In this article, MySignature email signature generator shares our experience of launching on the AppSumo platform. It won't be just another success story; we'll also explain how we inadvertently reduced our potential sales by 30%.
What is an AppSumo?
AppSumo is a platform that provides exclusive deals on software tools and digital products, connecting entrepreneurs and businesses with discounted lifetime deals.
A lifetime deal entails the customer paying only once and having access to the product throughout its entire lifecycle.
In essence, you possess the product, and AppSumo brings in the customers. Offering an attractive price for your product can attract a substantial number of potential customers, generating significant revenue.
In addition to selling your product at a substantial discount (e.g., 60-80%), you also share approximately 70% of the revenue with AppSumo (resulting in about 30% for you). The final proportion of revenue sharing can be changed and is discussible.
For some, it sounds totally insane. But here are a few benefits that can sweeten the bitter pill.
Our results from our AppSumo launch
Our AppSumo launch was divided into two parts: the first phase lasted for 6 weeks, and the second phase occurred after 6 months for 1 week. We achieved the following results:
- Ranked as the #3 product of the week
- 2,622 sales/customers
- $138,000 in total sales
- $46,026 as our income (MySignature's share)
- 93 reviews with a 4.08 rating
- More than 1280 tickets
- 240+ questions on the AppSumo platform
In general, we are satisfied with the results, but we acknowledge making one mistake that we believe may have reduced our potential income by about 30%. We will elaborate on this mistake and others below.
What do you gain when you run an AppSumo deal?
AppSumo boasts a sizable user base of approximately 800,000 users and nearly 3 million visitors eagerly seeking early access to software and attractive deals. Most of AppSumo's audience is from the US and other English-speaking countries. This presents an opportunity to acquire more than 2000 customers, which sounds great. However, it's important to note that AppSumo offers more than just monetary benefits.
Running an AppSumo deal guarantees an influx of feedback. Users will have numerous questions about your product, business, and your long-term plans.
After buying your product, a lot of users with different mindsets from various countries and platforms will test your service and ask questions, bringing huge benefits to the table if you still developing your go-to-market strategy. Be ready to handle a lot of bugs and suggestions tickets. We will discuss it further later.
SEO / PR
Participating in an AppSumo deal can yield SEO benefits, including external links to your website from coupon sites (best deals) and potential media coverage if your product captures interest.
Army of 300 spartans
AppSumo users, after purchasing your deal, are encouraged to leave reviews about your service and participate in surveys in exchange for additional benefits, such as extra credits for their lifetime deals. These users are valuable assets to your business; they tend to be more active than your regular buying customers and can play long-term relationships.
Future upgrades and upsells
As mentioned above, AppSumo users can play a long-term role in your business. You can attempt to sell additional offers 6-9 months after concluding the AppSumo launch to customers. This might involve upgrading their lifetime deals with more credits. However, be prepared to offer competitive prices.
Additionally, it's also fair to highlight some disadvantages and negative aspects of running the AppSumo deal.
Impact on branding traffic sales
When running an AppSumo deal, it typically spans a few weeks, including an additional "Last Call" period after the main launch. In the case of MySignature, our AppSumo deal page ranked as the #2 result in Google search results for our brand keywords. Given that branding traffic is highly convertible into sales, we observed a slight decrease in the conversion rate for branding traffic during the AppSumo deal.
Our hypothesis is that some customers who Google "MySignature" and are familiar with AppSumo may choose to buy the lifetime deal on AppSumo rather than on our site. Although not a significant problem, it's essential to be mindful of this, especially if you have substantial traffic from brand keywords.
In our case, we ran Google ads to secure an additional link in Google results and mitigate potential negative consequences.
Need for team mental health recovery
While it may sound like a joke, AppSumo users are not as willing to wait for bug fixing and customer support answers as your regular users. Your entire team, especially support, will be under immense pressure during the initial and final days of the AppSumo launch.
Despite making pre-launch preparations such as creating an FAQ and knowledge base, and reinforcing your support team with new members, it usually isn't enough to strike the right balance between customer satisfaction and team intensity. Be prepared to receive some negative reviews for perceived "long" support answers. And, of course, consider organizing a celebration after the launch to help your burned-out team recover. :)
How to start a launch on AppSumo
You can run your product on AppSumo either independently or when AppSumo invites you and assists with the preparation (Appsumo select). The latter is our situation.
After signing the agreement with AppSumo, your preparation should commence. The AppSumo team will offer recommendations and outline a roadmap for you:
Record demo videos
Create demo videos showcasing your product. Some parts of these videos will be used in the promotional material.
Provide key messages
Prepare key messages about your product, your future plans, detailed descriptions, and notable features.
Collaborate with the technical team to implement necessary integrations with the AppSumo API. This includes setting up integrations with AppSumo API for selling, activating, and processing refunds for your product.
In addition to these steps recommended by AppSumo, we'll share our experiences on what else you should do for a successful launch.
It is crucial to prepare FAQs and a Knowledge Base in advance; you will link these resources to the AppSumo deal page.
