In the last few years, lifetime deals have become the gold coupon of SaaS products.
In a world where everything is paid monthly or yearly, the opportunity to pay once off at a massively discounted price is almost impossible to say no to. Especially if it's for a product that you want!
Of course, Lifetime Deals don’t exist for mature, established products.
New SaaS creators (often boot strapped startups) use Lifetime Deals as a way to draw attention, publicity, and users into their fledgling application as well as to give an often much needed injection of funds.
The benefits of Lifetime Deals for both the SaaS business, and the consumer are great. However, there are a few things to be mindful of that both sides of the transaction should be aware of.
For the Customer
1. It's early stages
You're buying a product that’s in its early stages of evolution and there will often be bugs to iron out, features to add, and it may not even suit your needs - yet.
2. It's a bargain
You will get an absolute bargain. There is absolutely no doubt that if the product lives up to its promises, the amount of money you’ll save over its life will be massive. Think of it as if you’re an early stage investor. All your investments won’t be winners, but some of them will and you’ll win big on those.
3. Be patient
Be patient. Remember that these are boot strapped businesses often with only a small team. When you contact support, you may not get the same response that you’d expect from an established company.
4. Be respectful
Be respectful. Remember there’s often a poor startup founder sacrificing their existence to bring a new business venture into the world and they need your support. If you don’t like what they’re doing, let them know - they need to know so they can improve - but do it in a respectful way.
5. Know the risk
Understand that the product may not live up to your expectations, and it may also fail, close down, or be purchased by another company. This is the risk you take.
6. They are limited
Lifetime deals are a limited time only. Make the call to purchase or don’t. If lifetime deals were forever, they wouldn’t be deals any more - the deal price would be the regular price. Recognise that creators are desperately trying to grow their business and be profitable so they can be around for a long time delivering value. They need paying subscribers.
If you choose not to take the deal (or missed out because your dog was sick), don’t pester the creator to give you the deal. If you still want the product, make a decision on whether the product has value at the regular price and choose to buy or not.
For the Product Creator
1. Listen to your customer
You have a product in the early stages of its evolution. Listen to your customers who have pulled out their credit card based on what your product is and could become. They will tell you what to do with your product to make it successful - you just have to listen carefully.
2. Respect your customer
Respect your customers. Every single one. Whether they’re paying or not. You must wholly and solely be focused on delivering on what you say you will deliver. You must be open and honest. Don’t promise anything you cannot deliver, and if you have delays - tell them. They will understand (most of the time).
Remember, the buyers of your lifetime deal want you to be successful. They bought based on what you presented, what you will become, so respect their investment in your future and support them.
3. Be responsive
Be responsive! Taking a week to respond to a query is not responsive. Avoiding responding to a question or a problem because it’s uncomfortable, or you cannot answer the customer positively, will only make it worse.
These customers are your lifeblood and you need to love them with everything you have. Respect them and the investment they have made in you and your product.
4. Closed is closed
Once your lifetime deal is closed, that means it’s closed. Do not give the deal to anyone past the close as it disrespects those who did purchase, and it also devalues your product.
Customers will try to get the deal after it closes but you need to hold firm. Not even when "they were out of town, and then their computer broke, and then it snowed so they couldn’t get to the store to get their computer fixed and so just missed out on the deal."
With companies like Stack Social and Appsumo dedicated to finding and bringing creators and customers together there is an endless supply now coming out.
Whether you’re the creator or the customer, lifetime deal offerings are fantastic and they offer such great value for both parties.
Gabe Alves | Founder of TrackMySubs