Category: Sell Software

Software Bundle Tactics

soft-bundle-tactics-smallerLearn about bundled software from Linkury software marketing experts.

No doubt you know what bundled software is all about; you may have even purchased a “package” of different software on a whim one day due to the credibility of the main piece of software that you wanted in the package.

To explain further, bundled software is when software is included with another product – it may be hardware in the case of pre-installed software on a new computer or simply as a suite of software that comes all packaged together.

Marketing your software is all about getting your software out there and recognized as the quality product that it is.

One of the major problems with this though, especially as someone relatively new to the field of marketing software, is that the chances are that you are a new participant in a very crowded playing field, and it is not necessarily the best software in any particular field that is the most successful sales-wise.

Good marketing plays a major role in getting your software onto the computers of consumers or whatever your target market is.

There are numerous methods for marketing your software with one of the better known being software bundling. We will take a look at what is involved in this process and why it works.

Stealth Bundling

There are numerous companies out there not the size of Microsoft or Oracle who have managed to develop their own software over the years and have gathered a strong following.

As an additional way of generating revenue, they market software for other parties also. They already have an avid and existing client base with the entire marketing infrastructure in place to target buyers for different types of software and perhaps more importantly, they already have a credible name in the marketplace for providing quality products.

Bundling your software with companies like this enables you to quickly and easily penetrate a market by riding on their coattails. It will cost you in revenue share but will more than make up for it in time and money saved on the marketing front.

It will also allow you to develop your own reputation in your chosen field of expertise. In this instance, your software is bundled with that of an established and better known software company.

Super Stealth Bundling

By integrating a dynamic installer in your software, you are using another company’s software for marketing purposes yet your software remains the “main game.”

A dynamic installer from a company that specializes in software marketing confers many benefits. It can place your software on the cloud with all the benefits that provides, it works from a marketing standpoint as it makes people who download the program feel as though they have purchased a quality product when they get updates without having to look for them.

And most importantly from a monetization perspective, it can generate revenues from Tier 1 advertisers whose association with your software gives it more credibility as well as revenue from downloads. From your perspective, the dynamic installer is easy to integrate and should be easy to customize to suit the look and feel of your software. A quality dynamic installer will be free to use but will cost in revenue share. In this instance, the software bundle is not perceived as a bundle in the eyes of the purchaser.

Software bundling is a proven method for marketing software. It is for this reason that it has been in existence for the time it has yet remains a valid software marketing method.

By Guest Author Joe Elton
Joe Elton is a software marketing expert writing on behalf of Linkury, in his free time he enjoys exploring social media strategies and is working on his own blog, stay tuned!

Software Monetization TipsSoftware Monetization Tips – Built Useful Software? Learn How to Monetize It.

Software marketing experts from Linkury share some useful monetization tips

You identified a need, were inspired, used your talent, and actually got off your backside (at least figuratively) and did something about it – you created a piece of software that will make the life of other people better in some way, shape, or form.

Now, unless you are an altruistic soul, chances are that you will want to be rewarded for your efforts; and why not, that’s what capitalism is all about – build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door; at least in theory. And this is what we want to address – how to turn that theory into reality so that you get to monetize your software and receive your just reward for your vision, talent, and hard work.

The Early Bird Catches the Money

You must start your marketing efforts almost as soon as you start creating your software, as proper marketing of your software is the key to monetizing it. These days it is easier, and cheaper, than ever to make a name for yourself (and your software) thanks to social media.

At the earliest possible opportunity you must find a community relevant to your software and start to not only frequent it but use it as your community to make yourself known as an expert in your field. In conjunction with this, you must have your own blog to which to refer community members.

Write articles for different blogs and communities and show the world that you are an expert in your field. Consequently, when it comes to marketing your software, you will have an audience ready and waiting to buy it.

Plan from the Start

Different versions of your software are a key and proven monetizing technique. You can give away the basic version to whet the public’s 16-Sep-13 5-11-11 PMappetite or give a free trial of the enterprise version so that power users can see all the functionality of your software. Obviously you must plan what each version of your software will comprise from the start.

Another nice touch is to incorporate a dynamic installer in your software. These can be found for free and, assuming the installer is cloud based, facilitates quicker and more secure downloads as well as ease of updates and potentially other monetization opportunities due to advertising that you may not have previously considered.

Partner Up

Sometimes you have to realize what your limitations are. You may be a great programmer but not such a great marketing and sales person.

