Software Marketing Resource Articles: July 2009

You wrote the code, now how do you sell it?

Friday, July 31, 2009

Software Industry Conference 2009

This year's 2009 Software Industry Conference was no disappointment. With some great speakers and great company it was an excellent chance to put some faces to names that we knew only by email and newsgroup postings.

This year we spent a lot of time talking in the hospitality suites, here's who was on hand:

Nico and Roger hang out in the BitsDuJour exhibition booth on Friday night. We had a lot of familiar faces and some new ones stop by, a really great night.

We had some tasty "bytes" on offer on the exhibition night too.

Nico chats with Oliver Grahl, who tops the BitsDuJour leaderboard of top sellers for PDF Annotator

Mike Dulin cracks jokes at the ASP Luncheon.

Most of the e-commerce providers were on hand at the SIC this year. We caught up with the new e-commerce company UpClick.

Rik Roberts shows how a real man should perform at the Shareware Industry Awards.
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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Don't Reinvent the Marketing Wheel

Stand on the Shoulders of the Giants

In this time and age, each and every company is trying its best to be different. Innovation seems to be the name of the game and entrepreneurs are literally scratching their heads to be original, creative and off beat in their sales and marketing strategies. And of course, the call of the times is to have a unique selling proposition, out-of-the-box strategies. But I can’t help but wonder why entrepreneurs single-handedly have to do all the spadework. Can’t they take reference from the past? And most importantly, doesn’t this question call for a passing thought at least?

In simple words, the entrepreneurs need not ‘reinvent the wheel’ again and again. Just look out, what your peers and predecessors have done. Examples will be in plenty. If that’s not enough, check out some renowned books written by distinguished sales and marketing gurus. Almost all the marketing strategies will find a mention here.

Have you heard of the phrase ‘standing on the shoulders of the giants’? The dictionary meaning says “Using the understanding gained by major thinkers who have gone before in order to make intellectual progress”. Don’t you think this is the best way out.

Some of the well-known books that entrepreneurs can peruse include,

- The E-Myth by Michael Gerber

- Magnetic Marketing by Dan Kennedy

- Meatball Sundae by Seth Godin

- Duct Tape Marketing by John Jantsch

All of them are great read; hopefully you like them and most importantly help you expand your Business.

Bridging the Gap between Actual Offer and Sales Copy

You are all set to open your sales innings on an encouraging note. And you have already crafted a grand sounding sales copy for that purpose. The best things being you are pretty sure that your copy will strike a chord with the prospects.

But as someone said, Man proposes and God disposes, your sales efforts fall apart like a pack of cards. The buyer has out rightly rejected your offer. But wasn’t your sales copy fool-proof, then why was this red-light shown.

While not disputing for a moment, about the brilliance of your sales copy, however, there may be a combination of factors that may have contributed in this deal going awry.

Flaunt your price-tag- Never, be ashamed about the price of your products. Customers or prospects simply don’t flip through the pages, ignoring the price element, for the simple fact that price has a fundamental role to play, before a sales deal is finally closed. If your sales copy is really good, then be rest assured that you have hit the bull’s eye. However, don’t go about feeling sorry for you have given your product a price tag that it’s worth of.

Clear-Cut Offer- Be sure that you mention the price. Furnish complete details of the products and services you are offering and any additional bonuses you are planning to unfold in the future.

Purchase Options: Give the prospects a variety of ways to order: phone, fax, mail, online. The more diverse you make, there are chances that you will receive more offers.

Payment Options –Present different kinds of payment methods. Purchasers are keenly interested in knowing the various payment options available.

Contact Information: Some brilliant marketing messages have been dumped as the prospects have failed to find the contact details

Don't miss your sale at the offer point.

How to attract Your Prospect to the Sale

Did you ever try to figure out why your customers are not reverting back, when you are sending them some attractive marketing offers? May be he (she) hasn’t even taken the pain to read your offer. But what more can you expect from the customers, who are flooded with more than 3,000 marketing, messages. So it is but natural for them to dump each and every marketing offer that comes their way

There are certain marketing filters you need to take into account, before the customers start reading your copies and are ready to communicate with. Here are the steps:

Step 1- Know your customers- This makes the message more targeted and helps you draw his (her) attention. And your customers or prospects will get a feeling that you deeply care for them.

Step 2- Keep a tab on the customers- Make it a habit to take follow-ups with your customers, probably you will be able to strike a better deal.

