Tag Archives: 2009

Off to ESWC 2009

marketing for microisvsI will be off to ESWC 2009 in Berlin in a few days. I am doing a talk “Marketing for microISVs – embracing the dark side?” on the Saturday morning. It is going to be tough to tackle as huge a subject as marketing in 45 minutes including questions, but I like a challenge!

I am also looking forwarding to touching base with old acquaintances and meeting some new people. If you are going to there, do come and say hello.

100 ways to increase your software sales

Increase targeted traffic to your website:

  1. SEO your website.
  2. Write a blog or newsletter of interest to the sort of people who might buy your software.
  3. Get more links to your website.
  4. Try Google Adwords Pay Per Click (PPC) ads.
  5. Write a guest post on someone else’s blog.
  6. Try CNet Pay Per Download ads.
  7. Promote your software through download sites using the ASP PAD repository, a paid submission tool or free submission tool.
  8. Promote your software through platform sites e.g. Apple downloads or Office online.
  9. Start an affiliate program.
  10. Try Microsoft Adcentre PPC ads.
  11. Bid higher for your PPC phrases.
  12. Advertise on stumbleupon.
  13. Write additional content for your site.
  14. Give away a ‘lite’ version of your software.
  15. Offer discount coupons.
  16. Add a forum to your website.
  17. Offer free review copies of your software to bloggers.
  18. Do a press release.
  19. Run a competition.
  20. Write better ads for your PPC campaign.
  21. Direct (snail) mail.
  22. Run ads in print magazines.
  23. Include your URL when posting on relevant forums.
  24. Try Yahoo Search Marketing PPC ads.
  25. Buy banner ads on targeted blogs, forums and other websites.
  26. Add extra keywords to your PPC campaigns.
  27. Talk about your software on a podcast.
  28. Add a viral element to your software.
  29. Do a publicity stunt.
  30. Get word of mouth recommendations by giving great support.
  31. Get listed in online directories such as DMOZ.
  32. Post a screencast on YouTube.

Increase your visitor->download rate:

  1. Have an online demo movie.
  2. Offer a free trial.
  3. Offer a money back guarantee.
  4. Port your software to additional platforms e.g. iPhone.
  5. Have a clean and professional website.
  6. Add case studies to your website.
  7. Make sure your website functions with all the major browsers.
  8. Get someone else to proof read the copy on your website.
  9. Talk to visitors in a language they understand i.e. not technical jargon, unless they are techies.
  10. Reduce the number of barriers to downloading the trial (don’t require an email address).
  11. Add a product FAQ to your website.
  12. Show your price prominently.
  13. Improve the usability of your website.
  14. Include your contact details on the website.
  15. Make sure the people can understand what your software does within 2 seconds of arriving at your site.
  16. Make the ‘download’ button more prominent on your website.
  17. Fix any errors in your website.
  18. Include screenshots on your home page.
  19. Add a list of famous customers to your website.
  20. Use a digital certificate for your installer and executable.
  21. Add (genuine!) testimonials to your website.
  22. Create better landing pages for your PPC campaigns.
  23. Add a privacy policy to your website.
  24. Add live online support to your website.
  25. Check your web logs/analytics to find out why/where visitors are leaving your website.

Increase your download->sale rate:

  1. Offer more than one payment processor.
  2. Improve the usability of your software.
  3. Accept purchase orders.
  4. Offer Trialpay as an alternative payment method.
  5. Offer sensible prices in additional currencies.
  6. Require an email address to download your software and follow-up with marketing emails.
  7. Increase or reduce the price of your software.
  8. Fix bugs in your software.
  9. Lengthen or shorten the trial period.
  10. Offer bulk purchase discounts.
  11. Improve your installer.
  12. Make the ‘buy’ button more prominent on your website.
  13. Make your software more beautiful.
  14. Allow users to buy your product easily from within the software itself.
  15. Localize your software into another language.
  16. Offer organizational licences.
  17. Try limiting your trial by features instead of time (or vice versa).
  18. Improve the speed/memory performance of your software.
  19. Improve your product documentation.
  20. Offer alternative payment models (e.g. an annual subscription instead of a one-off fee).
  21. Offer alternative licensing models (e.g. per site instead of per user).
  22. Write an introductory tutorial.
  23. Reduce the number of clicks and key presses required to make a sale.
  24. Add that new feature that people keep asking for.

Increase the value of each sale:

  1. Increase the price of your software.
  2. Charge extra for optional modules.
  3. Upsell additional products and services of your own or as an affiliate.
  4. Charge for major upgrades.
  5. Offer multiple versions at different price points e.g. standard/business/enterprise.
  6. Offer an optional CD.
  7. Charge an annual maintenance fee.
  8. Charge for support.
  9. Offer a premium support plan.

Explore alternative sales channels:

  1. Sell through resellers.
  2. Exhibit at tradeshows.
  3. Cold call prospects.
  4. Allow other companies to sell white label versions of your software.
  5. Include your software on cover-mounted magazine CDs.
  6. Sell through retail stores.
  7. Sell on Ebay.
  8. Sell on Amazon.
  9. Promote your software on one day sale sites, such as BitsDuJour or GiveAwayOfTheDay.
  10. Create a new product.


  • Items are in no particular order in each category.
  • Some of the items are mutually exclusive.
  • I have tried about 80% of the above. Some worked, some didn’t. In fact, many of them were a total waste of time and money. But the ones that didn’t work for me might work great in a different market (and vice versa). I discuss my experiences with some of them in more detail here: Promoting your software part1, part2, part3, part4, part5, part6.
  • This is by no means an exhaustive list. Feel free to suggest more in the comments.
  • Don’t know where to start? Perhaps you need a fresh pair of eyes.

Thanks to Stuart Prestedge of Softalk for suggesting some of the above.