription,
- the welcome email they’ll receive after signing up,
- the sale page,
- your thank you page,
Don’t worry if it sounds like a lot of work. Our intuitive dashboard will lead you through every step of the process, so you’ll not only be able to schedule your webinar, but also attract many webinar registrants.
And since GetResponse is integrated with all major payment processors like Stripe, PayPal, BlueSnap, PayU, Square, Qiwi, and Yandex, you’ll be able to start collecting money for your webinars in no time.
If you’d like to see more detailed instructions on how to set up a paid webinar, check out this tutorial.
II. Run paid email courses
Want to charge for access to your email course? Good idea!
Here’s how you can do it in GetResponse.
First, create your regular email course with Autoresponders. Just like with drip campaigns, you’ll want to leave some space between each lesson so that your students will get the chance to access and go through your content.
Next, set up a sales funnel and create a store.
Once you have a store, choose “online course” as your product type and specify how you’ll deliver the course to those who sign up.
The easiest way is to have GetResponse automatically move your newly converted subscribers to a list that contains the paid email course. Like this:
Note: Make sure that your newly converted leads are added to an autoresponder cycle in your designated list. This will ensure that they’ll receive the course they’ve just bought.
The rest of the process is the same as with every other sales funnel – you can adjust your sales pages, drip campaigns, and sync your paid advertising campaigns. And you can do all that by either starting from scratch or using one of our premade funnel templates.
For a more detailed instruction, follow this tutorial or watch the video I’m sharing at the top of this section.
III. Sell ebooks (and other digital downloads)
What if you wanted to sell an ebook? Or any other type of digital download for that matter? GetResponse Conversion Funnels were built for this.
Much like with other knowledge products, the best way is to create a sales funnel, choose your store, and pick “Downloadable file” as your product type.
Once you’ve done that, upload your product and proceed with the rest of the sales funnel setup process.
If you haven’t done this before, go ahead and check out this tutorial or refer back to our video walkthrough.
Read more about the most effective ebook marketing strategies in our article.
IV. Sell services
Using Conversion Funnels you can also sell services. These can be online consultations, workshops, IT development, or any other service type that comes to your mind.
To sell a service, much like with other digital products, you’ll want to set up a sales funnel and pick the right product type.
Once you’ve done that, fill out all the necessary details, like the name, description, price, and information on how you’ll deliver the service.
Then, carry on with the sales funnel setup process and start adjusting your sales page and confirmation emails.
Step 4. Upsell your customers
You’ve managed to build an engaged audience and lead them to your sales page.
If you’ve done everything right up to this point, they’ll likely go through the entire funnel and buy your product.
But what if you wanted to offer them something more, like an exclusive deal that’s only available to those who buy your main product? That’s what we’ve built upsell pages for.
After a user clicks through to buy your product on the sales page:
They can be automatically directed to an upsell page that’ll present them with a time-limited offer:
Naturally, they can close this offer and carry on to just buy your main product. But if the offer is good enough, you’ll be able to increase your average order value in no time.
Step 5. Retarget lost customers
We’ve covered how you can attract your audience and convert them with your sales funnels. We even talked about how you can upsell those who are ready to buy your products, credit card in hand.
But what if someone’s not ready to make a purchase and leaves your site? That’s where retargeting comes in.
Thanks GetResponse and Facebook integration, setting up retargeting campaigns is easy. All you need to do is start creating a Facebook ad and pick website visitors as your target audience:
There, you can target those who visited your sales page (e.g. in the last 5 days) and exclude those who converted and made it to the confirmation page.
Once you’ve identified this audience, think of what it would take to convert them. Would they be motivated by a simple reminder or maybe a discount would be more effective? Perhaps it’s enough to talk about the benefits of your products or show some of the customer testimonials?
There are many ways you can go about this, so make sure you test at least a few approaches.
Step 6. Reach a wider audience
After all this work you’ll probably want to further expand your audience and sell even more of your products.
We’ve already mentioned how Facebook and Instagram can help you attract an audience when you’re starting off with a clean slate. Let’s now have a look how they can be used to further expand your reach when you already have some paying customers.
When setting up your ads in GetResponse, you can create a so-called Lookalike Audience. These are the people who are similar to your existing audience (they have matching characteristics and behavior) according to Facebook’s algorithms.
If you pick this audience type, you can narrow down the targeting to target those who you value the most, e.g.:
- Your paid subscribers
- People who bought more than one of your products
- People who have a particularly high average order value
- People who are very engaged in your content
This targeting option can be very powerful and deliver a very good return on ad spend (ROAS). And what’s also great, if you ran successful ads in step 1 of this guide, you already have a winning set of ads in your account ready to be launched in a matter of minutes.
Your next step
Selling digital products isn’t always easy.
In many cases, you’ll be facing strong competition and will need to highlight your unique selling proposition.
Luckily, with tools like GetResponse, selling digital products and launching your marketing communications is much easier.
If you think you’re ready for the challenge, then go ahead and take GetResponse for a test drive.
Sign up for GetResponse and start selling knowledge in no time 🙂