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Information Products: Fifteen Factors That Boost Their Perceived Value

by Marcia Yudkin

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Published on this site: February 7th, 2009 - See more articles from this month

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 directory.

  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 available.

  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 information.

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!

Marcia Yudkin: 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: http://www.yudkin.com/informationempire.htm.

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