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5 Powerful Lead Generation Strategies for Your Digital Product Shop

Episode 72: 5 Powerful Lead Generation Strategies for Your Digital Product Shop

Let’s talk about one of the most important things when it comes to running a business…

Lead generation.

Lead generation and getting new people into your business is the biggest thorn in any business owner’s side, but it is essential. 

Your warm leads won’t last forever, you can run out of things to sell to them. That’s where lead generation comes in.

I’m sharing the five powerful ways to drive new customers to your digital product shop so you can grow and scale your shop this year.

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • One of the strongest benefits of having a digital product shop
  • Why you can’t only rely on your warm audience
  • What you need to know about paid advertising 
  • Why we need to be doing SEO around the clock
  • How you can leverage your email list for lead generation
  • Why we need to leverage our sales funnels to bring in new customers
  • How you can use affiliate marketing to grow your digital product shop

If you loved this episode and want to learn more about starting and growing a digital product shop in 2024, I would love for you to join me the week of January 29th, 2024, inside one of my favorite free trainings that we host. It’s called the Digital Shop Accelerator and it’s all about how to launch your shop, the low-risk, high-reward way. 

Register here!

Head over to http://monicafroese.com/listen to listen to this episode and previous episodes on your favorite podcast platform!

Resources Mentioned:

[00:00:04] You are listening to the Empowered Business podcast. I’m your host, Monica Froese, and if you’re like me, you want to grow a business you love that gives you financial freedom and fits your lifestyle. Every week you’ll get strategy and unfiltered opinions from me and other successful business owners that will inspire you to make big moves in your business. When we work together, we not only grow faster, we also amplify each other’s voices. Are you ready to build your business on your terms? Let’s jump in. Welcome back to another episode of the Empowered Business Podcast. I am so happy to be back with another great episode all about digital product shops. In last week’s episode, I caught you up on some life events that happened to me in 2023 and explained how our digital product shop, which is the Empowered Shop, changed everything about my life and business and helped me survive one of the toughest years in my life while still making more money than ever before, which I would say is pretty incredible. So today, I want to talk about one of the most important things when it comes to running a business, really running any type of business, whether you have a brick and mortar business, whether you have an online business, and that is lead generation. If you are a student of mine or you ever come to any of my live trainings, you will hear me say this a lot. Lead generation. Getting new people into your business is the biggest thorn in any business owner’s side.


[00:01:31] And I say that because. I think sometimes we would like to reach a finish line when it comes to all the hard work that we have to put in to acquire new customers, and there’s never a finish line. One of the things that I discovered in the two years of running my digital product shop is that there’s a stat that you can get in Shopify, and even if you don’t use Shopify, pretty much any e-commerce platform that you run your shop on will tell you the stat, which is my return customer rate. And it’s funny because about a year into leveraging my shop as like the number one call to action in my business, our return customer rate was hovering around 40 to 50%, which come to find out, that is a very healthy percentage. I was working with people who would tell me, you know, I only get like 20% return customer rate. And I’d say, you know why? Because you’re not emailing your list enough. You’re not leveraging your current customers enough. Because really, a shop should allow you to have repeat customers because you should always be selling. That is a big premise of what I teach in the digital Shop experience, which is our signature course on how to create and run profitable digital product shops. However. Something interesting started happening to my shop at the end of 2023, which is my return.


[00:02:54] Customer rate started slowly creeping above 50%, above 60%, and in December of 2023, our return customer rate in the empowered shop was 71%. Now you might be like, cool. So you’re really good at getting people who have already bought from you to come back to your shop and buy more from you. That is a great skill to have, I’m not gonna lie. And it’s really great that I have repeat customers. That is one of the strongest benefits of having a digital product shop, because I can list everything that I’ve ever sold in one cohesive place, which I’ve talked about a lot. However, there is a double edged sword here, and that is when your return customer rate starts creeping up above 50% 60% and now at 70%. It also means I have not had a very big focus on lead generation in my business. In other words, getting new customers into my business. And eventually, here’s the thing you will burn out your warm audience. Eventually, I will have sold all the things that there are to sell, and I won’t have people to sell to if I don’t focus on lead generation. And that is why I say it’s a thorn in every business owner’s side, because everyone wants the magic pill of how do I just have a steady lead of new customers coming to me all the time? And the reality is, the landscape of how you get new customers will pretty much always be changing.


