January 2015 ASPects: “Can’t Buy Me Like” Review, Business Software Opportunity for microISVs

January 1st, 2015
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January 2015 ASPects

The new January 2015 ASPectsissue is available for download for ASP members. There’s a new book review by Al Harberg, news from the Internet of Things, and I’ve written about a microISV product opportunity in business software.

January 2015 ASPects

Book Review: Can’t Buy Me Like

by Al Harberg
“If you are still selling goods and services by blanketing the world with advertising, trying to persuade or entertain or flatter consumers into submission,” Bob Garfield and Doug Levy explain, “you are doing things all wrong. Because the world has changed. A lot.”
We’re now in the Relationship Era. The authors believe that the important qualities for every company to have are authenticity, trust, loyalty, and pride. Fifty years ago, The Beatles sang that money can’t buy you love. Today, consumers are swamped with ad campaigns and marketing slogans. If Lennon and McCartney were writing the song’s title today, they might have chosen “Money Can’t Buy You Like”… (page 1)

Trade Show Calendar
(page 2)

ASP News
ASP Annual Meeting Results: 2 Directors Approinted
(page 3)

Editorial: Software Opportunity for Business Apps
The Current State of the Software Business is… Ripe for New Competition
by Jerry Stern
Business managers are getting fed up with broken cloud patchwork monsters. Business owners are grumbling while they pay for software that no longer arrives on a disk, no longer can have a second install for non-simultaneous use on a notebook, is non-transferrable, and requires online registration and bundling with cloud storage. These new program versions stop working if they’re not renewed, and sometimes just when they feel like it. They’re not cloud–these are programs installed locally, with cloud features and requirements, but they’re clumsy implementations of programs that aren’t as good as the previous product that shipped on a disk… (page 4)

News & Press Corner
Developing the Internet of Things: Building Connected Apps for the Kwikset Deadbolt (page 6)
Salesforce Delivers AppExchange Store Builder, Create a Fully Customizable App Marketplace (page 7)
2015 International CES to Host Largest Ever “Internet of Things” Showcase (page 7)

ASPects Newsletter

Selling Software Using Emotion and Imagination

December 16th, 2014
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Tahiti“Good writers make the reader’s imagination work for them.” So says Patricia T. O’Conner, the author of the book “Words Fail Me – What Everyone Who Writes Should Know About Writing.”

Most advertising experts tell us that effective sales copy is all about emotion. People make decisions based on emotion, and they use logic to justify their decisions.

O’Conner believes that if you use emotion, you can leave part of the “story” out, and the reader will fill in the missing pieces using their own experience.

This technique might be a good way for software developers to sell a home inventory application. Talk about how your software benefits people who are victims of burglary or fire, and your reader will relate at an emotional level.

Perhaps this technique is a good way for microISVs to sell educational software. Talk about how your software will help prepare the prospects’ children for school – and for life.

When crafting your sales presentation, weave emotional writing into the message. Get your prospects emotionally involved, and you’ll turn more of them into customers.

– by Al Harberg, the Software Marketing Blog guy

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December 2014 ASPects: Social Marketing Methods, Ditch the Pitch, Crypto/Ransomware Considerations

December 1st, 2014
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, Editor, ASPects

This month, Gianfranco Berardi has written about marketing on social networks. There’s Al Harberg’s book review, on Ditch the Pitch And I’ve taken a look at what Crypto/Ransomware does to computers and the software you’re selling. These topics and more news are available here for members of the Association of Software Professionals.

