I’m selling Win based desktop utility since 2005. It’s been ok, and since I’m main player in a small niche (MSMQ tools), I could get by without much marketing. I have to work on marketing and sales, no doubt about that, even if I don’t like it much. Btw. MSMQ is messaging broker which ships with Windows and has lousy built-in management console - even most Win developers don’t know about it. I did say it’s small niche.
For multiple reasons, this product is not a good fit for Saas, so I’m stuck with traditional model - paid upgrades for major new releases. In theory, income potential is not THAT different from subscription model - if I release new versions on 2-3 years and make users pay let’s say 40% for upgrades, it could be comparable to some SAAS which bills annually 15-20% of this amount. Plus, I get full license price at time of sale instead of getting it in span of few years.
That’s theory. In practice, I’m not very good with motivating old users to upgrade. If I could get 50% to upgrade, I would be ecstatic. I recently released new version, sent only one email to a list, but just got handful of upgrades. Yes, it was in December when B2B slows down, but I can certainly do better. I set up 30% discount until Feb 7th to add some time pressure but it doesn’t seem to help much. I do plan to send few more emails to existing customers. It’s a no brainer but a question is what to put there and in what frequency.
- Maybe one email per week as this gets close to the end of promotion? Showcase 1-2 of new features in each of these emails?
- create some video demos of new features and send it to a list. Anyone tried with video? For now I just have new features listed on a page.
- make some content related to niche, make it primary subject of email, and put upgrade reminder to the bottom?
Additionally, I plan to list 50-100 largest customers and email and follow up manually with them, start some discussion, etc. More or less traditional sales. It’s ok to invest a bit more time in them since they’re most valuable customers, but I’m not sure how successful I’ll be. Should I also send them these automatic emails everyone else will get or handle them separately?
Anyone here dealt successfully with this problem?