12 of the Biggest Common Mistakes Killing the Sales of Your Digital Products


If you’ve ever poured your heart into a product just to feel like it all fell on what seemed like deaf ears? You’re not alone. It’s almost like a gift and badge we all get to wear as product creators. Once you’ve felt it and experienced it for the first time, it’s hard to say you’ll do it again. In fact, many quit and stop trying. But, I urge you, don’t quit.

You just didn’t do it right and it’s your job to figure out how to do it better the next time and the time after that. So, let’s review some of the mistakes and reasons you’re not making any sales on your digital product.

Only pitching the features of your product, not what it can do for your customers

Selling, when done right, is a win-win for both parties to achieve the outcome they’re looking for. At times you could be connecting people to their perfect product except they just don’t know it, and both parties lose out. That’s why it’s important to let people know what your product can do for them, spell it out loud and clear instead of just listing its features.

Not asking for the sale / Keeping the cart open at all times

You may have a great product not closing the sale because you’re either not asking or you keep the cart open assuming people will buy right away. Sales can be quite daunting for some people and you may be afraid of coming across a little too pushy. However, research shows that when the right product is connected to the right customer, without that gentle nudge or countdown of scarcity, over 90% will opt to not commit to purchase at that time. Don’t be afraid to ask for the sale and put a time-frame to the offer. When the cart is closed, it’s closed. Be good on your word and close it too. Here’s an example of a simple ask from Rifle Paper Co on Instagram.

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Not following up / No Sales Funnel / Not repeating the offer in the future for those customers who would buy but aren’t ready.

Your customers can have all sorts of time constraints like budget or project start dates but that doesn’t mean they won’t buy in the future. It’s vital to operate a sales funnel and keep adding to it. In some cases, the sales cycle can take 3 months, 6 months, 9 months or even a year. Not following up on your current leads can easily lead to lost revenue. Keeping in touch with your leads also lead to brand recognition and develops future long-term relationships.

If you are on our email list and newsletter longer than a few months, then you have probably been asked to join our VIP membership or have been offered a seat in one of the courses. For those who no longer want our monthly freebies or education and know they won’t upgrade to a product we offer, then they unsubscribe and no one is worse for the ware. This quote comes from one of our VIP member’s who waited a long time before becoming a VIP member.

“I’ve been a fan for a long time and enjoyed all the freebies you have sent me over the past year. But I am always a little sad about not being able to have access to the other stock photos in your VIP library…. I finally upgraded! Thanks again for this wonderful offer.”

I didn’t offer the VIP membership to her once or twice. I offered it multiple times over the year, all the while continuously providing tonnes of free value too. If I had stopped offering the membership or stopped providing freebies, making the assumption she didn’t want what I had to give, then she wouldn’t have ever upgraded and wouldn’t be the even happier member she is today! So, always value what you have and don’t hold back the offer (even if you’re offering it multiple times before you get a yes).

No pre-launch hype plan

Pre-launch campaigns play a major role in creating a buzz amongst your prospects and current clients. They can help define how people will perceive your product before they make a purchase. Pre-launch activities let your potential customers know that something is on the way and this also a great chance to generate priceless word of mouth recommendations. If you don’t let customers know then they may easily a product or service that could provide them with real-world value. It also gives people a chance to ask questions and is a prime opportunity to build those long-term relationships. Take this example from the team over at Cultivate what Matters.

No post-launch plans

Once you have an engaged audience in place from your pre-launch marketing activities, it’s vital to keep the momentum going, otherwise, they just switch off. Remember, these are your low hanging fruit, potential customers that already have an interest, so push home how good your product is by asking any new clients to provide a rating or by highlighting your customer’s stories with their new product.

Creating too many products, one right after the next

Mixed messaging can have a negative effect on your sales, and this includes launching too many products one on top of the other. One at a time. with complete focus is a must so that you don’t end up watering down your marketing focus and missing vital metrics. There is also the added stress which will potentially run yourself into the ground trying to keep up with it all. Focus on delivering and evaluating one launch at the time so you can see what is and isn’t working, this will allow you to maximize revenue and stay on track.

