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Need to improve Marketing for my Software, Surfulater

nevfnevf subscriber Posts: 1
edited November 2006 in Marketing
Hi all, newcomer with first post. I`ve been a reasonably successful solo entrepreneur developing and publishing software for over 17 years now. I have a newish product that my customers love, but I`m simply not getting the level of sales I`m sure is possible and that the product is capable of. I`m happy to lay this fairly and squarely at inadequate marketing on my part.
The product is named http://www.surfulater.com</A> In essence Surfulater lets you permanently save anything you see on the Web from selected text and images to complete web pages, add notes, edit content, organize information and find it again. It removes the pain of having to find Web sites again, worry about whether they or the content you want still exists and provides access to information without having to be connected to the Internet. Further it saves content on your PC, such as Word Documents, PDF files etc.
Surfulater has been on the market for almost two years, it is robust, continually evolving and our customers absolutely love it. In the future we`ll see the ability to publish content to the Web, Synchronize Knowledge Bases between home and work and much more.
One problem I see is that I`m not targeting Surfulater at any specific market. My initial thoughts were this was a product that anyone that spends any amount of time on the Web would be interested in. I now realize it is unrealistic to attempt to "market to everyone". I`m also not really a marketer, but being a solo entrepreneur means I wear all of the hats.
That`s enough for a first post. I`m wide open to any suggestions or propositions anyone has. Surfulater is a good product that has great potential. With your help maybe I can climb a few more steps up the ladder of success.


  • nevfnevf subscriber Posts: 1
    Craig, Thanks for the reply. I`ve tried to make the Web site pitch clear and to the point with the focus on permanently saving information you see on the web, vs. never being able to find it again. I`ve followed the principles in Maria Veloso`s book, "Writing Web Copy that Sells" focusing on getting as much across "above the fold" and knowing most people move on to the next Web site after 3 seconds, unless you are able to convince they should stay.
    The majority of our users either don`t realize the need to save web content or don`t know of a program that can easily do it. The focus is on getting the message across to these people. Of course we have plenty of more experienced or power users and these are the folks who are interested in and aware of other capabilities, besides saving content. The home page does mention things like:
    "For starters you can categorize, cross reference and do full text searches" and "And of course you can find anything in a flash."
    Beyond that they need to dig deeper and look at other pages or better still download Surfulater and try it for themselves.
    There are are number of  ways to find information in Surfulater. Articles can be categorized and put into as many folders as you want and access via a tree, use full text search, view a list of all articles in chronological order, link related articles together. Tag`s are also coming.
    There are only a few programs that make capturing Web content as quick and easy as Surfulater does, and none with the capabilities it has, such as the ability to edit captured web content, link articles together, attach and link to files on your PC, e-mail articles to colleagues etc.
    Part of the difficulty in selling Surfulater is educating folks that they need such a tool. This is really something they need to work out for themselves.
    I like the idea of a 10 word slogan and read though some of the pages you referred to. I`ll definitely do this.
    Thanks again for you input.
  • nevfnevf subscriber Posts: 1
    Hi Craig,
    I like the 10 word slogan a lot.
    As for your other points we already have:
    "Why save Web Info offline?" http://www.surfulater.com/surfandsave.html</A> which is accessed from the Research Basics menu.
    "Compare Us" http://www.surfulater.com/compareus.html</A> which has a comparison chart and lists competing programs. This is accessed from Product Info|Compare Us.
    We have four Quick Tour Movies prominantly displayed on the home page and also accessed via. Product Info|Quick Tour. As well as various screen shots.
    Overall I think the Web site does a reasonably good job. What I need is to get more eyeballs to the site, which was the reason for my original post.
  • nevfnevf subscriber Posts: 1
    Thanks for adding to and continuing the discussion. I`m hoping to wrap the next Surfulater release up in a few days and will look at improving the visual path as you suggest.
    I`ve heard of Squidoo, but that`s about it. I`ll check it out.
    Surfulater is on download.com, tucows, ieaddons and many shareware sites.
    I wish had a better feel for the sorts of search terms people use. Of course I can see what is being used to get to the site, but that doesn`t help me with all the other potential terms folks use and don`t get to me site. Some terms which are used include "offline browser", "surfulater", "surfulator", "bookmark manager", "web archiver", "save web pages" and "research software".
    This also gets back to my earlier point that most people don`t appreciate they may have a need for a product like Surfulater.
  • nevfnevf subscriber Posts: 1
    Here are some links as requested:
    There used to be more User Reviews on Download.com. I have no idea what`s happened to them.
    I just posted l-free-to-sing-along/ which I wrote well over a month ago and have been sitting on. It is relevant to the discussion of search terms.
    I basically think it is impossible to educate the market, unless you have deep pockets and can spend a lot on advertising and promotion. So this leaves me to nibble away bit by bit and try and improve on my success rate one way or another.
    It really is very frustrating because I have all of these customers that just love Surfulater to bits. If that wasn`t the case the story would be a different one.
    >Finally, how do you differentiate from Google Notes?
    In many ways.  The main ones are: Surfulater saves images, text and complete web pages, it "permanently" saves them on your PC so you can access your information at any time, and without a Net connection, it lets you link articles together to create a web of related information, it has full text boolean search, it lets you carry your content around on a USB stick, e-mail it to friends and colleagues, edit it and more. 
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