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Business Tips: Information as Product

Why Does Information Make for Such Ideal Products?

By Marty Foley

It's an established fact that many of the most successful direct marketers sell information in various formats. Here are several advantages of information that make it such an ideal product:


Any direct marketer worth his salt knows that the best products for direct marketing are unique, or at least not easily available elsewhere. Copyrighted information products that you've created fit into this category. When you have exclusive rights to a product in this way, you have your own little 'monopoly.'

Granted, an information product you create may be not be fully unique in that the same subject may be addressed in other information products, but copyright laws give you exclusive control over products you've originated. To get your unique delivery of the information, people must go through you - directly or indirectly - to obtain it. Either way, you profit.

You Get More Profit From Products You Control

While selling other people's products has it's advantages, it's less profitable than products you create or otherwise have exclusive rights to (such as by purchasing the rights to a product someone else has created). You get only around 40-60% of the profit from other people's products, but 100% of the profit from products you control.

Potential To Bring You Income For Years

If you create a sought after product that meets the wants/needs of a growing market, update it periodically to keep up with changes in the field, and continue marketing it, it's possible to continue earning income from it for years after creation. For example, I created my first major info-product, an audio program entitled: 'HOW TO GET MORE DONE WITH LESS TIME AND EFFORT: A Streamlined Time Management Course' back in 1993, and it is still profitable today. Similarly, information products you create and copyright are yours to profit from for life, or until you decide to sell the rights to someone else.

Inexpensive To Test

It's an unfortunate fact that of the countless information products introduced into the marketplace each year, most fail. While there are tricks of the trade for increasing your chances of information marketing success, as I reveal in Information Gold Mine, it's risky to invest much time, money and effort in a product until it's a proven seller.

Fortunately, there are ways to test most types of information products on a small scale before investing much of your precious resources in them. Some types can even be produced one at a time, as orders are received, eliminating inventory. This means you can test the salability of a product with little risk. By minimizing your risk and learning as you go, you'll be better able to absorb your mistakes and endure until successful.

Easy To Store And Handle

Information products are compact in size, so they don't require much storage space. They require no special care, and hold up comparatively well under rough shipping and handling.

Inexpensive To Ship

Information products are lightweight, and the Postal Service even allows a special reduced shipping rate for certain types of info-products.

If sold over the Internet, everything - from promotion, to shopping, purchase and sometimes even delivery of the product - can be done electronically, without any shipping expense. No fuss, no mess.

Once You've Struck Gold With One Product, You Can Continue Mining It For More Gold

No matter what goal a product is designed to help your audience achieve, or what problem it's designed to help them solve, there are additional related goals/problems within their field that they want to achieve/solve. One of your jobs should therefore be to find out what these are, and then find or develop other products designed to help your audience reach these related objectives.

The most profitable products to add to your line are, of course, those you create. Fortunately, developing new related products doesn't mean you always have to create entirely new material starting from scratch. Once you've struck gold with one product, you can continue mining it for more gold by re-packaging and selling it in other formats.

In practice, this means:

  • One book can be broken down into several Special Reports, audio tapes, videos, etc;

  • Several related smaller products (such as Special Reports) can be grouped together to form the foundation of a new book or other major information product;

  • A chapter or section of one product may be expanded later into yet another major information product, etc., etc.

Built In Promotional Capabilities

Here are two ways information products have built-in promotional capabilities:

1) Excerpts of info-products you've created can be used as articles to promote sales of the product itself, as well as other related products or services.

2) A catalog included in a printed information product you create (what I call an in-product catalog), is a smart way of using each to promote everything else you offer. The cost (which is very minimal anyway) is included in the production cost and passed on to your customers.

What I especially like about an in-product catalog is that it's kept for as long as the product is kept!

If a product doesn't lend itself to including an in-product catalog, (such as an audio or video tape) you can at least include a message within it inviting your audience to contact you for details on other products/services they can benefit from.

Both of these methods are effective ways to slash the cost of acquiring new prospects and selling more to previous buyers. Can you think of any other type of product with such built in promotional capabilities?

As we've just considered, there are many reasons information makes such ideal products. If you compare these advantages to other types of products sold through direct marketing, you will see that information makes one of the most ideal products of all time.


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