Bundling, Online Advertising, and More

There are a variety of advertising and targeting methods to help market your software or application. SEO, SEM, and Display advertising are usually the most well known advertising practices. But how does bundling fit into all of this? Why should you spend your marketing budget on bundling for your software? Let’s examine a few models and find out!

Search Engine Optimization, SEO, is the process of affecting the visibility of a website through a specific search engine’s organic search results.  SEO helps improve the placement of your website in search results. In a nutshell, the higher up in the placement a search query and the frequency for which a website that appears in search results, the more likely users will visit that site due to clicking on the search result links.  Common SEO strategies focus on what people search for, search terms, keywords, and preferred search engines.

Search Engine Marketing, SEM, involves increasing visibility in search engine results pages for the purpose of promoting websites. This includes things like paid placements, optimization, contextual advertising and lots more. SEM is pretty vast and can include SEO practices to attain high rankings.

Display Advertising is simply advertising that contains logos, copy, and images generally for the purpose of driving brand awareness.

Although all of the methods listed are useful marketing tools, they depend on search engines or websites to help users find your product.  They also can be expensive if you are competing with similar products in the market.  Software bundling is a little different. Generally, bundling refers to how software is distributed alongside other software products online. Essentially other software providers are promoting your software in their download flow or inside of their application.  The best time to promote your application is when they are downloading another application. It is the point at which the user is most engaged and likely to be receptive to a download. The discovery process is highly contextual with bundling scales with your advertising budget. Similar tools such as ranking, bidding, and optimization are available today in the word of bundling, but the ultimate concept centers on distribution of software in the download flow.

Bundling is nothing new and has been around for years. In fact, if you remember back to the days when software was loaded and distributed on a CD, many other products where co-promoted on that CD. Bundling works when the products co-promoted together are relevant to the end user. Advertisers and publishers choose to distribute products that either work together to provide a specific solution or complement a particular market. Over the years, software bundling has evolved and there have been both good and bad forms innovation in the industry to help developers acquire users and monetize their audience. At Bunndle, we work hard at trying to preserve the end user’s experience by offering an opt-in offer (requiring the user to select “Accept” or “Decline” of the software), following clear guidelines and optimizing so that the most relevant advertisement is shown to the end user.  Unfortunately not everyone adopts the same practices and so it’s important from both an advertiser and publisher perspective that you work with partners who will do the above.

How Does Bundling Add Value?

Although there are millions of customers everywhere constantly searching for different applications that will provide them with a variety of solutions but what about the customer who doesn’t know what to search for? What if your product is in a brand new space that no one’s ever heard of?  With bundling, customers have the ability to discover products that may have gone unnoticed.  Even if the user doesn’t download the product when offered, the brand awareness and marketing value becomes apparent when the user eventually goes to your site to learn more. What a great way to drive organic growth!

Where we come in!

Here at Bunndle, we enable software advertisers and publishers to reach customers anywhere they are installing online.

As an Advertiser, Bunndle enables you to target users that are most likely to download your product. You pick the publishers that you want to promote your product. This ensures that your brand is being represented the way you want it.  You are in the driver’s seat!  Also, your ad is only shown to the users most likely to install your product, giving you quality traffic and real growth.

From a Publisher standpoint, we allow you to maintain total control! Here at Bunndle we make sure that integration is simple, the most relevant ads are shown to the end user, and your install flow ultimately operates uninterrupted with a seamless experience.

New Features to Self-Serve!

Updates for advertisers continue to flow out of the pipeline here at Bunndle. Today we’re debuting new partnership features, installer options, and interface updates.

New Partner Interface

The Campaigns page has been updated to include a “Select Partners” tab with an interface resembling the recently updated “Bids” table.  ”Select Partners” will allow advertisers to see a list of selected Publisher partnerships, sorted in order of best fit, and features the same search and sorting capabilities as the Bids table. By clicking the name of either the Product or Company, additional information is displayed to the right of the selection table listing Company Name, Product Name, Product Description, and Product Categories.

If for some reason you would like to hide all products from a specific publisher, you can do so by selecting the publisher name and then clicking on the ‘X’ box in the pop up information on the right hand side of the screen.  This can be undone under the “My Accounts” page.

Run of Network

At the top of the Partners interface, a “Run Of Network” option is available which enables a campaign to run across all publishers in the network at a discounted rate. This option is useful for advertisers new to the Network or looking to maximize spend without a lot of targeting.

Run of Network however is a permanent selection for a particular campaign. More specifically, once selected for the campaign, you don’t have the option of going back to select individual partners. You can “Pause” or “Expire” the campaign and start over if needed but please note that selecting Run of Network puts some limitations on your campaign.

New Installer Upload Options

We’ve expanded our installer options so that now installers can be uploaded either directly to Bunndle or via external URL.  The external URL allows advertisers to upload heavier installers that exceed the 5 MB limitation for direct uploads.  While this may appear to be a small addition, it gives advertisers greater flexibility in choosing what installer to upload.

New Campaign Features

Tags

, , ,

After lots of hard work, Bunndle is proud to roll out a set of new features for advertisers that include spend caps, the ability to edit campaigns, interface updates, and more.