Step 3- Give value to your customers- Every marketing message that you are putting out should be from the prospects viewpoint. It should bring profits to the prospects first. Moreover the message that you send should do a little more than what you sell. It should educate, engage, entertain and helps your prospects some way or the other.

Step 4- Give customers due importance- Once your prospects fall in to your trap, see that you keep in touch with him(her) on constant basis. New customers and the old customers need the same kind of attention. Shower them with your attention, and see how your fortunes turnaround.

About the Author
This article was provided by Mayur Dicosta from

Thursday, July 9, 2009

UpClick Brings 0% Fees to Software Sales

There's been a lot of talk about the latest e-commerce platform to emerge on the scene. We took the time to talk to Michael Dadoun, UpClick's COO. Here's what he had to say.

1. UpClick is the new kid on the block' in a world of many e-commerce services. Why does the web need another payment processor?

You are right. There are a bunch of payment processors in the market already, but we see ourselves as much more than a basic payment processing platform. UpClick offers software vendors a one-stop solution for selling online with an economic model that makes it a no brainer for them. Before UpClick, there were basically two types of payment processors that software vendors could choose from: on one side, they could choose companies that offer a commoditized product where differentiation is low and the only factor is pricing. On the other side, they could choose a value-added ecommerce platform that (on average) cost between 7 and 15% to use. We have a different approach. Our emphasis is to create value for our customers by offering the best technologies and practices, maximizing their Average Revenue per Order with optimized cross-selling and by offering a dynamic affiliate marketplace.

2. On your homepage there's a big "0% fees" advertisement. If you don't charge any fees then how do you make any money - what's the catch?

No catch. We indeed absorb the payment processing costs and the costs of first level customer service. We make our money in 3 ways:

- We enable merchants to cross-sell products from other UpClick Merchants on their check-out pages. When this happens, we take a small commission and the two merchants split the remaining revenue.

- We offer consumers complementary products -- such as CD backup of the software they bought -- at the time of check out and/or after the transaction is approved, and split the proceeds with the merchants.

- We charge a small $1 fee for transactions generated by our affiliate marketplace (compared to up to 30% of the commissions charged by other affiliate networks).

3. We've seen UpClick mentioned in the media a lot recently, are vendors signing up?

Yes! The reaction has been tremendous and our value proposition gets our potential customers’ attention every time. Of course, we understand that changing to a new platform provider is something customers do prudently and often only after testing. However, we’re seeing a lot of traction and are actually exceeding our forecast

4. So give us the rundown, what features does UpClick's system have?

We have a long list of features and the best way to see all of them would be to visit our website. Even with all our features, one thing we’re especially proud of is our extremely simple interface. A software vendor can sign-up, upload his product and license keys, and get our innovative buy buttons to put on his site in about 5 minutes!

5. Besides the big "0%" is there anything that differentiates you from the most established e-commerce solutions such as Digital River and Plimus?

Pricing of our services is of course the obvious one, which helps our Merchants save money. But, we also enable merchants to make more money as well, through our cross-selling capabilities and our affiliate network. Merchant A can dramatically increase his average revenue per order by offering to his customers a product from Merchant B at the time of check-out, creating new revenue for both of them. Another differentiator is our geo-targeting tools that allow merchants to customize pricing per currency (ie. $19.99 in the US or 19.99 Euros in Europe, instead of the typical straight conversion that would give 14.39 euros). There are many more features that differentiate us, and as I said earlier, despite the feature-rich platform, we’ve very easy to use.

6. Is UpClick just for software sales or does your system allow selling of other products?

Our expertise is in software sales, so for now, that’s where we are focused However, we also support some related products such as ebooks, and have plans to eventually expand into membership sites (content, newsletters and even Software as a Service) and maybe some other product categories.

7. E-commerce continues to grow, even in this sluggish economy. How do you see the next twelve months playing out for software developers?

The software industry is a great place to be. It is still a growing industry. The international markets have been an area of strong growth for North American software companies and will continue to be. Consumers are buying their software online now more than ever and that trend will continue in the next 12 months.

That being said, the online selling of software is extremely competitive, but we believe that we offer the tools to allow companies of any size to compete internationally.

8. With new business models such as SaaS (software as a service) and web applications, do you see desktop software, and desktop software sales, as having a limited lifespan?

