Monday, December 30, 2013

Mentioning your Software's 5-Star Rating
in your Press Release

It's good software marketing to mention great reviews that you've received from well-respected download sites. Many of today's editors know that a high rating from some of the minor download sites doesn't mean much. But good ratings from the top download sites are worth mentioning.

Be careful, though, when citing the reviews that you've gotten from magazines and newspapers. If your press release mentions a good review from a publication that is a direct competitor to the one that's considering printing your news release, they might not be interested in supporting you and validating their competitor's judgment.

News releases are a cost-effective way to market more software.

Your competitors are using news releases to promote their smartphone and computer software. So should you! Contact DP Directory, and start getting your share of free publicity from bloggers, newspapers, and magazines.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Graying of America 101 for microISVs

Demographics are important. If America is graying, and you're selling software to Americans, then you need to be aware of this demographic change.

Kenneth Gronbach talks about the myth of the Graying of America in his 2008 book "The Age Curve - How to Profit from the Coming Demographic Storm." He believes that the assisted-living industry has listened to the myth, and as a result has seriously overbuilt in anticipation of a need that won't arrive for another 20 years or so.

Gronbach asks where this unusually large number of old people will come from -

  • It can't be from the GI Generation (born 1905 through 1924) because most of these 75 million folks have passed away.
  • It can't be from the Silent Generation (born 1925 through 1944) because there are nine million fewer of them than there were GI Generation folks.
  • It can't be from the Baby Boomer Generation (born 1945 through 1964) because they're not in need of services for the elderly, and won't be for quite some time.

Sure, software developers need to pay attention to demographics when deciding which applications to develop and market. But there is still a long, long time to plan for a huge marketplace for software to support the elderly.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

GUI Advice from Seth Godin

"Digital metaphor is the enemy of progress," Seth Godin tells us. In fact, Godin devotes a chapter in his book "The Big Red Fez - How to make any web site better" to discouraging website designers from introducing digital metaphors into their website designs.

Make it simple for prospects and customers to navigate your website, Godin urges. Don't give them puzzles to solve, or metaphors to figure out.

This is strange advice, I might point out, from an author who uses monkey, banana, and pachinko machine metaphors at the heart of his "The Big Red Fez" book.

Perhaps better advice for website designers might be to capitalize on the metaphors that are widely accepted on the web such as shopping cart images, RSS-feed symbols, and cloud icons. People understand what these concepts mean, and it would be counterproductive to introduce new metaphors when intuitive metaphors are already part of the Internet culture.

My advice would be to avoid any wording, images, or metaphors that detract from the sales process. Entertaining your website visitors is a secondary goal. Concentrate on delivering a clear, easy-to-understand sales message about the benefits of your software applications.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Cash in on Security Applications

The worldwide marketplace for security technology - including security software - will go up 8.7 percent in 2013 to $67.2 billion US dollars. So says Gartner, as reported in a recent issue of Processor Magazine.

By 2016, Gartner predicts that worldwide spending on security technology will increase to $86 billion.

Gartner names three security concerns that will keep spending high in the coming years -

  • Mobile security, fueled by the bring your own device (BYOD) trend that is sweeping the world,
  • Big Data security, and
  • Advanced attacks against the current technology that has been designed to protect privacy and security.

microISVs who have a background in security technology should consider developing software for this growing market. Software developers with no plans to develop security applications should give serious thought to weaving the concept of security into the sales messages of every application that they offer.

With so many business and home technology consumers concerned about security issues, it makes sense to design significant security features into all of your current and future application programs, and to talk about the software's security features and benefits in all of its sales presentations.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Write Stronger Sales Presentations

Book review of Direct Mail Copy That Sells! by Herschell Gordon Lewis (published 1984 by Prentice-Hall, Inc.).

Learn to write sales messages from a Hall of Fame copywriter, and you'll sell more of your software applications.

