• Home  / 
  • Marketing
  •  /  How I Sold Over $300,000 Worth of Digital Products on Gumroad

How I Sold Over $300,000 Worth of Digital Products on Gumroad

By Nate McCallister / a couple of months ago
Gumroad

Do you have a digital or physical product you want to sell? If you do, I want to show you a digital marketplace that will help you get massive exposure. The same site that I used to drive nearly $300,000 worth of sales and thousands of new subscribers to my email list in just 2 years.

Oh, and it’s insanely affordable.

AND I am not an affiliate of it for those of you who are skeptical of anything promoted by affiliate marketers like me 😉 

The marketplace is called Gumroad and I’m going to show you all about it AND share the secrets to my massive sales. 

First, yes, my results are not typical. It took a lot of work and I had to bring really good products to market BUT without the Gumroad marketplace, I wouldn’t have sold as much in this short amount of time.

Gumroad is just one of the channels I sell my products on. That is one of the beauties of it. You’ll get more exposure And can still sell your products on your own site or other marketplaces.

What Is Gumroad?

Gumroad is a marketplace for creators to sell their products.

Products including:

  • Software 
  • Training (courses, videos, ebooks etc)
  • Physical products (less popular)
  • Memberships and recurring products 

Here is why Gumroad is so great.

#1 Exposure to Tons of Traffic - Gumroad gets over 206,000 organic visitors each month! You will get all of these eyeballs on your products (if you activate the discover option, which I will discuss later). 

Gumroad Traffic

#2 Low Fees - The cost of Gumroad is ridiculously low. 

Gumroad Pricing

#3 Built in Affiliate Program - Pay affiliates to promote your products. No 3rd party tools required!

Gumroad Affiliates

#4 Easy Startup - Creating your account and launching your first product can be done in literally 30 minutes or less! 

#5 Control Pricing, Quantity, Coupons and more! - You have complete control over your products. 

#6 Built in Email Marketing Platform - Send customers and followers updates, trainings and upsells. 

#7 No 3rd Party Website Required - Although you can sell your product on other channels as you'd like, you can sell Gumroad products without a 3rd party website!

#8 Easy Product Deliver- Upload your products as files or send buyers to special URLs for purchase information. You can even create unique licenses for your products. 

#9 Weekly Payouts - Gumroad pays on a convenient weekly schedule.

#10 Clear Analytics - Gumroad provides a wide array of data that will satiate any data driven marketer's needs.

#11 Customizable Sales Pages - Although they aren't as flashy as pages you could make with a program like Clickfunnels or SamCart, Gumroad allows you to create attractive, high converting sales pages in minutes. 

#12 Chargeback Support - If customers file chargebacks (at scale, it's bound to happen) Gumroad does the investigating for you and fights to ensure you win any claims against you.  

#13 Pixel Traffic - Easily add tracking pixels so you can retarget visitors off of the Gumroad website. 

#14 Recurring Payment Options - Create subscription products and charge customers on a monthly or yearly basis. 

My Gumroad Sales Tips

Gumroad

You don’t make $300k in sales without learning a thing or two along the way. Here is everything I think you should know about Gumroad to Maximize your sales and minimize refunds.

#1 Have a Great Product

Ok, I know you're hoping for super secret tips and I do have a few coming up but none of them mean jack shit without a great product to sell.

You don't need tons of great products to make money on Gumroad either, just one can make you a ton BUT it needs to be great first. That is the first criteria and all other tips mean little if you don't bring the goods with every product you sell. 

I don't want to teach you how to sell crappy products so feel free to bookmark this article and come back once you have something great to sell!

#2 Utilize “Pay What You Want” (aka Free) Products to Build Your List

An article about making money and I’m telling you to give products away for free...weird right?

Man, these first two tips have been bummers! 

If you haven't bounced off the page yet, here’s why free is actually extremely profitable.

  1. Free builds your list which allows you to upsell and retarget your new customers. You’ll want to integrate Gumroad with another email marketing software since I don’t recommend you use the built in Gumroad email provider much (more on why and how later in the article).
  2. Free builds goodwill. Customers likely won’t know you if they’re just browsing Gumroad for products. Giving them some value will get you on their radar.
  3. Customers will see similar products after checkout (which may Be your paid products).

The “free”’products should be similar to what you’d use as a lead magnet on your website 

Making money with Gumroad doesn’t have to mean making money ON Gumroad. How so? A free product (for example a course, worksheet, ebook etc) can promote relevant affiliates. If you’re an affiliate marketer, Gumroad may be your new best friend.