Very interesting question. Obviously SaaS is a growing segment and one that is getting a lot of attention particularly in certain markets such as Asia. We don’t see this as a threat since we will be supporting both business models in the future. Having said that, we don’t see the downloadable software market as disappearing any time soon. We believe there will always have a need for software to run, protect and maintain your machine.

9. As you work with a lot of developers, you must see people making the same mistakes over and over again. If you had one piece of advice for developers what would it be?

Keep it simple. Most of us working in technology have a tendency to try and build too much functionality into our products to a point where they become too complex for most people.

10. Will we see you at the Software Industry Conference in Boston this July (we'll be there too)?

UpClick is a proud sponsor of the SIC. We will have a booth and I should be giving a presentation on Localization and Cross-Selling. We’ll see you there!

About the Author
Michael Dadoun is the COO and co-founder of UpClick
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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Pay Per Click Marketing

PPC marketing can be a powerful online marketing channel for software products. But there are several ways to help make your marketing dollars work harder for you. For those of you that already have active PPC campaigns, here are a few tips for better PPC campaign management.


Tip 1 – The Google AdWords Keyword Tool is a great starting point for keyword discovery, given that Google is very good at the keyword (kw) relevancy game. Since a majority of searchers use Google and its partners, the idea is to ‘go to the source’ for kw lists based on actual user searches. Simply input seed kw’s and Google will spit out additional relevant kw ideas. Access the Keyword Tool at the top of the kw list in any ad group.

Tip 2 – Use the Search Query report to further expand and refine your kw lists. This report has been much improved, and now displays more granular data. Focus on search queries that have received conversions, rather than just impressions or clicks. Add queries with match type showing as ‘broad’ or ‘phrase’ to appropriate ad groups. Bid based on query CPA and average CPCs.

Tip 3 – Mine Google Analytics, Omniture, or other web analytics reporting systems for kw ideas. Focus on organic kw’s that have resulted not only in clicks, but in conversions, goals, and measurable value. In GA, select Traffic Sources, then Keywords, then click on non-paid, and lastly select the Goal Conversion tab.

Tip 4 – Use all 3 match types: broad, phrase, and exact. Using all 3 match types gives the advertiser greater visibility and control into their campaigns. Add phrase and exact match for kw’s that show a high volume of impressions, clicks, cost or conversions – or for kw’s that are core to the software products that you sell.


Tip 5 – Test Keyword Insertion (KWI) in text ads. KWI automatically inserts the user’s search query into the text of the ad. KWI can be used in headlines or in lines 1-2. Text KWI cautiously, and only in ad groups that exclude high-volume, broad match keywords. Example headline: {KeyWord:Morphing Software}.

Tip 6 – Set ad-serving to rotate(!) Ads must be rotated evenly in order to be tested properly against each other. AdWords defaults to serve higher-CTR ads more often than lower-CTR ads; this makes more money for Google at the expense of the advertiser. This option is found in Campaign Settings.

Tip 7 – Remember ad text basics: highlight the advertiser value proposition; incorporate relevant ad group kw’s within ad text; use a compelling offer (e.g. Free 30-day Trial) and include a call-to-action or implied call-to-action (e.g. Learn how to improve your PPC campaigns – Free white paper).


Tip 8 – A simple account structure benefits day-to-day navigation, management and bid optimization. Consider separate campaigns for breaking out geo-targets, differentiating between different target metrics, or for reporting purposes. Always run Content campaigns separately. This is acknowledged best practices, since Content is an altogether different medium vs. Search.


Tip 9 – Download and use AdWords Editor (AE) for: bid optimization; ad creation and optimization; creating new campaigns; adding kw’s in bulk to multiple campaigns and ad groups; modifying destination URLs for conversion tracking, and much more. Download AdWords Editor here.


Tip 10 – Start simple and small, and go where the data takes you. PPC is an iterative activity. The data determines next steps. If you started with one campaign composed of five ad groups, expand the ad groups that show click and conversion activity and leave the others for later. Over time, advance to complex and large. Expand kw’s, ad groups and campaigns based on what has worked. In terms of time and effort, feed the winners and starve the losers. This approach will help you best focus your time and make you (or your client) more money!

About the Author
Terry Whalen from, a paid search agency About Terry:
Terry is a partner at CPCsearch, a full-service PPC Management firm that optimizes PPC campaigns on behalf of its clients. CPC Search is a Google AdWords Qualified Company. Prior to running CPC Search, Terry led marketing initiatives at Citrix’s GoToMyPC.
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