[00:04:22] For a long time, I leveraged paid ads to get new customers in my business, and then there was a lot that changed around that. Welcome to the 2021 Facebook ad implosion, when Apple came out with iOS 14 and all the privacy things. And then I stopped running ads for a while, and I started focusing on things like sponsoring events in my niche. So when I say sponsoring events, I mean I sponsored some bundles and summits that really put me in the forefront of those events. And I took my paid ad dollars and I moved them to these sponsorships. It still gave me new blood in my business, but because I was focusing so heavily over the last two years in growing my digital product shop and really stabilizing our operations and everything that happens behind the scenes, I did not have as big a focus on lead generation, and towards the end of 2023, I’m really good at understanding or I guess, seeing where things are going. And I saw a freight train headed for us, and I always say when there’s a freight train headed for us, I like to get off the tracks as fast as possible and redirect. And for me, that freight train is. I have to care in 2024. Way more about lead generation than I did in 2023, 2023, and really 2022 and 2023 was the two years of stabilizing my business. And now we’ve done that.


[00:05:44] But now I need new people, I need new customers. And so in today’s episode, I want to talk about the five powerful ways to drive new customers to your digital product shop, because it’s going to be a thing for all of us. And even if you don’t have a digital product shop yet, I’m sure you’ll be able to take some things away from this episode. Now, the first way I’m going to talk about getting new customers to my digital product shop in 2024 is something I’ve already mentioned, which is paid advertising. Now, if you don’t know, I have never run paid ads directly to my digital product shop, The Empowered Shop. I’ve never done that. And people ask me why and I tell them because there’s really a few reasons. First of all, technically, having your Shopify catalog attached to Facebook and Instagram is against their terms of service to have digital products, which is actually pretty goofy if you ask me. I have no idea why Facebook or Meta has an issue with digital products on Shopify. It makes absolutely no sense. So because of that, I don’t want to run catalog ads on Facebook and Instagram because I don’t want to get my ad account flagged. I have a very robust Facebook ad account. If you’ve ever run Facebook ads, you know, it’s always kind of a fear for people to get their ad account shut down. And then if that happens, getting it back sounds like it’s a complete nightmare.


[00:07:13] I have never had my ad account shut down, and when I was heavily running Facebook ads, I actually ran Facebook ads to our sales funnels. Now, I talk about this in the episode all about why you still need sales funnels and a digital product shop. I think they go together like peanut butter and jelly, I like to say. And when I talk about bringing a new customer into my business, I typically want to put them in a sales funnel because it’s a hyper specific buying journey, meaning there’s not a lot of options to distract them. And I usually do this in the model of Facebook ads, where I would run it to a free opt in. So let’s just say I’m hosting a free challenge. I will run an ad to the free challenge, and then on the back end of that, they opt in and I would offer them something on a limited time offer, also known as a tripwire. And yes, I could send them at that point to my shop, but you figure in my shop I have 130 products and a sales funnel model. I’m sending them to one sales page that’s like, hey, the next logical step with me is to buy this product, and then they get on my email list. Now that makes sense when it’s a cold customer. However, I am going to say this. I mean, look around you. Get targeted on Facebook and Instagram all the time with e-commerce ads, right? So like, how many times do you see an ad for a product that basically you’re being offered to buy? Well, it’s no different than a digital product.


[00:08:40] There’s no reason why I can’t run paid advertising directly to the Empower Shop. I just have not tried it yet. There are two reasons. One, I want to be really careful about how I run the ads on Facebook and Instagram and not have it go through the catalog. This might not make sense to you if you’ve never run Facebook and Instagram ads, so just know if you’re thinking about this. If you hire an ads person, make sure to mention to them, hey, if you connect my Shopify catalog to Facebook and Instagram and digital products are against their terms of service, will this hurt my ad account? The way to get around that is, you can run the traditional style ads where you just link to the product listing, and I think that’s what I want to try to do not use the catalog connection, because why can’t I sell cold to the shop if we get targeted all the time with e-commerce ads for other types of products, why can’t we do that with digital products? I just have not tried this yet. However, like I said, this is, I believe, one of the more powerful ways I can leverage getting traffic into my shop in 2024. Why not try? So that’s the first way.


