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binaryoblivion
KVRist
 
44 posts since 18 Feb, 2016

Postby binaryoblivion; Tue Apr 10, 2018 6:51 pm Re: Free plugins: direct download vs $0 shopping cart

AnX wrote:If i can find your free stuff, i can find your commercial stuff. You dont need my email.


Great point. I have realised that my best advertisement is getting my stuff into the hands of as many people of possible, by making the download experience as painless as possible so that they want to come back for more.

Boone777 wrote:Asking for a email I think is ok as long as the intent is to share valuable content and not constant spamming to make as much $ as possible.


I am too disorganised and lazy to constantly spam anyone! But I can totally understand why users would be suspicious of my intentions and hesitant to hand over their personal information, since they can't know in advance if I'm a good guy or a bad guy. The numbers show that the majority of my visitors have chosen to err on the side of caution, either by bailing on the download or opting out of my mailing list during checkout.
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syntonica
KVRist
 
424 posts since 24 Sep, 2014, from Specific Northwest

Postby syntonica; Tue Apr 10, 2018 9:00 pm Re: Free plugins: direct download vs $0 shopping cart

Regarding spamming, there are indeed good guys and bad guys.

Some developers send me emails with "Last Chance to save 50%!" except they send that email at least weekly. :roll:

Other developers, I'm like "Who are you again?" Plonk...

Somewhere in the middle is the good developer that sends notices about updates, upgrades or new products. Maybe even a tip sheet once in a while. Or, their yearly sale. Always something of interest rather than annoyance.
binaryoblivion
KVRist
 
44 posts since 18 Feb, 2016

Postby binaryoblivion; Tue Apr 10, 2018 9:19 pm Re: Free plugins: direct download vs $0 shopping cart

syntonica wrote:Some developers send me emails with "Last Chance to save 50%!" except they send that email at least weekly.


*cough* Waves Audio *cough*
mtytel
KVRist
 
48 posts since 28 Jan, 2013, from Oakland

Postby mtytel; Wed Apr 11, 2018 9:39 am Re: Free plugins: direct download vs $0 shopping cart

I've got a PWYW synth (tytel.org/helm).
I don't do the $0 shopping cart because, like others on here, I don't trust websites that do it. I feel like they always try and sneak something in at the end that wasn't there when I started like (multiple!) email list signups.

But, I also realized I was missing out on reaching all these potential users for future products. I didn't even have a way to contact people about updates for the current software. So I added an update check into the software. Then, when I release my *new* plugin, I'll also release an update to the old plugin, and when someone comes to the site for an update *BAM* I'll hit 'em with a notification about the new plugin! Probably won't get close to the number as the forced email list but I think the people coming for an update will be the biggest fans (so they better f'in share/tweet about it).

I've also got an optional email signup, but only about 1 in 100 signup for it.
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Aleksey Vaneev
KVRAF
 
3501 posts since 7 Sep, 2002

Postby Aleksey Vaneev; Thu Apr 12, 2018 10:00 am Re: Free plugins: direct download vs $0 shopping cart

In my opinion, Email database worth nothing in plugin business nowadays. It's like only 5% will visit your email post. Things are pretty the same for Twitter and Facebook posts - too little clicks. Downloads and installations are a lot more valuable.
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binaryoblivion
KVRist
 
44 posts since 18 Feb, 2016

Postby binaryoblivion; Thu Apr 12, 2018 5:02 pm Re: Free plugins: direct download vs $0 shopping cart

mtytel wrote:So I added an update check into the software. Then, when I release my *new* plugin, I'll also release an update to the old plugin, and when someone comes to the site for an update *BAM* I'll hit 'em with a notification about the new plugin!


It is interesting all the different ways plugin developers have come up with to market to freebie users! An update check is a sneaky idea.

mtytel wrote:I've also got an optional email signup, but only about 1 in 100 signup for it.


Same. Low numbers.

Aleksey Vaneev wrote:In my opinion, Email database worth nothing in plugin business nowadays. It's like only 5% will visit your email post.


That's an interesting stat. I haven't sent any emails yet, so I will be curious to see how they convert.

In my day job as a front-end web dev I manage email campaigns for some of our clients, and the clickthrough rates for eCommerce emails vary from 8% to 20%. I don't know how many of those clicks convert to sales, though.
deastman
KVRAF
 
6718 posts since 6 Aug, 2003, from San Francisco Bay Area

Postby deastman; Thu Apr 12, 2018 5:44 pm Re: Free plugins: direct download vs $0 shopping cart

If i already have an account due to previous purchases, I’ll do the $0 shopping cart. But I almost never sign up for a new account just for the sake of a freebie. I have so much stuff already, it just isn’t worth even 30 seconds of my time to sign up. Also, I don’t view a free plugin in exchange for endless spam in my inbox as a worthwhile trade.
Incomplete list of my gear: 110V AC to 12V DC 1.5A power supply (+ tip)
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Rockatansky
KVRist
 
215 posts since 3 Jun, 2017

Postby Rockatansky; Thu Apr 12, 2018 5:50 pm Re: Free plugins: direct download vs $0 shopping cart

Well, when GDPR takes off here in Europe, (as a European company) you're no longer allowed to store personal information without a customer's consent. That consent must not be assumed ("unless you opt out later"), it must not be hidden (=you must mention what info will be stored where and who gets access to it), it must not be enforced or tricked (pre-ticked checkbox signs up for newsletter) and it must not be made a requirement to use a service ("by requesting a download to your email address, you agree that I store it").

