5 Ways PowToon Made Me Want to Buy Their Software
Powtoon is online software that lets you create animated powerpoint presentations, without the steep learning curve of Adobe Flash. The selling techniques they use are simple and powerful. Even though I saw through their tricks at every step along the way, I am now a customer and proud of it. It is worthwhile to look at what they did, because these are simple things that you can do to improve your software business.
Help users remember your app with emailAs soon as I signed up with powtoon, the emails started. By the fifth day of the constant barrage I started marking them as spam. But for those five days, my inbox was a constant reminder that Powtoon was there and waiting for me. Since it was on my mind, I mentioned it to three other people in conversations I had. If the emails weren't there, I might be still struggling to remember the name of that cartoon site I signed up with, instead of being a paying user. What was that name again? Powertoon.io? Powrtoon.com?
HomeworkIf you offer software as a service, you should have an email campaign that offers helpful tips, as a way of reminding people of where they've been. Emailing every day is excessive, however.
Go read the
user manual $23 ebook we're giving you FREE!
Sadly, for users coming from Google Docs or PowerPoint, Powtoon's first-use experience still confusing and it is enormously helpful to read the manual. Many people read the manual without realizing it because it is delivered in the form of an Ebook, with a value attached to it. "You could buy this book from Amazon for $23!" says the copy, "or download it here FREE".
When I get a free book I usually toss it in the recycling. But if it's worth money, I'll probably read it.
HomeworkSometimes users need to read the manual to get the most out of your product. If reading the manual is a part of your sales funnel, and you should do everything you can to get people to read it. Package it as an E-book to get more people through this stage.
Price for value, not competition
Powtoon could have looked at Adobe Creative suite and priced their product cheaper. But Adobe is not the competition. Instead, the much larger, richer market of skilled powerpoint folks are looking at Powtoon, and comparing it with professional video design. From that perspective it looks like a bargain.
HomeworkUnless your goal is to be acquihired, it is difficult to build a business on $9/month. If your software has no plan that costs at least $100/month, try to think of some feature that would be a must-have for businesses. For big companies, cost doesn't matter, as long as your highest plan has something they need.
A clear reason to buy
It is easy to make software that hides the premium features away. They are grayed out and pushed to the end of the list. I've done it myself. For users, its like living in a cosy room. If you ignore the locked door behind the couch, you can forget that it is the foyer of a mansion.
At every step, Powtoon reminds you that you are missing the majority of its capabilities. While choosing a background tune, I had to scroll through hundreds of songs that I could play but couldn't use. Only about five songs were available, but they were strewn through the list. Every other item of clipart is only available in the highest-cost plan, but again, you have to scroll through them. You can make a great video without paying anything. You are free to use any song or image that you can upload. But you leave with the deep sense that the software is crippled.
HomeworkDo users on your free plan say that they don't see any reason to buy? If the premium features are hidden away, it's time to make them more visible.
The powtoon Agency plan serves two purposes. Firstly, it lets users who can pay more do so. Some users don't care how much something costs don't want to have to think about it. These users have an option to pay more. But I am not one of them.
The Agency plan is listed first on the pricing page, and psychologically anchors the value of the rest of the plans. When I first used Powtoon I was stuck by the high cost. I couldn't justify it, so I resolved to use the free plan. But a few days later I saw this:
A few days after I signed in, Powtoon sent me this offer. It made me rethink things in a hurry. With this sale, and the "savings" of over $400 buy-now-before-it's-too-late plastered on my monitor every time I sign in, they successfully reframed the middle tier as a bargain.
HomeworkIn your pricing page, what techniques do you use to get people from the free tier into the middle tier plan? How can you use the high-cost tier to reframe the value of the other plans?
So what did I end up making?I whipped together a video for my consulting product, Zwibbler. Zwibbler is a drop-in solution that lets users draw in your web app.
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If software seems overpriced to you, then you are not in its target market. Software developers have a tough time with this because all software is free if you know how to use it and find it. My general advice to all software developers who have made something is to take what it is worth to you, and multiply it by 10 or 100. That is what it is worth to non-technical people, or people who have more money than time.