Yeowch! chaosmachine, this has been the exact opposite of my experiences doing this. Maybe it is the way it works in Photoshop-blog-land, but most of the bloggers I've contacted have been happy to get a lead.
Just more proof that every situation is unique. You have to try _everything_ if you want to succeed.
I get emails to one of my sites offering deals and the reasons I ignore most of them are:
- email reads like bulk spam
- email is TL;DR
- running the promo would require more than a few minutes work
Hey, I don't read your blog but here is my shiny new product...
Then it'd have reached spam folder already. It'd be interesting to compare what you two wrote in there.
You might want to try posting "How To" articles to your blog, even for things that you think are really simple to do with Photoshop. Maybe even a link on the front page of your site that just says flat out: "Here is how you would use these layer styles" (with lots of screenshots).
Also, you seem to have done a large amount of work to generate the actual texture files, are you selling them directly? I would guess that the market for texture files for 3D work or whatever is larger than the photoshop layer styles market.
Thanks for posting such an inspiring and detailed analysis of your launch and first sales.
The short tutorial on your support page is nice - maybe you could expand that further and make the link more prominently say it is a howto/tutorial.
The writing can be better too. For example, instead of saying "the unmatched beauty and unrivaled quality of MetalWorks Professional Photoshop styles" (bla!), say something like "I literally shot thousands of pictures, edited thousands of textures, and created thousands of styles." (as you do in your blog post). That gives me a much better feel for how much work this is gonna save me.
I agree, but I'm not in the market so am not sure if what I'm about to say is constructive criticism or not ;)
The first thing I see on the screen is "ULTRA DELUXE" and to my untrained eye those words look pretty cheap and nasty, along the same kind of lines of the 90s-era styles mentioned in the blog post. It's a shame as the more that I click through I can see quality (again though - untrained eye) but the first impression would make me click away without investigating further.
If reddit tells you that, it is a sign that you are probably doing okay.
I think there is a difference between telling us you have a product (most of your current site), telling us you have a product that is probably somewhat valuable (the details in your blog post about how much effort was necessary to produce your styles), and telling us you have a product that is probably useful to us (demo pages/case studies showing the work in action, in contexts we might actually relate to from our own work).
Other ideas, for whatever they're worth:
1. If ever there was a site crying out for a trendy JS slide show on the home page to showcase lots of large graphics in limited space, this must be it.
2. You might like to look at what font sites do to showcase their new products. Like your styles, interesting fonts only really start to look useful when you see them working in context. For example, see the galleries at MyFonts or almost anything on H&FJ:
http://www.linotype.com/1175/zapfino-family.html# (the "Usage Samples" tab)
I think a video would be perfect here... like, "Here's some bland white text on a black background in photoshop." then take 3 seconds to drag a metal style onto the text and a wood style onto the background. "Wow, Amazing!"
I actually do have a page exactly like that: http://photoshoplayerstyles.com/tutorials
It's the "support" link in the main menu. It used to be labeled "tutorials", but I found it was distracting visitors and not helping sales. It's definitely something I should revisit.
1. A long word for example maybe "photosensitive", and break the word in half. The first part being untextured, and the 2nd half being textured with your new layers that come in such handy time saving abilities. Then id put a video (link) right beside it that says, Click here to see how you can do this in 60 seconds. Then on the video landing page, after the video id briefly explain how much detail went into every "layer/texture" what ever they are called. And compare how much time it would take for a user to do this himself. Then I would show top sellers(fav products or what ever), and some testimonials from people who have bought from you (who loved the time it saved, and maybe even show of their work with the layers you showed them. Then a browse all products button.
I think your product is great, but I find your site is really hard to even tell where to start shopping. I thought the page was about blog post. I kept looking for a shopping button or a place to view all products. Even harder is your add to cart button being in the sidebar and not listed again down at the bottom(or top) of the page. This is a big no no imo. Again these are just my honest thoughts from a UI perspective. Hope this helps. (first post on HN).
To me, that page is about installation. The screenshot where you apply the style is way down at the bottom. You need that to show up right on your home page, above the fold. You're wasting 2/3 of my window width on a gray gradient; dump that and use it to strut your stuff.
An idea to get attention: figure out the 100 or so top opinion makers for Photoshop users, and mail them postcards with before-and-after.
It would also be helpful to show case studies. Actual situations where your styles would be useful.
Do all of the marketplaces really demand exclusive contracts?
Not all of them, but often the payout then drops to an even more outrageous amount. For example, ThemeForest pay out 25% for non-exclusive themes:
How much of your traffic/sales has come from web searches? (you seem to hint that not much). What did you do for SEO?
You should take this into consideration and beef up your try-before-you-buy marketing - given the data, I think your bundle is probably supremely undervalued right now.
It doesn't matter if the clients are complaining, as long as they are buying.
It's customers' job to complain about something - usually the price - and if the price is the only thing they are complaining about, you're probably doing great :-) If nobody's complaining about the price, it is usually a sign you're selling yourself too cheap.
I always look at how the customer is actually behaving, not what he is saying. If they stop buying, then change something - not before.
Send them an email a month after their purchase and offer the complete collection on a discount.