Software sales are nice. So are downloads and website traffic. But profits really matter. Profits should be at the center of your software marketing efforts.
In his book "Guerrilla Marketing Excellence," Jay Conrad Levinson tells business managers and entrepreneurs to focus on profit. Levinson's advice certainly applies to microISVs in the software development industry, too.
Levinson suggests a number of ways to increase profits. Translated into the software development industry, Levinson's key suggestions are -
(1) Tout benefits
It's critical to tell your prospects about your software's major benefits. And explain to them that your software application is unique. This is a powerful software marketing technique, and one that microISVs should use on their websites, in their newsletters, in their press releases, and on their blogs. Start your software marketing message by putting your application in context, and by explaining why your program is different from - and better than - your competitors' software. Create customer expectations for software like yours that your competitors simply can't match.
(2) Ask for the software sale
Levinson recommends that you craft a marketing message in which you ask for the sale, versus a software marketing technique in which you tell a nice story about your program and hope that the prospect can figure out that they should buy it.
(3) Minimize risks
It's important to remove as much risk as possible from the prospect's decision-making. Offer a money-back guarantee. Make them know that their feelings are important to you.
(4) Say why your software is best
Tell prospects why they should buy software applications from you.
(5) Test your product write-ups
Test. Test your sales message. Test everything. Software developers can easily set up an A-B test on their websites, and accurately measure the results.
(6) Write great headlines
Practice writing powerful headlines. In your news releases, headlines are very important. They're crucial on websites, blogs, and newsletters, too.
(7) Test price points
Test your software prices. And don't hesitate to raise your software prices if they need tweaking.
(8) Write long sales presentations
Don't be afraid to craft longer sales messages. I agree with Levinson - a long, well-structured, well-written webpage can sell more software, especially if you're targeting a business audience.
The bottom line
Don't ignore software sales, downloads, and website traffic. Monitor the activities on the social media sites. But focus on profits.