There's a million and one software installers to choose from. Some are smart, some are monetized, some are both. Some are brandable, some are customizable, some are free, and some are expensive, but which one is right for you? First, let's go over some benefits that software installers can offer.
Benefits of Smart Installers
Smart installers are becoming more and more popular, and there are plenty of reasons why:
Smart Installers are Faster
Bulky downloads and large installation packages can detract from the user experience. No one wants to sit around and wait for megabytes upon megabytes to download. Smart software installers are often tiny enough to receive in a matter of seconds, so the user doesn't become impatient and abort the process. The earlier the installation gets underway, the more likely users are to complete the installation.
Smart Installers Can Make Money
Everybody wants to get paid for their work. But in a world where so much software is free, it can be hard to compete and generate revenue. Installers such as InstallFuel provide a solution: you can offer your product for free, but still generate income from ads presented during and after installation.
Smart Installers are Customizable
Companies that offer smart installers know you want to maintain your brand identity and communicate that identity to the user. Many installers offer the option to personalize the installation process. You often have the option of altering the color scheme, adding your company logo, and inserting custom messages and installation steps.
Smart Installers Make Users Happy
The user experience is paramount. By offering fast downloads, streamlined installation, and, if need be, streamlined uninstalls, you improve the user experience. This makes users happy, leaves a positive brand impression, and increases the chances of conversions, upsells, etc.
The Smartest Installers Offer A/B Testing and Analytics
Find out what works best for your users by tracking the installation process. Offer multiple versions of the same software installer and see which one converts better. Changing your install funnel as you go keeps you in touch with your user base and improves two-way communication between you and your audience.
It's Not All About the User
Okay, okay. Smart installers are great for the user. But how do they help you, the developer?
For one thing, building your own installer can be a real pain. If you're a developer, then you want to focus on what you're good at: developing software. Coming up with software installers, distribution plans, marketing strategies, and monetization tactics only takes time away from your core business.
The best installers not only make your users happier, they make all of these things easier:
- You don't have to code your own installer – This is one of the biggest benefits of using a third-party installer. When you spend weeks, months, or years building out a piece of software, you don't want to have to spend as much time creating the dang installer. Let a specialist handle that.
- Marketing becomes so much simpler – When you sign up for networks that help with distribution and advertising, such as PPI networks, PPD networks, and affiliate networks, you gain access to a corps of professionals who are working together to make money and promote each others' products.
- You get tools that help grow your business – When you put all these things together – analytics, improved user experience, enhanced distribution, and so forth – you not only get a massive return on investment, you gain access to tools that will help skyrocket your business.
You may be thinking that this is a lot of hype for software installers, but when you look at the alternative it's pretty clear. Slower downloads, poor user experience, and lack of analytics tools really just mean that developers who don’t keep up…well…they won't be able to keep up.
The User Experience Comes First
When a user wants out, let them out. Don't have your uninstaller ask questions like, "Are you really, really sure?" Be professional. If your software has anonymous usage statistics or other data you can use, then improve your product and focus on the future. Always choose an installer that puts the user experience first.
As we continue to move forward in the digital age, software installers will get smarter and smarter, downloads will get faster, analytics will get deeper, and users will demand more seamless experiences. To compete in the marketplace, developers will need to focus on pleasing their users as much as possible.
Software installers may not seem like such a big deal to some, but in such a saturated marketplace, every aspect of the user experience must be accounted for. Remember, software is a business. And in business, as in life, first impressions are everything.