#3 Pixel traffic 

Add your Social and web pixels to easily retarget visitors off of the platform. Create custom audiences and ads for Google, Facebook (where I spend most of my budget) Twitter and other platforms.  

Gumroad Retargeting

You can track multiple products and create different audiences for them if you'd like. 

You can promote the same product they originally viewed OR a different but relevant product (which can be sold on or off Gumroad).

If you're thinking, "Crap! I knew he was spending a lot of money to make all these sales! I don't have that sort of budget!" fear not, I spend very little on ads to my Gumroad products and most sales are from affiliates, direct search or Gumroad organic browsing. 

#4 Add Affiliates 

I couldn’t have sold as much as I have without the help of my commissioned affiliates.

Affiliates are my #1 source of traffic and sales. Use them if you want to make real money on Gumroad. 

You want to find affiliates who are established and well trusted in your niche. Choosing affiliates is an important topic that deserves its own article, so here is a great one.

You can easily create a commissioned program so people can promote your products on Gumroad.

Gumroad Affiliates

Not only do I have affiliates promote my products, I also promote a number of Gumroad products myself. I’ve made tens of thousands of dollars promoting other people’s products (not included in my $300k!)

The commission percentage you create should be chosen depending on factors like the price point and difficulty of the sale. Typically, commission rates below 25% will not incentivize your affiliates to really work hard to promote your products. 

Also, you can create different percentages for different affiliates. If someone has a larger audience, consider giving them a higher commission rate to encourage them to share your products more often.

#5 Utilize Scarcity with Quantity Limits and Pre-Orders

Gumroad gives you the ability to limit the number of units you sell of a product. 

This is a great method to drive early sales and reward your best customers with a discounted "early bird" price. 

If I have a new program, I often release the product in "waves."

For example...

Wave #1: 50% off the final future price. Limited to the first 100 buyers. 

Wave #2: 25% off the final future price. Limited to 100 buyers. Available 1 week after wave #1 completes.

Wave #3: Full price. No limit. Starts after Wave #2 is sold out.

Obviously, this isn't fit for all products and you shouldn't blindly copy my approach just because it works for me. 

Although this process ruffles some feathers (no joke, someone literally wrote a short ebook on Kindle about how much they hated me for doing this) launching products in waves serves a number of purposes that help not just the seller, but also the consumer. Yes of course scarcity helps sell products, but it has other positive effects. 

  • It ensures your first users get more attention. Since I limit the number of users and the amount of time between waves, I can ensure that all bugs are caught early and I don't have more customer support tickets than time to handle them. Buyers who paid 50% less are way more chill about small issues (I make it clear that there may be some in the sales copy). 
  • It helps you gather testimonials and get feedback. Great sales copy needs testimonials! To get testimonials, you need to get your product exposure quickly. Scarcity will drive more sales more quickly which means you'll be able to create happy users faster. 

Check out this short training I did on gathering testimonials with one of my private groups. 

Gumroad also allows you to create pre-orders for your products. 

This works very well and I use it between my launch waves so that buyers who missed the previous wave can save their spot on the next one. 

Gumroad Pre-Order

Creating a pre-order is simple. Just be sure to release your product on the release date as it isn't manually fulfilled.

#6 Utilize Headings and Bullets

While Gumroad doesn't offer a lot in terms of text formatting, it does allow for much. You can't get wild with colors or crazy typography but you can utilize the most basic, powerful formatting options like headings, bold, italics, and itemized lists. 

Gumroad Headings and Bullets

They aren't sexy options but use them! It makes your content easier to skim and your potential customers can quickly get the gist of your product offering so they can make the right buying decision, which is hopefully, to buy!

#7 Make a Money Back Guarantee 

Don't be afraid to offer a strong guarantee on your product. Yes, even the digital ones that customers could technically buy, use and then get their money back. 

Yes, some people will be dickheads and abuse the policy but there are a couple of reasons why you should still offer them. 

  • They can increase conversion rates. When you show that you stand by your product, customers are more likely to trust that it is high quality. Guarantees let us "put our money where our mouths are" and show the customer that the risk is on us, not them. Although it's hard to quantify, I strongly believe that my 30 day guarantees have been a net positive on my bottom line even if it results in a few refunds. 
  • Customers can create chargebacks even if you don't offer a refund policy.  Although Gumroad does defend you in the event of a chargeback, winning the cases is still difficult. If people can get their money back anyway, why not lean into that and offer it yourself? 
Gumroad Guarantee

#8 Use Multiple, High Quality Pictures on Your Product Page

You'll need a product thumbnail that clearly explains your product. It should include the product title and a picture that makes it clear what customers are going to get if they buy. 

