Should I Have a Single Download Page for All Products? Yes, Absolutely. Maybe.

We're often asked, "Should I set up a single download page for all products?"

What's the best approach?

In this discussion we'll first look at digital product options, then we'll look at crafting a product strategy that makes sense for your business.

Download Options

If you have multiple products that may be purchased by the same customers, your delivery strategy should be consistent so your customers don't become confused by various download methods.

You have several download options for your digital products and for the digital components of physical products.

1. The digital delivery service. This automated service delivers a product download link in the thank you page and via email after purchase. For security, the download link works for only 24 hours.

2. Content delivery by email. An autoresponder message after purchase can contain a link to your product for download. It's easy for you, but not very secure; emails are easy to share.

3. A download page or pages on your product's website, protected by password. The SellBetter ToolBox plugin links your website to the customer's purchase, automatically issues a user id and password, and the customer downloads from your product website.

4. A central download page or pages on a central "corporate" website. The SellBetter ToolBox plugin links your website to the customer's purchase, automatically issues a user id and password, and the customer downloads from your central website. Downloads for all purchased products are displayed in one central location.

Which option should you use? That depends on your strategy. So it makes sense to give some time thinking about how you want to give your customers access to your products.

Your Product Download Strategy

There are several considerations in formulating your strategy.

  • How many products do you have?
  • What kind of products are they?
  • Are they related in terms of topic, use, interest, or customer appeal?
  • What is the lifespan of your product? How long will a customer want access?
  • Are there updates to the product?

Think about these situations:

One product or a few unrelated products, each a simple one-time download. In this case, a strategy probably doesn't matter.

Choose the easiest, probably the digital delivery service. If there's a long lifespan, and customers may have reason to download updated versions or to re-download after updating to a new computer, the download page on your product's website might be ideal, as a customer can go there to get the latest download.

One product or a few unrelated products, but more complicated downloads. This might mean multiple files, bonus files, or videos your customers may watch online.

Use the SellBetter ToolBox plugin on your product website and create a download page. A customer can go there to get the latest downloads, watch videos, and pick up bonus files.

A product line of five to fifteen products. The number is arbitrary, but the simplicity of one central download website and download page for all your products will simplify things for you and for your customers, especially repeat customers buying multiple products.

Use the SellBetter ToolBox plugin on your central website and create a download page for all products. A customer can go there to get the latest downloads, watch videos, and pick up bonus files.

On the central download page, each product download listing can be three to five lines of instruction and include a download link.

Simple downloads can be included on the central download page.

More complex products, those with videos and multiple files, can be set up with a separate page and be listed on the central download page with a link to the individual download page.

If you sell a membership site or training site that is set up as a separate website, you can set up the SellBetter ToolBox plugin at both websites to register the purchase, so they have access at the membership site and at the central site their purchase is acknowledged with a link to the membership site.

By using a central website for downloads of all your products, you can market additional products to your customers when they come to download a product. Using the SellBetter ToolBox plugin's "reverse protection" feature you can display ad copy for a product only if that customer has not purchased that particular product.

A larger product line can be handled in the same way as the smaller product line with a couple of adjustments:

Instead of having a central download page with three to five lines of instruction, have a single line for each product with a link to an individual download page.

Instead of a central download page some marketers will set up a menu with each product's individual download page and put the menu in the sidebar using a menu widget.

Each individual download page is protected with the SellBetter ToolBox plugin protection system. Only the purchased levels appear in the menu widget.

A product line targeted at two or more different kinds of customers. If you have more than one kind of business, each should have its own central download page.

We know one marketer who has multiple products for business customers, and multiple products for weight-loss. He uses a central download website and page for each niche. This strategy is smart for his customers, and doesn't confuse them with inappropriate offers.

In summary, you have many options for your strategy.

One consideration must be convenience for your customer. An easily located central download page or menu makes finding your purchases easy for your customer. If you put webinar replays in one location, training videos in another, ebooks and pdf whitepapers in a third, it starts getting confusing. It's okay to do that if it makes sense on your website, but you should also have a central location where customers can access purchased content, even if it's through links back to those other pages.

Determine your strategy, then stick to it. Should you ever break strategy? Every rule has it's exceptions, but those exceptions will confuse your customers so do it only with good reason.

It's your decision. This is a decision that can be changed as your business grows. But plan ahead to give your customers simple access now, with no need to change it later if they need to re-download. That may result in frustrated customers and heavy support efforts.