Windows Software Distribution: Downloads and Monetization in 5 Simple Steps

In terms of Windows software distribution, downloads and monetization aren’t as hard as you may think. For years, developers have run up against a wall when trying to distribute, deploy, and monetize their software. How do you acquire more users? How do you find better users? How do you make money from them?

Fortunately, developers such as the team at CodeFuel have developed pay-per-install smart installers as part of their line of distribution and monetization products. Total monetization platforms offer distribution and monetization solutions to meet the needs of developers around the world. If you’re looking for a simple 5-step solution to increasing your distribution, read on.

1. Find a Smart Installer

What do you do when everyone else is using a smart installer? Sounds like you’d better get one too. In terms of windows software distribution, downloads go up which means improved distribution.

If you’re using an old-school installer or home-baked script, you may want to reconsider. Here are some reasons that old-school installers just don’t cut it:

They’re slow – Old downloaders and Windows installers can’t keep up any more. They can be bulky and contain the complete file set needed by the installer. These days, users just don’t have the patience to sit around and wait for giant files to download, extract, and prepare themselves for use.

They’re boring – Yes, boring. Who wants to stare at a slow-moving progress bar? It didn’t take long for the gaming industry to realize that they could fill that time with screen shots, teasers, and tips. And it didn’t take long for the software industry to realize that that space could be filled with money-making advertisements.

They don’t increase distribution – Distribution and deployment are sometimes used interchangeably, but they shouldn’t be. Deployment refers to the technical aspect of installation, while distribution refers to the dissemination of your product. Smart installers work as advertising solutions to help you increase your reach and your customer base.

2. Promote in the Installer

Promoting your own work is key to increasing your reach. And increasing your reach is key to increasing your revenue. Using smart installers to advertise is just smart business, because you’re building an audience from users who are already interested in software.

Used in this way, smart installers help you solve one of the biggest hurdles facing developers: distribution.

Promoting partners’ work through the same installer doesn’t solve a distribution problem so much as it solves a revenue problem. But with the right smart installer, you can solve both. So why wouldn’t you?

3. Bundle with Partners

Partners are called partners for a reason. They work together towards a common goal. When you bundle your software with partners, you’re combining your audiences, which helps you increase your reach. Your brand will gain increased exposure as well. So in addition to increased downloads, your company will increase its market presence.

Bundling, of course, also gives you an opportunity to monetize through revenue-sharing. You can take smaller tools that wouldn’t otherwise earn income and integrate them into a bundle. Even if the revenue potential is small, it’s a great way to build your network and gain more industry share.

4. Brand Your Installer

Smart installers are made to be branded, and brands are key to building recognition in the eyes of potential customers. The right smart installer will allow you to customize it to your logo, content layout, and color scheme.

Old, flavorless installers that aren’t customizable just don’t give your brand the exposure it needs to grow. These installers don’t help you meet distribution goals and they don’t help you stand out from the crowd. The last thing users want is a flavorless installer from a forgettable brand.

5. Customize Customer Journeys

Last but not least, you’ll need to customize the installation pathway. It’s not only an advertising funnel to help you show the right offers and monetize more effectively, it’s a great way to improve your customer relationships.

And relationships are what distribution and marketing are all about. The more downloads you get, the more customers you’ll be able to market to over the long term, and the more you’ll be able to increase your market share.

Yes, conversions on offers is important to any developer, because that’s how you make money. But expansion and growth are vital.

Since smart installers handle all the technical aspects of deployment, it’s not hard to see why they’re taking over the marketplace. They’re becoming more and more common for developers and software publishers, especially since they are so easy to use and integrate.

Anyone not using a smart installer for Windows software distribution and downloads just won’t be able to keep up. Are you ready to get started?

What is Software Distribution?

Developing software is one thing, but getting software into the hands of your users is something else entirely. When we talk about software distribution, are we talking about deployment, installation, marketing and dissemination, or the actual process and logistics of delivery?

What is Software Distribution?

There are a couple of definitions of “software distribution,” which can be a little confusing at first. One definition refers to a version or iteration of a software package, such as a Linux distribution – e.g., Ubuntu or Mint.

When used as a verb, however, software distribution just means getting your application into the hands of the user. This process involves several steps, including packaging, delivery, and installation.

Packaging

The efficiency of the deployment process depends greatly on the installer that is used. Good installers can accelerate downloads, decrease deployment time, and enhance the end user’s experience. In the same vein as Software-as-a-Service, third-party installation services often aid app developers who need a distribution solution. InstallFuel, for instance, allows developers to use their installer to distribute, deploy, and install a software package.

