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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

Anyone making close to ~$10,000 with a ~$50.00 product?

Hi proISVs,

I'm wondering what it takes to make close to $10,000 per month selling a 50.00 product..  sure.. dont start calculating and just write a reply saying 200.. :)  I know.

But how many of your hare hitting that per month and how much monthly traffic volume is expected each month for your product to make that level of income.. 

Estimating a 1% visitor to purchase conversion ratio thats about 20,000 targeted visitors per month required to make about 200 sales... at $50.00 each to make $10,000 monthly.

how likely is this?  how many of your are getting there?  I know each market and category varies.. but please share your experience on how you got to about a $10k level with about a $50.00 software price.

I now have a product that does about $1k per month I know making it 10x is going to be a bit difficult or time consuming but I'm in a market big enough to support that much volume of sales.  I'm learning as I go along and your replies will be a big help/motivation for me and anyone else in my position in this forum.

Would love to hear your replies.
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
What you should do instead is look at products that are already doing that. Start with WinZip and Delicious Library. They are completely different products with different paid user bases and practically opposite marketing strategies, but both are cheap products that bring in hundreds of thousands per year for their creators.
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
Never seen "Delicious Library" before (I'm not a mac user) but I had planned doing a DVd profiler for books as a project.
Martin Send private email
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
+ 1 on WinZip and Delicious Library

While both may be "cheap" they are both high quality, which is what got them their following in the first place.

For WinZip their competitor, originally technically, was PKWare.  PKWare were tardy porting their PKZip to Windows (the DOS standard pretty much for compression).  When they did it sucked.  WinZip made zipping easy and pretty and it did it well.

Delicious Library did something similar in respect of quality.  It looks cool, it works beautifully (has won Apple Design awards year after year) etc.

Another to look at (also Mac) is Transit.  http://www.panic.com  Panic software originally had an MP3 player that almost became iTunes.  They missed the boat there (for a variety of reasons, and they do not seem to regret it).  Again.  Quality software, relatively cheap price, but beautiful UI.

What these products have been able to do is get loyal customers.  In the instances of WinZip and Panic's Transit they are virtually synomonous with the functios they carry out as far as the market is concerend.
Scott Kane Send private email
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
I'm not near 10k so maybe I'm not qualified to suggest anything, but it seems to help if products is useful in companies. Doesn't have to be B2B only, could be general utility like WinZip. That way, you open up to volume licensing and single order can be for tens or hundreds of licenses (or even more).
Dejan Grujic Send private email
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
what if your product isn't one for volume licensing?

I'm trying to figure out what it takes to pass the $1000 barrier..

Sure few months ago I would have been super happy with $1000..  but now that I got there..  I want to know what it would take to expand..

Maybe shooting for 10k per month is a bit optimistic..so lets lower the goal.. to say  4-5k per month..

Anyone doing 4-5k per month has any good suggestions on how you went from 1k to the level you are?
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
The amazinf thing about WinZip is they didn't even write an compression code. It's simply a GUI wrapper for an existing compression library.

From the help file (under Acknowledgements):

"WinZip incorporates compression code by the Info-ZIP group, which is used with their permission.... The original Info-Zip sources are freely available from CompuServe in the pcprog forum and by anonymous ftp from the Internet site ftp.uu.net:/pub/archiving/zip."

So you don't have to re-invent the wheel. Just make it spin better/faster/prettier/cheaper/...
Marcus from London
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
I'm at about $12,000/mo. mainly from a $25 product, but with a few licenses of a $100 product too.

A few tips:

1) Find good affiliates
2) Use TrialPay
3) Find more good affiliates
4) Automate *everything*.
Not today Send private email
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
I guess its all marketing then..

how do you get the exposure is what I have to research on then.
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
To: Not Today...

12k is very impressive..  are the good affiliates work?
are they the majority of your income?

how much would you make without having any affiliates?

if you dont mind sharing how did you implement your affiliate system?

just through your payment processor?
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
To Not Today:

Sorry.. one more questions..  how many visitors per month do you have to get to your site to make the $12,000?

Rough number.. ?
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
In my personal experience, getting that first $1,000 a month was mostly about getting the product and website polished.  The second $1,000 for me was about 50-50 improved use of AdWords and creative SEO.  (Apparently there are a couple hundred people out there who really, really need Insect Bingo cards.  Some portion are willing to pay.  Repeat times a few hundred.)