Herschell Gordon Lewis has been a respected direct-mail consultant since the early 1970s. In the summer of 2003, he was inducted into the Direct Marketing Association's Hall of Fame. "Direct Mail Copy That Sells!" contains tons of advice that can help software developers write website copy, whitepapers, eBooks, blog postings, PAD files, and news releases.

Lewis says, "When you emphasize everything, you emphasize nothing. A laundry list of '147 reasons why you should buy now' is weaker than one powerhouse reason, reinforced by ancillary reasons."

The author also says, "Tell the reader or viewer what to do. Subtlety doesn't work....Don't just describe. Get the order."

The book contains four Laws of advertising copy, and 12 rules to save your copy's life - and that's in the first 14 pages of "Direct Mail Copy That Sells!."

Lewis would probably cry openly if he read the dry lists of features that so many software developers use to entice prospects to buy their application programs. "Replace intellectual words with emotional words," Lewis tells us, "and you'll sell more because you'll trigger an emotional response." That sounds like good software marketing advice to me.

Lewis urges writers to abandon the technical jargon, and to "write within the experiential background of the reader, not yourself."

Today it's fashionable to buy the latest books on writing effective sales copy. This can be a mistake. The web didn't change how people are persuaded to spend their money. Increased software sales won't flow from books with titles like "Wayne and Garth's Most Excellent Internet Sales Words Guide".

We would all benefit by going back to basics and learning from accomplished copywriters. Herschell Gordon Lewis can teach us to write better. "Direct Mail Copy That Sells!" is a quick read, and an excellent reference book. It will strengthen your software marketing.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Don't Say "shareware" in your Press Release

Don't use the term "shareware" when marketing your software.

Perhaps include the word "shareware" - one time only - on your website, in case somebody types it into their favorite search engine when looking for an application like yours. The term "shareware" can be a confusing or negative word to many prospects. And it can be a serious turn-off to corporate buyers.

It's okay to say that you have a free trial version of your software that prospects can download. But don't call it "shareware."

Magazines and newspapers rely upon subscription income, advertising income, and various methods of monetizing their online sites. Magazine and newspaper publishers define a "shareware author" as somebody who doesn't buy advertising. Given two high-quality news releases, one for a shareware product and one for a shrink-wrapped shelfware product, it benefits the magazine or newspaper to print the shelfware press release because the shelfware publisher is more likely to become an advertiser.

It's true that most publications have a brick wall between their editorial and advertising departments. But you simply don't help yourself get publicity by describing your software as "shareware".

Press releases make your application memorable.

The biggest cost of a news release campaign could the lost opportunity cost. Don't use a part-time press release emailing company with an amateurish list compiled from the Internet. DP Directory has the best, most current lists in the software industry. We also have vertical market lists such as business, education, music, video, and many others. Contact DP Directory today about your press release writing and submission.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Dual-Core & Quad-Core Smartphones

In 2017, consumers will buy 1.5 billion smartphones. Most of these mobile devices will have quad-core processors, and almost all of the rest will have dual-core processors.

So says Berg Insight's forecast, as reported in a recent issue of Processor Magazine.

Dual-core processors made their way into smartphones for the first time in 2011. Quad-core processors were introduced in 2012. In the future, look for mobile devices to have the same powerful multi-core processors found in desktop and laptop PCs.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Listen to Disruptive People

Disruptive people are an asset.

Robert Lutz believes this statement so strongly that he dedicated an entire chapter to the topic in his book "Guts - The seven laws of business that made Chrysler the world's hottest car company."

Lutz tells us that disruptive people are agents of change.

He suggests that the best change agents are the ones who are irritating enough to set new things in motion, but not irritating enough to turn off the people who have to implement these changes.

If Lutz is correct, then those of us in the software development industry are blessed. There's certainly no shortage in our business of disruptive people. On a more serious note, I've found over the years that too many people tune out the ideas raised by disruptive people. A more productive strategy is to filter out the irritating way that some people express themselves, and concentrate on their ideas.