Benefits of Third Party Distribution Solutions

Software distribution may seem simple at first glance, but as the internet and the world of technology grows in complexity, so does the development and distribution process. App developers who use third-party distribution solutions can take advantage of a pre-existing digital distribution platform, which can target appropriate users with a customized, branded distribution package.

Packages such as InstallFuel simplify the software distribution process and often help you reach a larger network of users. This means that you can focus on your core business, while the third-party installer helps you reach high-quality, highly targeted end-users.

Another major benefit of such products is the monetization potential. People who ask the question, “What is software distribution?” are usually told that software distribution is getting an application into the hands of the end-user, and that’s true. But this definition ignores the possibility for monetization, and money is why we’re in this business. The distribution phase is a perfect opportunity for software publishers to monetize their software.

Beyond Deployment

There are plenty of resources online that describe deployment mechanics and the logistics of software distribution, version control, and planning the how-to side of things.

But any software publisher who wants to make money on their product should be thinking about more than just how to “get software into the hands of your user.” Software distribution certainly includes the logistics of packaging and installation, but it pays to think about ways to increase your audience. Enhancing your distribution to a larger audience has added benefits, such as increased brand exposure and increased revenue.

Another way to get your software into the hands of more users is through bundling your app as part of a suite of apps. By working with other parties, you can share audiences, which means more exposure, more sales, and more potential for revenue. And that brings us to one of the most important facets of distribution: promotion.

Increase Distribution with Marketing

Assuming you have the logistics handled, and assuming you have figured out a way to monetize your app, then the next step is to get more people to download and use your software. As mentioned, bundling your app into a package can help with both of those angles, but you’ll certainly want to maximize your exposure even more, if possible.

Good old-fashioned advertising is one of the best ways to increase your app’s visibility. This has some definite benefits, since you can get your app noticed quickly, and drive lots of traffic with properly placed ads. If your app has a good monetization system in place and you advertise appropriately, you can turn a profit pretty quickly. However, advertising’s not always an easy game to play, and costs for certain keywords can be expensive and competitive.

Content marketing, such as developing SEO-friendly web content or social media content geared towards your target audience, can be a cheaper way of establishing authority online and building relationships with your audience. Content is a good long-term asset that keeps on giving. The downside is that it’s a slower process and doesn’t always get you the same level of exposure as advertising.

If you charge for your software, joining an affiliate network can be a great way to get others to promote your product for you. Offer a high commission to entice affiliates to help you distribute your product, which will increase your exposure and user base. If you don’t charge for your product, put it up on all the major software directories, which also helps increase exposure.

There are plenty of other ways to monetize and enhance your distribution phase. It often requires thinking outside the box.

When you ask yourself, “What is software distribution?”  you should not only be asking yourself how to deploy efficiently, you should also ask how you can monetize, increase exposure, and add to your user base.

There are plenty of smart installers and third-party distribution networks that can help with both.

CodeFuel – How to Monetize Software

It’s exciting times at CodeFuel. Not only have we just launched our brand new look website, but we are also proud to release our new monetization video.

The video starts with the question: “What on earth is monetization?” and then quickly takes you on a whirlwind ride showing you how to monetize software or apps.

On top of trying to be the next Steven Spielberg, we at CodeFuel have been busy redesigning our website, which includes a new logo, new look, and feel, as well as lots of new information from the industry’s leading software monetization platform.

Our website includes a new How it Works section, explaining just how we can help you can make money with your software. This section includes information on how simple it is to monetize your app or software. Simply, sign up at CodeFuel and one of our monetization experts will be in touch to discuss your business needs.

Once you have selected your preferred monetization solution our tech team will guide you through the simple integration process. Then once deployed, you’ll receive monthly payments. CodeFuel offers a range of business models including  Pay Per Install and Revenue Sharing.

Software Monetization Solutions

CodeFuel provides software monetization solutions for developers, publishers and advertisers worldwide, empowering digital businesses to make more revenue from installs, traffic, display ads, and search.

Our suite of free monetization solutions includes InstallFuel, a smart installer that offers targeted recommendations during installation, and MobileFuel, a new set of monetization solutions for Android app developers – including in-app search feeds that can be easily integrated to fit apps.

SearchFuel is a range of customizable search boxes and other search-based monetization tools. CodeFuel’s search tools are enhanced by its long-term relationships with major search engine providers including Microsoft’s Bing, with which Perion recently signed a new three-year agreement.

Monetize, Optimize, and Analyze

If all this wasn’t enough, the new site also boasts a new cloud-based Control Center that serves as an analytics hub for developers, providing detailed data on revenue, traffic, and installs, as well as real-time reports and A/B testing.

