In the first two posts, we talked about pre-launch strategies and launch strategies respectively. But remember, pre-launch is 3 months at the longest, launch is only about 1 to 2 weeks, but post-launch can last extremely long. Hypothetically, it can last forever if your theme/plugin is successful. That's why I want to use an entire post talking about 10 killer strategies that you can take actions on instantly to bring your theme/plugin to a success.
Before we begin the final day in this session, let's review the series outline:
Look for People Who Need Your Solution
Go on social networks, forums, discussion boards, communities, and use their search tools to find people who are looking for the solutions your theme/plugin provides. Post a reply with a link to your marketing site and tell them how it is going to fix their problems and make their lives easier.
Remember, do not become spammy. For example, if you are looking for opportunities on Twitter, do not use the same tweet template every time. Because once they noticed your timeline looks all the same, they know you are spamming. And that not only doesn't help you gain a sale, it also loses the trust from people.
Provide Exceptional Customer Service
Support is where top-notch themes/plugins can differentiate from crappy ones. If you provide high-quality support, your customers will be satisifed and more than happy to spread the word out about your theme/plugin. In contrast, if you provide low-quality support, your customers will probably go out and talk about the horrible experience they've just gone through. You can get any worse than that.
There are 6 different ways you can power up your customer service:
- Reply to support requests as soon as you see it. A prompt reply under 5 minutes can almost always prove you are a trustworthy and helpful company.
- Giving no answers is better than giving incorrect answers. Make sure your response to a request is accurate because mistakes are irreversible sometimes!
- Have a self-served FAQ area. This will not only reduce the amount of email inquiries, it will also make the customers happier because they can get instant answers instead of waiting for a reply, especially if it is something urgent.
- Do the extra work for the customers. If there are steps either you or your customers need to complete, do it yourself and save your customer some time.
- Be as personal as possible. This is a chance for you to build a strong relationship with your customers. So try to be as honest, polite, and personal as you can. Do not use corporate language, write as you are participating in a daily casual conversations with your customers.
- Don't hesitate to learn more about the customers. Once you get all the issues sorted out, do not afraid to learn more about the customers since the trust is already in place. You can ask where they originally heard about you or how they felt about the theme/plugin so far. The response rates tend to be very high.
Promote Through Education
If you know a lot about the space you are in, don't hesitate to publish things you think are useful for other people. Through constant, high-quality content publishing, you can build up a reputation as the expert in your area. And therefore, potential customers will have less worries when purchasing what you have to offer.
How-to articles are great ways to get started (just like the one you are currently reading). They are easy to remember, actionable, and will impact the readers because they feel they learn something right away.
Ask Feedback Regularly
Once or twice per year, conduct a thorough customer survey so you can learn about how your theme/plugin is doing from a customer's perspective. And in order to get the maximum and complete responses, you should send out an email to all your customer base.
Here are some example questions you can ask to your customers:
- Is our theme/plugin solving the problems you used to have?
- How often/How many times have you used our theme/plugin?
- How would you feel if you could no longer use our theme/plugin?
- Who will you recommend our theme/plugin to?
- How can we do to make the theme/plugin a better fit for you?
- And you can add your own specific questions about your theme/plugin.
Connect with People Personally
If you ever come across people who you think your product is perfect for, do not hesitate email them personally. Remember though, it is annoying if you just come up and ask them to buy your theme/plugin in the first email conversation. Instead, offer it as solution and tell them nicely how it is going to save them time and money.
Here is my email template:
Just came across your portfolio through $referrer. Have you had any clients asking for a better editor in WordPress? Our tool Artsy Editor might be able to save both you and your clients lots of headache. http://artsyeditor.com
Get on Top 10 List
Once you get on the Top 10 list on a major blog, people will consider you as one of the leaders in the space. It adds a lot of credibility and trust to your theme/plugin that can not be achieved through other ways.
A good way to get blogger's attention to write a Top 10 list post is to have a nicely-designed comparison page between your product and your competitor's. Put emphasis on the ones you excel. But do not completely ignore the ones you aren't. A one-sided comparison will turn people off due to the lack of honesty.
Track Every Metrics You Can
The earlier you start tracking your metrics, the less money you lose. For every metric you test, you can learn what is working and what is not. So you can continue doing what has been going great and start fixing what hasn't been going great.
You can track any of the following:
- Conversion rates from your email campaigns
- Conversion rates from the demo page
- Exit rates on the checkout page
- Average time spent on the demo page
- Call-to-action click through rates
- Original referrer to your marketing site
- Amount of pages visited before purchase
- Average support query per purchase
Cultivate Every Possible Partnership Opportunity
It is hard to succeed in business if you are going all alone without anybody's help. There are a lot of great opportunities for partnerships if you are working on a WordPress theme/plugin. You can have a cross-promotion sales with someone who has a product that complements with yours. You can partner with someone who is doing something similar outside of WordPress and offer two products together as a complete package. You can head to one-deal-a-day promotion site like AppSumo, Startups.com and negotiate a deal that will not only bring you revenue but also increase brand awareness.
Engage People Through Contests and Giveaways
Once in a while, design and launch a fun contest. It has a lot of benefits:
- Allow people to participate in something fun.
- Create extra buzz around the contest and your theme/plugin.
- Give your potential customers a chance to get to know you.
- And after all, they have the opportunity to earn a free copy and at least a discount code.
Do Customer Interviews and Case Studies
Customer interviews and case studies are beneficial both ways. It helps your potential users understand the real use-cases about your theme/plugin. It will also create some extra exposure to the customers you interviewed.
When doing customer interviews, it is all about honesty. Do not put restrictions nor limitations on what to talk about. Let your customers (who, ideally, should be in love with your theme/plugin) tell everyone else how great it is and how other people can use it to help improve their lives.
Now, after spending time on reading 3 long, educational posts talking about marketing, it will be worth nothing if you don't take actions. So I encourage everyone out there to take one piece of advice from the series and execute it right away. If you have an idea, remember to go through a full idea validation process with your potential customers before writing code. If you are about to launch, keep in mind how important a story line is when pitching to the media as well as influential people. If you already launched and are stuck on growing your theme/plugin, use one of the ten ways I teach you and I am sure it will bring you some fresh hope and lead you to the path of success.
What are you waiting for?
Miss one of the earlier days in this series?