Design Digital Products For Consumability

In the information product world it’s well known that consumption is an important consideration with any product, whether it’s a book, an audio program, a video program, or a full- blown home study course consisting of multiple media types. And the use of consumption autoresponders, “read this first” letters or “getting started guides” and incorporating into your product design itself consumption strategies are all tools for making your products more user friendly. After all, if you can’t get them to consume your information what are your chances of getting them to come back and buy more from you? Pretty slim.

But what if your product is strictly digital in nature? You  battle  with  the “out of sight, out of mind” issue first and foremost. There’s no binder sitting on their shelf to remind them of your material. No read this first letter that they see when they receive your package. No way visually to stay in the forefront of their mind.

Design Digital Products For Consumability

That being said, there are strategies you can employ to increase your stick rates and improve the  consumption of your information. I’ll focus here primarily on membership sites, a common  digital  delivery   model, but  many  of  these  strategies  can  be applied equally well to audio downloads, video downloadable products, e-Books or PDFs.

Many membership site models operate under the premise that the less they talk with their members the better their stick rate because many people simply forget they are being charged for the content on a monthly basis. That’s total bull in my book but there are those out there that take that approach. I think you should have regular contact with your membership via email autoresponders.

Autoresponders are not just a sales tool, they’re a great consumption tool you can use to drive people back to the membership site to consume more information. When someone buys your product you should have pre- programmed into your email software a series of messages reminding them of value content available to them and linking them back to that content.

Another great consumption tool/stick strategy is the incorporation of some offline “touches” into your customer communication mix. When new members sign up for programs we’re involved with they receive a card or hand written note welcoming them to the group in the mail. People remember hand written notes and it’s a great way to stand out from your competition.

Incorporation of “community” into your product can also have a massive impact on its consumption and stickiness. There are some people who just want to belong to a group and they’ll never really  consume your information.

Disappointing I know, but simply a reality we all  have to deal with. But, if you give them an opportunity to dialogue with others either via live events or in an online forum where they can get their questions answered quickly from others can be very attractive. An active forum can be extremely beneficial, but the operative word is “active”.

Nothing can kill a group faster than questions asked going unanswered within the group. Make sure you have a product “champion”, maybe someone other than you, that will help you moderate your forum and get people the answers they need.

Finally, be sure to incorporate some unannounced bonuses someone into your membership benefits. Special surprises people weren’t expecting provide that added touch that can set you apart from others in your niche.

It’s still your job as an information marketer to help your customers consume your information. If you’re operating strictly in the digital world you face additional challenges regarding product consumption. Incorporate some or all of these strategies to improve your product consumption and stickiness.

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Bret Ridgway

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