Appsumo is a weird beast. Many founders hate it for their extremely high fees, yet they can bring so much traffic and sales that most teams just run with it.
That's sort of what we did. We had heard of Appsumo and knew we where too early to launch as an Appsumo Select product, so we published an offer on their Marketplace.
At that time, our pricing was $7/month for our premium plan, so we offered a lifetime deal (LTD) for $19. With appsumo's fee, that would be around $11 in our pocket per sale.
What's the Appsumo marketplace?
The marketplace is a place for anyone to launch, you don't get any advertising from the Appsumo team yet you still pay a 30% commission on any sale you make.
Doesn't sound like a good deal at first sight, but... there is more.
While the traffic you get is low, you still get some traffic, and because Appsumo is so big, once you collect some reviews, you can expect around 1 sale per day, which depending on where you are, is great!
And then, there are a few perks:
- When you reach 10 reviews, you get a shoutout on the official Appsumo Facebook, which in our case, led to around 10 sales.
- When you reach 20 reviews, you get an email shoutout (in one of their newsletters), which turned into around 50 sales for us.
Finally, once your campaign ends, the "buy the offer" button turns into a link to your website, which is a very valuable backlink.
Some of you might have heard that Appsumo takes a 60% fee, that's true if you launch as an Appsumo select product. On the Appsumo marketplace, the fee is only 30%.
So how did we make $5K?
There is a way for every marketplace app to get to the first page, and that's the last 5 days of your campaign. When you get there, your deal will be featured on the main page in the "Ending soon" section, and that's magic!
Make sure to get around 20 reviews before the campaign ends to maximise results!
While being featured in the Ending soon section, we made around 40 sales a day.
What about refunds?
Like Amazon and others, Appsumo offers a "no questions asked" refund policy, which, while great for consumers, does scare some businesses. I personally think any business should offer this refund policy. While it can be abused, most people won't, and it's the right thing to do.
In our case, about 15% of people asked for a refund, it's still quite a lot compared to people who subscribe to our premium plan via our website, but what really surprised me was how helpful the people who asked for a refund were.
When I emailed them to let them know that I had downgraded their plan, basically 80% of them replied explaining why they had asked for a refund! That's unheard of and a really useful piece of feedback.
Should you launch on Appsumo's Marketplace?
For us, it was a no-brainer because:
- We have very high margins
- Our product grows virally (people who use it share it organically)
- As a bootstrapped business, $5K makes a big difference in our runway and ability to afford design work, development work, and so on.
If that's not your case, if you have very low margins and a high customer cost (for example if you run many servers), then this might not be right for you.
As an example, we would never launch our secondary CRM product (nat.app) on Appsumo because:
- We have a lot of fixed costs (gmail, calendar, contacts integration, ...)
- A user who uses our app without paying is not helping us in any way
- A few thousand bucks wouldn't make any significant difference.
I guess it depends :)