Did you consider making it a free extension (with enough features to be usable) with in-app payments to unlock more features? You would think that would keep your downloads up and give more people a chance to try it out.
Also, why did you go with a subscription and not a one-off payment? Did you get any user feedback on if this discouraged a purchase?
I did look at in-app payments, but because of how the extension is made to be used (click the button, it starts reloading when required) I couldn't figure out a decent way to ask users to upgrade without being annoying.
I went for subscription because I wanted a low price point (It's a simple extension, anything more then $5 seemed like I'd be asking to much), with the potential of having a passive income. I'd love to experiment with how one-off/monthly changes the amount of sales but for now I'm happy asking people to pay yearly.
It's still under wraps but I'd be happy to compare experiences when I launch.
> I did look at in-app payments, but because of how the extension is made to be used (click the button, it starts reloading when required) I couldn't figure out a decent way to ask users to upgrade without being annoying.
Hmm, maybe by default when you click the button make it show the config pop-up you have already with an added upgrade banner. You could add an option to not show the config pop-up on click as well.
I have no figures to back this up but unless you're a well known brand I think not having a completely free version to try will turn away a lot of potential sales. You say in your post you had a noticeable drop in the web store charts after making it a paid app.
> I went for subscription because I wanted a low price point (It's a simple extension, anything more then $5 seemed like I'd be asking to much), with the potential of having a passive income. I'd love to experiment with how one-off/monthly changes the amount of sales but for now I'm happy asking people to pay yearly.
I'd avoid equating code complexity with how much you charge. Charge by how much value your extension brings to customers. If it's saving a freelancer X number of hours per month then that's worth something more than the number of lines of code it took to write. Live reload is a big productivity boost.
By the way, did you look into experimenting with price changes? Since I last looked, you can easily change the in-app purchase price but you can't with subscriptions. I think the only option for the latter is to create new subscription IDs for each price.
Obviously this is purely anecdotal, and this extension isn't applicable to me personally anyway.
Would you suggest to first make an extension available for free (in order to get a nice install-base) and then offer as an Annual Subscription?
Do you see any practical risk with someone offering a copied version of the extension (with different name) at a slightly lower cost?
> Do you see any practical risk with someone offering a copied version of the extension
They're are already a bunch of extensions doing something similar for free. I like to think people have used my extension because I'm never more then an email away if they have any questions. Also as it's paid, I have no incentive to sell it to a 3rd party who might start injecting ads into webpages or something.
I find deliberate bait and switch distasteful. It will eventually breed an atmosphere of suspicion tainting the whole system.
(Nothing against an honest "Free for now, will see next year" right upfront)
The key question here is what percent of the potential purchasers already have a Chrome wallet (or whatever it's called now) and just have to click "buy".
Impulse purchases by these users would be more likely to drop off with a price increase.
After a few emails back and forth, I switched him to WAMP for local development.
A couple of questions:
Were the existing free users grandfathered in? It seems like it from the weekly users.
Can you have two pricing models for the same extension? Like pay for a lifetime license for $x or $y/year.
> Were the existing free users grandfathered in? It seems like it from the weekly users.
All user who had the extension installed when I made the switch were able to keep it for free. This was a little tricky for users who had installed, then uninstalled it. For those ones I just told them to email me for the developer version.
> Can you have two pricing models for the same extension?
You can't easily, but I did consider putting a lifetime version in the store as a separate extension.
i.e here are 2 out of 5 features. Upgrade to PRO to get the other 3.
The 2 features providing basic functionality.
I realize this is difficult in your situation since it is more a 1 feature extension but I'd be curious if that strategy works.
I wonder if the sales will increase if you make source code unavailable. The reason is that, as you said, it is very easy for people to just run unpacked extensions in dev mode.
However I'm happy to take the loss in sales to enable technical enough users to be able to mess with the source code & (hopefully) send some code back to the repo ;)
It's really stupid. So many of the extensions I use have annoying bugs that I'd totally fix if I was allowed.
Edit: having done a bit of reading, the above may be incorrect now
You're not crazy though, the internet seems to agree that there was an issue.
I've toyed with different monetisation strategies over the last couple of years, I even conducted a 6 month survey of what people would be willing to pay. In the end I decided I couldn't justify charging for it and a few months ago I rolled out a "pay-what-you-want" model like AdBlockPlus, during the A/B test on 20% of users I generated just over $100 dollars in the first 2 weeks, then basically nothing - so the annual/monthly model is attractive!
I like the idea of keeping it open source, then those who don't want to pay can still use it - think I may follow your model :)
If it helps any the way I was searching was for keyword (not neccesarily these) twitter account switch, twitter clients, etc and opened up a list of things that matched in tabs to then go on and short list. Ruling this out quickly as it seemed to be something to do with Twitch rather than Twitter.
As an aside I'm sorry to say I wouldn't pay anything for something that's just saving me 3 clicks every so often. Needs more functionality.
Perhaps experiment with that :)
I can totally understand where you're coming from & for the most part I always try to compensate people who contribute for there time.