[00:09:51] The second way I want to talk about is something we should be doing all the time around the clock, which is search engine optimization. So let’s talk about this. Typically when we talk about search engine optimization we are talking about optimizing our shop for Google. Right. Google search. And it makes a lot of sense because when you think about it, when somebody goes to Google to search for something, they have intent. They’re actually stating a problem. Anything you type into the Google search bar or if you’re like my young kids, you talk to Google because you think that that’s what Google is. You don’t realize it’s a search browser that you type into. You actually talk to it, which both my kids do. Either way, when you’re asking Google something, you’re asking for a solution to your problem. You are literally putting in a problem. And so if your shop, if your product listings in your shop can solve that person’s problem, why wouldn’t you want to pop up in the search results? Of course you would. Uh, search engine optimization is a huge part of running a digital product shop. And I’ve always said, as someone who came from the blogging world, I’m dangerous when it comes to SEO. I certainly understand SEO. It is not my favorite thing to teach. So I definitely lean on some experts who are much better in this area to educate me, to educate my students, and now I will also mention them to educate you two people.


[00:11:19] Nina Gibson is one of them. She actually has worked with me directly in optimizing the empowered shop for Search Engine optimization, and I’ll make sure to link to her in the show notes. Another one is a student of mine. Her name is Erin Alexander and her website is Product Powerhouse Co. I’ll also link to this in the show notes. Erin actually has a bonus training on SEO for digital product shops in our big program, The Digital Shop Experience. And the thing about this is, I don’t feel like I have leveraged it enough in my shop. I think that there are still a lot of things I can do to optimize our images for SEO, to optimize our product listings for SEO, even to optimize the URL, and the meta descriptions for our product listings so that they are better found on Google. But this is such a low hanging fruit when it comes to acquiring new customers in your shop. Because like I said, you have a problem. You go to Google and you’re hoping for a solution. So, you know, for us this is just an example. Let’s say somebody is looking for lead pages, templates for their sales funnels. Well, we sell those in our shop. So if somebody’s searching that because they’re like, hey, I need to set up a new sales funnel and I have no design skills and I don’t know where to start.


[00:12:36] And they just want a template. They’re going to Google that. And why would I not want my shop to appear on top of the search results and acquire a new customer? Seems pretty logical, right? Okay. So so far we have one is paid ads, two is search engine optimization. Number three, I want to talk about something that it seems. Like it’s not a lead generation strategy, but it is, which is I want to talk about. Leveraging my email list for lead generation. And I want to talk about this, framing it two different ways. And the first one is I already mentioned that I firmly believe you should always be selling. And when I say you should always be selling, typically in especially in an online business, that means always selling to your email list, because why do you pay to have people on your email list if you are not selling to them? And what are you in business to do? You’re in business to sell. Business is an economic exchange of you have a product or service and somebody pays you money for it. That’s all. Being in business is. So we should be leveraging our email list to constantly be acquiring new customers. Because here’s the thing not everyone who comes on your email list comes in because they bought something from you. Meaning you do have a decent amount of people on your email list, likely, who have never bought anything from you.


[00:13:56] So those are still leads. Because really, until somebody pays you money, everyone in your business is a lead. Once they pay you money, they become a customer. So this episode is all about acquiring new customers. Why are we making sure we’re leveraging our email list to turn our leads on our email list into actual customers? So that’s what I mean when I say, like, let’s leverage our email list for new customers. But the fourth thing I want to talk about is leveraging our funnels. And when I say this, I mean leveraging our sales funnels for acquiring new customers. But then once again, they’re on your email list, most of us. And if you don’t, I highly suggest you do this have I guess you could call them welcome sequences that were that were going to send people through. So let’s talk about this. Not everyone that comes onto our email list has paid us money, correct? Correct. Okay. So they’re on our email list and however they got there, maybe you participated in a bundle or a summit, or maybe you ran paid ads to a sales funnel. Maybe you just have an opt in on your website that people opt in to get on your email list. Either way, there are plenty of people coming in and not paying you money yet, so this gives you a really great opportunity to build out your funnels inside of your email list.


[00:15:15] So whether you want to call it your welcome sequence or your nurturing sequence, people have different words for this. But these are new leads to you. So these new leads you should be nurturing to make customers. And where do you want to make them? A customer in your shop. Because once they’re in your world, once you bring them onto your email list, all roads should lead to your digital product shop, because that provides that consistent one place to send people, that one call to action, because we don’t want to be sending them to 10 to 15 different sales pages. That doesn’t make any sense. Which, you know, I’ve talked about a lot about how that doesn’t make a lot of sense. Okay, so we have a paid ad strategy to get people into our shop. We have leveraging SEO to get people into our shop, leveraging people already on our email list, building out our nurture sequences. All right. So what’s the fifth thing to get people new customers into our shop? This is a strategy that is honestly going to be the most important strategy in my business for 2024, and so I have not leveraged it to its full potential. But I’m going to tell you how I plan on leveraging it to its full potential. And then hopefully that will spark some really good ideas for you as well. So what am I talking about? I’m talking about affiliate marketing. Let’s talk about this and break it down.


