Sunday, March 6, 2011

Information Products

Information Products


Strictly speaking, information products include all books, reports etc. In the Internet context, the term refers to electronically deliverable, knowledge-based products.
Information products are also referred to as "digital goods" and "knowledge-based goods".
If it delivers knowledge and you can e-mail it to the customer or offer it as a downloadable file, then it qualifies as an information product.
While you read this tutorial, download "The Mother of all Search Engine Reference Books". It's an e-book that we're giving away as part of a promotional campaign and a good example of an information product.

So information products are files on your hard drive that you send out electronically. Tutorials, e-books etc.


  • Information products can be created with little or no money. When I started I paid for a domain, hosting and a copy of Acrobat so I could make PDF files. That's it.

  • Information products can be reproduced in any quantity - it is as simple as copying a file. Even if you sell a million copies, production costs stay zero.

  • With information products, inventory and the problems around keeping an inventory are completely eliminated.

  • With information products, shipping costs and problems around shipping are completely eliminated.

  • Because it is delivered electronically, the time-lapse between purchase and delivery is neglegable.

These advantages are enormous - and they can give you the edge you need to make your business a success.
Hard goods have to be manufactured from raw materials using machienery. You'll probably have to hire someone to oversee the production. You'd have to have a system for keeping inventory - and again someone to run that. You'd have to ship the products - with someone to oversee that - or outsource the shipping function to someone else. These overheads make it difficult to be competitive.
Information products are cheap, easy, convenient and fast. The kind of thing you can create and sell all by yourself.


  • E-books
  • E-zines & newsletters
  • Reports & research data
  • Tutorials, courses & help files.


The major disadvantage of information products lies in its perceived value - in other words what the customer thinks it is worth before she buys it.
If it's a real book, she knows that it probably wouldn't get published if it were no good. She knows it has been spell-checked. With an e-book, these assurances are not there. Anyone can slap an e-book together and offer it for sale.
She also ends up with some data on her hard drive - not a book in her hands. People simply like to hold things they buy. Many people shop to feel better.
There are a couple of effective ways to add to the perceived value of information products.
You could reassure your potential customer by showing testimonials from happy customers, by offering a free download of part 1 while offering part 2 & 3 for sale, by offering a full, money-back guarantee etc.
You can also add to the perceived value of information products by increasing the price. Every product has a level of price resistance. The ideal is to find yours by experimenting and then set is just below that mark. Don't make the mistake of pricing low because production cost is zero. Price it according to the benefits it provides.

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