Preorders are often done for games, books and other products, but could they work for SaaS products? Although our intuition suggests that it can be a difficult challenge, we can decide to see for ourselves whether this method of selling could be effective.
Well, Elon Musk has raised $450 million without giving any equity, so it has to be possible.
Since you are doing a preorder, it doesn’t have to be a functional version of your tool. Create mockups, animations, explainer videos – as many materials as possible in which you can show how your tool will work and highlight all its advantages.
Gather the group of friends & family and show them the product. Ask if they would choose to pre-order in this version of the product and how they would feel.
Decide what privileges will be given to the user who buys the product before he can test it. For instance, you may decide that the price of the pre-order included all the features that you will add during the year; pre-order buyers will not pay extra for any of them, unlike regular subscribers, for whom the price will change.
Define how much the pre-order should cost. Associate it with the period for which the user purchases access (month? Year?). For example, you may set the pre-order of full MVP functionality for $99 for the entire year.
Remember to add the pre-order button. Shopify and WordPress + Woocommerce are two popular and simple methods to start.
A landing page with payment option also works wonder. At Zesno, we can help you with customized landing pages within a short span of time.
Create a payment account and define the agreed price and conditions. It could be Stripe, Paypal or other popular payment gateways. Remember to ask users to connect a credit card – this will make it easier for them to later upsale.
If you don’t see the sales you want, ask your users why they aren’t buying. You can use a pop-up for exits or mailing if you already have contact in the database and you can create a segment of exits in your Marketing Automation tool.
Let the readers of the industry communities you participate in that you are starting the pre-order of your tool and what benefits can be obtained by purchasing it now. Remember to add when the real tool appears and what are your plans for its development.
Make users sure they can make refund on every step of the way.
SaaS preorder is not a quick, rapid process, but it allows you to validate your idea and raise funds before the platform is ready.
What is more beautiful than selling and getting the money in advance? Well, this technique can be applied to many products and services beyond SaaS.