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Getting web software off the ground...?

I have my own website automation software that I sell on the web at  It's a part time business and orders simply trickle in.  Does anyone have any good ideas on taking this to a "real" profitable full time business?
Questions I ask myself that I would like other's opinions on:
1) Is $99.95 too little to charge? 
2) Do I need reviews?  By reading other reviews, looks like if I don't pay the reviewer, then I won't get that great of a review?
3) Would partnering up with a larger company be beneficial?  If so, any recommendations on who???

I'm open to any suggestions! :)
Thanks in advance,

Randy Pringle
Thursday, September 5, 2002

As in most of these things its marketing.

Price points only matter once you have someone's attention.  You need to compare the number of hits you have on the website compared to the number that convert to sales.

Depending on that number you can make a judgement on whether its a reasonable price or not.

To increase sales from very little you need to promote the existence of the software and yourself.  In traditional Marketing that's advertising or cold calling and free media exposure by getting interviewed by some paper or magazine. 

If you can find a targeted list then direct mail is a reasonable method.

You could put a time reduced version or feature reduced version on something like Tucows to pull in interest and, if you think its as robust as shrink wrap should be, you can release a copy for review by magazines.

If you do release a press version then make sure you do a walkthrough document as well that takes the reviewer by the hand and shows them all the wonders of your creation.

Otherwise, hard experience here, they tend not to be able to find the on button with both hands.

Word of mouth is the most stable and solid way to grow demand because you are banking and trading on other people's trust and not trust in yourself.  But its also a very slow way to go unless you're someone like Joel who built a 'community' interested enough to go see.

Simon Lucy
Friday, September 6, 2002

Marketing. Write an article on one of the many online magazines around. Post to slashdot. Post to Joelonsoftware. Prefix your app name with "Enterprise". You too can do it.

Tom Vu
Saturday, September 7, 2002

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