A few tips on selling SOFTWARE ...

by Raydal
11 replies
There's a way to sell houses, cars, food, furniture, professional
services and clothing. Even though there are similarities in
selling all of these stuff, there are also important differences
that a copywriter must recognize.

It's often said that a house will sell itself. This may sound like
an insult to all the hard-working real estate agents, but the point
is that a house hunter either likes the house and location or he
doesn't. There may not be much a real estate agent can do but to
show the house and then step out of the way to let the prospect
fall in love with the property.

Maybe the same can be said of a car. You test drive a car and fall
in love with the feel, handling and looks--including the looks you
think you'll get from others while driving it.

Selling professional services on the other hand takes a lot of
persuasion and convincing the prospect that you are capable of
doing what you claim you can do.

I've seen so many sales letters online that try to sell everything
with the same structure and outline. This is a mistake. What must
be included and addressed in selling an ebook is different when
selling software.

Like selling a house you may say that software will sell itself. If
you give away a trial version of the software with a simple manual
or explanation about what it can do, then the prospect will
convince himself that this tool is for him.

Second in effectiveness to giving away trial version is to
demonstrate what the software does right in the sales letter. Not
only will the demonstration show what the software is capable of
but it will also show how easy or difficult it is to use.

Now when writing a sales letter to sell a piece of software, as the
copywriter, I want to answer the three BIG QUESTIONS:

1. What can this tool help you to accomplish easier than you're
presently doing it?
2. How easy is it to use?
3. How can you get it?

So there is a special way to sell software. You have to first tell
what PROBLEM the software solves and the frustration prospects are
currently having with these problems so you get the reader's
sympathy and attention.

Then you must introduce and DEMONSTRATE how to use the software
emphasizing all its FEATURES attached to the BENEFITS and how EASY
it is to use. Your beta testers should have had questions (FAQ)
which are really OBJECTIONS so you must answer those objections in
your copy.

You then show the results that users are getting from using the
software and invite the prospect to join the party.

Also if this software is not the first of its kind on the market,
then it's best to COMPARE the software to the leading competitor.
If it's new then you will have to educate the prospect on what it
does. Comparing provides an easy shortcut to educating the prospect
since he would already be familiar with your competitor's product.

In summary, you generally don't need a lot of persuasion to sell
software if you can let the software do the selling. And people are
better at convincing themselves that they need your software than
you will ever be. They start using the software and get addicted
and just must have it--hopefully.

Like that puppy the pet shot allows you to take home to see if you
like him? There's not way you're taking that cutey back! And pet
shop owner knows that.

-Ray Edwards
#selling #software #tips
  • Profile picture of the author JamesDLayton
    I would think B2B software like accounting or customer database, the simple approach would be a free trial. But offer instructional videos or even online support to get the client using it ASAP. Once your accounts are all fired into the new system it's easier to just buy the damn thing than drag your info back out and try something else.

    Maybe?

    James
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  • Profile picture of the author cobra tatham
    Great advice Ray. Demos of software are essential especially when the product is easy to use and gets results. People want an easy button and providing useful software to make mundane tasks manageable will always sell.
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  • Profile picture of the author IDoTheLegWork
    You missed an important point when selling into a
    market with competing software:

    You must show how safe and easy it is to transition
    from the competing product.
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    ..and you WILL contribute a verse.
    Indifference is the enemy that must be conquered.
    Appeal to the crowd by addressing the person.

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    • Profile picture of the author TracyBelshee
      What are your thoughts on the choice between a websites main page and a landing page?

      The product I'm working on right now, the landing page is the main page with links to several other areas.

      I'm thinking of focusing on a landing page instead with a medium length sales letter and possibly short video if that is an option.

      Do you find software sells better on a landing page itself? And if so, should I have any link at all to the website or simply have that available after the purchase?

      It seems to me the landing page would be a better option with the chance to buy right there but I'd appreciate your thoughts.
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  • Profile picture of the author AlanCarr
    Software is my speciality as a copywriter and IDoTheLegWork makes a valid point.

    Many people make the mistake of thinking that free demos of software will make the sale for you, but there are HUGE obstacles to getting them to even try the demo!

    For a start there is time. They may have looked at 3 or 5 or even 10 competing products and downloaded some of them. They may have tabs open all over the place looking at reviews. For them to download and install your software is a considerable time investment, and then there's the time spent evaluating it. Why would they even bother, if you haven't already sold it to them in their mind with the copy?

