When it comes to selling digital goods, few business models are as successful as those which encourage repeat interaction with established customers. A product series is one of the best and most effective ways of accomplishing this goal
What is a Product Series?
Back in the three-part Increasing Sales lesson, we discussed the importance of upselling and encouraging repeat customers. One of the best examples of how to accomplish this goal is by offering a series of related products, each of which fills a different need or expands upon the fulfillment of one desire. You want to sell to the same customers again and again, while also encouraging new purchases. Whether you're an author penning a long-running fictional ebook series, a musician releasing a series of singles or a software developer offering add-ons and upgrades, you need to make a point of building a cohesive series of products which complement one another.
Creating a Product Series Outline
There are some things in life that work best when you wing it, but flying by the seat of your pants may not be the best method for creating a series of digital products. Ideally, you'll have an outline for several future releases when your first product hits the market. By the time your first product starts building a customer base, you should already know what the next few offerings in the series will be. Depending on what you sell, this could mean a plot map for several more stories, a release schedule for future installments of your video series, or a plan for program upgrades. Whatever area you specialize in, take the time to decide the overall direction of your product series before you start the sales journey.
Releasing On a Schedule
You can't always communicate the release of a new offering in your product series to everyone who's ever made a purchase in your store. Rather than trying to reach out to everyone in order to communicate the news of a new release, strive for a set schedule you publicize openly. Offer new ebooks every three months, or new songs every Tuesday. Find a timeline that suits your needs, then make sure everyone knows to check back at a set time for new products. This way, you can keep momentum and buzz about your products while making each new release feel like a special event.
Bundle an Entire Series
All good things must come to an end. When you've reached the end of the line with your product series, it's time to put the whole thing on the market as a bundled set. This works best when the product bundle is offered at a promotional or discounted price. Make one bundle available, then start plotting out your next series!
When your business model is built around a product series, you need a reliable means of communicating special announcements and news about new releases to your buyers. Create an email list, maintain a blog and craft a social media presence. Give your customers a number of ways to keep up with new developments, and you'll be less likely to lose them along the way.
Start plotting out a full product series, complete with release schedules and announcement plans. How will you communicate with your customer base? How will you keep interactions flowing smoothly between releases? The more detailed your plan, the less likely you are to be surprised by unexpected complications along the way.