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   .

Software Marketing Glossary
by Al Harberg, the press release guy from DP Directory

border on this Glossary page, you'll find these words and phrases border

system requirements

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system requirements for software application

system requirements

system requirements - A poorly cobbled statement of techie talk that software developers use to lose sales.

Most developers could increase their income by doing a better job of telling their prospects about their application's system requirements.

From the time a visitor arrives on your home page, to the time they purchase your software, you have to tell them continuously how they would benefit from owning your software. If you give them puzzles to solve or other distractions from your marketing message, they lose their train of thought. This makes it more difficult for you to get them to buy your program. And if you present them with a really tough puzzle that they're not able to solve, then they'll click their browser's "back" button, return to Google, and try your competitors' software instead.

Tell your prospects if your software will run on their computers

Many developers make it difficult to find platform information. The developer's website has all of these clever descriptions about how my life will be better if I buy their software. By using their software, I'll save time, save money, reduce stress, do things tomorrow that I can't do today, and race ahead of my competitors.

But I'm not reading any of this sales message. I'm skimming the site, looking for words like Vista or Windows 7. If their software runs under Macintosh, UNIX/Linux, Palm OS, Pocket PC, AS/400, or some other platform, I don't care about how it will benefit "the user". It flat out won't benefit me. Until I see something about "Windows", I'm not taking the website seriously.

If you want to sell your software to Windows users, you need to say Windows several times on your home page and on each product page. In fact, if you want to attract buyers of Windows software to your site, you'd better include the word "Windows", early and often.

Talk about your System Requirements in language that prospects will understand

If you speak to English-speaking prospects in English, you might persuade them to buy your application. But if you speak to them in techie-talk, they'll buy from your competitor, even if your application is superior.

Let's look back in history, and learn from our mistakes. From the time Microsoft started selling Windows 98, developers have said "runs on Win9x".

There are three ways that prospects can react to such a phrase:

(A) They comprehend it immediately, and keep on reading your sales message. Software developers react this way. Unlike the vast majority of computer users, you and I know what Win9x means.

system requirements for microISVs (B) They think about it for a short time, and say to themselves, "I bet Win9x means Windows 95 and Windows 98." They shouldn't be solving dumb puzzles. They should be thinking about how their lives would be enhanced by having your software installed on their computer. And now it's going to be more difficult to get their minds back in focus, and to sell them your application.

(C) They're totally confused. Their spouse or their manager said to them, "Find something on the Internet that performs this function, and make sure it runs on Windows 98." They're looking for "Windows 98" and they simply can't - or won't - solve your Win9x puzzle. You've lost a software sale.

With the new millennium, developers learned new ways to lose sales. The expression "runs on Win2k" does the job.

If you'd rather be cute than rich, then find cute ways to confuse prospects

Not to be outdone, developers whose programs ran on Windows 2003 Server used "runs on Win2k3" to befuddle their potential software buyers.

system requirements for software vendors Another way to lose sales is to say something like "runs on Windows Vista and newer". Why do you want to lose sales from people who don't know the chronological order of XP/Vista/Windows 7? Why would you want to lose a single sale unnecessarily because a prospect is confused about platform information?

It's not just platform names that lose sales. You can say "runs on all 32-bit Windows systems" and guarantee a high level of confusion among potential buyers. If you're selling programmers' tools, then this is a great description. But if you're marketing games or utilities or general-interest applications, you're throwing away sales and money with a description like this.

Most of your prospects don't know ActiveX from DirectX. Use your website to paint prospects into a word picture in which they see themselves having a more productive, less stressful life after installing your application. Don't confuse them. Stop driving them to your competitors' web sites. Tell them your System Requirements in simple, easy-to-understand terms. Make your software marketing clear, and sell them your application.

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