Your digital products may seem perfect. It may seem like just what your customers need. But that doesn’t mean it will sell. Keep reading to learn how to successfully pre-sell your digital products to know if there’s a market for it.
What is a pre-sale?
A pre-sale is when a founder sells their digital product before it’s fully developed. They can incorporate the customers’ input to guide the product’s development.
Let’s look at building an online course as an example. The traditional way to create it is to spend weeks (and sometimes months) recording videos, creating worksheets, and writing templates. Once everything is ready, the course is launched with ads, live events, and lots of hoopla.
Unfortunately, even with a high-value course, it’s hard to sell it this way. When it fails, it’s almost impossible to diagnose what went wrong.
- You could be targeting the wrong people.
- Your value statement may need tweaking.
- The timing of your offer may be off.
Pre-selling avoids all of these issues. Instead of creating your entire course before your launch, you only create a portion of it. This is enough to attract your founding members and get them started right away.
Then, with feedback and testimonials from these customers, you can refine your course and do a formal launch.
Why should you pre-sell your digital products?
You can waste a lot of time and money developing a product in advance, only to discover no one wants it. You can minimize the risk of this happening by pre-selling your digital product.
Nathan Chan, CEO of Foundr Magazine, pre-sold their Coffee Table Book. Here’s what he had to say about the experience:
“[Kickstarter] allowed us to launch our product with presales, validate our market, and conduct a branding exercise to tap into a whole new audience for Foundr.”
By selling your idea before the product is ready, you’re able to verify that your idea is sound. Then, as you work with your students to develop the product, you can use their feedback to improve it. When you’re done, you know exactly how to position it in the marketplace so it will sell like hotcakes.
Pre-sell is also a smart way to get paid to produce your product. Your early earnings will pay the bills while you focus on developing your offer.
How to pre-sell your digital product
Here are six techniques to get you started pre-selling your digital product.
1. Tap into your network
Start with your existing network. Reach out to people you know. Let them know you’re developing a new course. Invite them to join.
“If your goal is to put your brand on the map this year, networking is one way to properly execute it. It allows you to interact with others while gaining knowledge and resources,” says Forbes Business Council.
Here’s how Kajabi creator Matt LaClear pre-launched his course on Facebook:
Matt offered free access to a limited number of people in exchange for testimonials that will help him sell his course when it’s finalized. But he could easily have charged a small fee for these founding members.
You can do something similar by reaching out to your social media followers. You can also make new connections with people who fit the profile of your ideal customer.
Introduce yourself as the founder of [your brand or product]. Get to know them, their goals and ambitions. Then let them know about your new product.
The key is to avoid being salesy. Generously share with your knowledge and expertise. This allows you to build authority and gain momentum for your launch.
2. Create a sales page
Build a sales page that describes your product and asks for the sale. This is where you’ll send prospects who are interested in what you’re doing.
Start by identifying your audience’s pain points. Then exaggerate them and introduce your product as the solution. List the benefits of your digital product. Help them visualize their new life after learning everything you plan to teach them.
Finally, give your call to action. Let prospects know exactly how to join your pre-sale.
Note: Don’t try to trick people. It’s okay to let them know your course is in beta. That level of honesty can build trust and excitement.
Your presell landing page should build anticipation. It should create urgency through discounts and limited spots. It should give as much detail as possible:
- What the course will be about
- What will be included
- When the first lesson will be released
- How quickly it will be done
Here’s the landing page Matt created for his course:
Need more help with your sales page? Check out our in-depth guide on how to create amazing sales pages. Here are 25 landing page examples that convert like crazy.
3. Build social proof
Social proof includes customer reviews, video testimonials, and star ratings. They’re nearly impossible to get if you don’t pre-sell your course.
Offer early access to your product at a discount (or free). Let your founding members know that you’ll ask them for feedback and a testimonial. They’ll see it as a fair trade. You’ll get the testimonials you need to promote your product.
Note: If you’ve got a track record selling your services, you may already have some testimonials about your expertise or trustworthiness. You can use these testimonials to promote your pre-sell.
You can also ask people to share their excitement about your upcoming product. Repost any positive feedback you receive during the launch.
4. Create an email campaign
Once your sales page is ready, it’s time to spread the word. If you have an email list, start there.
Emails have a 19.81% conversion rate. The average conversion rate for all marketing channels is 10%. So email is still one of your best bets for getting tractions.
Create a series of emails with CTAs linking to your pre-sell landing page. Then drip them over the days and weeks of your pre-sale. A good campaign may last two to three weeks.
Here are some tips for getting your emails read:
- Share interesting stories before segueing into their offers.
- Connect with the audience on a personal level.
- Share success stories.
- Share early reviews and/or testimonials.
- Remind your list of how exclusive your offer is.
5. Build trust in advance
Since the product doesn’t already exist, you need to build trust before and after the sale. That means overdelivering on every promise you make.
Set a date for your product release, and stick with it. Use a tool like Kajabi that lets you release your product on a specific date.
Then send frequent reminders and updates. This is key to keeping your students engaged and letting them know what’s available, when.
6. Get frequent feedback
Work with your founding customers to ensure they’re successful. Then ask for feedback on your product.
Matt followed up with his pre-sell customers in social media:
This feedback is invaluable for improving your students’ experience in your course. So offer an incentive to anyone who responds.
Note: Don’t be upset if you get negative comments. They shine a light on the weak areas of your product. If you get positive comments, ask the student to give you a video testimonial.
How to pre-sell products with Kajabi
A successful pre-sale launch depends on numerous factors. Kajabi helps you take charge of your digital entrepreneurship by giving you everything you need to pre-sell your product. Kajabi makes it easy for you to:
- Create the initial part of your digital product with our world-class digital product generator
- Build a high-converting sales page to pre-sell your product
- Handle payments with the included payment gateway
- Use email marketing to communicate with those who bought your course
- Finalize your course and deliver it to your early customers.
Kajabi also makes it easy for you to analyze reports, set dates, and grow with a community of like-minded people. And you can get started with Kajabi for free.
Check out Kajabi’s free downloadable ebook resources.
Attend free Kajabi webinars Monday - Friday to answer your questions about Kajabi's capabilities.
Tune in to the Kajabi podcast, Kajabi Edge to hear interviews with Kajabi Heroes.
Read the 2022 State of the Creator Economy Report to get the latest data on industry trends and growth for knowledge content creators.
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