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Doug Nebeker ("Doug")
I know there has been a thread about this before, like “How much do you expect to make your first month?” but most of them were really outdated and from 2006-2010 ish. So I wanted to share my first month sales/statics of September 2013 and hoping you guys would shares yours too.
My company is based on PC Cleaning/Speed up software. I launched my company about 6 months ago, everything was a complete freeware. I did this to build up traffic and get attention. Last month, I released my Pro edition. It has a lot more features and I also include a 15 day trial. I've been selling it for $20. I use FastSpring as my payment handling. So Here is the result:
Within the first week, I've already sold about 10 – 15 copies. After the first week, the sales became MUCH slower. Within the next 2 weeks, I've only sold 10 copies. My final week, when I released an update, I sold about 8 copies.
In final, I've sold 29 copies of my software, generating $551 total income.
What I've learned so far:
1. I was very surprised that people are already BUYING it when they still have 15 day trial left. I was even more surprised that the sale rate didn't increase much after the 15 day of my product release.
2. On my feedback form, I've received a lot of complaints that my software is a Crippleware and they are not able to test the full functionality. Which is weird because it says “Start 15 day trial”, which lets you test everything… perhaps I should make that logo bigger.
3. I’m worried about my sales rate, it seems to skyrocket the day I release an update or new features, then it goes down tremendously within the next couple of days.
So I would like to know:
1. How do you think I am doing for my first month? Any tips on improvement?
2. How did you guys do? What helped generate more sales? What Didn't?
Share your experiences!
If you are new to software marketing or sales, You should read this. 7 Years of experience packed into a single post :)
Bit haphazzard but worth a read if you are new to software marketing, sales, pricing, etc..
Most sales happen in the first 2-3 days of a trial.
You should make your trial period 30days. This would encourage more trial downloads. Through most that buy wont care if its 15 30 or even 60day trial. Decision to buy is made usually in the first few hours of a trial. And purchase made in the first couple of days as you will notice soon.
You will have people that will land on your site and make a decision to buy before even trying your trial. But this mainly depends on your websites look and feel, trustworthiness, design, ease of checkout, and if your product is an impulse buy, or in the impulse buy price range (usually under $50 for US customers)
Im guessing, but I dont think your side design, or copy is quiet there yet. Guessing mainly based on you being a programmer. 99% of programmers make lousy web designers or copywriters. :) No offense to anyone who is a Jack of All Traits. Like me :)
But if you are not a web designer or a creative person visually, this is where you cant cut corners. Invest in an awesome template from themeforest.com or hire a designer, especially if you are already making a few sales. Great site design and sales copy will make or break your product / business.
Collect stats: (share with us if you wish)
How many visitors do you get per day
How many downloads do you get per day of your pro version.
Work out your visitor to download ratio.
then workout your download trial to purchase ratio.
And of course determine what your visitor to purchase ratio is. If its around 1-2%. Ur doing ok. If its far below 1%. You need to improve your conversion.
If you website is not very pro looking. Buy an awesome 15$ template from www.themeforest.com and redesign your website.
Your price point of 20$ may be low as well. Low price has a lower expected benefit of perceived value.
Pricing a security software in the price range of entertainment or simple tool software price range of 15-20$ give it a perceived value of not polished, or not as secure as a 50+ product.
You should have 3 tiers maybe and play with the price.
2 Basic price at 20 or so.
3 Pro priced at 40-60$
And see if people go for the higher priced item more than the basic at 20$
Of course you should take away some features of your PRO and introduce it as a paid standard version.
You should in not do free lifetime updates. I dont know if you are or not. You should build reoccurring revenue early on in your business model. Everyone reading this should do this. In your case, a yearly renewal would work out good I think. Renewal fee would be same as the 1st year I would suggest as people seem to think paying the same price per year has better value. then when 2nd year is say half the price of the first year as it seems like the 2nd year payment is a waste of payment, but when they pay the full price, it seems to not be a question in the consumers mind. This is what I've seen based on my experience with a series of products I've built and sold.
Also, offer some sort of a discount. People love discounts.
Maybe price your product at $49.95 for PRO, but discount it to $39.95. But only do discount on one of the packages. To encourage people to go for the PRO.
Here is a pricing scheme for you to test
PRO $39.95 Limited Time Offer (Regular Price $49.95)
You should also increase your trial period to 30 Days
Longer trial period just means more people are willing to invest the time to download your product to try. But most will buy long before the trial expires.
If I were you, I would test if having a Free version and not having it effects sales, or downloads. I would think it would not, unless you are getting few hundred to few thousand downloads of your free version per day. (not the free trial, but your free version)
You should actually use us style pricing of $39.95, etc.. In my opinion.
Setup a way to track actual Installs by pinging your server or opening a webpage after installation that says thank you for installing.
Also, setup an uninstall page where the user is taken to a page on your site where they are asked to complete a survey of why they are uninstalling, and in exchange give them 6month account, or may a 1 year Standard License. or something for their time for giving you feedback on how to improve your product. you can use a survey making service like surveymonkey to put up a quick survey.
Knowing why people uninstall your software is critical as it will tell you why you are losing sales, could be price, could be credibility, could be errors in the software, or installation problems, or they like competitor better, etc..
If you want more, link to your website here to get some real constructive criticism from myself and others here. Use the tinyurl thingy if you want to hide your website address from search engines.
If you have specific questions, just ask here :)
I think you are doing ok, but I dont know how many downloads resulted in the 29sales, etc.. Provide more stats/info, and we can guide you to improve quickly.
Who are you key competitors?
Have you reviewed their websites?
I think your website could use an overhaul.
If you are selling a product, you need your website to be a product website, not a company website.
Right now I get the feel of a corporate website as apposed to a consumer product / software website.
And your key action on the site is the download call to action, yet it took me a good 2 minutes of browsing around till I noticed the gray on light blue download button in the middle :)
I don't mean to be offensive, but half your site design is going for 2003 design, and the other site is going for a flat 2013 win8 style design :)
List some of your competitors' website here that you think you are competing with in the market.
As a side note, to answer your question, it does take a couple of years for a product to mature and get real traction.
I'm a 1 man mISV. I'm was not sure if you are a 1man team as the founders name on the site was different than on your signature.
I've had products go from just $300 a month on initial launch, to over $12k-$13,000 a month for the same product where they plateaued. (Meaning no matter how much I tried to improve it further, it does not do much better than 12-13k. Would take too much effort in marketing and product perfection to increase past this point. At which point, you leave it on autopilot and move on to a new product line. Then go back and tweak things here and there to see if you can further improve things. Sometimes it gets better, sometime changes hurt sales :) Sad fact of AB Testing
Yes, I’ve checked my competition. In my opinion, they all seem to go for this corporate type of feel.
I’ll Email you all my competitors.
No offense ever taken when it comes to my design lol, I am one of the least creative guy there is when it comes to it. I will take your advice and see how I can improve. Maybe even check out a theme from ThemeForest.
Thanks for sharing those info, I certainly did want to go into another product line sooner or later.
I agree with Scott. Great job. Good luck!
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
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