How Do Press Releases Help Software Companies Sell More?
One of the secrets to generating a high volume of targeted traffic to your website and plenty of software sales is to inform people about your product on a regular basis. Press releases allow you to easily accomplish this. They have a worldwide distribution to thousands of media outlets that will inform millions of people about your software product for free. Another benefit of press releases is that they are an ongoing form of promotion. Once a press release is distributed, it is archived on news sites and will drive traffic to your website and generate software downloads for many years to come.
How to Find a Newsworthy Topic for a Press Release?
You can create press releases for just about anything. The release can be of interest to all readers or just a particular audience. The topics for the press release that would be considered newsworthy may include (but not be restricted to) the following:
- Release of a new software program, its’ updates, upgrades, or launch of a new service;
- Development of a new software program that addresses a specific need;
- Announcements about your company sponsoring a charity event;
- Publication of a new ‘how to’ article, user guide, datasheet, review, or any other type of marketing copy that would be of interest to the public on your website;
- Awards and other types of industry/community recognition your software has received;
- Results of an online survey, research, or poll you have carried out;
- Partnering or merging with another business;
- Information about changing business strategies;
- Gaining a contract with a large business;
- Launch of a new e-commerce website;
- Announcements about raffles, special seasonal discounts on your software product or service (Christmas, New Year, Valentine’s Day, etc.), or price changes;
- Reports about sales.
Now I would like to share with you some facts that demonstrate that press releases are an effective marketing strategy.
PR Experience of the Actual Tools Company
Actual Tools is a software development company which specializes in desktop enhancement applications for the Windows® operating system family. The main goal of the company is to help both home and corporate users who have to deal with a many windows at the same time to make their work easier and more efficient.
My experience with press releases started four years ago when I wrote and distributed several press releases announcing the new versions of the software. At first there was no response from the editors so I thought my campaign was a failure. But a month later I discovered my software was reviewed by PC World. The press releases were read by their editor who used them to write his own story. The links left in that review triggered a rush of downloads from my website which continued for the next three months. Compared to the previous months my sales multiplied 10 times.
My press release campaigns show that a very good effect can be achieved when the press release doesn’t simply describe the functionality of the software but tells about the benefits users will enjoy by adopting it, or demonstrates some particular uses of the software that will make the life of a customer easier. Press releases that are targeted at some specific audiences are effective too.
For example, I had the press release entitled ‘Actual Window Manager is Must-Have Software on a Tablet PC’, which generated many publications on specialized Tablet PC’s websites and forums. The effect of that press was estimated at several thousand dollars.
My other specialized press release about the use of the Transparency effect in Windows XP brought about several publications in large magazines, including PC World.
I had the same good effect in August 2006 when I distributed another press release on the multi-monitor support provided by the Actual Tools’ software. It did not take long to realize the results. In September, my product was mentioned in the Windows IT Pro newsletter which directly led to an increase in the number of corporate orders.
Press Releases Which Got Into Print
You can now see the results of the press release campaigns and estimate their effectiveness on your own. Please visit http://www.ActualTools.com/press/publications/ to find the names of the computer magazines and other news editions that reviewed the marketed software, wrote an article about it, or simply mentioned it after they received my press release.
Gaming Press Releases and Sugar Games Experience
As it turned out, press releases are good not only for the promotion of business utilities, but also for the marketing of games. I came to this conclusion when I applied the same approach to my other project – Sugar Games that specializes in games. Unfortunately, the publications are not tracked but a few interesting facts are known.
Once I distributed a press release about Rainbow Web, one of my new games, and a few weeks later I had a three-day sales rush, during which I sold over 20 copies of the game to the citizens of the same city. Later I learned that the editor of a local newspaper read the press release and published the story about the game in his newspaper.
In December 2006 I distributed a press release about the launch of Rainbow Mystery for Mac to Mac editions. Over the next two days the news about the game appeared on the majority of websites specializing in Mac software, including MacWorld. The effect multiplied when smaller websites and blogs started to reprint the press release. As a result, the game was downloaded more than 3,000 times over 3 weeks after the press release distribution.
There is no doubt that press release campaigns cover the costs of both press release writing and distribution. In the winter of 2006, I launched a series of experiments whereby I distributed localized press releases to journalists and media outlets in Europe. I distributed press releases in German, French, Spanish, and Italian. No other promotion campaigns were held, no submission to archives, no AdWords, and the localized product pages on the Sugar Games website were given only in the press releases.
As a result, over the two months the income from sales exceeded the costs of the translation services and press release distribution by 2-4 times, depending on the language. Later, I took several additional measures to promote the software. Therefore, it was impossible to further track the impact of the press release distribution on the sales.