    The next big one is risk. Suppose this download is a virus, or infected in some way? Suppose it changes the settings on their computer? Suppose it's hard, or even impossible, to uninstall? Suppose it deletes or damages their data? Suppose it reveals private data? The unknown is risky.

    Another is compatibility. Does it work with their operating system, does it fit within their company's privacy policies or general IT policies? Does it need the internet to run? Does it work with the file types they need? It it backwardly compatible with blah blah etc etc.

    If your headline doesn't sell the sales copy and the sales copy doesn't sell the free demo, what is the free demo gonna sell?

    Nothing.

    Software IS different - but you still have to sell it.



    AC
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    • Profile picture of the author Raydal
      Originally Posted by AlanCarr View Post

      Many people make the mistake of thinking that free demos of software will make the sale for you, but there are HUGE obstacles to getting them to even try the demo!
      That's why I said in the OP that you have to demonstrate the use of the software
      on your website. In this way you don't have to depend on them downloading
      the trial version to see how it works.

      You raised some other good factors to consider.

      -Ray Edwards
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  • Profile picture of the author shawnlebrun
    If a picture's worth a 1,000 words... then a demonstration of the software is worth 1,000 words of copy you don't have to write. Why try to explain how it works... when you can show what it does.

    Good thread Ray... I agree wholeheartedly on the power of demonstrating software... after all... the reader knows that what you're SAYING can be hyped up... but it's a whole 'nother lever of proof when you can show the reader what it does.
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    • Profile picture of the author celente
      Originally Posted by shawnlebrun View Post

      If a picture's worth a 1,000 words... then a demonstration of the software is worth 1,000 words of copy you don't have to write. Why try to explain how it works... when you can show what it does.

      Good thread Ray... I agree wholeheartedly on the power of demonstrating software... after all... the reader knows that what you're SAYING can be hyped up... but it's a whole 'nother lever of proof when you can show the reader what it does.
      a very good point, and we were bought up by geting read stories, and its a huge part of our lives, from when we are born to when we die.

      telling, is selling. Stories do sell big time. ANd the biggest one is PROOF, if you can do that, and mix them both in, you have already won the IM race.
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  • Profile picture of the author TracyBelshee
    I just wanted to ask about the sales letter/page vs the main website option again.

    The product I'm writing for has a website with a ton of information on it. The guy is a stand up guy with a great product, lots of reviews and VERY few returns on the product.

    My thought is to do a separate landing page for him rather than doing the main page over. What would you recommend?

    It seems to me that a separate landing page would be best. One that covers some of the main benefits for the customer along with a "story" of the product and reviews. Also, probably, a shorter version of the video he currently has. Currently it's an hour long with a step by step of using his software from start to finish.

    He currently has links to all the various pages on his site and links that take you out of his site (to some competition, various related sites and links to successful users of his product.

    Would you redo the main site page? Or do a separate landing page that has less overall information, but touches the key points and no outbound links other than to the CTA?

    And if you did a separate landing page/sales letter, would you have any links to the main site? Or simply leave that for after the purchase was made?

    Thanks for your thoughts
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    • Profile picture of the author Raydal
      Originally Posted by TracyBelshee View Post

      It seems to me that a separate landing page would be best. One that covers some of the main benefits for the customer along with a "story" of the product and reviews. Also, probably, a shorter version of the video he currently has. Currently it's an hour long with a step by step of using his software from start to finish.
      For my clients I find what works best is to have a separate landing page to
      capture email addresses and then send them to the main page right away
      while using an autoresponder series to keep selling different aspects of
      the product. Each email will point them back to the main letter but
      emphasizing different aspects (benefits) of taking action right away.

      -Ray Edwards
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      • Profile picture of the author TracyBelshee
        Just for clarification, are you referring to a landing page that is generally short and is primarily aimed at getting the email?

        The project I'm on doesn't include an email campaign at the moment, that's why I'm asking. He has affiliates set up and they go straight to his main website and are either sold right there, or they go elsewhere.

        I'd like to make the best use of the letter I'm writing, and who knows, maybe it'll turn in to more, but right now it's just the sales letter.

        Sorry for so many questions, I'd just like to make sure this turns out well for him.
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