After the launch, users will often ask similar questions. To enhance your support team's efficiency, consider collecting answers to frequently asked questions and creating templates. This approach saves time and avoids crafting responses from scratch for similar inquiries.
The next step is to prepare the roadmap for your product, as AppSumo users often inquire about future plans. Anticipate that users will request new features, so create a special form for feature requests.
We used Google Forms for this purpose. Additionally, allocate time slots in your roadmaps for the most requested features. For example, the CNAME feature was highly popular among our AppSumo users, and we incorporated it into our roadmap, contributing to additional sales. Here is an example of our Roadmap and Feature Request Form.
AppSumo will handle all marketing aspects, running ads on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and others. They will also create a promotional video for YouTube. For highly popular products, AppSumo might include your product in their weekly email digest (1.5M+ email distribution list), providing 2-3 spikes in sales during the launch period.
In general, you may not need to exert extra effort to sell your product. However, we experimented with some additional marketing strategies to promote our deal on AppSumo.
Social media groups
We promoted our deal on Facebook and Reddit groups.
To do this, we searched for AppSumo deal, LTD, and other relevant keywords to identify the most related groups. It's crucial to note that you need to do this before the launch because some groups are closed, requiring an invitation and approval.
Also, check if everyone can publish posts or if you need to contact the admin for approval. In return, they may ask you to activate one of your Tiers on AppSumo for free.
Facebook groups serve as an excellent additional marketing channel for your deal, leading to dozens of extra sales. Be prepared to respond to questions in the comments section of your post. You can find our list of tested Facebook groups for promoting our deal.
Other marketing ideas
Find special YouTube channels that create deal/product video reviews or conduct interviews.
Discover websites that feature the best monthly deals. For an extra fee, you can attempt to feature your deal in some prominent spots.
AppSumo does not recommend and, in some cases, forbids certain noise marketing promotions — they manage all promotions on their side. This is why we refrain from running giveaways with certain Facebook groups.
The key element of the successful AppSumo launch
Here is the key success element that we learned during the AppSumo launch.
Reviews are crucial! The quantity and rating play a significant role in your deal, visibly in special sections on AppSumo, but they also play a decisive role in the decision-making process of whether to buy your deal or not.
How do we encourage reviews?
First of all, you should set up an automatic email sequence for AppSumo users to leave reviews; you can offer some extra credits as a thank you.
Your support team should also ask customers to leave a review, especially if the customer is satisfied.
AppSumo users always look for social proof of products on resources they trust. So be sure that you also have a good rating on G2 and TrustPilot.
Work with negative reviews
A negative review is not the final verdict. You can ask the user to change their review if you solve his/her problem and send a special form. The AppSumo team will provide you with the link to such a form.
Another important aspect is learning how to be successful; you can learn from the mistakes we made and how to avoid losing 20-30% of sales.
One mistake - 30% less sales
Okay, we are uncertain about the number of sales we missed due to the following mistakes. Considering the amount of refunds, we anticipate that it might exceed 20-30% of our income.
Our mistake was the lack of clear identification for one of our AppSumo Tiers: Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3.
The issue arose because we employed different approaches to create our services.
Tiers 1 and 2 grant users access to the MySignature email signature generator, enabling them to create and manage signatures for themselves or their team and utilize the Gmail tracker feature.
On the other hand, Tier 3 (Agency Hub) is designed for resellers/agencies primarily seeking a solution for their clients to create and manage email signatures without the tracking feature.
Consequently, features like Gmail tracker were not technically available in Tier 3, unlike Tiers 1 and 2, which serve other business purposes and include Gmail tracker options.
This confusion led to AppSumo questioning why Tier 3, expected to be the most powerful plan encompassing all features from Tiers 1 and 2, lacked email tracking.
This confusion resulted in numerous negative reviews, inquiries to the support team, and comments in Facebook groups related to the AppSumo community.
Another oversight was our failure to provide clear plan descriptions outlining the differences between the plans.
Also, users who bought Tier 3 and expected all features from Tier 1 and 2 were disappointed when they didn't find the Gmail tracking feature. We completely understand users' frustrations and have provided all the necessary explanations.
To be frank, we didn't have full access to the deal page descriptions on AppSumo; that's why it took some time to contact AppSumo's content team and request changes in the text descriptions of the plan.
So, summing up our mistake, we would advise:
- Ensure that your plans are described absolutely clearly for users.
- Make the positioning of plan features logical and understandable for users. The best approach is when all plans include all features, and differences are in credit amounts.
- Don't expect users to read all the text. Surprise, surprise!
The main takeaway that we want to emphasize is to ensure that you provide clear deal descriptions.
Encourage reviews — they are fuel for selling your deals. And lastly, be ready to manage processes on the fly — bug fixing and adding new FAQs.
Don't forget to take a break after the AppSumo deal to reach new highs!
Was it Worth it?
Absolutely! The entire experience was undeniably valuable.
Collaborating with AppSumo enabled us to gain traction in a way that would have been extremely challenging through other means. Additionally, it facilitated valuable product feedback, significantly accelerating the development process.