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First application launched and having trouble getting traction


#1

Hi everyone,

A friend and I have developed a Windows Desktop Application which allows users to instantly stream ANY video file directly to their Apple TV and Chromecast device.

Our Successes:
•We have very good feedback from our users.
•Our conversions from our website is quite good (10% download our free trial, 10% of those convert, ~1% conversion rate).
•First time for both founders selling software completely online.

Weaknesses
•Generating enough traffic.
•We have a competitor with a much larger budget, we have some key advantages but having trouble expressing them (and getting in front of the users to express the differences)

Our app is selling for $15USD at the moment so paid advertising would be incredibly difficult with a life time value of $15.

Our product is PopCast and can be found at www.popcastapp.com.

If anyone has any ideas or suggestions on how we can solve some of our weaknesses, I would be very grateful.

Thank you,
Cory.


#2

This is generally the hardest part of any software business.

I would suggest trying the following:
-Do basic on-page SEO.
-Write some “how to” articles that might be of interest to the sort of people that might like to use your product. Get ideas by looking at “Apple TV” and “Chromecast” related searches in the Adwords keyword tool. Put the articles on your website with a big ad for your product at the bottom of each article.
-Find places that have reviewed your competitors and product and see if you can get them to review your product.

Ask your users for feedback. Use their words.

Also consider charging more. $30 is the ‘default’ price for a Windows utility. Do people even take you seriously at $15?

Can you find other ways to make money off your customers? Perhaps some sort of affiliate deal to upsell them a (reputable!) video service? Are you going to charge for major upgrades? “free upgrades for life” is almost always a big mistake.


#3

Yes, $15 is too low.

For people who are willing to pay, the difference between 15 & 30 is negligible.


#4

Thanks Andy and Shantnu.

Interesting, we were looking at lowering our price. However we will try it at the raised price and see how it affects our conversions.

Andy, thanks for the advice on SEO. I’ll work on some posts in the coming weeks and try to improve the on-page SEO of our existing pages.

Thanks again,
Cory


#5

@coryjthompson

Is your home page traffic static? Or growing? If you are already experiencing, say, 5% month-on-month growth, then that’d imply you are already doing the right things to get traffic. You just need to keep doing what you are doing, and persevere.

An approach I used to gain backlinks, traffic, and Google-juice in the first couple of years of my product was to add to my purchase page, a section with a headline like “Are you a blogger or journalist? Want for free?” Then it described how if they wrote a review, good or bad, they could get a free license. I made a couple of simple conditions; the blog had to be active and established. This got me dozens of reviews in multiple languages, and a couple of video reviews.


#6

Also, consider adding PayPal as a payment option. PayPal is a third of my sales. A friend the other day said he almost ended up not buying an online product because there was no PayPal option.

Also, I noticed you are not obtaining customer zip codes. This implies you are doing a less-than-ideal Stripe fraud detection. This is dangerous. You could find yourself suddenly exposed to a lot of fraudulent sales, which is worse than you probably think. To see why you should read:

I’m quite critical of Stripe in this regard - they oversell the ease of using their system by giving basic examples that are not good enough for real-world use.


#7

I’m such a person myself. I prefer to use PayPal and give out my CC# only really reluctantly. Reason is that I don’t have a “real” credit card but just a debit card that is linked to my bank account. It acts like a real credit card for all payment purposes but the money is deducted instantly from my bank account. So if someone goes on a shopping spree with my stolen CC# I’m in trouble because there’s no cc bill I can dispute - the money is just gone and I somehow need to get it back. (Which I will - but until then I’m out of funds).

Here in the region (Central Europe) most credit cards in existence work that way and I heard from friends that they have the same worries.

So yeah, by all means: offer PayPal.


#8

@SteveMcLeod @jls Thanks, PayPal is currently in progress. Having trouble getting the PayPal Business Account activated unfortunately.

@SteveMcLeod Our traffic isn’t really growing. I think writing some articles like @Andy suggested and doing some more onpage SEO will help us moving forward. We hadn’t focused on that to start off with because we couldn’t even rank with our own name. We now have a little bit of SEO juice that we may be able to rank for more terms.

I love your idea of having the free licences for bloggers and journalist and i’ll be adding that part to our website tonight.

Thanks for your advice on Stripe. We are looking to move to braintree as part of including PayPal and i’ll ensure we add fraud detection.

Thank you everyone, the advice has given me much more clarity and a clear roadmap to get into the next stage.


#9

I realise this doesn’t answer your “how to generate more traffic” question, one more optimisation I’d recommend for your purchase page is to get rid of the “coupon” input element. Only show if a certain query string is used.

A coupon box is a leak. Some customers, upon seeing the coupon code, will stop purchasing, and go searching via Google for a coupon. They might not come back, due to distractions, or finding a competitor.


#10

That is incredibly helpful @SteveMcLeod . I would never have considered that.

I’ll have to leave it for another week or so, as I recently sent out some coupon codes to bloggers with instructions. Once I can safely assume no one else will be using that box i will remove it and send urls in the future.


#11

I just bought your app actually so feel somewhat qualified to offer my 2c worth :wink:

(Nice work on both your site and app BTW - it did ‘just work’).

So I had searched for something like this before - stream / cast video from desktop to chromecast and as is the way with the internet found LOADS of advice, much of it crap and some of it outdated.

E.g. lots of stuff about how to load video in Chrome and then cast tab - or cast entire screen but this resulted in dismal performance for me (on high spec hardware and reasonable network).

So your content marketing challenge is a hard one - how to rise above all that crap out there. (Actually most people embarking on content marketing have the exact same problem and many just contribute to the non-sense!)

Some concrete ideas :-

I am assuming you have some ‘drip’ type campaign when you took email for trial download? If not get cracking (see getdrip.com or Patio11’s stuff for inspiration)

Pages to explain (in plain language) and obviously with calls to action to try out popcast :-

Good luck!


#12

Congats on the launch!

Sorry to get into “marketing speak” here, but I have a few quick notes/questions:

  • I’ve checked out the product; while it seems cool, it doesn’t seem like you’ve really defined the pain point. Or audience? What is the problem that PopCast solves, and who does it solve it for?

  • What’s the reason to believe? Do people stream AVIs and MKV files at work, or are they mostly watching MPGs, MOVs, or streaming videos from YouTube, etc.?


#13

How would you approach defining the audience?


#14

Corey, please do tell us how things are in one or two month’s time after implementing some of the ideas we offered!


#15

This is a great point. I know as a consumer if I see a coupon code field on signout that the first thing I do is go to google for coupon codes. :stuck_out_tongue: I’ve never really thought about this so I’m glad it was mentioned as I now know what not to do on my own site! :smile:


#16

Thank you - I’ve set aside this week to implement these changes and i’ll make sure I give updates in 1-2 months time. :slight_smile:


#17

Soooooo much good advice here. I’m in the same boat as you, @coryjthompson, and am excited you asked this question. Going to be implementing lots of these suggestions as well!


#18

Google “Price as signal” or something similar. Basically, your price indicates the product’s quality. If the app looks slick, has a polished interface and nice installer, you might want to seriously consider raising the price to $50 or more. Look at what your competitor charges – you don’t want to be too much less than them, and maybe more.