The Annual Meeting is Now Open
by Ed Pulliam
Per previous post and notice in ASPects, the annual meeting was to open on November 24… (page 1)

Join the Election Discussions Online
by Jerry Stern
Our new forums, and the Townhall and Official areas, are online here: https://www.asp-software.org/mybb

Trade Show Calendar
(page 2)

Straightforward and Easy Social Media Tips Anyone Can Use to Find Prospects and Beat the Competition
by Gianfranco Berardi
Social media isn’t something you control, but it is something you can leverage, and you can do so in a way that is direct and to the point. While other articles might teach you how to participate in the social media party, this one will teach you some specific actions you can take to find prospective customers of your software even if you haven’t participated in it yourself…(page 3)

Book Review: Ditch the Pitch
by Al Harberg
The vast majority of software sales by small independent software vendors (microISVs) take place on the Internet. The truth is, however, that selling face-to-face or over the phone brings in a substantial part of the income of the most successful microISVs. And when you’re speaking to your prospect, either in person or on the phone, sales pitches don’t work…. (page 5)

Crypto Considerations 2.0
by Jerry Stern
Malware is breaking software now. As computer users and as software developers, there are security consequences from the latest malware issues… (page 6)

ASP Member News
Software Knowledge Base Relaunches as the Anti-Wrapper Directory with Publisher Links at SoftwareKB.com (page 9)

News & Press Corner
Developers Start Designing Apps for Apple Watch: WatchKit Software Tools Now Available to Developers (page 9)
FTC Obtains Court Orders Temporarily Shutting Down Massive Tech Support Scams (page 9)

ASPects Newsletter

Clusters of Customer Needs

November 17th, 2014
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clusters-of-software-customer-needs“Our needs usually come in clusters, not in bits and pieces. The best organizations organize themselves to satisfy clusters of customer needs.”

So says James H. Donnelly, Jr. in his book “Close to the Customer – 25 Management Tips from the Other Side of the Counter.”

Don’t define your company in terms of your current application, Donnelly tells us. And stop selling your products and services in the way that is most comfortable for you.

Instead, look at your business from your customers’ perspective. And design your company around your customers.

– by Al Harberg, the Software Marketing Blog guy


November 2014 ASPects: Responsive Design, Millenials and Software Sales

November 1st, 2014
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, Editor, ASPects

In the November 2014 ASPects, there are articles about responsive design, selling to millenials, and more ways of selling your software than you’ve ever though of. It’s time for the ASP’s annual meeting. This issue of ASPects is exclusively for members of the Association of Software Professionals.

November 2014 ASPectsContents, November 2014 ASPects

Go Online for the Annual Meeting
by Jerry Stern
First, a reminder, from last month’s official notice of the Annual Membership Meeting:…
…The Annual Membership Meeting of the Association of Software Professionals will begin with a discussion period on Monday November 24, 2014…
(page 1)

Director Nominees’ Statements for 2015

Ed Pulliam (page 1)
Howard Sobel (page 3)

Trade Show Calendar
(page 2)

I’ve Tried Everything to Sell My Software

by Al Harberg
Most software developers believe that they’ve tried every sales method available to increase their sales. Truth is, few microISVs have tried more than a couple of ways to sell more software.
Here is a checklist of the ways that you might explore to make your profits soar… (page 4)

Everything Old is New Again: New Responsive Design Choices
by Jerry Stern
Responsive behavior for web sites isn’t just about the width of the screen There’s much more, and if your target audience tends towards mobile devices, you should be allowing them to surf your site while they’re using their favorite devices. Starting next year, mobile device surfing the web will outnumber desktops and notebooks–design your mobile view first, and then decide how to enhance the content for larger screens… (page 5)

Book Review: Marketing to Millennials
by Jeff Fromm and Christie Garton
by Al Harberg
Millennials spend about $200 billion annually in the US. In addition, the authors argue that Millennials influence another $500 billion in spending because of their impact on their older family members, friends, and colleagues. Fromm and Garton believe that Millennials exert a lot more power and influence on society than any other demographic group… (page 6)

ASP Member News
Digital River Announces Agreement to be Acquired by Investor Group Led by Siris Capital Group (page 8)

News & Press Corner
Embarcadero Technologies makes it easy to develop
Apps for Internet of Things Wearables (page 8)

ASPects Newsletter

Some Tips for Writing Blog Postings

October 22nd, 2014
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When Hank Nuwer wrote the book “How to Write like an Expert about Anything – Bring Factual Accuracy and the Voice of Authority to Your Writing” in 1995, I doubt that he was thinking about helping microISVs with their blog postings. But his ideas can help you craft better, more effective blog write-ups. And that can generate more search engine traffic and more software sales.

Good articles feature good writing, not gimmicks or sensationalism. Don’t overwrite, Nuwer tells us. You don’t need to embellish your writing, or try to make it fancy.

It takes time to develop your style, and to learn to write in an effective, relaxed way. Be patient.

Nuwer recommends that you not work too hard on your writing. If you turn it into work, you’ll lose the fun of writing.

As somebody who writes a lot, I can tell you that it really is fun. If you’re not having fun with your writing, you need to write more, not less. Writing becomes easier – and more enjoyable – with practice.

– by Al Harberg, the Software Marketing Blog guy

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Management by Crisis Hurts Software Sales

October 10th, 2014
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management-by-crisis-hurts-software-salesIn his book “The Time Trap,” Alec Mackenzie tells us that managing our businesses by crisis is the number one way that entrepreneurs and business managers waste time.

If you have a real crisis, Mackenzie tells us, then fix it. But if you spend your time fighting fires one after another, then change the way you manage your work and your time.

Contingency planning is one way to anticipate crises and avoid them.

Before you jump in to solve a crisis, Mackenzie urges, ask yourself what would happen if you did nothing.

Learning to manage your business is one of the best tools available to save time over the long haul. And that principle applies to small independent software vendor (microISV) firms, too.

– by Al Harberg, the Software Marketing Blog guy

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October 2014 ASPects: Enchanted Objects & The Internet of Things

September 30th, 2014
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, Editor, ASPects

In the October 2014 ASPects, we have time management for app and software developers, the Internet of Things, and a WordPress security update. And it’s time for the ASP’s annual election of directors as well. This issue of ASPects is exclusively for members of the Association of Software Professionals.

October 2014 ASPectsContents, October 2014 ASPects


Call for Action
by Howard Sobel
It’s time for the ASP membership to find Directors and Officers. We need (4) Directors who can work well together in a group who are committed to solving some difficult problems… (page 1)

Call for Nominees
This is an official notice of the Annual Membership Meeting, as required by section 3.12 of the bylaws. The Annual Membership Meeting of the Association of Software Professionals will begin with a discussion period on Monday November 24, 2014, at 12:01 AM Eastern US Time… (page 1)

Trade Show Calendar
(page 2)

Directors’ Duties
by Dennis Reinhardt
The scope of an ASP director’s duties are developed to show what a director does and what a director accomplishes… (page 3)

Five Productivity Tips for Part-time Business Owners with Day Jobs
by Gianfranco Berardi
The biggest problem you face as an aspiring entrepreneur with a day job is a lack of time. I once estimated that if you took 24 hours and subtracted the hours you sleep, commute to and from the day job, work at the day job, eat meals, and perform routine hygiene tasks, you would be left with only four hours a day… (page 4)

WordPress Security Update, 2014
by Jerry Stern
WordPress 4.0 is out; if you haven’t updated your sites, get going and do it now. The new features improve security and media handling, and are worthwhile… (page 6)

Book Review: Enchanted Objects
Design, Human Desire, and the Internet of Things by David Rose
by Al Harberg
Too many software developers believe that desktop and laptop software are today’s news, and that software as a service (SaaS), cloud computing, and smartphone apps are the next major technology hot buttons. Truth is, SaaS, the cloud, iOS, and Android are all mature markets. The next big trend on the horizon is the Internet of Things. And it’s time for software developers to begin thinking about how they’ll be profiting from this new movement… (page 8 )

ASP Member News
Avangate Makes PerfectTablePlan Less Taxing (page 9)
PhotoToMesh V5 released by Ransen Software (page 9)
Data Recovery and Forensic Just Got Easier (page 10)

