Improving Asset Store sales - evaluation
2 months ago I set out to improve the sales of my Unity Asset Store packages. I am just a developer, not a marketeer and so far all i really did was trying to build a good product. But a good product is useless if no one knows about it. I had 7 packages with handy tools and scripts for developers, that together brought about $ 70 per month. Which is hardly worth the trouble of uploading them.
$ 70 revenue per month
25 website visits per day
52 twitter followers
168 facebook likes
4 Google+ followers
You can find more data here.
So I set myself the goal to obtain:
$1000 revenue per month
50 website visits per day
100 twitter followers
We're 2 months down the line now and it looks like I've accomplished those goals (sort of):
$780 revenue in december, $1255 in january 2015
50+ website visits per day
95 twitter followers
So let's look at what happened.
First of all, I wrote a blog post about the poor situation and about my goals and send out some tweets about it. I posted a link on Reddit as well. This got the attention, because my website visits immediately jumped. Most of them coming from Reddit. I kept this up by posting my day to day actions.
My packages all had different images in the Asset Store and they did not resemble each other in any way. So I created new key images. All bright green with orange to make them stand out and radiating high quality (personal opinion). All images shared the same colors to let people recognize them. I also updated a few demos and improved the screenshots.
Again I tweeted about this.
I made updates of my most promising packages and tweeted about how great they are.
The forum threads of my packages hardly had any views at all. But the SimpleLOD thread slowly started to receive user questions. I answered each one almost immediately and tried to cooperate with the users. Asking them to send me their model and let me test with it. This resulted in a few improvements of the algorithm, a functions to run things in the background and a demo for UMA characters. The satisfied users started writing raving reviews in the Asset Store and posted about SimpleLOD in other threads.
I wrote blog posts about my project (3d websites) and about how to detect and convert normal maps. Of course I tweeted about them all and posted links on Reddit.
I posted a few updates on Facebook and Google+. Especially FaceBook didn't have much effect at all. The Orbcreation page had 168 likes (now 170) and very few people were reached. Google+ was somewhat better, because when you post an update this automatically creates hashtags and a hashtag like #Unity3D guarantees you a few views even though you have no followers.
I hate spamming, but it really does work. So I tried to keep the number of spam posts to a minimum and also tried to give them some relevant phrase or link them to something I improved or accomplished.
SimpleLOD is now my best selling product (sold 30 copies in january) and it looks like this success also dragged my other packages along in its wake. Because for no apparent reason they started selling better. And once a package raises in the popularity, it get's more views, is sold more often and thus raises in popularity again.
Was it worth it?
I have spend about 300 hours on promotion, making updates, improvements and user support and earned $2000, which after Unity's percentage, the dollar to euro conversion rate and dutch taxes comes down to about 600 euro. That's 2 euro's an hour. So from a financial viewpoint it was pointless.
But this is when I include the extra effort I've put in over the past 2 months. I could maintain and support these packages in about 40 hours per month. When we assume the packages could keep up the $1000 per month revenue for a longer period, it would bring me 15 euro per hour after taxes. And that may not be the best paying job in the world, but it isn't so bad either. Of course looking at it from a purely financial perspective is a bit narrow minded.
I had great fun! It is thrilling read the user reviews, get positive comments from other developers, see your sales go up. It turned my work from sitting behind my desk in my own space to becoming a relevant node on the internet, interacting with other developers, contributing to their projects and feeling good about it.