Giving Away Your Product Can Pay

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Lynn
Posts: 107
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2006 7:43 pm

Giving Away Your Product Can Pay

Post by Lynn » Tue Dec 05, 2006 5:31 pm

http://www.thinkmac.co.uk/blog/2006/11/ ... -your.html

Ian Wood pointed out a this blog entry that slams the notion of product giveaways as a marketing action. Ive already replied to the blog itself but I think it warrants further discussion here.

Free giveaways can work wonders for you, they can:

1. Increase upsell opportunity. Once you get users using your product and it provides significant value - keep adding value and you have yourself a paying customer.

2. Validation. If your user base remains a fraction of the a small group of early adopters, you will not get enough traction in the software industry media to get additional coverage. A lot of primary influencers in the software industry do no signficant research other than reading a few magazines.

3. Custom Work. If your company also offers services, you can gain the per sale validation (as under #2 above) as well as offers for customer/service work.

Validation is the key here - its necessary to move out of being a weekend warrior shareware developer to a company if that is your goal. I've seen a great many excellent 1.0 releases that languish and are quickly eclipsed (if its a viable market, competition will come about quickly) by any competitor that is serious about product marketing.

There is nothing wrong with giveaways but they have to be executed well in order to get good results. For example, if you purchase Beginning Programming for Dummies 4th Edition you can get a free, non-transferable copy of Runtime Revolution 2.2.1. This has had almost zero impact on user support (if managed right) and its creating creative investment on the part of new users that in turn results in a very high conversion rate in upgrades later.

You can also find this reply on: http://www.digitalpilon.com/bb/viewtopic.php?p=74
Best regards,


Lynn Fredricks
Paradigma Software - Ultra Fast Database & Reporting Platform for LiveCode
http://www.paradigmasoft.com

Ian Wood
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Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2006 6:18 pm
Location: Devon, UK
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Re: Giving Away Your Product Can Pay

Post by Ian Wood » Tue Dec 05, 2006 6:06 pm

It seemed a particularly apt blog entry to point out, given that it covers issues relevant to a lot of people who use Rev.
Lynn wrote:There is nothing wrong with giveaways but they have to be executed well in order to get good results.
Seconded, with emphasis! I suspect the problem in this particular case is that it wouldn't have been connected to other marketing the company was doing, and that it would have been free copies of the current version of the app.
I can certainly see situations where it would be a good strategy, especially in a new niche where this could help you become the 'default' app for the purpose.
A semi-related tactic, of course, is the 'get your update/full copy before the price goes up' approach, which I've used myself quite successfully.
Lynn wrote:For example, if you purchase Beginning Programming for Dummies 4th Edition you can get a free, non-transferable copy of Runtime Revolution 2.2.1. This has had almost zero impact on user support (if managed right) and its creating creative investment on the part of new users that in turn results in a very high conversion rate in upgrades later.
I got started with Rev via a UK MacUser cover CD with a free non-upgradeable copy of Rev 1.1. The shareware app produced with it paid for a copy of Studio... :D

Anyone else with takes on this one?

Ian

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