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What it’s like to run a campaign on AppSumo. Viewst 1st month on air.

How do start-ups usually celebrate their anniversaries and great results? Yep, parties!
The Viewst team, however, has decided to mark its first anniversary in a completely different way altogether: starting a 60-day AppSumo campaign.
A bit odd you might think. Perhaps, but Viewst is nurtured by people who are inspired by and in love with it, and a fresh new project phase is far more exciting than a party.
Here’s what it’s like to be on the #1 digital marketplace for entrepreneurs.

DEAL

Viewst is offering a really insane lifetime deal that is a quarter of the price of a year of our Pro+ plan.
The different tiers are based on our customers’ needs to ensure their purchases offer the best value possible.

PREPARATION FOR LAUNCH

Preparation for the AppSumo launch lasted three months, with essentially the entire Viewst team involved.
And there was lots to do: tech issues and integrations, site load testing, releases of all bug fixes, marketing material designs, a new batch of templates, copywriting for all releases, blogs, posts, etc.
We also decided to create our own landing page (http://appsumo.viewst.com/) for the deal to make it easier for customers to make the right decision for them and answer all frequently asked questions.

Another equally important part of the preparation was to develop an organisational plan for the whole team for at least the first week of the campaign. It was essential to split the team into parts so that support was available 24/7. The team was divided into groups of two-to-three people who worked for 8 hours each the whole first week of the campaign.
The week before the launch was devoted to double-checking so that we were well-prepared and avoided any force majeures.
Preparation is one of the most important parts of the job, but that was just the start of the show.

THE LAUNCH WOW DAY: FIRST DAY OF THE CAMPAIGN

When the “start” button was clicked the crazy week under the aegis of AppSumo began. The first three days were the most intense with dozens of questions on the deal page and tons more in the support chat.
Moreover, some bugs appeared but the tech team fixed them very quickly.
The first 24 hours were non-stop with the results to prove it. We had 170 purchases with only 5% requesting refunds, 34 reviews, and 41 questions.

MARKETING

All campaigns run a dual marketing drive.
The AppSumo team posts on their social media – that have a huge following, by the way – and run ads. There is a second, more powerful instrument – mailing. The first newsletter announcing the new product on board is sent out for every newcomer; however, bundle email newsletters for AppSumo audiences are available depending on the quantity of sales and reviews.
Viewst was included in two mailings. And that was a good sales push, of course.
AppSumo hosted a webinar (https://bit.ly/3anDdcz) with Victoria Duben, Founder/CEO to show how to create a banner from scratch and answer all questions about the deal.
Further marketing is where the Viewst team came in.
Typically Sumolings can spread info about their deal whenever they want to.
So, our initial steps were to post the announcement on all our social networks and send a newsletter to our customer database.
However, the first trick was to offer double video limits for the first 20 honest reviews on our deal page. This was an effective marketing decision as we received these 20 customers in half a day.
The next marketing push was via Facebook groups. For our LTD offers we chose three groups with the highest number of subscribers, and agreed with the admins to have our own post there. This is an example of the group (https://bit.ly/3dzyfLC) and how it all works. The push worked well, with sales increases on some days.
The next but not the last marketing trick was to release two more Tiers with extended limits. We initially started with one Tier, but in a month we were with three Tiers for different customer audiences. Those who need Viewst for creating banners for social networks and so on can affordably buy Tier1. Those from marketing agencies who need Viewst for their clients and consequently need full automation, collaboration, more videos and so on, and afterwards bulk generation, can buy Tier2 or Tier3. The price for the latter is also affordable and reasonable.
Introducing new Tiers prompted the next big sales boost.
We then repeated all our previous standard marketing approaches – posts on social networks, a newsletter to early AppSumo customers with special incentives for them and to the rest of our database, updates on Facebook groups and so on.

MONTHLY RESULTS

It’s too early to draw conclusions, but nevertheless we got tons of reviews and advice for further development. As of today, the results in numbers are:

  • 935 sales
  • $45K+ revenue
  • 46 reviews on the deal page
  • 33 mentions in Mass Media and social networks
  • a rise in subscribers on all our own social pages
  • $22K sale amount with our referral link

The show must go on. We shall see the final results in 60 days at the end of May.

  1. 4

    Ive been approached by app sumo a couple of times and was very close to pulling the trigger. I even built the integration onto songbox.