The Control Center also features an updated user interface, revenue analysis, and performance by applications, customizable dashboards, and a campaign manager feature to optimize product inventory and manage capabilities.

How to Increase Software Downloads

Developing your own software can create significant revenue potential for your company. With the right product, you could become the next Microsoft.

OK, so may you’re not going to become the next Microsoft, but you could definitely create a successful product that will help bolster your business or create a whole new niche for your business. The right development and marketing plan is essential to your success. Here are a few tips for how to increase software downloads to make any new business venture a success:

Create a Great Product

When you create a great product that provides value for your users, it will almost sell itself. Almost. If you want to get a ton of software downloads, you need to create an excellent software package that provides real solutions for your target audience. Test and re-test the software to make sure that it works smoothly and doesn’t have any glitches.

Conduct focus groups to find out ways to strengthen the software and add features you may have overlooked. The more you do to perfect your software, the better it will perform when you put it on the market, and the more downloads you will get.

Conduct Targeted Marketing

The secret to increasing software downloads is the same as it is for selling any product: Create targeted marketing.

You can’t just write content or create ads that talk about how great your software is; you have to write with a specific audience in mind. The more specific you are about who that audience is, the more specific (and successful) your marketing can be. It helps to define not just your audience, but also a specific persona for your audience.

For example, you might decide that you aren’t just targeting female entrepreneurs, but are trying to sell to female entrepreneurs who run a mid-size company and earn a certain amount of revenue each year. By defining the specifics of who your target audience is, you can create more targeted marketing that gets results.

Run PPC Ads

Pay per click advertising (commonly known as PPC advertising) can be very effective advertising since you only pay for ads that users act on, increasing your chances of getting conversions.

You also set the budget for your PPC campaigns in advance, so you can spend only what you want. When most people think of PPC advertising, they think of Google AdWords. While it’s certainly the biggest fish in the sea, it’s not your only option. You can also buy PPC ads for other search engines, like Bing, as well as special platforms, such as browser extensions.

By exploring all your options, you can increase your exposure and increase your software downloads.

Use a Smart Installer

The speed of your software’s download can have a big impact on your conversion rate. If the download takes too long to complete, users will cancel it and move on. In order to increase the number of software downloads, you need to increase the speed of the download.

One way to make the download process more efficient is to use a smart installer. This tool helps downloads go more quickly; at the same time, it gives you the opportunity to monetize your software.

You can display special offers or related products to your users while they are downloading your software. The right smart installer will help you increase your software downloads while also increasing your revenue stream (through both sales and advertising profits).

Bundle the Software

Creating a partnership with another business has long been a promotional strategy for all types of products. Using this strategy is a great way to increase downloads of your software, too. You can bundle your software with a related product to create a special deal that will encourage sales.

By creating a software bundle, you benefit from the established reputation of the company with whom you choose to partner. You reach their customer base, and you benefit from the marketing they do for the software on their own channels. In addition, the software bundle provides two great tools for your customers at one low price, which will help to drive sales.

Make sure you choose the right company to partner with and the right software to bundle to ensure that this strategy is a success. Creating the right marketing plan is essential when you are trying to increase downloads of your software.

While traditional marketing efforts like content marketing and PPC advertising will get you some results, you should also consider alternative strategies such as using a smart installer and creating a software bundle.

You’ll reach far more of your target audience and start meeting your sales goals more quickly. Your next goal: To create more software and continue building the suite of tools to help your customers and grow your brand. You may not become the next Microsoft, but you can still be something great.

How to Increase Your Download Conversion Rate

When you sell apps or software, simply marketing your products is not enough to meet your business goals. While marketing can certainly help you get the exposure you need, it may not help you convert your target audience. You have to create a marketing strategy that is designed to get results, and you have to use the right tools to drive conversions.

Getting more conversions for your apps or software does not have to be difficult, but it does require making the right choices and being persistent. Here are a few tips for how to increase the download conversion rate for your apps or software:

Target the Right Audience

Marketing is essential to getting the word out about your app or software, but if you want to ensure that the marketing is effective, you have to target the right audience. That means creating materials that show how your app or software can benefit a very specific type of person. To help you create these materials, try creating a persona or personas for the audience you are trying to reach. For example, you might decide that your software is best for professionals who are between the ages of 30 and 35, and who are starting their first business in the field of finance. The more specific you are in creating your personas, the more targeted your marketing campaigns can be.

The more targeted your campaigns are, the more likely they are to reach the people who want and need your software, and who will be inclined to download it.

Use a Smart Installer

One thing that can have a big impact on your download conversion rate is how long the app or software takes to download and install. The longer it takes, the more likely your customers are to abandon it. You may have had those people on the hook, but now you’ve lost them and won’t get them back.

