Software bundles are product suites that contain multiple applications. They are frequently used to combine multiple small apps, tools, extensions, or plugins into a single package. For instance, you could purchase a bundle of WordPress plugins or Photoshop extensions.
Since selling an individual plugin is often not possible, developers will often package multiple tools together in order to make a viable sale. While you can package your own apps and plugins together, it’s often more feasible to work with others when creating your software bundle.
Doing so carries a number of benefits that can give you edge in marketing and monetization.
Here are 5 of the top reasons.
1. New Partners
No developer is an island, and bundles are proof of that. When you work together with other developers, you build connections with other companies and individuals who can be your partners in business.
In marketing there is an awful lot of emphasis on the competition, but sometimes not enough on non-competitors. Forming relationships and pooling resources is sometimes the best way to climb the ladder and become successful.
More successful companies are excellent resources that can help you further your career, while smaller fish help reinforce your own position as an authority in your industry. Besides, who knows how they could help you down the line?
2. Bigger Audience
Another benefit to partnering up and bundling is growing your audience. The more partners who are involved, the more audiences you’ll have access to. Since each partner will undoubtedly let their followers know about the software bundle, you’ll gain exposure to that audience as well.
Promotion is one of the primary reasons you should consider bundling your software. While many developers shun the idea if the bottom line won’t see a big enough impact, it’s often best to look at it as a marketing investment. It’s very unlikely that bundling will hurt your business in any way.
In fact, the opposite is usually true. If, for example, two developers pool their audiences, revenue-share programs can often earn more money for each developer, even if they charge the same price for their bundle as for the individual app. Why?
As mentioned below, a bundle enhances the value of a product. If you include two apps for the price of one and double the audience pool, you are likely to see more than double the number of purchases, due to this enhanced value.
The end result?
3. More Money
If you do your math right, the aggregated demand of your audiences combined with the enhanced value of the bundle will bring in a larger net income. In other words, if you create or join a bundle, you’ll be able to see a return on investment.
On its own, a plugin can be difficult to monetize, unless it has an extensive range of features and provides serious value to the customer.
Given the increased value and demand for a bundle, however, that plugin can potentially earn more money, in addition to the other marketing benefits and networking benefits mentioned here.
4. Portfolio Experience
For new and intermediate developers, extensions and plugins are ideal ways to get your feet wet. And a portfolio piece looks that much better when it has been included in a bundle along with product from other well-established companies. This way, you can point to the project and its reception: the number of downloads, the ratings, the revenue, and so forth.
It can be daunting and difficult to jump headfirst – or even feet first – into software development. And if you don’t yet have the technical knowledge, it makes sense to take baby steps towards that goal. But just because you start small doesn’t mean you have to go unnoticed.
5. Enhanced Value
A sole plugin has much less value than a suite of products. This enhanced value increases the likelihood that you’ll gain all of the above benefits, such as increased recognition and income. Products that are more valuable in a customer’s eyes will also reflect better on your company.
It is for this reason that subscription models like Netflix are so successful. Despite the service’s low monthly cost, it has been able to outstrip the traditional a la carte model used by other movie rental outlets.
A Word of Advice
When you bundle your products, ensure that you are adding value to the complete package. Don’t include software that you yourself wouldn’t use or recommend. If, for instance, there is persistent or annoying software, this could have a negative impact on your business instead of a positive one.
Finally, it should be noted that there is another use of the term bundling. The other usage of “bundling” is almost synonymous with pay-per-install, where you include third-party apps with your main software program and earn income when users install those apps. This is also a common monetization strategy, implemented successfully by advertising industry leaders like CodeFuel.