Hideho everybody.  I made some changes to my AdWords campaign right before leaving America, and lo-and-behold they increased the amount of clicks I was getting from about 10 a day to 60 a day, which contributed to me having my highest legitimate hits day ever (>500 visits, ~100 trial downloads).  Some of that is probably due to the end of August being the start of the term, but after looking at the numbers it appears to be mostly AdWords.  (100 trial downloads implies 2.5 sales implies about $70 in revenue, and believe me, if I could sustain that I would be sitting pretty.)

Anyhow, lets talk August numbers:

Sales: 33 (2 refunds, 9 CDs)

Income net of refunds: $813.45


Godaddy: $7

e-junkie: $5

CrazyEgg: $9

AdWords: $60.17

AdCenter: $11.28

SwiftCD: ~$65 (waiting on invoice)

Net Expenses: $157

Profit: $656

Lets see, what is of note this month:

#1 — Someone had shipping issues with their CD, and was a little miffed after it didn’t arrive, figuring it was my fault.  It wasn’t, of course (I trust the SwiftCD sent it when their records says it did, which leaves it about 50-50 that it was customer error or the USPS up to its usual tricks), but of course I didn’t tell them that.  What I did tell them was that I would UPS one out immediately (cost to me: probably close to $15), and I would have overnighted it if they had been any more upset.  Yeah, that eats most of the profit from the sale, but they’re now very pleased with my responsiveness rather than thinking I’m a shiftless shipment-forgetting Internet conman.

#2 — I also sent someone a free CD rather than taking their school’s purchase order (PO).  For those of you who have not sold to institutions, a PO is essentially a “Send us this stuff and then we’ll send you the exact amount of money on this document” transactional instrument.  Dealing with them is a pain in the hindquarters — Quill had a whole DEPARTMENT of people whose only job it was to read school POs over the summer (one of them being me), and then there is another department for collecting payments on the ones that have been satisfied.  I have only ever had one customer want to pay with one, and rather than spending hours of my life getting that mailed to me, then dealing with the school’s payment clerks to actually get my $29.95, I just sent them a free CD with my compliments.  Now I’ve got a team full of teachers who love me and are hopefully plugging my software to parents, friends, and colleagues… who pay with credit cards, like normal people.  :)

(P.S. If you’re in the position where you NEED to take POs, signing up with eSellerate or one of the other major shareware processors will work for you.  Its one of the only times they earn their keep.  However, since getting POs is as much a hassle for them as it is for you, be prepared to pay through the nose for it.  eSellerate charged, if I recall correctly, $20 a month just to flag your account for accepting POs!  I am skeptical that you can make the numbers work out very well on a $25 item.  If you’ve got a $X00 item, though, get it done.)