Getting your IT product to market

Getting your IT product to market Developing a software application is often more easy then getting it sold. In fact it can be a hard task making your software known to others. It might be the best software in the world but your competitors will always win if you don’t do some public relations.

In this article I want to show you how you can sell much more of your software while still not spending much money. This is even more important when your products have a low price.

There are basically four ways to make your product known.

1.SEO – Search Engine Optimization

SEO means Search Engine Optimization. It is a very complex topic and requires a lot knowledge. But once you understood it, you will see that this is the most cost efficient way. There are a lot great web sites like www.seochat.com who teach you everything about SEO in detail. SEO is all about optimization of your homepage. If you optimize your products web site and place enough keywords into it, take care of the HTML syntax and rules, then customers will find your product much easier when they use a search engine like Google, MSN or alike.

2. Software Submission

The easiest way to get more visitors is to submit your product to download and software web sites. This way you will have your software listed on more then your own homepage. The customers may not directly buy the software from you but from the software site who will then (depending on your order system) get a percentage from your profit (see chapter 4 Payment provider).

It can be very time consuming to submit your software since you have to fill out a lot of web forms with details about your software. This is a very boring task of account creation, validation by mail, image codes input and so on. You can avoid this by either letting some submission company do the job or by using tools that will do it all for you. I would always prefer the tool solution since then you have full control over the submission process. I have used several products over the years and must say that there are basically three to chose from; RoboSoft, PromoSoft and GSA Auto SoftSubmit.

Robosoft is known for having many options in it like Dynamic PAD or RSS Submission. Anyway most of these functions are useless and hardly ever used by normal software submission.

PromoSoft is better in my eyes since it has more web sites to submit to that RoboSoft and the interface is much better designed. But in the end both software solutions do the same job.

However I have been using GSA Auto SoftSubmit recently and it works far better then the other two. It can submit your software to more then one site at a time (multi threading), resulting in a much faster submission. The GUI is much easier to use and more simple. And the best of all is, that it has more then 9000 so called providers in it. Thats more then twice as much as RoboSoft and PromoSoft have included. Unfortunately not all of the sites are software submission sites. Anyway as long as it lists your product in the right category (Computer:Software for the directory submissions) it should be OK.

This is by far the most easiest and efficient promotion method. But as always, there is a disadvantage. All of the products above require a license code to be fully functional. But in my eyes it is worth the money since you will sell much more of your product than before.

3. PPC – Pay per Click

PPC means Pay per Click. This might work for you if the costs for your software are not to low and if it is not a niche product like ebook only. The best known PPC system is probably Adwords from Google. It has relatively high costs but since all your promotion is seen on the most widely used search engine, it is worth it. Once you have successfully finished some SEO you can cut the costs for this advertising solution and probably stop advertising with it. It’s a fine solution to be visible very fast without much extra work. Of course the costs can grow very quickly as well. But having a try with Adwords is a good idea. It can’t hurt.

4. Payment provider

You might have a payment system already since you sell software online. A lot people use PayPal but it is not that good when it comes to software. Most buyers still like to pay with credit card and without having to care about a PayPal account. There are a lot payment providers especially designed for software developers. One of the best known providers is RegNow. There are many more and also much cheaper providers but this is probably the most used one. And there are good reasons to use RegNow. Not only that it can handle all tasks for the ordering (create registration key, deliver software, create software on CD, ship the software by mail order, fraud protection…) but it can also be used to have your software being advertised by other RegNow affiliates. Once you have setup a product within your RegNow account, you can define how much of the profit another users gets if he advertises the product for you. This promotion is also part within other payment systems, but RegNow is accepted by many download sites. Your software will be listed on many other web sites automatically once you have setup your product.

Conclusion

There are many ways to advertise your products online. None of the four discussed methods might work 100% for you but they are a start. Especially if you buy a submission software like GSA Auto SoftSubmit you will get good results very quickly.

Sven Bansemer

Sven Bansemer — Advanced Product Advertising System for Developers http://software.submission.gsa-online.de