How We Made $70k in 10 Days by Launching a Lifetime Deal (Without AppSumo)
Hint: We couldn’t have done it without our community.
What are the two biggest problems for early-stage SaaS startups?
- Attracting early members and building a community
- Getting enough money fast to pay salaries and fund the development
Most of the founders will start looking for an investment to solve this problem. “With the investment, we’ll have money for ads.” — seems to be the most common idea.
But there’s a way to kill two birds with one stone and to actually achieve product-market fit while doing it.
In this article, we’ll show you how we @ Infinity made over $70k in 10 days right before launching our commercialized product. Without investors. Without AppSumo.
So, how did we do it?
The Importance of Building a Community
Before we even thought of launching our LTD campaign, we already had a community of about 8,000 beta members who had used our product, talked to us on a daily basis, suggested new features, helped us by reporting bugs and shared Infinity with other people.
Now, the fun part was getting to know these people and nurturing them into an amazing, engaged community. All with a completely ‘user-centric’ approach.
You’re probably hearing the phrase ‘user-centric’ or ‘customer-centric’ all the time, but what does it actually mean?
For us, it means having a community of satisfied, loyal members. It means building relationships and constantly communicating with our users. It means actually listening to them and implementing the suggestions we hear from them. It means providing customer support that goes above and beyond for our community, and a human, empathic approach every time we talk to them. It means treating our community like family.
Cheesy, right? But it’s how we do it. And it played a huge part in making our lifetime deal a success.
In fact, the most important factor in our lifetime deal campaign were our advocates — the most engaged community members who decided to share Infinity; at the right time, and the right place — which we’ll get to in a bit.
Along the way, we realized the most important thing — in the early stages, people don’t get attached to the product, they get attached to the vision and team behind it. And due to our user-centric, relationship-building mindset, people loved our vision and our team.
And when we say team, we’re not saying you need to hire a professional photographer to take photos of your team for the About Us page or post quirky behind-the-scenes videos. That can come later.
When we say team, we mean having a team of people that are completely focused on creating a great product, so much that it’s contagious. A team of people who are happy to answer questions and help the community. Users don’t have to see your faces on fancy photos but they need to feel they can trust you and rely on you.
Having a community like that is the foundation for everything else. Which takes us to the next step.
Teasing the Deal
At the end of February, we started discussing our business model. After a lot of thought, we finally decided to go with the paid product, which meant that once we exited beta, Infinity wouldn’t have a free version.
We opted for a paid-only product because we figured out that making usage and feature limitations just isn’t our style. Our idea is to build awesome, feature-rich software in the future, and we want every feature to show the value.
Of course, this was a tough decision, and it was a scary one as well. We didn’t know how our community would react. So we sent out an email to all our users, announcing our decision and our future pricing plans and we asked for feedback. But we did one more thing.
As we decided to make Infinity a paid software, we didn’t want to let down the people who had been with us from the start. We wanted to give back to our community. To give them a chance to keep using Infinity for a small price, but also to give them a chance to support us on our journey.
A lifetime deal was the logical choice.
So, in that email announcing our future pricing model, we also mentioned we were planning a lifetime deal. We didn’t have an exact plan at that point, it was just an idea, and so the email just teased the deal, without going into details.
But it was enough to spark the curiosity and send the snowball down a mountain.
Martech Wise Euphoria
About two weeks later, something unusual happened.
As we were preparing the lifetime deal campaign for our beta members, our signups started spiking. In just one day, we had dozens of new signups and our inbox was buzzing. Everyone wanted to know about our upcoming lifetime deal.
From the questions, it was pretty clear that somehow the word has spread about Infinity’s lifetime deal, and everyone wanted in. It took us some time to figure out where and how exactly this happened.
But we weren’t complaining. Although it was an all hands on deck situation in the marketing and support teams, it was a good kind of busy.
So, what happened?
On March 12th, one of our community members, Chris, posted about Infinity on a popular Facebook group For Fans 😍 of Lifetime Tech Deals and SaaS Apps — Martech Wise Forums. This group has over 3,400 super engaged members, and it’s the ultimate hub for LTD lovers, techies, and SaaS founders. And — as we quickly discovered — it’s the place to be if you’re planning to launch a lifetime deal campaign.
