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How we made $145,728 & +1.800 happy customers in 60 days: our AppSumo experience

January 18, 2022

How we made $145,728 & +1.800 happy customers in 60 days: our AppSumo experience

The first time we launched Aryel’s deal on AppSumo Marketplace was November 2020 – we still were a tiny crew working hard to keep pace with new updates and features and with no dedicated customer service or community management. 🥲

When AppSumo contacted us to run a new 2-months deal for their community as Select Deal in 2021, we knew we were in that kind of “go big or go home” situation. 💪 The team has grown, and we were ready to launch a fantastic deal, counting on a new Customer Success team and even better features for the community of sumo-lings.

If you don’t know AppSumo, it’s essentially a group buying service for businesses. Aiming to level the playing field somewhat, it enables smaller players to afford enterprise-grade tools and software at a reduced price by leveraging the purchasing power of many. Every month, they promote eight tools to their community of more than 800,000 entrepreneurs and startups. 

The idea of offering lifetime membership for SaaS products might sound a little crazy (not to say risky) at first. Still, from the long-term point of view, it is a worthy strategy to showcase a platform to a broad community of tech-savvy users and get the chance to hear honest feedback from them.

Was it a crazy ride? Yes. Was it worth it? Absolutely yes! 😎 Even if sometimes sumo-lings asked awkward questions, we knew we had to answer them all while collecting priceless feedback and reviews on the platform. We answered more than 160 questions, published a transparent public roadmap, and resolved to change the deal a bit in the race to offer our community of users what they need and what they asked for.

This resulted in a total payout of $36,000k+ with more than 2,100 sold codes worldwide. Meanwhile, we kept listening to our users, integrating our knowledge base with more FAQs, tutorials, and demos to show off what Aryel can do and improve their user experience on the platform.

Enough chit-chatting; here’s our story on how we landed (and treaded water) on AppSumo!

Why run AppSumo?

Of course, the question arises; could running a deal on AppSumo potentially devalue the product? It’s clear that those AppSumo customers won’t buy anything from Aryel in the future since they already have a pretty rich lifetime deal.

However, we realized that this wasn’t necessarily about money, but it could bring different plate benefits in terms of exposure and feedback.

  • Exposure: AppSumo’s community is incredibly vast. Even with our most strenuous efforts, we could never reach such an audience of 800,000 users. Moreover, they aren’t just simply potential users but targeted, tech-savvy early adopters actively exploring the latest software products.
  • Feedback: Heaven knows how important the feedback from real-life users is for SaaS products; by launching Aryel, we’d get for sure plenty of interesting feedback. It was like beta-testing or paying users to try our platform, with the difference we were even generating revenue—a win-win situation.

Before the launch

As soon we’ve been selected to be an AppSumo lifetime deal, we knew we had to make every effort to prepare our platform with ad-hoc features, such as code redemption and ticket management in-platform. 🚀 Also, we improved the existing features according to the AppSumo review they performed; in fact, AppSumo itself asks a bunch of sumolings to run some tests on the platform and provide feedback. According to these tests, we had to reach a specific score on different parameters to access the following steps and get featured on their platform.

Of course, we also had to negotiate the deal, but AppSumo is very strict about its revenues, so all the deals come with 25%-75% – the challenging part was to build the lifetime deal to make it appealing to new users, without giving them too many features and benefits at once. ⚡️

Then we generated 10,000 stackable codes, filled thousands of pages of documents; the Customer Success team improved our Help Center with more than 100 articles and FAQs (and still growing), we created both video and written tutorials, and we added a customer support chat. As soon as we took care of all these crucial steps, we were ready to launch on AppSumo! Yay! 🔥

During the AppSumo campaign

Here’s where the fun began! Our Customer Success Team worked closely with Developers & Sales to answer every question and review, collect feedback, and why not…convert free users into paying LTD. 👀 We kept performing bug fixing according to users’ reports, and we kept in touch with the AppSumo team on a dedicated Slack channel.

We followed a kindness-over-all approach in the relationship with users and potential ones, doing our best to de-escalate tones when sumo-lings became too… passionate. 😇

Once we launched our deal on AppSumo, we soon discovered that sumo-lings know no sleep. And if there is a weak point on your platform, they’re going to find it and ask you about it. 🤯 So our customer success team worked day and night to keep track of all the questions and provide detailed answers, killing them with kindness – all of this while also answering tickets on our Help Center. From the very beginning, we noticed a traffic increment on our website and much interest in our deal. 📈

Our deal started in mid-November, which meant we experienced AppSumo Black Friday, in which our deal became even more attractive and convenient. Fun fact: some users even refunded the codes they bought to re-buy them at a more convenient price for Black Friday! 😳

Time flies, and in a snap, we arrived at the beginning of January; thanks to 65+ excellent reviews with an average of 5 🌮 (AppSumo equivalent for stars), we gained our place in the FOMO newsletter – all the AppSumo newsletter subscribers have been noticed that our deal was ending and time to grab the codes was running out – amazingly we noticed another peak of interest and even more sales.

The results

Ok, so let’s talk numbers…

  • Launch to AppSumo Plus: Nov 15, 2021
  • Launch to the complete list and added to AppSumo homepage: Nov 17, 2021
  • FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) email sent: Jan 12, 2022
  • Deal close: Jan 17, 2022
  • 1,820 accounts created
  • 1,328 free accounts
  • 492 paid accounts
  • 242 accounts with more than 1 code
  • 2,112 total codes sold
  • 210 refunds requested to date (sumo-lings have until Mar 15 to ask for a refund)
  • $145,728 total revenue generated
  • 25% = our AppSumo split
  • $36,432 our revenue
  • 160 on-site questions
  • 1,800+ support conversations
  • +113.7% visitors growth on the website
  • 65 on-site reviews (64 full 5 taco reviews! 🌮)
  • 13 Capterra reviews (4.6/5 avg review)

What we learned from the AppSumo ride

Jumping on the AppSumo train might seem scary, and it is not pic-nic: you need to have your back covered and get ready to hear some (sometimes harsh) opinions from users online. You have to be prepared to answer questions no matter what time it is in your time zone, revisit your roadmap, and be a bit self-critical.

However, it repays the efforts: you showcase your platform to a broader audience, gain users’ trust transparently answering their questions and build customer loyalty one review at a time. Not to mention the sales. 💰

Launching on AppSumo requires a dedicated team, consistency, and patience. It can be challenging for startups who just entered the market: but it is a fantastic window to get known worldwide! 💜 So will we do it again in the future? Definitely yes!