    However I just couldn’t justify the massive costs. My main concern was how current customers would feel. How did you deal with existing customer concerns?

    1. 2

      That is a good question though.
      But I think that it is not a big issue for current customers. As AppSumo campaigns are time limited so it can be as a part of marketing campaign. And current users also can buy a LTD. Moreover, they even can post first positive reviews on a deal page so to increase your sales on AppSumo.

      1. 1

        I've also been contacted by AppSumo to promote one of my online services. The reason I decided not to go ahead is because of the amount of long term articles they would leave online about the deal.

        For example there have been several times when I have found a service I liked online, then when looking for reviews I see an article about the 75% discount that AppSumo ran for the company a year ago. All of a sudden I feel like a chump paying full price so I don't buy the product/service.

        I know its a bit early to evaluate this possible side effect, but have you considered the long term effects that such a large discount on your service could be? I would love to hear how your sales have increased or decreased a few months after the end of the promotion.

        1. 1

          Of course, we've considered all long term effects that could appear for such LTDs. That's why we have long discussions on the deal price and further support.
          As o mentioned earlier, one of the main points should be evaluating whether your product and team are ready for such crash test.

          And yes, I'm also very excited to see what will happen in 2-3 months after. But anyway, we will use other marketing approaches after the end of the AppSumo campaign.
          Let's keep in touch!

  2. 3

    Great work. Glad you had a positive experience with AppSumo. I was beginning to think I was the only one. Been on Appsumo almost a year now and still like it.

    1. 1

      Thanks!
      Hope our experience will be even more positive at the end of the campaign)))
      What product do you have? Share some your tips)

      1. 2

        I sell Better Sheets on Appsumo

        the only tip I have is be as absolutely responsive as possible. And stay positive. There are blood suckers out there in every group, every cohort. It just happens. As a solo founder I get a little zapped out of energy when I can't turn around a bad experience.

        1. 1

          Ahh yep, there are lots of blood suckers and lots of those who always ask for more and more to provide.
          But the patience is our good weapon!

  3. 2

    Thanks for sharing your experience.

    It would give more transparency if you shared not just your revenues but also the profits...

    The $45k revenue looks great for a month's work (without taking into consideration the preparation months), but when people find out that Appsumo takes a criminal 70% cut, then $13.5k doesn't look too impressive knowing you have to support some of those users for the lifetime of your SaaS.

    There are other deal sites/communities such as mine that take much less (65% to founder and 35% to us)...

    Yes, the volume might be smaller but you can still make the same or close to it, and you end up having to support less lifetime deal users (about half). Also, if existing customers finding out about the lifetime deal is an issue to you, a smaller community like ours is much more discreet in that regard.

    As an example, the same deal with us ($49) would give you the same amount of money with just 428~ sales instead of having to support 935 users for life. That's a big difference and that number of sales is achievable by smaller communities that will focus on 1 (or maximum 2 deals per month) rather than having to compete with dozens of deals at the same time on Appsumo and even direct competitors e.g. BannerBoo on at the same time...

    It's absolutely crazy to me that Appsumo would launch 2 (sometimes 4+) competing deals at the same time.

    Wish you all the best the rest of your campaign but Appsumo is not the same it used to be. Back in the day, companies could sell several thousands of codes as they hosted less deals... That doesn't happen anymore.

    1. 1

      Hey!
      Thanks for your such detailed description of your platform.
      I would not argue about AppSumo cos our goals were not only to get the revenue but to grow our brand awareness as well.
      But I would love to see your web-site)

      1. 2

        Makes sense... for brand awareness, they're the biggest company in the lifetime deals space for sure.

        I just find many other founders prefer to keep their lifetime deal promotion a bit more discreet, especially if they have MRR.

        You can join my group if you want a bit more exposure for your deal:
        https://www.facebook.com/groups/SaaSWiz

        1. 1

          Great! I will join definitely!

  4. 2

    Your team has put in so much hard work into the prep & launch. You totally deserve the success. I'm happy that our Facebook community was able to support you and be part of the launch journey.

    Looking forward to witness the future for Viewst :)

    1. 1

      Thanks for your help!
      We will do our best to rock!

  5. 2

    Thanks for your post and sharing experience 👍

    We're also negotiating with AppSumo about placement with https://pixiko.com/ And I worry about lifetimedeal because we work with video rendering and it's really expensive. Do you know how long the average appsumo's user uses the product?

