* The Business of Software

A community discussing the business of software, from the smallest shareware operation to Microsoft. A part of Joel on Software.

This community works best when people use their real names. Please register for a free account.

Links:

» Business of Software FAQ
» The Business of Software Conference (held every fall, usually in Boston)
» Forum guidelines (Please read before posting!)

Movie:

"Make Better Software" is a 6 movie course designed to help you as you grow from a micro-ISV to a large software company.
Part 1: Recruiting
Part 2: Team Members
Part 3: Environment
Part 4: Schedules
Part 5: Lifecycle
Part 6: Design

Moderators:

Andy Brice
Successful Software

Doug Nebeker ("Doug")

Jonathan Matthews
Creator of DeepTrawl, CloudTrawl, and LeapDoc

Nicholas Hebb
BreezeTree Software

Bob Walsh
host, Startup Success Podcast author of The Web Startup Success Guide and Micro-ISV: From Vision To Reality

Patrick McKenzie
Bingo Card Creator

Software downloads

Ok first of all Hello all ... I am new here.

I own a microISV 4 months old. This microISV targets homeusers. We do productivity software and our first product is a todolist software!

Conversion rate fro the product is between 2%-3%. My main stumbling block right now is how to increase downloads.

I managed to get some deals with 2 download websites. These download sites put up sidebar banners but they don't seem to refer a lot of downloads. Only 5-10 downloads a day!

My question is... how on earth do companies who target home users manage to get thousands (or hundred of thousands) of downloads a day? Maybe I am missing something?

Thank you very much guys! :)

Tuesday, April 08, 2008
 
 
Download sites don't really send the downloads anymore, at least for me.  Customer behavior seems to emphasize them less and less.  Most are very low-quality cookie-cutter sites which thrive off of being able to host a bazillion pad files and make a few bucks off of AdSense ads.

Here it is in graphic form:

http://www.kalzumeus.com/2008/03/25/download-sites-important-or-not/ 

(One interesting comment someone mailed me was that that graphic is partially a reflection of my ability to market outside of the push-a-button-get-a-listing download sites arena, which strikes me as insightful.  I also think it will be rather different for different markets, but honestly I can't see that many where download sites would play major roles anymore.)

So, if download sites are not going to get you to massive scale, where do you turn to.  Well, marketing is often identified as the biggest challenge in the business.  For me, the #1 most effective thing I've done is search engine optimization.  #2 is my AdWords campaign, specifically (against *all* expectations) mostly the content network.  Then I get a few downloads/sales from friends of satisfied customers, readers of bloggers who blogged about my software, folks who stumble upon my blog, etc.
Patrick McKenzie (Bingo Card Creator) Send private email
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
 
 
Incidentally, with a broad horizontal application, your big challenge is likely going to be standing out from the other 10,000 todolist programs out there.  To say nothing of competing with paper and pencil.
Patrick McKenzie (Bingo Card Creator) Send private email
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
 
 
Regarding SEO. I am working on improving rankings. I am succeeding in doing so for 3-5 keywords which will bring several downloads a day.

If you can specify what was the most successful linkbait to acquire links. It is kind of quite difficult to acquire links to a website which is selling a product.

I have a blog which I post productivity articles in order to use as a linkbait.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008
 
 
There is a strange thing about these downloads sites. E.g. my app on Download.com gets downloaded few times each week. However, I do have a question "where did you hear about this software" on my order page. And there are more people writing download.com than I actually get downloads from them. I suspect there are a lot of users who just go to my site and download it there, looking at download.com just as reference.
Thomas
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
 
 
>> I suspect there are a lot of users who just go to my site and download it there, looking at download.com just as reference.

Although I hope I'm not an 'average' customer, that's exactly what I do.  When I'm looking for an app that does a particular task I use Google to see what's available but I usually also look at download.com to check out customer/editor comments (and disregard most of them...).

If possible, I always go to the product's website to download it - that ensures I'm getting the most recent version.  This also lets me check the current price and see what support is available.
RocketJeff Send private email
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
 
 
>>
If you can specify what was the most successful linkbait to acquire links. It is kind of quite difficult to acquire links to a website which is selling a product.
>>

Your wish is my command.  It has been far too long since I've written anything meaty for my blog, anyhow.

http://kalzumeus.com/2008/04/08/linkbuilding-for-small-businesses/
Patrick McKenzie (Bingo Card Creator) Send private email
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
 
 
Patrick. You have another fan :P

With you post I can say that I am on the right track. I mean I am doing what exactly you did. I give free license keys in contests to create buzz, I have worked and I am still working on linkbaiting (that is create content, tools, resources) which make people comeback or link to them with less pain :)

Thank you Patrick!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008
 
 
> how on earth do companies who target home users manage to get thousands (or hundred of thousands) of downloads a day?

If you get on the front or prominent page of a *major* site, you'll get thousands (or hundred of thousands) of downloads per day. But, the chances are you have to pay for the privilege.
Sunil Tanna
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
 
 
You might also be interested in my latest ebook "How to Generate Traffic" at: http://www.followsteph.com/how-to-generate-traffic-to-your-website/

I'm also in the middle of a contest on my blog where I plan on giving out 3 copies to the three winners. All you have to do to enter is post a comment on my blog guessing which day of the month is our best for sales: http://www.followsteph.com/2008/04/07/landlordmax-sales-metrics-2/

In any case, the main idea is that you have to create a presence for yourself. And these things take time. Four months is just the start, most of the bigger players have been at it for years. Perseverance will pay off in the long run!
Stephane Grenier Send private email
Monday, April 14, 2008
 
 

This topic is archived. No further replies will be accepted.

Other recent topics Other recent topics
 
Powered by FogBugz