This is nothing to be ashamed of; it is actually a very important part of business to know your limitations. If this is the case there are companies that specialize in monetizing software and can help you maximize the monetary potential of your software.

By partnering with someone you will have to give away part of your sales revenue but you will also be free to create other software as the marketing will be left to others.

Also, given that these parties specialize in software monetization, you may even earn more by not receiving 100% of the sales proceeds due to higher overall sales. This option is definitely worth considering if you don’t fancy yourself as the next Bill Gates or Steve Jobs.

Monetizing your software is important business. Consider how you want to go about it almost as soon as you have thought up the idea for your software.

By Guest Author Joe Elton

Joe Elton is a software marketing expert writing on behalf of Linkury, in his free time he enjoys exploring social media strategies and is working on his own blog, stay tuned!

Today we have an excellent guest post by one of my favorite software marketers, Andy Brice. Andy has done some testing on adding new versions of his software at higher price points.

How much should you charge a customer for a product? From a pure economics point of view – as much as the customer is willing to pay. The airlines are masters of this. The people on a typical commercial flight pay a wide range of prices depending on factors such as: which class they are travelling, whether they are returning before the weekend and how far ahead they booked.

The smug businessman in first class (who booked a week before and is returning the same day) might be paying more than 10 times as much for a seat as a someone in economy (who is going on holiday for 2 weeks and booked 6 months in advance). The businessman probably isn’t spending his own money, so he doesn’t care that much what the price is. Does the business traveler cost the airline 10 times as much? Of course not. The airline is simply maximizing its profits by charging more for the people who are prepared to pay more.

Supermarkets also use multiple price points by offering value, standard and gourmet versions of common products. The gourmet version has pictures of smiling farmers and tells you how it was lovingly hand-picked from a sun drenched hillside in an exotic country.

The value version looks like UN emergency rations. The supermarket hopes the less price sensitive customers will buy the gourmet version, but they still want something they can sell to the more price sensitive customers. Is there much difference between the 3 products part from the packaging? Probably not.

When you start to look around you can see there are lots of different strategies businesses use to charge according to how much the customer is prepared to pay. Does aUpgrade hardback book cost significantly more to produce than a softback book? No. But if you really want to read the book you will pay the extra for the hardback, rather than wait 6 months for the paperback.

The gaming industry doesn’t even bother to change the product. Hardcore gaming fans will pay £40 for  a new blockbuster game. A year later you can get the same game (probably with bug fixes and add-ons) for £15. Two years after that it will be in the bargain bin for £5. Discount coupons are another common method you can use to charge price sensitive customers less.

I decided to try multiple price points for my table planner software. The graph below shows the 12 monthly cumulative sales[1] of my product for a year before and a year after moving from 1 to 3 price points. The red arrow points to the month I made the change. The revenue for the 12 months after the change were almost exactly 50% higher than the 12 months before.

multiple-price-points

Before September 2009 there was only 1 edition of PerfectTablePlan and it cost £19.95. Initially PerfectTablePlan was aimed at people planning their own wedding, bar mitzvah, Quinceañera etc. Typically they would only use the software once, so £19.95 was a sensible price. But as the product matured and improved it was increasingly being used by professional planners.

It seemed crazy to be charging professional planners such a low price for software they might be using every week. So I decided to add additional price points at £49.95 and £199.95. The higher price points having additional features aimed at frequent and professional users.

I choose 3 price points because this seems a natural fit for the different types of people using my software (one-off users, frequent users on a budget and professional users spending someone else’s money).

This turned out to be a big win for me. Not only did my average order value shoot up, suddenly I had more credibility with professional event planners, who might not have taken a £19.95 product seriously, no matter how good it was. Price is a signal of quality, after all.

Having 3 editions of the product with different feature sets also allows me to offer an increasingly sophisticated product to ‘power’ users without overwhelming more ‘casual’ users. This is a big bonus for all my customers and it reduces my support burden considerably.

There are various ways I could have set the price points. For example I could have set the price points based on the maximum number of guests at an event or on the duration of a licence. Charging according to the number of features seemed to fit best with my market and existing licensing.

I thought carefully about how to introduce the extra price points part way through the life of the product so as not to confuse or alienate existing users. I decided it would be too complicated to add the new price points at the same time as doing a major (paid) upgrade from v4 to v5.