Besides PHOTOS, I haven’t created a new product for Ivory Mix in over 14 months. <~~~~~~~ this is the truth and yet I’ve doubled revenue. It may look like I have or it may look like I have a lot to offer but I haven’t made any new products since late 2017.

What get’s measured, improves. If you aren’t measuring your past products or launches, then you’re not maximizing the value potential they have for you or your audience.


Not giving away free value first

I’m the queen of free. There I said it and although an official title may seem contrived, the truth is my motto is “if they want cake, let them eat cake” is my motto. I give away the products I also sell. It has always helped me build an audience of people who are clearly interested in the product. I meet them on their journey with free gifts in hand.

“if they want cake, let them eat cake”

Most of my audience, like you, are trying to build something great. But, they’re not always ready to buy because I meet them at the beginning of their journey usually. It’s not my job to tell them all the reasons why they should buy my stock photos or memberships. It’s my job to show them how it will impact that great thing they’re trying to build. What I have seems easy to show right? I mean, they’re photos, so just show watermarked examples should work? Except, that’s where you’d be wrong. I provide so much customer service and thoughtful customized experience that it goes beyond the photos.

Much to their delight, instead of me showing watermarked images, my audience gets real FREE images they can use and an incredible experience to boot. Then they find out the even better news. They can have even more of that great thing if they invest a little more in an elite or VIP membership.

Another great way to encourage sales on new products is to give something extra away for first time purchasers. A bonus works well, but so does running a contest or having a loyalty program during launch. These will let you build up an email marketing list segmented and made up of only new customers so you can start to engage with new customers uniquely. It adds to the buzz and it’s also a great strategy for finding out what your customers are looking for before and after they’ve purchased.

Related Post: How to get testimonials before and after your launch

No branding strategy

Strong branding improves recognition, it’s what people remember and recognize as the face of your business. It also helps to build trust as you represent yourself as a well-defined polished business. Whether large or small, the most profitable companies have established themselves through a strong brand. Constantly changing your branding will create confusion and diminish your standing in the market place. Brand loyalty is keeping customers engaged and understanding their customer journey.

Not building a community

Between running contests, to creating loyalty programs, and hosting Facebook groups, you can create a real sense of community amongst your customers. Social media sites are super for keeping people engaged. This type of active engagement has been shown to increase sales and gain new customers through word of mouth. Creating and engaging in a community through blog posts and hosting events like LIVE webinars, and Facebook Group Engagement opportunities will expand awareness of your brand.

An example from our Facebook group is where we host Wednesday Q&A. This day has been helpful for so many new members to ask their burning blogging questions and everyone who participates in answering is building a relationship (which is an incredible opportunity to build a brand around your expertise).


Making your product for “everybody and their moms and their mom’s mom”

Make sure you know and focus on a particular target market. It can seem scary to “put all your eggs in one basket” but when it comes to your target audience trying to be all things to everyone is a sure-fire way to fail. Pick your target market and work within the framework. Not everyone has a need for your products and services, so you need to focus on the customers that do.

I love when Diana of Polar Vectors creates these icon packs and I believe she’s found her groove in style and in brand. I always know when it’s her icons I’m seeing.

You aren’t providing answers to common questions/buyer resistance

It’s always a good idea to have a FAQ section with all the common questions you know will be asked about your product. It’s a sales opportunity all by itself, as it allows you to bring up potential resistance issues and deal with them head-on. Here’s an example of a simple FAQ found on Creative Market. Seems like common sense, but it people are asking repeat questions you may be losing sales before they get to that point and not even know it.

All you offer is high-dollar products / You don’t have a low-cost offer in your mix

You really need to keep a mix of products across a wide price spectrum as part of an ascension model. This model and way to price your products gives you a wider audience in the beginning and also keeps those people engaged who would eventually be interested in the higher prices product. Someone who may have initially become a client for a low-cost item is now invested in your brand and may well come back and purchase more high-end goods at a later date.


Ready to get started monetizing and making more sales of your digital products? One of the best places to start is with this free downloadable ebook showing you exactly the steps for creating a digital product business.


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