Spend Caps & New Bids Interface

Spend Caps is a feature that allows advertisers to set the daily maximum dollar amount which can be spent per campaign per locale. These optional values can be enabled or disabled at any given time during a campaign.

Bunndle already offers advertisers the ability to control how long a campaign runs. Now, with Spend Caps, advertisers can control how much they spend on each campaign, by giving advertisers the ability to set a maximum spend or maximum number of installs per locale for any campaign.

Spend Caps have been integrated into a newly updated ‘Bids’ interface that can be accessed in the Products tab during the creation of the advertiser’s campaign.  While the design is now much sleeker and in a table format, it retains the familiar Bunndle bid process, with a few, easy-to-use additions.

Advertisers can get started by creating their own campaign.  Under the Bids section, the process for selecting locales is the same as before but has a new look.  The “Select Countries” table can be sorted or filtered by either country or language.  For example, by typing “English” into the search field, the table is filtered to only English speaking countries. Countries can be added by clicking the “+” next to each country.

Once countries are added to the Bids table, advertisers can add additional money to the bid. The total bid, per install, will appear to the right.

To enable a Spend Cap for any country, select the “Enable Cap” box on the far right of the table. Two new fields, “Daily Cap” and “Daily Install Cap,” are now accessible. These two are linked, so only one needs to be filled out. “Daily Cap” is used to input a maximum dollar amount, while “Daily Install Cap” represents maximum number of installs.  Each will be calculated according to the total bid value.

For instance, if the total bid for a country is $0.50, a “Daily Cap” of $25.00 could be set, resulting in a maximum number of installs of 50. Or the “Daily Install Cap” could be set at 40, automatically setting the spend cap to $20.00. Each field will autocomplete the other. And if the bid price is changed, the Spend and Install Caps are automatically adjusted.

If an advertiser chooses not to use Spend Caps, simply leave the “Enable Cap” box unchecked and campaign advertising will continue unrestricted.

The new Bids table can also be sorted by any column.  To sort, just click on the arrows adjacent to the title of each column. allowing for maximum organization during the bidding process

Edit Campaigns

If an advertiser would like to go back and edit their previous parameters.  Edit campaign allows advertisers to modify the product images, start and end dates, targeting fields, bids, spend caps, local and offers.

To reach Edit Campaigns, on the dashboard under the “Products” tab, select the gear box.  Campaigns can be edited at any point in time, including after they have expired.  To restore an expired campaign to an active state, the end date must be changed to a time in the future.

Other New Features

Back under the Products tab on the Dashboard, there are two new columns: “Total Cap” and “Budget Remaining.” The “Total Cap” represents the collective amount of all Spend Caps in the respective campaign.

Note: The ‘Total Cap’ exclusively represents the collective maximum of locales with Spend Caps enabled; if some locales in a campaign do not have a Spend Cap, the total amount of money spent may exceed that listed under Total Cap.

Also new to the interface is a “Budget Remaining” column. This allows advertisers to quickly gauge how much budget is remaining for any given campaign. If advertisers see that budget remaining is too low they can quickly add funds by clicking the shopping cart icon on the far right.  This takes them to the “Add Funds” page where advertisers can add money by either wire, check, or PayPal.

Give it a try!

The new upgrades are long time coming and we’re all very excited to see them finally launch. Our engineers have meticulously been working on every detail imaginable for this release. But nothing is perfect, and we’d love feedback. If you have a comment, question, or suggestion about any of the new features, leave a comment below or e-mail us and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

Activation: Getting users to use your app

Measuring performance is key to success as an advertiser. No matter what the product is, it‘s important to know whether your advertising campaign has accomplished your goals.

Here at Bunndle, we help our software and application advertisers acquire users and installations through advertisements shown in our network. End users are presented with an advertisement that offers them the opportunity to install an application while downloading another app.  Our metrics and reporting typically stop after the user has installed the product. But there are other events and metrics that help our customers build their businesses. One of which is called “activation.”

In our business, we define “activation” as the act of an end user “activating” or “using” the product. This step occurs after installation. The steps required to trigger activation can vary from product-to-product but overall advertisers are looking for the end user to activate the product by using it.

Some examples of how various products might trigger and measure activation include:

  • Opening or launching a product
  • Clicking on a particular button, link or feature in the application
  • Performing the first search in a search box
  • Launching a particular webpage or url linked to the product
  • And many, many more…

Because activation is a lead indicator of whether or not a user will continue using the product, has ever used a product or will convert into a paying customer, it is important that application advertisers optimize for this metric. Below we’ve summarized a few key points that we’ve learned over time that have helped some of our customers.

1. Keep the Installer Size Small

Installers should be under 5MB in size if possible.  Heavy installers may introduce breaks in the installation process. These breaks can interrupt what should be a smooth installation process for the user. Examples of such may include: the installer freezing up, the computer crashing, or a temporary drop in bandwidth.  Minimizing the size of the installer minimizes the chance of installation disruption and speeds up the process.

Also, it’s important to recognize that international users may be limited when it comes to download speeds.  While in the United States bandwidth is not a common issue, overseas it could pose potential problems.  A smaller installer will limit dragging out the installation time for international users, and improve the user experience by minimizing download time.

