selling to families
selling to families - Offering software applications to the home market and to the homeschooling market.
When selling educational software into the home, be sure that your sales message is targeted at all of the important decision-makers.
In Lamb, Hair, and McDaniel's "Essentials of Marketing 2", there is a great description of the five family decision-makers:
Software sales initiators
Initiators suggest or plant the seeds for the purchase process. The initiator is often the kid or parent who will enjoy the immediate benefit (for example, playing a nice computer game) or the long-term benefit (for example, giving their kids an advantage in school and in life).
Influencers are family members whose opinions are valued. For example, the teen who can determine whether your software runs on the family's computer is an influencer.
Software buying decision makers
Decision-makers make the actual buying decision. Parents usually decide to buy the software.
Purchasers are the people who will take the time to go through the order process.
Consumers are the people who actually use your software.
Your software's sales message has to catch the attention, develop the interest, and close the sale with everybody involved.
When selling educational software into the school, there are multiple decision-makers, too: Teachers, administrators, and support staff all have a say in what site licenses are purchased. You have to keep all of these folks happy if you're going to make your living selling to schools.
share of mind
share of mind - The marketing theory that prospects should think about your company first when they think about a particular product or service.
For example, 3M's Scotch Tape has a large share of mind in the adhesive tape market. Formica has a large share of mind in the laminate market.
Repetition is a key tool for getting people to keep your company and software at the top of their minds.
Stay visible to your prospects. Make sure they know that you're available to help them solve their problems.
Prospects don't particularly notice your advertisement the first (or second or third) time that they see it. You need to keep getting your message in front of their eyeballs.
After some time, they start thinking that you're not just a "here today gone tomorrow" company. Eventually, they realize that you must be successful, because unsuccessful companies cannot afford to advertise regularly.
Over time, as you build share of mind, you'll build share of market.
To avoid this long sales process, your website has to create a sense of urgency, and land the sale immediately. What techniques can you use to get the prospect to buy now?
Do you encourage the sale (versus asking prospects to download your trial version)?
Do you ask prospects to bookmark your site, so they can find it again later?
Do you offer time-sensitive discounts?
shareware - A marketing method that lets users try software before they buy it.
There are endless debates over the true meaning of shareware. Can there be feature limitations? Trial periods that time out? Watermarks? Other registration incentives?
Don't say "shareware" in your press release. There are a couple of good reasons:
Editorial versus Advertising
Most magazines and newspapers claim that they have an impenetrable wall between their editorial and advertising departments. My experience is that these publications try to not let advertising dollars affect the press coverage that they give. But there are exceptions to the rule.
Computer magazines have two major sources of income: Subscriber dollars and advertiser dollars. Editors can increase their subscriber base by telling their readers about neat new software like yours. The magazines would like you to become an advertiser. If the publication can demonstrate that, by their printing your news release, you'll get a lot of inquiries from their readers, then they might talk you into becoming an advertiser.
Shareware authors, however, are not regarded by publications as heavy buyers of advertising. Given two equally well-written New Product Announcements, one for a shareware product and one for a shelfware product, it helps the magazine to cover the shelfware. Editors are human, and interested in the financial success of their employers. So, don't mention your being a shareware author.
What does "shareware" mean?
Not every software buyer knows what the term "shareware" means. Some people associate the term "shareware" with second-class software that is not in the same league as shrink-wrapped software. Others simply aren't familiar with the term. You can lose sales by using terms that people don't understand.
Some developers try to clear up the issue by explaining what shareware is. These definitions take prospects' attention away from your company and its software, and will cost you sales.
Talk about your trial version
Don't say "shareware" in your news release. Simply talk about the availability of a free, fully-functional 30-day trial version. Your software marketing should focus on selling your software, and not encouraging people to download and install the trial version.
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