Getting early adopters for CommandWP

Wed Nov 06 2019 | pricing, saas

CommandWP is getting to a point where I'd like to get some early adopters using it. I'm not sure what a good approach might be. Here's what I'm thinking about.

Freemium

Might add this at a later point, but I'm more and more against the freemium model. I tried it on CloudSh and while some people are using it, no one has responded with any feedback.

They're probably thinking; "I'm using this for free, so why invest any time into it?" I've felt that way before.

More importantly, no one converted to a paid tier. Totally on me, but I don't want to offer such a limited free tier or constantly try to get people to upgrade.

I'm thinking more and more, freemium is only good when the free users are the product. Think Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc.

So, that's definitely out.

Lifetime Access

This idea came from a talk at MicroConf. I could sell a limited number of these for a one time fee.

This would get people using the system in an invested way.

They'd be incentivised to help feedback and see the product succeed.

But...

I probably can't afford to actually provide the service for the lifetime of the product. That seems shitty and dishonest.

One smart lifetime customer could use way more resources, server and/or support, then other customers. Eventually something would have to change. Which would also suck for everyone.

Is there something like that, but better?

Longterm Access, Early Adopter Access

Okay, the naming sucks, but I think the idea is good.

Similar to lifetime access, this would have a one time fee but with realistic limits.

It's still an amazing deal and is more honest upfront.

Customers would still be pretty incentivised in the success and direction of the product.

Customers would still get a great value, but not an unlimited and unrealistic value.

I would still probably lose some money, but would gain a ton of insight and knowledge from those customers. Which seems like a good investment.

How would this work?

I'm thinking the price would be about 1% of the cost if the customer reached the limits.

I don't know what I'm going to actually charge, so I'll just use a gut number.

What should the limits be? Time and the main scaling factor.

For CommandWP the scaling factor is sites. Also, probably what I'll end up making the tiers or utility pricing based on.

I think 3-5 years is probably a good time window. Enough to make good progress on the product and enough for the customer to get great value.

As a gut guess on pricing, I'll say $5/site/mo.

Limiting time at 5 years and sites at 500. Most likely at 500 sites there would be some volume discount, so we'll adjust the per site cost to $3/site/mo.

That's a potential value of $90,000!

If I follow the 1% idea, that's a one time fee of $900. That seems reasonable given the potential value. Also seems like a few of those could cover hosting costs for the first two years, allowing the business to grow and support the Early Adopters for the rest of the term.

What do you think?

What are your initial thoughts?

Would buy something presented like this?

Would you consider doing something like this for your SaaS?