[00:16:34] Likely if you have an online business, you’re relatively familiar with what affiliate marketing is, but let’s just make sure we’re all on the same page. So when I talk about affiliate marketing for my shop, I am talking about leveraging other business owners, recommending my shop to their customers, and they get a commission for it. So we have an affiliate program. We use the Shopify app called Go Pro for this. So let’s just say that you buy something from my shop and you’re like, wow, this product is great. I want to recommend it to my own audience because they would benefit from it too. So you sign up for my affiliate program and you get an affiliate link to my shop, and then you send it to your audience and say, hey, I just bought this great product from Monica’s shop. Here’s a link and I’m going to pay you a commission for it. That’s affiliate marketing. Now, like I said, we already have an affiliate program. I do not feel like we leverage it quite well. And I think there’s a few reasons for this that I want to talk about, because perhaps the reason we haven’t leveraged it well will help you brainstorm how you can leverage yours better. And then I’m going to tell you what we’re going to do in 2024 to leverage it better. So here’s the deal. When somebody decides to recommend something in my shop, it’s a pretty passive thing at this point because I’m not really regularly communicating with my affiliates, letting them know, hey, this is what’s going on week to week with our promo schedule, with our flash sales, so they can equally promote it.


[00:17:59] Now, you might be like, why would you not be informing your affiliates of that? Well, a few reasons. One, we have a really robust marketing calendar. We email a lot, we sell a lot. So we have a lot of flash sales. We run on a monthly basis. I feel like that would be overwhelming to send that to our affiliates. I feel like our affiliates would be like, uh, where do I start with this? And it doesn’t give them enough direction. Not to mention, if I’m informing our affiliates of our promo schedule, that means I’m kind of locked into it, and I can’t really be agile on the back end. So if I send our affiliates, hey, for the next 30 days, these are the promos we’re running in the empowered shop, so you can recommend these products to your audience too. That sounds great, but what happens if mid-month our numbers aren’t tracking where I want them to, or something comes up and we’re going to change our promotion strategy? I kind of can’t do that if I just told our affiliates about it, right? So that really never resonated with me. So basically, right now our affiliate strategy is pretty passive. Like you sign up for the program and if you want to recommend one of our products or send people to our shop, great.


[00:19:00] You can do it and you’ll get a commission for it. Not very strategic. And that needs to change because this whole episode is about the fact you need a steady stream of new people coming into your business, and there’s a lot of ways to do that, but paid ads are going to cost you money up front, right? And SEO is not a short terme fix. It is a long terme game that you’re playing. And I know that because I’ve been in business for a long time and we’re always going to be talking about our email list, because that’s the bread and butter of us. I need another avenue in 2024 to get people on my email list. And I look at our affiliate network and we have I honestly don’t know, but I don’t know the exact number of affiliates we have, but I’m pretty sure it’s over 100. And this is without trying. Like people come to us and say, hey, do you have an affiliate program? I love your products. I want to recommend them. And then we just kind of leave them hanging after that. It’s like, what are you thinking, Monica? This is not the best way to leverage these people who have come to you and said, I want to recommend you, so help them recommend you. So here’s my idea for 2024.


[00:20:02] We’re in the midst right now of hiring a new administrative assistant, and one of the core things I want them to do is develop in my brain. What I’m referring to is affiliate packet. So the way I see this is we have about 130 products in our shop. When I run our reporting every month to see how each product is performing, there’s like 10 to 15 products that are definitely stand out products, meaning they by far lead in revenue and not just revenue, but also the quantity, the number of that product that I sell. And so if I know that these products are the most popular in our shop, it makes sense to go to an affiliate. And instead of going to an affiliate and saying, hey, here’s an overwhelming promo schedule to follow that matches our promo schedule. Or hey, how about if you just send an email to your list and say, the empowered shop is 30% off, or my customers for the next 72 hours? That’s not very compelling, right? Because it’s like, okay, you could tell your customer, I could go to my affiliates and say, hey, let’s offer 30% off to your email list in the empowered chat. But it’s not giving them a place to start, so that might overwhelm their customers. It’s like, great, here’s 30% off. But where do I start in the empowered shop versus in my mind, it would be much more impactful if I went to an affiliate and said, hey, you know, you’re an affiliate of the empowered shop.