If you aren't good at design, it may be worth outsourcing this part to someone who is. 

Gumroad Product Picture

The example above is perfect. It makes it clear exactly what you're getting (the ebook, audiobook and web course).

Don't cut corners on your product's pictures! You're cutting into your sales potential if you do. 

#9 Choose a Relevant Category and Tags

Gumroad makes the customer experience better by using tags to filter products by topic. When creating your product on Gumroad, do not overlook the tags!

Gumroad Tags

Use as many relevant tags as possible!

Gumroad tags

Gumroad makes it easy to see which tags are most popular but you need to focus on relevance over total exposure.

Gumroad Tag Volume

Again, be sure to focus on relevancy rather than total traffic numbers. More products in a tag doesn't mean more sales for you, it means more competition.

#10 Use Discount Codes

Gumroad allows you to create discount codes for any of your products or subscriptions. You can create discounts in dollar values or percentages. 

You can also limit the number of times each of your codes is able to be used. 

Use these sparingly. If you're constantly discounting your products, customers will become numb to them and it can damage the long term value of your products. 

#11 Use Follow up Sequences (Workflows) for Upsells and Increased Retention 

Gumroad offers a GDPR compliant follow up feature called "Workflows."

These workflows allow you to send follow up emails to your buyers and followers. This can help you increase retention (sending helpful information about the product the customer purchased) and drive additional sales (sending relevant products that compliment the first purchase). 

Gumroad Workflow

#12 Connect to 3rd party Email Services 

Workflows are a great use of the Gumroad email service, but I don't recommend you use the Gumroad email service as your main email marketing solution. 

Here is the skinny on the Gumroad email service. It is AMAZING in terms of open rates and click through rates but it shouldn't be used as your main email service. 

Gumroad Email

Gumroad's email tool should only be used for emails relating to the product that the customer purchased. The problem (which may have been resolved by now, so call me out in the comments if so) is that Gumroad doesn't do a good job of removing unsubscribers from your list. I have had a number of angry messages from customers who said they tried multiple times to unsubscribe but were still getting my emails. 

So, I recommend you create an integration with a third party email provider. I use and recommend Seva (formerly ConvertKit). 

ConvertKit Integrations

Once someone buys from me, I tag them in ConvertKit (with Zapier) so I know what they purchased. This is important because it ensures I don't send them promotions in the future selling the same product (which is very annoying and leads to unhappy subscribers). 

#13 Utilize Price Segmentation and Multiple Payment Options

Gumroad provides some flexibility in terms of pricing your products. 

You can set multiple product or subscription tiers and offer different payment options (all at once, spread out, recurring etc.)

Take advantage of this. 

#14 Utilize Testimonials

Here is a simple marketing truth I know...

Testimonials = Increased Conversions.

You can add testimonials to your products in two ways. 

First, you can simply add them as bold or italicized text in your product description. 

Alternatively, you can add the testimonial as a product image. Don't make it the main image though. 

#15 Turn on “Discover”

Gumroad Discover

#16 Bring Multiple Products in the Same Niche 

If you "niche down" on Gumroad, you'll make more sales overall. If you have a wide array of products across multiple niches, that is fine but having products that compliment each other makes it easier to upsell and maximize the total purchase value of each customer. 

If someone bought something from you, they very likely will be interested in a second or third. 

Refer back to the tip about your follow up workflows. If you niche down, you can link to your other products in follow up emails. 

#17 Create a Killer Product Title

This is copywriting 101. You're product title should CLEARLY define what your product is. 

Shorter titles are ideal. 

Also, if you can, include the title in your main product image and make sure it is clearly visible in discover mode. The images are cropped so you will need to test this a bit to get it right. 


#18 Create an Optimized Seller’s Profile 

If you sell multiple products on Gumroad, make sure that you have a nice looking seller profile.

These profiles showcase your products and explain a bit more about you and what you do for people. You can choose which products are visible and showcase the tags that your products cover.

Encourage people to follow you so they can get updates on your latest products.

Here is what my profile looks like. 

About the author

Nate McCallister

Nate is the founder and main contributor of EntreResource.com. He is a lifestyle entrepreneur who spends his time building businesses and raising his two kids Sawyer and Brooks with his beautiful wife Emily. His main interests include copywriting, economics and piano.

Leave a comment: