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Archive for August, 2012

Lifetime Value of Your Customers

August 17th, 2012

lifetime value of software customerLifetime value is much bigger than current sales. It includes your current software sales, plus the sale of updates, plus the income from customers upgrading from the Standard version to the Professional version of your application. Lifetime value includes cross-selling your other software to your existing customers, and selling them the applications that you offer on an affiliate basis. Lifetime value means that these people are inclined to appreciate whatever new products or services you will offer in the future.

Most importantly, lifetime value includes the revenue that comes from current customers’ testimonials and referrals.

You can’t succeed in the software development industry with a “one and done” approach to sales. Your customers are your most valuable assets. Treat them right, and they’ll continue to support your software business.

– by Al Harberg, the Software Marketing Blog guy

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Software Marketing and Passwords

August 6th, 2012
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choose powerful passwordsIf your software application lets users craft passwords to protect their data, then you have a chance to offer additional value to your prospects and customers. Help your users choose the best passwords, and use that feature to sell more of your software.

According to the “Worst Passw0rds” write-up in the April 2012 issue of AARP Bulletin, online users have an awful track record for picking effective passwords to protect their privacy and security. The most popular password, according to the article, is “password”. Changing the lower-case letter “o” to a zero to form passw0rd is on the popularity list at number 16. The top 25 list also includes awful selections like 123456, 1234567, 12345678, 123123, “qwerty” and “letmein.”

Most computer users worry about their privacy and security. Show your users that you care about them. Don’t let them create low-quality passwords.

“It’s important for developers’ users to protect their data with a long, complex password,” Andrei Belogortseff tells us. “Be sure that they use a mix of upper-case letters, lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols.”

Andrei is the CEO of Utah-based WinAbility Software, a developer of security and password applications. One of WinAbility’s most popular programs is USBCrypt, a program that makes it easy to encrypt and password-protect your drives. USBCrypt has a built-in password recovery feature that lets you recreate lost or forgotten passwords.

On a typical PC, it can take a half hour to recover a three-digit password that contains only lower-case letters. A five-digit password made up of a mix of upper- and lower-case letters, on the other hand, can take two weeks to recover. A 7-digit password that weaves upper- and lower-case letters with numbers and symbols can take an incredibly long time to recover.

If the software that you sell asks users to choose a password, then help them select their password wisely. Start by building a list of ineffective passwords into your software, and don’t let your users select these lightweight choices. Have your software examine the passwords that they’ve created, and encourage them to use longer passwords, with a richer mix of characters.

“Remind your users of the flip-side of using a complex password,” Andrei tells us. “If you forget your password, it will be extremely difficult to recover it.”

Make your helpful password protection information part of your software marketing presentation. By creating keyword-rich web pages that feature your thoughts about privacy, security, encryption, and passwords, you may even get more Google traffic from prospects who include these words when they search for software like yours. Your application’s help file could provide your customers and prospects with an explanation of why passwords are crucial.

Your users will appreciate the guidance, and they’ll be much more inclined to purchase your software. Helping customers choose powerful passwords can be good software marketing.

– by Al Harberg, the Software Marketing Blog guy

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August 2012 ASPects, Special News Issue

August 2nd, 2012
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The ASPects newsletter is sent to ASP members every month. 25-years of back issues are available in PDF format in the members’ archive, and is fully-searchable.

This month, the first few articles are available to everyone as a free download. The full issue is available to ASP members.


August 2012
Volume 25, No. 8 (314 Kb) 

ISVCon 2012 in Reno

by Gianfranco Berardi
After much preparation, last month the ASP hosted its first ISVCon, the new Software Industry Conference, in Reno, Nevada. The rebooted conference kicked off with a Thursday night Welcome Reception sponsored by Digital River’s MyCommerce. It was a great opportunity to meet fellow attendees while enjoying some of the delicious hors d’oeuvrs and drinks provided by the excellent Atlantis Casino Resort Spa staff, a taste of things to come… (page 1)
 

AppVisor/ASP Partnership to Provide Full Update to the ASP PAD Platform
by Joel Diamond
The early beginning of the idea behind AppVisor started around 2008…
    Thus, AppVisor has been formed to support, protect, and enhance the ASP’s PAD platform, the intellectual property of the platform, and the integrity of the platform, and to reinvest in the platform, so it meets the needs of current and future members of the ASP… (page 1)

Trade Show Calendar
(page 2)

Dennis Reinhardt Joins ASP Hall of Fame
by Gianfranco Berardi
The ASP Hall of Fame recognizes individuals who have helped make the ASP what it is today. During Saturday lunch at ISVCon, it was my pleasure to present the ASP Hall of Fame award to Dennis Reinhardt… (page 4)

The Benefits of PAD Certification
by Joel Diamond
Why does the PAD Platform Require Certification? (page 6)

Interface Guidelines for Mobile/Touchscreen Devices
by Gregg Seelhoff
Several years ago, I gave a presentation at SIC entitled, “Practical Interface Guidelines: Things they did not teach us in programming class”, in which I detailed some best practices for interface design and implementation. While general interface principals remain persistent, the recent popularity and growth in mobile and touchscreen devices demands a revisit; smartphones, tablets, and similar devices have somewhat different interface requirements… (page 7)

Paid Upgrades or Free Upgrades?
by Jiri Novotny
The recent passionate discussion in the ASP newsgroups- “The million dollar question; To charge for updates or not?” inspired me to write this article.
    I would like to offer you my thinking as someone who has experience with free upgrades, paid major upgrades, and upgrade subscriptions… (page 9)

ASP News
Motion: Web forum, Call for volunteer: Member Offers Manager, New SaA: Steve Faleiro, Assistant Don Waterfield (page 11)

Marketing Software to Retirees
by Al Harberg
According to Harris Interactive, 28 percent of people who are 67 and older use eReaders to read books. Based upon the current state of the book publishing industry, I wouldn’t have guessed that 28 percent of many demographic groups read books in any format. But more significantly, the survey points out that retired people are comfortable using technology. And that’s a software marketing message that software developers shouldn’t ignore…

    Don’t ignore the Baby Boomers and the Silent Generation when you’re making your marketing plans… (page 12)

ASP Member News:
Slimbrowser V6 – a Versatile Full-service Browser (page 13)
Digital River Enables eCommerce in in Metro Apps (page 14)

News & Press Corner
ESWC Announces 2012 Software Conference and Epsilon Award (page 14)

ASPects Newsletter, News, Uncategorized

MicroISV Research Alliance Announces 2012 Pain Point Survey

August 1st, 2012
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The microISV Research Alliance at Auburn University has opened the third annual microISV Pain Point survey. All microISV owners are invited to participate.

The 2012 survey will feature a prize drawing with more than a dozen, microISV-specific prizes, including:

  • A one year membership to the ASP at the Standard level (a $100 value) to new members only.
  • A lifetime membership (a $497 value) to the Micropreneur Academy.
  • One year of free E-junkie service at the $10/month plan level.
  • A five year code signing certificate from K Software (a $365) value.
  • And more.

The survey is short and takes only a few minutes to complete. The results are used to locate common areas of difficulty among microISV owners and their daily operations. The results of the survey will be used to guide future academic research with the goal of improving microISV operations and increasing their chances of success.

Aside from the satisfaction of contributing to academic research designed to improve microISV operations, participants can benefit in other ways:

  • Survey responses are anonymous.
  • Participants can opt-in to be listed on the Respondents’ page.
  • Participants get early access to raw, anonymized results data.
  • You can win one of many great prizes.

Take the survey now!

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