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Doug Nebeker ("Doug")
Recently I've visited a website of NetObjects Fusion (website builder). This product costs $129. And I they don't give any trial version - you can buy their software.
When I thought could their approach improve my sales? My conversion visits:downloads - 1% and downloads:sales 18%. And my software product also intended for professional users and enthusiasts with a price around $100.
1. I think that no trial version should improve sales, but we will get much more not satisfied customers who wrongly choosed our product. We'll get much more refunds.
2. More gentle idea is to ask email address before download a trial version + option to receive an email newsletter. Then we can try to convince our potential customers to buy our product.
What you think?
I would also like to have a visits:sales rate of 1% ...
Regarding asking for an email address before sending a trial version: Actually I believe you should make it as easy as possible to start the trial. In my opinion this would make a lot of people just leaving the site if they also have to provide an email-address to get the download.
An alternative could be to still provide the installer without any restrictions how to get it and to ask on starting the application for a free trial license which is send by mail...
Friday, May 22, 2015
It seems to me that your problem is not converting trials into sales. If 1 out of 18 trials is converting to a sale you are achieving 5.5% trial:sales ratio. As far as I understand this is unusually good. Certainly much better than I achieve. On the other hand, converting 18% of visitors into trials seems low, again compared to my experience.
Without having seen your software or your web page I would conclude that you have very good software, but your web page needs to be improved.
Sounds like a fair conclusion.
1% visitor to free downloads is pretty awful. It's a fair rate for sales, not for downloads.
Monday, May 25, 2015
I note with interest that the makers of the game "Minecraft" require both your email and date of birth before you can buy their game:
And their front page says "19,634,385 people bought the PC/Mac version of the game."
So, requiring an email to buy obviously isn't a hindrance to almost 20 million people.
"So, requiring an email to buy obviously isn't a hindrance to almost 20 million people."
It is definitely no problem if they want your tool as eagerly as a copy of Minecraft. Mojang could also ask for the name of your grandmother and people would download and buy. This game was a huge public success almost starting with day one. Do you have a comparable tool? I don't ...
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
In our experiments a few years ago, an email capture form put off about 50% of visitors from the country that is our #1 market and 75% of those coming from the #2 market (a native later told me that people in his country care about their privacy a lot). Whereas 3/4 of visitors from developing countries happily entered disposable email addresses in our form and generated downloads most of which never turned into sales.
YMMV, of course, so you should do an A/B test.
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
The reason NetObjects Fusion doesn't let you do a trial is because it is a terrible piece of software. I got a free copy from my ISP (which should have been a warning sign) and used it to create http://www.perfecttableplan.com/. It is buggy as hell and even corrupts the database from time to time. It was my worst decision in the last 10 years.
Of course the only real way to know if asking for an email will improve sales is to test it. Here are some numbers from someone that did this test:
Downloads: down by 33.6%
Sales: up by 3.4%
>visits:sales - 1%
>visits:downloads - 18%
That's not bad. But I would concentrate on trying to improve your download:sale ratio above 5% by concentrating on the first minute or two of the experience. Do you have a good 'soft landing' when they first start the trial?
>I would also like to have a visits:sales rate of 1% ...
Is your website xml-buddy.com? if so, it looks very crowded. Too much text. Too much bold text. I would move the news off that page for a start (or just show the latest new item). Have you tried A/B testing a leaner front page?
Thank you for the feedback. The index page on xml-buddy.com is currently my number 2 entry page. Number one is http://www.xml-buddy.com/json-editor.htm
But you are right and I'm going to change the design and content of the index page to the new and leaner responsive (bootstrap) version (like at http://www.xml-buddy.com/json-editor.htm).
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
All my apps open a "thanks for installing" web page when Setup.exe is done. I'm thinking of modifying it further so that it offers the user a 10% discount on their purchase, if they agree to register their trial version with an email address within 7 days. So, it'd look something like this:
"Thanks for installing MyProduct! As a new trial user, we'll give you a 10% discount on your purchase if you register as a trial user within 7 days of this install. Click (here) now if you'd like to take up this opportunity."
The (here) would be a mailto link with a default subject stating they'd like to register. So, it's totally optional and no email is need to download the product first. Might be interesting to see what happens with this approach. After all, if you don't ask, you don't get...
Never underestimate the extent to which you can confuse your readers/users...
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Thanks for your comments and suggestions!
Thanks for the feedback on NetFusion. I'm glad to learn this info before I purchased it.
I'll add a landing page when users complete the installation. I didn't want to add this page earlier. It can annoy users.
Or I can use Google Measurement Protection in Google Analytics to make a hidden call from my app using HttpGet API in Windows to count installations.
>I'll add a landing page when users complete the installation
Or you can display a web page the first time they exit your application and include some useful information on it, such as how to access help or contact tech support, but also use this to measure number of successful install + runs (that's what I do for PerfectTablePlan),
I should mention that my copy of NetObject Fusion is quite old. But I can't imagine its gone from a terrible, flakey piece of software to something great in the years in between.
I've changed my post-install wording to state that if they register as a trial user by email within 24 hours, then when buying they could receive a lifetime license instead of regular. So, it's an incentive to register even if they're not thinking of buying yet.
I've just released an update to one of my apps too, so that should generate some (brief) traffic for a while and get eyes on that install message. I'll keep you posted.
IMHO lifetime licences are a bad idea. Having a mix of lifetime and until-next-major-upgrade licences sounds even worse.
Friday, June 05, 2015
They "could" receive one. :) In reality, their chances would be very low; I'd probably give it to just 1 in 100 people who agree to register their email.
It's probably a moot exercise anyway... I'm actually getting hits to that message (12 since yesterday, so 12 installs) but nobody emailed. I guess risking spam is too much for people in the 21st century.
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