We recently launched a software for Yoga Teachers to help them with their business around 3 weeks ago. The software has a free version that can be used for 30 days and has a pay per month version We have so far advertised on Facebook and got around 1 sale and 50 free downloads. We were expecting much higher sales and are worried.
Any suggestions, recommendations to do this better?
One sale and 50 downloads, thats a great start! You've proven someone is willing to pay and at least 50 people are willing to try it. You should repeat your success and run a few experiments to try new things to see if they are successes as well. Repeat what works drop what doesn't. Join community groups where your customers might be hanging out. E-mail bloggers and pay / ask them to talk about your product. Many more things that can be done.
Yeah read Lean Startup. I also have a startup kit to help with this type of stuff, if you are interested let me know.
To give your numbers some context it would be good to know how many people visited your website and purchased or signed up for a trial. You mentioned 1 sale and 50 free downloads but in order to really track your performance (so that you can improve) you'll need to set up some type of website analytics (eg. google analytics) to track the number of visitors.
At this stage I suggest you talk to people who:
1. signed up for a trial (what problem do they think your product will solve for them?)
2. signed up for a trial and did not convert to a paid user (what were their objections to becoming a paid user? what wasn't working for them?)
3. people who you think are potential customers (to determine if they see the value that your product provides and to find out how you can better solve their problem).
4. people who became paid users and then cancelled shortly after (Why did they cancel? find out the specific reasons and objections)
A rule of thumb that I use in my own software business is: For a new, well-priced product you should have a conversion rate in the range of 0.5% - 2%. That is, out of every 200 visitors 1 to 4 people sign up for a free trial. This assumes that you've priced your product properly for your market which may not be the case when you're just starting out.
I suggested you start talking to customers and tracking conversions from visitor to trial and trial to paid user. Once you have that set up, you can start to tweak the marketing on your site to improve the conversion rate.
If your business model does not work as you expected, there could be two reasons:
1) You did not advertised it enough. For this option just try again.
2) People does not need it enough to try and pay. In that case you can make a light version of your software and make it a freemium (for free). This should have the most used or most attractive features, but you should have some attractive features left for the "professional" version. You will get much more attention afterwards and this could be solution for the first case as well. But even freemium will need some adverts. People will not come to you, you should bring your product to the people.