News & Press Corner
Google to Refund Consumers at Least $19 Million for Children’s Unauthorized In-App Charges (page 10)

ASPects Newsletter

ASPects for September 2014: SSL for SEO, Selling to Women

September 1st, 2014
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, Editor, ASPects

Google is counting SSL towards SEO, and Dennis Reinhardt writes about how to set up SSL on your websites in the September ASPects, available exclusively to members of the Association of Software Professionals. Al Harberg has written about Selling to Women, and why you should, or shouldn’t, Talk About Yourself on your website.

September 2014 ASPectsContents, September 2014 ASPects

Moving into the New Library and myBB
by Jerry Stern
All the current content from our Members-Only site has been copied over to the Library, including all 290 issues of ASPects, including 3,804 pages of software-industry articles and history, plus legal guides, the ASP’s Secretary’s Desk sections, financial reports, and more. And more will be added; the Library is the new home for all our references for both member resources and organizational documents.
Join us here:
https://www.asp-software.org/mybb (page 1)

Trade Show Calendar
(page 2)

Setting up an SSL Site: Why SSL … and Why Not
by Dennis Reinhardt
In early August, Google posted that they would start using HTTPS as a ranking signal…. So, SSL is a broad industry trend and increasingly could become a checkoff item, something expected in a serious site the same way that code signing is standard for downloads… (page 3)

Talking About Yourself
by Al Harberg
There aren’t a lot of good reasons to talk about yourself on your website. Your prospects don’t care nearly as much about you as they care about themselves. Instead of writing about yourself, use that space to tell prospects about your applications’ most important benefits.
You have three basic choices for delivering your sales message: You can write about your prospects, you can write about other people, or you can write about yourself… (page 6)

Selling Software to Women

by Al Harberg
Women make 80 percent of all purchasing decisions. It would be a mistake not to understand the differences between the ways that women and men buy consumer and business products like software… (page 7)

ASP Member News

Avangate Honored as Part of the International Business Awards Program (page 9)

News & Press Corner
FTC Staff Report on Mobile Shopping Apps Found Disclosures to Consumers Are Lacking (page 9)

ASPects Newsletter , , , , ,

Is Your Software Good for Society?

August 15th, 2014
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software-that-is-good-for-societyAccording to a recent Pew Research survey, the number of Internet users has grown from 14 percent in 1995, to 46 percent in 2000, to 66 percent in 2005, to 79 percent in 2010, to 87 percent in 2014.

Ninety percent of the people in the survey said that the Internet has been good for them personally. Only 76 percent of the people surveyed believe that the Internet has been good for society.

Software developers need to think a lot about the 24 percent of adult Americans who believe that the Internet has not been good for society. You need to ensure that the bad feelings that nearly one quarter of your prospects have about the web do not become bad feelings about your software.

Privacy and identity theft

A major component of people believing that the Internet has been bad for society is their concern about privacy and identity theft. They don’t want their children posting personal information on social media. They don’t want to give their credit card information to organizations located in countries that don’t have strong banking systems. If you’re offering a Facebook add-in, an application that processes credit card payments, or any software that might put private information at risk, you need to ensure that you’ve made the software as safe as possible. And your sales presentation has to make it clear that your program is safe to use.

Kids and the Internet

Anther major concern that people have about the Internet is the ability that kids have to gain access to material that is not age appropriate. If you’re offering photography, video, music, search, or any type of software that could raise concerns about kids gaining access to content that is not appropriate for them, then you need to ensure that you’ve included the proper parental management controls in your application. And you need to say so on your home page and product pages.

Nearly one quarter of adult Americans have concerns about the Internet. You need to make sure that your prospects are not worried about your software. Identify any potential problems that reasonable people might have about your software. Minimize these concerns as much as possible. And explain to prospects and customers what you’ve done.

– by Al Harberg, the Software Marketing Blog guy