See how other companies market their software. This is part of a series of reviews looking at examples of software product marketing: “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”
This is an example of how not to do your software product marketing. New visitors to HerdLogic’s web site will find it difficult to quickly understand
- What the software does
- Who would want to use this
- What the benefits are
The text has been written from the perspective of the software company and what they want to say. It assumes people coming to the website are existing customers already understand what HerdSoft does.
When you’re preparing copy for your web site or any software marketing, you should change your viewpoint to concentrate on what an outsider wants, what do they see. Make it easy for them to find what they are looking for. You want to look at everything from an outside-in perspective not inside-out.
Below is a screenshot from HerdSoft’s home page. Let’s look at what works well and what doesn’t.
I have marked up
- The Good
- The Bad
- The Ugly
The Good, The Bad and the Ugly
The Good. Great examples of software product marketing best practice
- 1. It does say that HerdLogic is software for managing horses, llamas… sometimes people forget the basics. But this would be much better if you could see what types of activity are included in herd management e.g. breeding history, expected yields
The Bad. Could be improved
- 2. Asking us to order HerdLogic before explaining what it is does seems like putting the cart before the horse (sorry). This is OK in navigation but not in main page flow.
The Ugly. Examples to illustrate what you should not do
- 3. Even if you are expecting the majority of visitors to your home page to be existing customers, your home page should always be written for your prospects and quickly answer
What is this about?
Is this relevant for me?
What’s in it for me?
Research consistently shows that people will give your web site about 8 seconds to “attract” them before they decide to move on.
For a first-time visitor, talking about patches and version numbers will get a negative response. They are being reminded of all the problems they have ever had with software. Keep your support information on your support page, newsletter, and forums.
- 4. A product reaching its end of life, a name change, new features, and launching a new version are very important for the developer – but that’s inside-out thinking. If you are new to HerdLogic you don’t care about the old versions.Existing customers will care, but this does not answer what this new version has added and whether they can upgrade for free.
This says several time there are new features “new release and major upgrade”, “new and enhanced capabilities”, “new group functions”, and “many new features” but it does not really say what they are.
It says there is customizable reporting and support for more species, but considering how many times we’re told there are new features it would have been better to describe the key features.
And by the way you only need one trademark symbol, put it on the first mention
- 5. The description of what the software does is weak. And we’re left to work out what the benefits would be.Saying it’s “comprehensive” and “meets the needs and requirements” of the livestock adds no value, it’s effectively saying it does what it’s supposed to.
You should always clearly state who benefits from using your software and what those benefits are.
The home page did not really explain to me what HerdLogic software does, so I was expecting the About HerdLogic page would be clearer. I was disappointed:
The Ugly Continued. More examples to illustrate what you should not do
- 6. “HerdLogic is a major upgrade to HerdLogic” Big mistake – this should have been “HerdLogic is a major upgrade to LamaLogic”.
Visitors will be able to figure it out, but when they realize the developer here got their own product name wrong on the first line they are going to think it’s a sloppy amateur mistake and will be worried about the quality of the software. Always get a second pair of eyes to prof read.
- 7. Establishing credibility is useful, but the copy here is weak.Chemistry & Physics don’t seem relevant, being “actively involved” with IT could mean “uses a PC”.
TechWest taking over HerdLogic to give Simon and Anja a well deserved break strikes a very personal tone.
I am sure there has been a large investment of time and energy that has been put into this software. And handing it over to a third party was probably very emotional. There will be a rich personal story behind this. But if this site is going to help sell more copies of this software then this is not sending the right message.
If I was wanting to buy herd management software, I would be thinking “I don’t care about what you did 10-20 years ago I want to know what this does for me now” and “this looks like it has been abandoned, it’s no longer being developed”
Including personality and credibility are great but be careful how you do it. Think about this outside-in. What do prospects care about?
Join the Discussion
- Do you agree – am I being too harsh?
- What do you like about HerdLogic?
- What would you do differently?
- Suggest any examples of best (or worst) practice for software product marketing
Please add a comment below or contact Giles @ Smart