Your product is out there! You’re starting to make some money! Now you can sit back and just watch the passive income roll in, right?
One of the biggest mistakes most people make when selling digital products is thinking that the work ends after launch day. Very few people can “set it and forget it” when it comes to digital products. You need to provide great customer service to turn your fans into customers and to turn your customers into advocates.
Step Five: Continuously Serving Your Customers
Today, before ending this series of posts on selling digital products, I want to delve a little deeper into the life of a digital product after launch day. Let’s talk about…
- Whether or not digital products are actually a source of passive income
- Finding new customers beyond the initial burst of sales
- Short-term customer care
- Long-term customer care
When Passive isn’t Really Passive
Everyone always talks about how great passive income is, but the fact of the matter is this: passive income isn’t typically truly passive. Whenever you have money changing hands, customer support is needed. There will always be someone who has trouble downloading your product or logging into your website. There will always be someone who wants a refund. There will always be someone who has problems with payment processing.
This can be passive in the sense that you don’t have to be personally providing the customer support. You can instead hire a team of VAs to help you with this task. Then, all you’ll need to do is some initial training.
Just be aware that if you choose not to provide customer support, the result will not be good for your bottom line. People who have bad experiences tend to be extremely vocal on social networks. When someone googles your name/product, do you want a bunch of bad reviews to be the first thing that pops up?
Launching a digital products is exciting because you typically see a rush of sales on launch day, slowly dropping off over the course of a week or two. But what then? If all you do is link to your product on your sidebar, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Every person who visits your blog is a potential sale. How much money are you missing out on, simply because you leave it up to people to figure out you have a product for sale?
So what can you do to find new customers continuously? Here are a few ideas?
- Set up an email campaign some that when someone signs up for your mailing list, they get a message about your product.
- Write blog posts about similar topics and link to your product at the end.
- Write guest posts for other bloggers and mention your product in your bio or even within the post if relevant.
- Run promotions throughout the year, offering discounts or free trials.
- Work with your affiliates for special promotions.
- Host a Google+ Hangout and talk about your product.
- Come up with a plan to mention your product on social networks on a regular basis.
- Create free products related to your paid product to give away, then upsell to the full product.
- Do a free webinar about a related topic and talk about your product at the end.
Short-Term Customer Care
Short-term customer service is all about taking care of problems, right? Well, kind of. Problems should be your main focus, since these are opportunities to turn a bad situation into a good situation. However, don’t ignore your customers who are singing your praises or you biggest group of customers–the ones who say nothing at all.
Create an automated email sequence so that about a week after your product is purchased, the customer receives an email follow up. Ask for feedback, offer a surprise bonus, or simply thank them a second time. You want that “second touch” with each customer to show that you really do care.
Make sure you reply to anyone who emails you, even if they are not inquiring (or yelling!) about a problem. The people who love your product or just have a question are the people who will sing your praises if you give them a little attention. We all like to feel like we’re important. When you personally reply to someone, even to just say thank you, you’re making your customers feel noticed.
While I do advocate you doing this yourself, you can have a VA help you manage this part as well by categorizing your emails so you can reply more quickly.
Long-Term Customer Care
Think about how you’re going to connect with your customers long-term as well. Why should you care? Because they’ll give you even more money! When you have another product for sale, someone who has felt they received a lot of value from you in the past is going to pull out their credit card a second time.
It’s about more than a great product. You do want to be sure that what you’re selling is awesome. But more importantly, if you go that extra mile, you’ll have people begging you for another product or even giving you more money in the form of a donation. Pat Flynn once told a story about people purchasing a product from him that they didn’t even need just to say “thank you” for his free help in the past!
The key is VALUE. Here are a few ways you can offer long-term value:
- Offer a free “second edition” version of your book to people who purchased in the past.
- Ask your customers to become affiliates so they can earn a little income from recommending your product.
- Engage with customers on social networks. Beyond just talking about your product, get to know them and share their links from time to time.
- Create a community around your product, offering forums, Facebook groups, etc. for customers to talk to one another.
- Do a call/webinar with your customers around the 3-month-since-launch mark to answer any lingering questions.
- Touch base via occasional emails.
The point is this: keep people involved. Then, when you have another product for sale or want a boost in sales for your current product, ASK your community of customers to help you! They can…
- Tweet, pin, and otherwise share via social networks
- Send emails to their friends and followers
- Write testimonials
- Review your product on other sites
So, while you might be thinking of your digital product as a passive source of income, if you put some more time into building a community around the product, you’ll sell more products over the long term. Passive? Not really. Profitable? Absolutely!
I hope this series has helped you prepare for selling your next digital product. Remember to check out all of the other posts in the series if you haven’t already!
See Other Posts in This Series:
- Step One: Building Relationships
- Step Two: Choosing the Perfect Product
- Step Three: Creating Your Product
- Step Four: Planning Your Launch
- Step Five: Servicing Your Customers (this post)
Image credit (altered): Bigstock