The post accumulated 476 comments in a few weeks.
After this post, the story about our lifetime deal spread like wildfire. We had hundreds of new signups in the days that followed and dozens of conversations of Intercom. And we hadn’t even launched the campaign yet.
Launching the Lifetime Deal
The hype was there, but now we had to justify it. And now the pressure was even higher since we knew that there were so many people interested, and we couldn’t afford to let them down.
It was time to prepare the campaign, promote the deal, and handle customer support, i.e. put out all the fires that arise along the way.
After about a week, we finalized the details of our campaign and were ready to launch. Needless to say, we had an army of enthusiastic LTD fans, (im)patiently waiting for the deal to finally go live.
In the end, we decided to offer the following three options:
In order to launch the deal, we created a dedicated landing page where we explained the details of the deal, presented our three lifetime plans and introduced Infinity to the newcomers because we knew we could expect a lot of new people landing on that page who would know very little about Infinity at that point.
Once we launched the lifetime deal landing page, it was time for promotion. Here’s what it included:
- An email to our beta members (including the newest members of our community)
- Announcement on our Facebook page
- Announcement on Martech Wise Facebook group
- Announcement on various Saas and LTD Facebook groups we had joined beforehand
- Announcement on LinkedIn and Slack groups
- A Facebook ad that ran for 5 days
- Reminder 1 day before the deal ends — email, Facebook page, Martech Wise
The campaign lasted from March 21st to April 1st, and during that time we had close to 2,000 new signups, we handled hundreds of Intercom conversation daily, plus emails, Facebook comments and messages. Since we had three people in our team working on marketing and support, we spent these 12 days (and nights) pretty much like this:
When we came out on the other side after these 12 days, we knew that our lifetime deal was an even bigger success than we had ever hoped for.
Results and the Aftermath
On April 1st, we concluded the lifetime deal. The results were in, and we couldn’t have been happier about how it all went down.
We made over $70k in total (we also accepted Paypal payments) selling close to 500 lifetime deals.
After the campaign, there was only one thing left — deliver on the promise we made during the campaign and provide the best tool possible and the best customer support we could give. And that’s what we have been doing ever since.
As a result, we’ve created a Facebook group called Infinity Community where our members are discussing use cases, reporting issues and suggesting new features. The group currently has over 260 members and is growing every day.
Our lifetime deal also included one interesting addition — an Infinity T-shirt. After the campaign, we’ve sent out those T-shirts all over the world and we loved seeing our users wear them.
During and after the campaign, we also received some amazing support from our community. Lots of community members shared Infinity on various Facebook groups and forums. And, one of the members even made a great review video that you can check out below. Shout out to David Ferguson, aka Tech Smart Boss!
Finally, we’ve started investing the money that we earned from the campaign into further app development — which was the initial idea. We hired two more developers to be able to deliver new Infinity features faster, and we’re currently on the hunt for new teammates in the marketing and customer success department.
Overall, the whole experience around launching our lifetime deal was incredible. The people we’ve met, the results we’ve achieved, and the funds we earned that we can direct into our team and further development.
If you’re a young SaaS startup, you should definitely consider running an LTD. And although AppSumo is a great option (they have a massive community), they take 70% commission — meaning that you will actually end up getting only 30% of all sales.
So it might be worth considering other options as well and maybe even launching your own lifetime deal campaign.
Make sure to check out the Martech Wise Facebook group and connect with the awesome people there for help and guidance. Give a shout to Amber Cockwill, Donald Chan, Veronica Lu, Atley Joseph, Chris Hughes, Rommel C. Caibal, David Ferguson, Nik Donovic, Bruce Kraft Jr., Vitaliy Malanchuk, Ewok Jorduman and the rest of the amazing crowd for any LTD-related questions.
When it comes to Infinity, now that we’re out of beta, we’re ready for new challenges. We’re adding new features, talking to our users and implementing their suggestions, and we’re ready more than ever to achieve our vision — building the best, most flexible work management tool ever.
Infinity is a work management platform that is completely flexible and customizable. As such, it gives you the possibility to build your own work system.