    1. 2

      I have heard that only about 30% of LTD buyers actually uses the product. And the % of average and high usage uses will be lower.

      I personally have bought over 300+ lifetime deals but using less than 20% .

      1. 1

        Oh, thanks 👍 I also heard something like that or even about 10%.

        P.S. You're really techogeek (in good sense) 😁

    2. 1

      You are welcome! I’m always open to sharing experiences)

      I do understand you very well about video rendering, since we had exactly the same issues with our AppSumo customers. They were a little bit dissatisfied with video limits in the deal. But we were not able to extend them for that price cos we are in charge of video rendering.
      But as I mentioned on my previous comment it's essential to calculate all expenses and your price of the deal so to be able to provide lifetime deal.
      As to the frequency and duration of customer's use of the purchase, there are different cases. Someone uses very rarely and someone buys for a permanent use.
      So again, it’s all worth thoroughly calculating!

      1. 2

        Yeah, it's about calculating 🙂 It'd be cool if you'll share your future statistic about using level.

        Really nice to see worldwide technological projects coming from Russia) Good luck 🤗

        1. 1

          Thanks! We'll do our best!
          And, of course, I'll try to share our data about AppSumo deal usage.

  6. 2

    Viewst looks very nice - love the design. Also thanks for sharing your journey with AppSumo. We've been approached by some lifetime deal places and have so far said no. Even if the site took no commission, we still haven't been able to justify the cost (just doing a financial model). I've seen a bunch of just launched site say it is great for early customer feedback, but since you're celebrating a year would love to hear your perspective on was it worth it.

    I also think you meant $45K (935 * $49)

    1. 1

      Thanks for your comment! I usually try to write stories with our case studies cos it is very useful for those who want to try. Moreover, I usually investigate cases of others before starting to work with different platforms.

      I know lots of web-sites for discounted or lifetime deals. We decided to start from AppSumo as it is the biggest digital marketplace for today.
      Was it worth all that've done to be on it? - definitely Yes. We have 30 days more on AppSumo but even now I can say that we took a right decision. And it's not only about revenue.
      We had several goals: 1) user's feedback 2) the growth of brand awareness 3) load testing of the builder 4) news ideas for the further development and, of course, revenue.
      And you know what ? - We've already achieved all goals. And next month we will just try to increase the performance of those results. We really needed that push for the product so to talk with our customers, to make more custdev, to understand the real pain points and requests of our clients, to raise the revenue.

      But, one of the main points to think over before the start should be сalculating the financial figures taking into account the commission. If you don't earn anything on AppSumo so I'm not sure, as they say, "if the juice is worth the squeeze".
      The second but not less important point is to evaluate whether your team and product are ready for such a crash test. And it is really in that way as I call it -"crash test". First days are really tough for team to work 24/7 and to devote all the time to support or bug fixing.

  7. 1

    Hey Eve!

    Thanks so much for this honest post. We're on AS right now, but chose the marketplace because going on the main platform would ruin our costs to the ground.

    I can't for the life of me work out why a company doing 43k MRR (that's a serious number) that too all within a year (massive congrats to you!) decided to go down the LTD path again?

    1. 1

      Hi) Thanks for the congrats!

      As for your question I should tell you that this is our first time on AppSumo and running LTD campaign in general. Moreover, it's good push for brans awareness. And I would tell you the last one, AppSumo also helped us to get to that $43)

  8. 1

    $45 revenue? Probably a typo

    1. 1

      No. AppSumo campaign usually gives a really good boost of sales.

      1. 1

        Nono. In the last bullet point list, you've said $45+ revenue. Did you mean to say just $45 revenue?

        1. 1

          I've missed the letter "k")))
          Updated)

        2. 1

          there's a missing "k".

          935 sales * $49 price is $45k+ revenue.

          1. 1

            ahh! thank you very much for noticing it!

            1. 1

              appsumo doesn't take half of the revenue ?

              1. 1

                AppSumo, of course, has its commission.
                But it's worth of it. They make some marketing for it.

                1. 1

                  yes, i'm sure, they bring customers :)

                  1. 2

                    And this is really true! Especially after their bundle emails! But as we speak about LTDs so it would be a good marketing to think over upsells))

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