I paraphrase, of course, but read up on it yourselves.

In other words, it's OK to ask someone to enter their email address so you can send them a download link.
If there's any requirement to keep the download link hidden, maybe for purchased product downloads, then that's totally fine.
It's just not fine to store the email address in return, at least not without having the downloader give you express and voluntary permission to do so.

Then comes the fact that, at least here in Europe, it's actually (already, pre GDPR) forbidden by law for a company to send unsolicited emails (=that weren't requested or granted by the recipient) with advertising content to someone, just because you happen to have their email address stored.

So even if you make users jump through the hoop of signing up for an account, putting something free into a cart and then checking out for 0 funds, you will have to A) inform the visitor that (and how) you're going to store and process their data, you will have to B) ask the user for their constent that you may actually do so, you C) may not reject them from your service just because they don't agree to let you store and process their information to do unrelated things (=they can't download the compressor unless they OK you to maybe send them ads for an EQ later) and so on.

There are obviously exceptions and (wanted) loopholes and all that, but it's just too much f*cking trouble to deal with and comply with.

In another thread I had a slight rant about those new Darkglass bass distortion plugins, and how the devs want to do just what you started doing. They're trying to sell me something, so they can only profit from making it as easy and fast as possible for me to download their demo. And yet, "sign up for an account to download the demo"... right... screw you. 1 less demo download, 1 less potential sale.

Sure, it's because they use iLok protection, and they need to have the customer's iLok account name on record. Oh no wait, they WANT to have the customer's iLok account name on record. And their name and email address. To send unsolicited advertisement, which was automatically accepted at the time of signup, unless the customer opts out later. Thanks a lot. There are devs who provide generic demo codes publicly, anyone can register them to their iLok ID and demo the software, there's absolutely no need to store my iLok ID just to send me a demo. So that excuse won't fly. It's just that "emails emails emails" greed, and that power play of forcing me into submission (pun intended) so that they can bombard me with spam if I don't purchase right away, so that they can send me "you didn't finish your purchase, here's a 5% coupon" emails if I leave the page before I buy, and all that damn nonsense.

My impression is that the number of downloads doesn't reliably correlate to the number of people actually interested in one's offerings. Some will just drop by "because someone told them" or "because they read about it", they'll try it and ditch it and never come back because who has the time. Those are usually not the audience you would "trick" into your system by enforcing a checkout and sending them ads. And the people who actually like your offerings will probably check back regularly anyway, to see if there are updates, to see if there are new products. Those are the ones that would, at least after a couple of visits, probably voluntarily sign up for a newsletter if there's any reason to do so. Deals, tutorials, stories, what have you.

Just let people download your free stuff without any strings attached. Hassle free. Ask them to sign up for your newsletter (but inform them who gets that data, i.e. you or maybe MailChimp) and ask them during signup to confirm that they actually want to receive mails from you (most mass-mail services offer 2-step subscription systems anyway). Post announcements or news items to your web site, so that there's a non-newsletter way to let it shine through something may be due to happen soon. Make them "like" your page on Facebook so you can interact with them there (post about a sale or new release) etc.

Offer them ways to stay in touch, but just don't try to bully people into giving up personal information (or, at least in Europe, their rights) only to download something that's free. :)

deastman wrote:If i already have an account due to previous purchases, I’ll do the $0 shopping cart.

Yes, I can absolutely live with that. No pressure, no problem.
Confucamus.
binaryoblivion
KVRist
 
44 posts since 18 Feb, 2016

Postby binaryoblivion; Thu Apr 12, 2018 6:33 pm Re: Free plugins: direct download vs $0 shopping cart

Rockatansky wrote:it must not be enforced or tricked (pre-ticked checkbox signs up for newsletter)


That is an interesting requirement. Australia, where I live, operates under a 15 year old anti-spam law, which is fairly loosey goosey in terms of what constitutes consent. The law allows for "inferred consent", which essentially allows businesses to email their customers regardless of whether they consented:

"The Spam Act provides that consent can be inferred from your conduct or the relationship that a message sender has with you. The message sender may decide that because you have an existing relationship, you would be interested in receiving electronic messages about similar products and services."

I hasten to add that I would never send marketing email to someone who hadn't consented. In the short time that I experimented with a $0 cart, consent was given in the form of a pre-ticked "join our mailing list" checkbox, which I gather would fall foul of the GDPR legislation you have described (for European businesses) since it is opt-out rather than opt-in.

Rockatansky wrote:Post announcements or news items to your web site, so that there's a non-newsletter way to let it shine through something may be due to happen soon.


I think a blog is an excellent idea!

Rockatansky wrote:Make them "like" your page on Facebook


Facebook. Ugh, so 2017. Kidding! I do have a Facebook page and Twitter account, and both platforms have been a good source of referrals for me.
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