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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

Google Adwords or targeted postal mail. Cheaper? Cost effective?

Over the past decade, I've always dabbled with Google's display network, often with breaks of years in between. The display network means 3rd party websites, not Google's own search page.

I tried again a month or two ago.  I tried placements on major forums in the area our software caters to. I got clicks on my adverts, but there were two problems.

a) Not one of those clicks resulted in a download. Obviously the people that clicked weren't at all interested in my software product! So why bothering clicking on the advert?

b) The price of the clicks was around $1. Are the forum owners expecting to make a fortune from hosting Google adverts?

For cheaper clicks I moved to targeted keywords. Despite selling a desktop business application, I ended up getting clicks from mobile games. Why would a mobile phone game containing business-like words on its web-page?

So it was a disaster.

Adwords for Google's search page is better, but still clicks are above $1. You just can't sell software priced from $40 - $100 this way.

I've told Google time and time again, they should charge less for advertising and try to make it up on the volume and that only about 1 in 100 visitors will buy (or thereabouts).

Anyway I decided to take marketing / advertising in my own hands. By a variety of techniques I trawled the Internet for the names and companies of people working in areas that are very likely to need my software at some point. Some companies have lists of their people.

I didn't send email as that would be spammy. I used regular postal mail to post a flyer about my software to them.

The cost of postage and printing is less than paying Google for a click.

The response I've got has been excellent. I get sales at less cost than Google. I wish I discovered this years ago.

I am posting here because this is ridiculous.

The promise of Google Adwords is cheap advertising that doesn't require the salary of a salesperson or postage or printing costs. Yet somehow printing costs and postage ends up costing less than Google Adwords and actually brings in far more sales.

I think the take home point is that Google are just charging way too much for advertising if old fashioned ways to advertise work out better and cheaper.

Maybe I'm lucky to be selling a general purpose desktop application, whereby it is easy to find companies that will likely need my software at some point.
AnonForNow Send private email
Tuesday, March 03, 2015
You might do even better with a paid-for list.

Just for research, would you please consider sending me an image of your flier? I help companies do exactly this kind of thing, so I'm always looking for examples of things working in the real world.


Reluctantlyregistered Send private email
Tuesday, March 03, 2015
I was considering this form (snail mail) of marketing for a low volume high cost ($10k) idea, and I'm glad to hear it works.  It's novel now I guess.

The one thing you might not be factoring in to your cost analysis is time to research and find companies to send your flyer to, plus a click on an ad expresses interest whereas sending a flyer equates to an impression, not a click.

I hope you have some kind of metric for determining traffic back from the flyers...

But it works - good for you.
Bob Frances Send private email
Tuesday, March 03, 2015
My Adwords costs have been creeping higher for years now, and for the last year it's been unprofitable. Professional attempts to bring down the costs have not worked well.

I think your idea is a very good one.
Darren Send private email
Monday, March 09, 2015

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