How I increased sales of modules for CMS
Hello! My name is Konstantin, I am the author of several modules for ImageCMS website management system. About four years ago, I still did not understand how MVC, OOP works, I could not install any php framework from scratch. But getting to know the ImageCMS system (then still version 1.6 or 1.9), I figured it all out and for the next three years I worked only with this system, having made more than 60 projects on the basic version of this CMS.
In the course of working with the system, I lacked some functionality, in particular, there was no form constructor in the system box. Probably, for my part, I should say thanks to the developers for this. Because it was this fact that made me start to study writing modules for this CMS and, accordingly, all the intricacies of OOP and MVC.
Over three years, more than 5 modules have accumulated, which I developed for my own needs:
- xForm - form design module;
- Cart - module basket of goods with orders;
- Rating - material rating;
- Add - module for adding materials by users;
- Click - slideshow control module and click counting on banners.
When I saw that there was a demand for these things on the forum, I decided that it was time to raise not only karma on the forum, but also make up for the time spent on developing modules.
I set the prices for modules quite low, 300 rubles apiece, and for xForm I took 500 rubles each. There were 5-10 sales a month, and, as you know, for a resident of Kamchatka, where the minimum wage was about 13,000 rubles (for comparison, in Ukraine no more than 5,000 rubles), the average payment was 30,000-40,000 rubles, such a profit did not give a chance switch to full-time module development and deal only with them.
The first thought for increasing sales was to create a key protection system for the modules. Since many people use modules on different sites, you can bind keys to domains and do up-selling keys for different domains. That is, after purchasing the module, you had to buy a key for each domain. On the LAN, respectively, the key was not required, so that it was easy to test.
The key pre-sale system increased the cash flow of interest by 20-30%, but still did not give the opportunity to completely switch from the "my hobby" stage to the "my business" stage.
Immediately I was faced with hacking my modules and selling them openly at the forum at low prices. It was both painful and pleasant at the same time. But to be honest, I felt sorry not for my sales, but for those people who buy a module from him, and then can’t upgrade, or get high-quality technical support. In the end, they will have to pay twice. So I rushed to save them, wrote to tech support, developers and forum administrators, and the pirate was quickly blocked. No one filed complaints, so we went further.
We connect marketing
Sales went by themselves, the number of keys was replenished in the system, but there were not the results that I expected. In September 2013, I took marketing courses at one cool training company. Then I first structured the knowledge that I had and learned about the concept of Langing Page. Do not laugh, the era of landing pages is just beginning in Kamchatka.
Then I decided to completely change the standard module sales scheme for CMS, and the most important thing is probably to increase the average bill. What I've done?
First, I decided not to sell one module at a time, but immediately all my modules in bulk. Such a wholesale sale deprived me of the opportunity to use keys, but it gave me other advantages, namely, an increase in the average receipt of a single sale.
Second, I made a landing page with a time-limited offer, “Five of the best paid modules, for only 990 rubles instead of 2500 in one package!”. The commodity locomotive of course was the xForm module, mostly bought because of this module. The offer was very cool and profitable.
Third, it was necessary to automate sales, that is, to make them without my participation. The AutoOffice service came to my aid, which aggregated payment systems, accepted payments and distributed goods to the consumer.
And the last, probably the most important thing, is the attraction of traffic. I launched Vkontakte targeting for the ImageCMS group, set up Yandex.Direct, Google.Adwords. I rummaged through my mail, where they usually wrote to me when they wanted to buy modules, collected about 100 addresses of my clients and started the newsletter. I wrote on the forum about the action and on other sites where my target audience could live.
As a result of all the manipulations, I did not get the results that I was counting on, but I got a huge experience in building online sales, online marketing. I managed to get a net profit of 12,000 rubles in a relatively short period of time.
I think in a niche like modules for CMS, this is a good result. I hope you find my experience useful.
Thanks for attention.