After you've doubled once to $2,000, you know all you need to do to get $10,000?  Repeat the $1k to $2k process about 2 times and then add a little to push you over the finish line.  (I'm not mentally invested in ever seeing $10k a month with BCC, but I have absolutely no doubt I'll hit $3k and probably $4k eventually.  So much in this business scales geometrically rather than arithmatically, which is good news for us -- the difficulty of multiplying by 2 doesn't vary wildly.)
Patrick McKenzie (Bingo Card Creator) Send private email
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
I am making well over $10k/mo from a <$50 product with few bulk licenses and little success with affiliates. There is no one big win that got me here. It was 1000 small improvements to the marketing and the product. And a lot of hard work.
avoiding the copycats
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
My affiliates have technical sites with articles explaining technical things to "normal" users, e.g. "How to do X with images". Their visitors are very targeted and they rank very well with search engines.

I made just over $12,000 last month. Affiliate commissions were about $2,000.

Even though that doesn't seem like much, I'm sure that the visitors I get from affiliates who may not buy right away, may remember my product later or recommend it to their friends.

As for visitors, just under 100,000 uniques a month with about 1,000 downloads a day.
Not today Send private email
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
100,000..  wow.

i'm barely doing 5,000 with about 20 or so downloads per day.

Looks like I have a long road ahead of me.
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
We have several products, but our 50 dollar product earns a revenue of 18-20k per month by itself. It took a while to get here (about 2 years), but I can't say I have any specific recommendations. The business just grows on customer recommendations and every month brings in a little more. 2 years ago, the same product was making 2-3k a month, with a few improvements and some version updates, it reached 18k in April and 20k last month.

We do have other products that bring in more, but they are sold at a higher price point, and the OP asked about a 50 dollar product.
anon for this one
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
Here are a couple follow up questions:

1) How much of your time is spent on marketing, how much on support, how much on 'management tasks', and how much on development?

Or put another- have you just traded one old software developer job to find yourself working full-time now as a salesperson/marketer?

2) How did you handle the initial investment and launch of your first product?  How long before it started turning a profit, and what did it cost you to get there? What was your marketing budget like at first?
Joel Coehoorn Send private email
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
We have a $20 product and are averaging $20K/mo this year and $23K/mo last year. The product is Mac/Win but 85% of sales are Mac.

We have been at it 11 years.

Worst month: $600
Best Month:  $94,500

It took 5 years to become a full time income replacement.
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
To answer your question simply: yes, it's possible to make a lot of money with a $50.00 product to the point you could be making $10,000/month.  However, it's not as much the price of your software as much as it is that it's priced correctly.  Depending on the product, $50 could be too high or too low.  Of course, the best-priced product in the market that you're in will not guarantee success either, as the other important issue is how good it is.  (And when I say "best priced", that doesn't always mean lowest price).  Even then, there's still the marketing part that has to be added (a great product, with a terrific price; but otherwise not known or well-marketed also will not do well -- and you have to be careful to discuss profit vs. gross because some people might be making $10,000/month, but their advertising costs are $9,000/month).  It's darn hard to get all those combinations perfect and the target moves all the time.  It is, however, possible.  I've experienced it and seen it done.  GOOD LUCK!
Jeff Camino Send private email
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
It seems to me that software license prices in the U.S. are about the same today as 10 to 15 years ago.

As a result of inflation, I would think that the sticker prices for software should have doubled or tripled over that period, since labor is the primary ingredient.

Are we collectively setting our prices based on our memories of sticker prices from ten years ago? I keep thinking that $99 ought to be the new $49. And that it would be, if only we, as an industry, would stop proverbially shooting ourselves in the foot.

True, some software markets have more competition, today, suppressing the price. But on the whole, I have to think that a lot of software vendors could, and should, double, or triple, their prices.

Sorry if this sounds like a rant. It seemed topical because the OP was worried about surviving on $50/license. 

Maybe we should all begin to think in terms of $99 as the new bottom-tier for most software, absent specific competitive reasons to do otherwise?
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
It's a supply/demand and competition thing, Brian.  If the supply of software were constant, than that would be the case.  Once you create a piece of software additional copies are extremely cheap to make.  Therefore the supply is as high as you want it to be- no vendor ever has a shortage.  And since software is often a (relatively) cheap product to create the number of vendors are increasing, meaning there is more competition, more supply, and the price is pushed down - in some cases like open source even to the point of being free.  In other cases it just means the price doesn't rise with inflation.
Joel Coehoorn Send private email
Thursday, June 05, 2008
Pricing is so fickle.

I will say that if you need to provide any customer support at all for a $10 or $20 product, you are screwed.

Prices the same as 10 years ago? So what! I can buy 10 times as much computer for half the price as 10 years ago.

Customers used to think my $200 product was expensive. A couple years I got a new competitor who charged $495 for something that isn't half as good as mine. My sales went up and people complaining about cost disappeared.
Friday, June 06, 2008

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