Instead I released the new editions at the same time as the v4.1 upgrade. I announced ahead of time that v4 would become v4 Home edition and that 2 new products were being released: v4 Advanced edition and v4 Professional edition. I was careful to ensure that I added plenty of new features and didn’t remove any existing features between v4.0 and v4.1 Home edition, so users who didn’t want to upgrade didn’t feel cheated. They were few complaints. I encouraged existing customers to pay the difference to upgrade edition and many did.

All 3 editions of the product are contained in a single executable and customers can switch between the editions dynamically at runtime. This was more work initially than using #defines to create 3 separate executables, but I think it was worth it as it allows the customer to easily trial or upgrade to a different edition without reinstalling or re-starting PerfectTablePlan.

A lot of software products have 2 or 3 editions, with the most expensive edition costing 1.5 or 2 times the cheapest edition. This seems far too narrow a range to me. I’m confident that a professional event planner can get at least 10 times the value from the product compared to someone planning their own (hopefully) once-in-a-lifetime wedding event. So I decided to go for a 10:1 difference between the cheapest and most expensive edition. If the airlines can do it, why can’t I? In retrospect I think this was a good call.

Having multiple price points is not without its downsides. It makes the sale more complex and it is an extra decisions for the customers to make. People are demotivated by having too many choices and I think having multiple price points has reduced my visit:sale conversion rate slightly.

So don’t add too many price points. 3 is probably plenty in most cases (the supermarkets should know). But the slight drop in conversion rate has been made up many times over in a significant increase in average value per order. Also I should point out that the increase in sales wasn’t ‘free money’.

I had to do a lot of work to add the extra features to sufficiently differentiate the 3 editions of the software, overhaul the licensing, tweak the website etc. But it was definitely worth the effort for the increase in sales. I think it also been beneficial to my customers as they now have a choice of which edition of the product best fits their budget and requirements.

Guest post By Andy Brice  View Original Article – How I increased sales 50% by adding extra price points

Software launches can be a scary business…

I am just in the works of launching a new software title. Can’t reveal much at the time but below you can read some of the marketing material or head over to the launch site and check it out.

I have to tell you something, but I don’t have much time…

Something strange has happened here. I started experimenting with Snagit and I discovered something. Something horrifying I cannot fully comprehend or even begin to explain. And I am afraid my time is running out.

I will try to get more information to you shortly, but I think they are watching me…

I am scared, very scared.

I warned you but look for yourself if you dare…

Andy Brice, Successful Software

Andy Brice from Successful Software blog just released an excellent article where he is featuring 13 examples of software launches gone sour.

The article cover thirteen different software products and their launches that didn’t turn out like the software creators expected.

There are many lessons to be learned and if you are serious about your Software Marketing I suggest you read through the whole article.

Some of the bigger takeaways are that the software authors failed to research the market enough before venturing out and creating their software and the failed to market it when the product was released.

Take it away Andy…

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simplesoftwaremarketingI have been working in the Software Marketing Industry for close to 10 years and I still find most of the communication in the Industry incredibly boring and stiff. I don’t even have the energy to try to understand some of the Industry newsletters I get. What are they talking about? I am guessing that the goal of the fancy technical jargon is to put me in place and to show they know what they are talking about. The only problem is that “they” end up not reaching me at all.

You say: “But I am a B2B Marketer…”

Read More »

Software BrandingBefore we go any further looking into how we can build brands it’s important to understand why building your software brand is important.

I hope you have had a chance to check out the first part in this series; Software Branding: Introduction, and have an understanding of what I mean by brand and branding. To make a long story short I am not referring to the company/product, logotype or slogan. What’s really important is the brand identity, or the associations and expectations that are connected to a brand.

There are several important reasons as to why you should work with building your brand or brands. In this article I have included 6 major reasons why it is vital to build your software brands.

The reasons are…

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CristianToday we have a guest writer Cristian Dorobantescu, that has been involved working both with software development and software marketing. Here he shares some interesting insights in this sometimes bipolar landscape.

Read on to find out what Cristian has to say…

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Software ConversionYou have launched your software and started selling it online. You are actively promoting and are getting visitors and leads from different traffic generating efforts such as SEO, PPC, Banners, Shareware sites, Word-of-mouth, Resellers and other activities.

But the visitors aren’t really converting into buyers, at least not in any satisfactory numbers. Maybe 95% are leaving your website without taking any action…

So how do you know you are doing a good job?

Read on and find out how you can benchmark your conversion rates…

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Software Upselling

Upsell SoftwareWhat’s the easiest and fastest way to radically increase your sales? Done right you can increase your sales to many of your clients with very little effort.

How, you may ask…

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