[00:21:27] And I noticed that your audience does X or you sell X to your audience. Here’s a product that would complement what you’re doing with your audience very well. So let’s give an example here. Let’s say that I have an affiliate who teaches people how to create printable products. I have a few affiliates that do this well. I have a really great workshop in the Empower Shop. It’s a quick win workshop all about how to create spreadsheets and sell them as digital products. That’s a great adjacent product for that affiliate. So my idea here is for our admin to develop. Probably the top 15 products. These affiliate packages, these affiliate packages would have swipe copy both for email and social media. And it will also have images, because we want to hand these affiliate packets to our affiliates and make it super easy for them to promote our products. I don’t want this to be like an open ended promotion. Of course they can promote this. The products with these packets at any time, they could just choose, hey, I’m gonna send an email about the empowered shop. I’m going to recommend this quick win workshop. And great Monica provided these awesome packets to make it super easy for us to grab some swipe copy and some images. But what I think would be the most powerful is if we go to our affiliates and say, hey, we believe this specific product would be really great for your audience.


[00:22:51] So we’re cutting out the work for the affiliate because we’re where we did the homework on their audience, and we’re coming to them with recommendations on what products to recommend, but also just like it works in our business where if you leave something open ended, like, hey, go grab this workshop, people aren’t going to take immediate action, likely because it’s open ended. People take action with urgency. And so my idea is to have these affiliate packets go to our affiliates and say, hey, this product I think is a great fit for your audience. Can we run a 48 hour or 72 hour flash sale, and I’ll provide an extra discount to your audience, the urgency in the price and then also urgency with time. So now it’s kind of like doubling down on what we’re already great at. We’re already great at running flash sales to our shop and getting our customers to return to buy more stuff. Well, why not do that with our affiliate network, get their audience to come into our shop on these deals and buy. And here’s the thing then. Now I’m bringing people into my business, not as a lead that just handed over their email for something free. I’m bringing people into my business as a new customer when they’re coming from affiliates. So this is like the biggest thing I want to do in 2024.


[00:24:04] And I gave you kind of like a rough outline of what I wanted to look like with these affiliate packets. But, you know, once I figure this out and if it’s a smashing success, which I have a feeling it will be, I probably will either do a quick win workshop on how to do it, or I’ll definitely, probably do another podcast episode about it, because there’s definitely a strategy here. Not only do I want to templatize these affiliate packets, but I also want to have more consistent outreach to our affiliates on a regular basis. So there’s a lot to be done here, and I will definitely report back once we have figured out a really great system so that you can benefit from it. Now, if you’re listening to this in real time, I want to work with you on your digital product shop, so I would love for you to join me the week of January 29th, 2024, inside of one of my favorite free trainings that we host. It’s called the Digital Shop Accelerator and it’s all about how to launch your shop, the low risk, high reward way. And in fact, it’s starting on my 39th birthday, which is January 29th. So I would just love to hang out with you for my birthday. It is a free week long event, and it’s a combination of short, impactful audio drops and an interactive live training. Plus, we have a pop up Facebook group so you can network with your fellow creators and digital shop owners and my team, and it’s honestly one of my favorite things to do.


[00:25:25] It’s going to be so fun. So if you want to join us the week of January 29th, go head over to Digital Shop experience.com/training. We’ll also put the link in the show notes. We are going to be talking about how to make the mindset shift from free to paid, how to go from being a content creator to an e-commerce shop owner, and really understand that the value that you offer in your business is by selling the transformations of your products. We’ll talk about how to centralize the call to action inside your business to a shop, making selling so much easier. And then I’m going to take you behind the scenes of how one low priced product made us $4,000 in one weekend, a $9 product, and then I hope you’ll join us live. I go live in the middle of that week on that Thursday, and you get to ask me all of the questions that you have about digital product shops. It is such a great time and I hope that you’ll join us. So head on over to Digital Shop experience.com/training. The link will be in the show notes. Sign up. Come join me. I can’t wait to see you and I can’t wait to see you back here on the Empowered Business Podcast. For more, talk all about digital product shops until then.

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