October 22, 2020

Ask IH: How to market single-purchase app?

seanr

So, I’ve got an app called Colormate (https://colormate.io). It’s a color picker, editor, and palette organizer that lives in your menubar. I believe it’s quite good, but sustaining sales has proven elusive despite a high conversion rate. It’ll get a little bump when posting certain places, but eventually sales evaporate again.

I’ve tried ads but the app is just too inexpensive for ads to be profitable. An option (A) is to make it like $14.99 and see if ads are profitable then, or (B) make it a subscription app somehow. I don’t really like (B) because I’m generally not a fan of non-service apps that charge like a service.

Pricing aside, on the marketing front, I could (C) improve SEO and organic traffic. This seems the best option for sustainable sales, but I’m not sure the best approach. Any advice or resources would be appreciated. Seems like 95% of the stuff you read it just generic on-page stuff like “use alt tags”. I think getting an article from a Mac site or something would be great, but not sure how to encourage that or if it’s just luck.

Related to (C) is (D) content marketing, but I don’t know how many articles I could write about color picking. Maybe some palette stuff and color-scheme analysis of popular websites would work. Would love to hear thoughts on the feasibility of content marketing given the product.

There’s also (E) the “plaster it everywhere” approach but so far this has just resulted in temporary sales bumps. And I’ve kinda run out of high quality places to plaster. If anyone knows of places that might be relevant I’d love to know.

Lastly, if you’re a marketer and would like to team up let me know!

P.S. I’ve done Gumroad and Mac App Store before landing on Stripe. Also I added the trial about three weeks ago and it hasn’t helped or hurt anything.

  1. 3

    Have you tried PR? There's a good Indiehackers podcast episode about growing your business with PR that Courtland put out a couple months ago: https://www.indiehackers.com/podcast/169-dmitry-dragilev-of-just-reach-out

    Maybe you could try finding and reaching out to some journalists who focus on design tools like yours.

    1. 1

      This looks great, thanks!

      1. 1

        👍 let us know how it goes!

  2. 3

    A few ideas

    1. Do Ads, Google and FB. If you have profit, reinvest and use retargeting, etc. to capture cheap ad rates since there's some purchase. Build up a list and make audience lookalikes. Experiment. Instead of paying FB $5 per day for a month: Spend $100 in 2 days. or $500 in 10 days. Even if you make your money back it's a win, you have the FB algo working in your favor.

    When I did ads for my newsletter I started at $3 per conversion to a free newsletter, ended 10 days later with about 30 cents per conversion.

    1. Do Influencer Marketing. Takes a lot of effort but will ultimately be low cost because you can give away your tool to people who will actually use it. Get into yt video lists of 5 tools every dev should use, or 10 tools to increase design productivity. Those things will churn out views and impressions for you for years.

    2. Try appsumo, even if you give away a free version, you may get 10k users: https://appsumo.com/partners/apply/

    1. 1

      Thanks for the feedback! I’ll definitely look into the FB ads and lookalikes. Haven’t tried that yet.

      App sumo looks interesting (I’d love to just offload the bulk of the marketing), but it looks like they’re only focused on SaaS.

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