If you can’t reduce the size of the installer to less than 5MB, then consider using a stub or shell installer to call the full install. These are easily built and very common.

2. Trigger the Launch After Install

Don’t expect users to know how to launch your product. Even if it seems natural and intuitive, it doesn’t hurt for you to help initiate the action.  After users accept the advertising offer to install your product, they may be in “trial-mode” and discovering exactly what your product is. It is important that you give them quick and easy access to getting the application launched, whether that is through an automatic launch, a shortcut on the desktop or a splash-screen or launch page that tells them how to use it. You own the user experience and flow. This is your storefront. Give the user a door to open and invite them in. Otherwise, they will just walk by.

3. Remove the Sign-Up/Terms of Service Upon 1st Use

Mandatory logins and terms of service screens can be an intrusion to the flow of opening a product. A user has already completed the installation process. Adding a login or terms of service up front only adds additional effort by the user to activate the product.  The less effort it takes for a user to open a product, the more likely they are to actually use it.

And while the login and terms of service may be important, trigger the acceptance or creation of these things in different ways. For example, the terms of service link could be placed at the bottom of the app somewhere. Similar to how web pages disclose legal terms, this format allows for the user to automatically agree to the terms of service by simply using the app. You might also consider a drop down menu with all of the important legal terms included so that this is easily referenced. Check out some other apps that have done it differently. It’s not always necessary to require users to accept this up front and it could help improve usage of your product.

Users will be more likely to use the product if they understand exactly how they can use and benefit from it. Why not include that upfront instead of a mandatory login? Asking users to enter in personal information or create additional login credentials lowers the chance that they continue through the process.  Keep it simple up front. And down the road when they are already engaged and using the product you can request that information later.

4. Target properly

Advertisers need to know their audience.  Who currently uses the product? How do they use it? In what context? Are their environmental considerations during use that should be considered like time of day, region, or system information that helps to determine whether your product can be used?  For example, if your mobile product is focused on enterprise and business users, are they likely to use your product on the weekends? Probably not. So don’t show ads on weekends either. Or if your users need .NET to make the installer work, you probably need to have the installed up front or they can’t use it. If most of your users are using Firefox as a browser in the US but Chrome in the UK, target in that way.  Understanding this basic information up front will help you target properly. If you don’t know this information already, do small tests with various targeting criteria to help figure it out.

Bunndle’s platform gives our advertisers a number of ways to target users: by platform, browser type, mail clients, by category, region and more. In some cases, we even let our advertisers come up with their own targeting because their requirements are unique!  The better your tools, the more specific you can be when targeting your audience and that results in a much better chance of activation.

By no means is the above list everything that can be done to help improve the activation of your product. At the end of the day it comes down to building something that end users want. But helping convert them along the way to discovering why they would want to use your product in the first place can be extremely useful and help you reduce your user acquisition costs.

Have more tips for us? Please send them in so we can add them here. And check back soon for Activation Help Part Two.

We’ve moved!

Bunndle is growing, and to accommodate for the added team members, projects, and ideas, the company has expanded its work place.  Bunndle’s new headquarter is located at:

2335 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, CA, 94306

No longer is Bunndle confined in the office suite sarcastically referred to as a “jail cell”. Instead, the new office is more than four times the size, with two levels and all amenities imaginable: the finest office chairs, garbage cans for every employee, a refrigerator full of Rockstar Recovery, giant whiteboards, and plenty of desks.

Bunndle HQ 2.0, via Google Maps

Our new HQ is still adjacent to California Avenue in Palo Alto, CA and is just a short walk away from our former location.  Here, at this new office, we will continue to expand with new features, tools, and products.  The future is bright for Bunndle and even this office space can’t contain the excitement.

This post also marks the return of the Bunndle Blog! Check back periodically for the latest news, tutorials on how to maximize your use of Bunndle, and industry trends.

Hello World…

Eight months ago, Bunndle launched in stealth mode. We stayed quiet so that we could spend time listening to our early customers, working on our product and building tools that served our network of software publishers and developers. Today we welcome you to our new site and invite you to learn more about us.

Bunndle is a distribution network for software applications. We help software publishers, independent software vendors and application developers acquire users and monetize their audience through software bundling. Bundling is defined as a collection of software distributed to an end user. And our goal is to help you reach engaged users wherever they are installing an app.

Software bundling serves as an amazing channel for user acquisition and monetization. But it has to be done right. Before we started our company, we went through many of the same problems our customers face: discovery, high user acquisition costs, low retention and conversion. We worked at both big companies and startups and understood how difficult it was to get access to these channels. And most importantly, we learned that without a focus on the customer and performance, software bundling would not prove to be a valuable tool in reaching new customers. Bunndle was built to change all that.

In a short amount of time we have built our platform, worked closely with customers and proven that our model works. Our customers are happy and we continue to sit at the top of the pack when it comes to performance. Every day we learn a little more and push deeper and further to build tools that help our customers reach their goals. But it’s still early. We know we have a lot of work to do. And we are very excited about that…

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.