Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Information Products are powerful money makers

Not everyone is aware of what Internet Marketers know. You can make a nice living creating and distributing your own information product. Here is a look behind the curtain that may give you some ideas. Guest post by my Marcia Yudkin.

Information Products: Fifteen Factors That Boost Their Perceived Value

by Marcia Yudkin

Although the going rate partially depends on the target
market, ebooks currently tend to sell for $29.95 to $49.95.
Single audio recordings fall in the same range. Length
isn’t necessarily a multiplier. For instance, if you
produce an ebook that is three times the typical length,
you can’t necessarily charge $89.95 to $149.95. People
would be suspicious that the additional content was
redundant, or that you’d increased the length through large
type, a lot of white space or wordy writing.

So what kind of magic wand transforms a $29.95 product into
one that people happily pay hundreds or even thousands of
dollars for? It’s not magic. Simply add as many of the
following factors as you can to your offering, and watch
people readily fork over big money.

Fifteen Factors That Boost The Perceived Value of
Information Products

1. Practical focus. People pay more when a product teaches
them something or gives them whatever they need to
accomplish a task. Someone who shares stories about their
summer vacation in France would find it difficult to charge
more than $19.95 for their product, but if the product
enables buyers to speak real estate French in two weeks or
to buy vacation property in France at bargain prices (or
both!), that could easily be worth more than a hundred
dollars to purchasers.

2. Specific outcome. Participants will pay much more for a
product that promises to deliver a result or outcome rather
than merely offering education, insight or support.
Compare “Complete Your Business Plan in 30 Days” or “Get
Booked in Soap Opera Roles,” which clearly aim at a
specific result, with “Managing Difficult Customers,” which
is bound to be helpful but does not target an outcome.

3. Focused guarantee. People expect a money-back guarantee
of some sort, but when you highlight the expected result in
the wording of your guarantee, customers better understand
the value of what they’re getting and become more willing
to pay for it. For example: “If you don’t get booked on a
single daytime soap within six months of buying the course
– or are unhappy with it for any other reason – simply
return it for a 100% refund.” When you analyze this
guarantee logically, it’s not that different from a blanket
money-back guarantee, but emotionally its confidence is far
more convincing.

4. Testimony of results. No one wants to be suckered, and
testimonials reassure the shopper that someone has
purchased and felt good about spending the money. Don’t
even bother with unsigned or partly anonymous testimonials,
which are not believable. Enthusiastic, raving praise
can’t hold a candle to customers signing their name to
specific results they achieved from your product. Indeed,
when I receive a strong testimonial saying exactly what the
customer was able to do or how much more they made after
consuming my product, I have been known to instantly raise
the product price.

5. Hard-to-find information. When a product includes
information someone can’t otherwise buy or that they can’t
normally even find, the price can go sky-high. Smart
information marketers create or acquire a bonus item in
this category, which not only lets them charge more but
also induces more lookers to decide they just have to have
the item. Prior to the Internet, speakers bureau owner
Dottie Walters, for example, offered a directory of bureaus
around the world as a bonus for a two-year subscription to
her magazine. It persuaded people who didn’t necessarily
even want the magazine to keep renewing to get the

6. Timeliness. Information that is hot off the press and
tied to new developments fetches a premium price. For
instance, when the stock market has just tanked, investors
can be desperate to spend money on a product like
“Investment Strategies for a Down, Down, Down Economy.”
Combine such timeliness with elements #5 and #7, and you
should be able to make a killing.

7. Reputation. If the author or presenter is well-known,
impressively credentialed or highly respected by the target
audience, the package can cost much more than for a no-name
unknown. Add a factor of exclusivity to increase the
premium value even further – for example, the product is
available to newsletter subscribers only.

8. Tangible materials. When an information product
includes printed materials and CDs or DVDs that come in the
mail rather than just downloadable stuff, the perceived
value rises greatly. Buyers appreciate having a physical
copy of what they’ve bought, not simply a bunch of files on
their computer. This doesn’t mean the materials have to be
glossy or expensively packaged. Indeed, a very simple yet
professional design emphasizes the specialized, exclusive
nature of the information.

9. Access to the guru or expert. You can easily raise the
price of an information package $300 or more if it includes
the right to ask questions or interact with someone who is
looked up to and not generally accessible. The access can
come in the form of a buyers-only forum, consulting time, a
telephone conference call, a critique coupon or buyers-only
call-in hours. And guess what? Most people who pay extra
for this sort of option do not actually use the access, yet
they consider it worth having spent more money on.

10. Consulting, coaching or mentoring component. Here
there’s a more formalized kind of one-on-one help or advice
included with the product, prompting a steep rise in
perceived value, even if, as with #9, few participants take
advantage of the opportunity. Since they figure that’s
their own fault, they’re still willing to pay the premium
fee for something that makes coaching, advice or feedback

11. Community or support. Customers may feel isolated and
unsure how to find others who share a particular challenge
or achievement. If so, providing access to a group of
people who, let’s say, are running a third-generation
family business or recovering from a rare kind of abuse has
extra value for people.

12. Additional services. My $795 home-study course on
presenting profitable teleseminars includes having me
distribute a press release for them at no charge – a $149
value. Here you’re not simply piling on downloadable
bonuses, which everyone knows cost next to nothing to
deliver, but bundling in an extra service that would
normally cost extra, such as free proofreading or a free
reality check for the participant in “Complete Your
Business Plan in 30 Days.”

13. Tools. Include software, spreadsheets, calculators,
checklists, scripts, templates, samples, workbooks and so
on as another way of increasing perceived value. These
items aren’t informative so much as useful in accomplishing
tasks. To the extent that the average buyer hasn’t
encountered the tools elsewhere, perceived value rises.

14. Certification. Participants adore it when satisfactory
completion of your program entitles them to call themselves
a certified something or other. Because this beefs up
their credentials, they’re happy to pay more for a program
that includes certification.

15. Continuing education credit. Some professionals have
to earn a certain number of education credits each year to
keep a license current. If that applies to your content
area, investigate which organizations hand out the credits,
then apply for inclusion in their program. The very same
content is worth more to participants who can satisfy
continuing education requirements by buying your

Along with increasing the perceived value of information
products, these fifteen factors strongly reduce refund
requests, too. Now go back through the list and think
about which elements you can incorporate to boost your
infomarketing profits!

The author of 11 books and five multimedia home-study
courses, Marcia Yudkin has been selling information in one
form or another since 1981. Download a free recording of
her answers to the most commonly asked questions about
information marketing by entering your information into the
privacy-assured request box at

Greg Cryns
The Mighty Mo Website Design and Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

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