selling - The activity that software developers enjoy the least.
Whether it's upselling, cross-selling, after-selling, and just plain selling, the vast majority of developers would rather be writing new applications. But to turn your passion for programming into a full-time business, you have to learn to sell your software.
Sell software like amazon.com sells books
If you've ever bought books on amazon.com, you've experienced every kind of additional selling technique. From the time you select a book that you want to learn more about, they suggest a two-book bundle, they tell you the titles of other books that previous buyers have purchased when they bought the one that you've selected, they name other titles in the same subject category, and they tell you if your book will qualify for shipping and handling discounts if you buy additional books. When you close the transaction, they offer you a discount to ship additional gift-copies of your books to your colleagues and family. And from my personal perspective, they do all of this selling without offending me, or making me feel pressured.
Many developers have found that these techniques can be used to sell more software, too. Used improperly, these techniques can annoy prospects, and drive them to visit your competitors' sites. So, you have to learn to use them properly. It's all about software marketing.
Upselling a single application
If you're offering a single software application, you still have a lot of upselling options:
You can encourage people to upgrade from a single-user license to a family license, entitling them to use your software on all of their home computers plus one computer at in the office.
If you're offering games or home entertainment software, you can suggest that they give an additional copy as a gift to a friend.
You can generate more sales by offering gift certificates, or by shipping a physical CDROM or DVD, with or without a gift card.
If you're selling business or education software, you should try hard to sell multi-user and site licenses at discounted prices.
Selling software bundles and combinations
If you're offering two software programs, you can still avoid using a shopping cart, by selling bundles and other combinations.
At its simplest, you can offer application-a, application-b, or both (probably at a discount if your customer chooses the two-program bundle).
Some developers offer a family of products. A two-program family might consist of a Basic and a Professional version. When somebody purchases the Basic version, you can show them a screen that tries to upsell them on the benefits of the Pro version. Similarly, you can try to get them to move from Light to Standard to Silver to Gold. Think twice about naming your version "Special Edition" because it reminds a lot of prospects of the nearly-worthless versions of commercial software that come bundled with computer hardware. And the misspelled "Lite" seems to annoy prospects in the UK.
Use a shopping cart to sell more software
If you offer three or more software applications, it might be time to offer users a shopping cart. Without a shopping cart, customers have to go through the buying process multiple times. In addition to being tedious, multiple purchases cause concerns with eCommerce and bank credit card processors. In addition, a month later, when your customer sees multiple purchases from the same vendor, they may get confused and issue a chargeback.
Shopping carts make it easier for customers to purchase multiple products.
Shopping cart abandonment continues to be a major problem in the software industry, and across the Internet. Many shopping carts are non-intuitive and annoying. For example, while software developers might think it's logical to remove an item from their shopping cart by changing its quantity to zero, most end-users are totally confused by this process.
If you're selling, say, a collection of games, and they're all priced similarly, you can avoid using a shopping cart by offering build-it-yourself 2-game packs and 3-game packs.
Don't put the original software sale at risk
When considering ideas for additional sales there are some important principles to think about:
Don't jeopardize your original sale by confusing your prospects with your attempt to upsell them. If you're offering additional software on your product page, make sure your customers are crystal clear about what they're buying, and how much it will cost.
If you're upselling at the time that they add an application to their shopping cart, be clear. Acknowledge that they've added a particular program to their cart, and ask them if, in addition, they'd like to add another specific program, at a stated, discounted price. Clarity is important.
If you're upselling after they've filled their shopping cart, and after they've clicked on the "check out and pay" button, then be gentle. You have a serious buyer, and you don't want to lose the sale. Don't offend them, and don't confuse them.
If you're cross-selling them after the sale, on your "thank you for your order page", you can be a little more assertive with your sales message. They've already bought your software, so there's no risk of them abandoning their shopping cart. If you give them a deeply-discounted offer, they might go back to your product pages and make an additional purchase. Alternatively, you could offer them a coupon that they can redeem at a later time.
If you're after-selling your customers using the email that you send them - the email with the registration code or the URL where they can download the full version of your software programs - you can offer them discounts on future purchases, or recommend affiliates' software.
Your newsletter is another after-sales tool. Newsletters are at the core of permission marketing. Be sure to tell your prospects and customers the advantages of signing up for your free email newsletter so that they'll get tips and tricks on how to use their software more effectively. Tell them that they'll receive notifications about new releases of the application that they purchased, as well as discounts on other fine software from your company. Assure them that you'll never use their name or email address for anything besides sending them your newsletters.
It's much easier to sell additional software to a satisfied customer than to find new customers and convince them to purchase your applications. Be careful not to overload your customers with sales messages. But don't miss opportunities to upsell, cross-sell, and after-sell your software applications.
Software Marketing Glossary
Lists: computer, business
, education, multimedia, game, programming, others
Ordering: place an order, prices and time frames, sample news releases, about us
Information: free newsletters, press release FAQ, software marketing glossary
Copyright © 1997-2016 DP Directory, Inc.