One way to increase the speed of the installation process is to use a smart installer. A smart installer helps guide people through the installation process and makes it faster and easier. At the same time, a smart installer can show special offers at various stages of the installation. These offers can be for your products or for your advertisers’ products. Not only can a smart installer increase your download conversion rate, but it can also help you monetize your app or software and create an additional revenue stream. Do your research to find the right smart installer for your product.

Create a Special Offer

Creating an incentive can help to increase your downloads conversion rate. Perhaps you can offer your customers another product for free with their download, or maybe you can offer the app or software for free or a very reduced price for a limited time. You can also partner with another company to bundle your software with theirs, creating a special price for both packages.

By offering the special product or discount, you give customers a reason to buy immediately instead of thinking it over and possibly not returning later to buy. The more motivated customers feel to buy now, the higher your conversions will be. Think creatively to provide a variety of offers to appeal to the largest possible audience and increase your conversion rate.

These days, everyone uses apps and software to make their lives easier. Creating an app or software that creates solutions or makes tasks easier can help you to ensure the success of your business. Creating the right marketing plan can help you drive conversions and not just increase exposure for your brand. Using a smart installer and creating a special offer can help you get the results you need quickly, but defining the target audience for your marketing and deciding on the right price for your product can also bolster your success. Use a multi-faceted strategy to get the best results.

How Software Bundling can Help You Meet Your Goals

Creating your own software can be one of the most beneficial things you do for your business. Instead of recommending useful software and other technological tools to help your clients meet their business goals or make their work more efficient, you can create software that is specifically designed to meet their needs. If anyone knows what your clients need, it’s you. In fact, you’re are an expert on what they need, so you’re in a good position to create a powerful tool that delivers the solutions to help their business grow.

Just like with any product, you have to design an effective strategy for marketing your software and getting it in front of your target audience. You may know that it will innovate the way your clients do business, but they don’t know that until they try it. The key to your success is getting them to try it in the first place.

Software bundling can help you get your software in front of more people and meet your marketing goals. The way that software bundling works is that you identify another company with a recognized brand name or an innovative (but not competing) software product, and create a partnership. When clients download that company’s software, they also get yours – or vice versa. In the process, they get a great deal on two products.

Here’s how software bundling benefits you, as well as your clients:

More Downloads

By linking your brand to another brand that already has an established client base, you can help drive downloads of your software through bundling. The other company will be conducting its own marketing campaign to promote its software, which you will benefit from by being linked to the software. You’ll automatically get more downloads thanks to the joint efforts of the other company in promoting the bundle.

You’ll also get more downloads because your clients will feel incentivized to purchase thanks to the bundle pricing. In most cases, the bundle will offer the software package at a lower price than if the two were sold separately. If not, then additional features can be offered. Either way, the promotion encouraged clients to download since they will be getting something they wouldn’t if they limited themselves to individual purchases.

More Exposure

Even though you won’t convince every single client to download your software, creating a bundle will get you more exposure with every person who sees it. Partnering with the other company ensures that you maximize your exposure by getting the software in front of a whole new client base. Your software will go out to the other brand’s email marketing list, social media channels, blogs and maybe even their direct mail list. That’s a significant number of new clients you could be reaching with the partnership.

And the benefits don’t end here. You will also reach a wider general audience with software bundling. The excitement behind the bundle will help you to reach more people, who can all become potential clients. Even if the exposure doesn’t translate into immediate sales, it does create top-of-mind awareness that can make it easier to close a sale when you reach out to those same people in the future.

More Sales

Obviously, more downloads translates to more sales of your software. In addition, the increased downloads and increased exposure that you get from software bundling can also lead to more overall sales for your company. Hopefully, those who download will now have a favorable view of your products and your company, and will feel more encouraged to check out your other offerings and buy from you again. They may buy your other software, or they may give your other products and services a try.

Those who become aware of your company through exposure to the bundle deal will be more likely to buy from you in the future. The more often a person sees your brand, the more likely he is to trust your company or see it as an authority (assuming that what the person sees isn’t negative). That means that person is more likely to do business with you in the future. Future sales might include the software you are trying to promote or your other products and services. Either way, it’s a win for you. 

Software bundling may not be the first thing you think of when you plan your marketing strategy. However, it can be far more effective than traditional means of advertising. You get more results, which means that you can spend less while getting a greater return on your investment. Software bundling doesn’t just translate to immediate downloads and sales. It also creates a partnership that can lead to more exposure now and in your future endeavors, all of which creates more authority for your brand and helps you generate more sales long into the future.