I have seen multiple posts on Indiehacker discussing AppSumo’s model or about Lifetime deals in general. There are many SaaS founders who find this model fundamentally faulty and suggest to avoid going this route.
As a user, I personally like this concept but if used responsibly from both the sides ( Deal vendor and founder ). I am a deal addict and have purchased more than 300-lifetime deals. While I confess that I haven’t used it even 25% of them efficiently but I am happy that more than 90% of them are still working and some of them are now highly sustainable and popular in the SaaS market with regular paying customers.
But this is the first time, I am seeing an independent SaaS founder running a lifetime deal so successfully without any third party vendor.
I am talking about Pabbly Connect, a very recently launched Automation tool ( read Zapier alternative ).
With this launch, they are offering a lifetime deal on their automation tool which starts for a $79 one-time fee and comes with features – 2500 tasks, Unlimited Workflows, Instant Webhooks, Multi-step Calls
Unlimited Premium Apps, Formatters, Filters, Path Routers, and 5 Minute Interval.
On 5h June 2020, they made a post disclosing that they are about to reach $100K sales in just 7 days. Here is the screenshot from their official FB group.
Yesterday, they went a step further and create a live counter on Google sheet showing the number of deals sold and left for the Pabbly Connect in real-time.
At the time of writing this post, this is the counter stat –
You can check the live sheet yourself here
This translates to more than $110K in sales in less than 2 weeks without any third party vendor. But how?
Here is what I believe that made this all possible –
- Pabbly isn’t a new name for the lifetime deal community. While the company is more than 8 years old, it came in light when they launched a lifetime deal for their first product called ‘Formget’ on Siftery deals in April 2018. [ Note – Siftery is no acquired by G2 ]
- During this deal, in April 2018, they created a Facebook group and also launched a new lifetime deal for their other product called ‘Pabbly Subscription’
- They also launched the Pabbly Subscription lifetime deal with another vendor called DealMirror. With the help of Siftery Deals and DealMirror, they were getting new sales plus multiple new members for the Facebook community as well.
- The Facebook community was created to cater to the whole lifetime deal community and SaaS marketers. so, the new members were also coming from direct Facebook searches for users looking for LTD and SaaS marketers groups.
- The community expanded up to 2000+ members in two years.
- They started talking about Pabbly Connect and giving a ‘feature’ teaser for the last few months. While there were multiple alternatives to their past products like Formget and Pabbly Subscription, there was literally no alternative to Zapier with a lifetime deal offering. This created a sense of curiosity in all the community members who were otherwise inactive in the group.
- The initial deal terms were not so lucrative. So, the members started discussing and requesting to increase the limits. This organically created multiple new discussion threads in multiple other LTD communities and hence more curiosity.
- They changed the deal terms with more generous limits which made interested users happier and hence one more wave of discussions everywhere. This is where I also got interested in this tool and started testing it for various of my use case.
- Well, no marketing can do any good for long if the product isn’t good. Pabbly Connect literally works the way it should work. Initially, it was difficult to get started since there is no written docs or support guide. But, as I watched some video tutorials and got a flow. It was indeed easy and fast to create workflows with triggers and actions. Of course, there are only limited integrations currently and there are some bugs and missing features. but LTD users are usually ready for these hiccups and wait for the platform to get mature.
- Since they already had thousands of existing users and affiliates for Formget and Pabbly Subscriptions. It was easier for them to become an affiliate of this new unique tool as well. This helped them to reach the larger relevant audience.
- With a unique product like this, the buyers do want to promote and make others buy it too, even organically, as they think it will increase the chance of sustainability of the tool. More people = more responsibility for Founder
There might be some other factors as well but this is all that I can think of, as of now.
Can this be done for Any SaaS tool?
Not any, but if your SaaS tool is unique in offering, it’s easier to get word-of-mouth publicity even without associative with any big vendor. But yes, It needs time and effort to build an independent community where you own the rights to drive discussions and topics like Pabbly did in this case.
Feel free to share your thoughts or let me know if there is any other product or example which did better than this by offering a lifetime subscription independently.