Donations

Ben Bucksch ben.bucksch at beonex.com
Tue May 2 12:21:45 UTC 2017


Axel Grude wrote on 02.05.2017 00:58:
>> Which addon is that? And what are your personal experiences?
>
> This is QuickFolders and the experience was overall very positive 
> (except for one nightmare user [*]). License adoption is good, and I 
> have a license renewal that is cheaper; even sold a few domain 
> licenses. I have to say this is on the back of a very generous 
> community of donators, so I knew that people were already interested 
> in supporting the value that the Addon gave them. I have been selling 
> licenses for about 2 years now
>
> My ideas to make the idea of Addon specific monetization more 
> acceptable were these:
>
>   * I wanted to make sure that I kept developing the Addon, keeping it
>     in sync with the Thunderbird changes and pushing functions forward
>   * I kept releasing a free (as in beer) version and made sure it
>     wasn't seriously lacking in functionality
>   * The licensed "premium" version has some added functions, and
>     keyboard shortcuts for some functions (such as quickjump)
>   * I wanted to "give back" to those users who gave donations anyway
>     (and thus financed everyone else)
>
> I think (at least from a XPCOM-based Addons) these points are all good 
> and have to be communicated in some form in order to motivate for some 
> cash to change hands. Whether this can be applied to a whole App that 
> has been "free as in beer" for many years is obviously debatable. 
> Also, I do give free personal email support to all users who reach out 
> to me, so I have written hundreds of often highly descriptive emails 
> and made a fairly comprehensive support site; without this ongoing 
> effort I would not have considered monetization. I think end-user 
> *engagement *is super important in Software - I think this should be 
> discussed in greater detail regarding Thunderbird as well as part of 
> the monetization debate.
>

I like that.

> The technical side was quite difficult as I wanted a "client-only" 
> verification without any server callbacks, all the while staying 100% 
> open source. Kent James gave me some ideas and then I had to implement 
> my own decryption algorithm - an encryption library built into 
> Thunderbird would be very helpful for this purpose. The premium 
> functions are all built into the standard Addon and are merely 
> activated, so no additional downloads / installations are necessary.
>

I didn't think that would work. I'm happy it does.

Thanks for your ideas and sharing your experiences.

> I am currently planning to also monetize the next big version of 
> quickFilters in the same way; biggest problem as always is the initial 
> price point, definitely lower than QuickFolders as it has a narrower, 
> more focused approach. Picking the price is probably the hardest 
> decision, ideally you want this to be completely at the consumer's 
> digression, but that may not be wise with a limited amount of users 
> (27k QF / 15k qF) - the better strategy is to pick a slightly higher 
> price and then offer special sales for people with limited budgets, 
> but that's a lot of work.
>

Setting price points is a "science" all by itself. Even if you let the 
user enter an arbitrary amount, the suggestions you make influence them. 
Ideally, you test all that with concrete A/B tests and measure results.

Ben
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