After my look at the numbers, I took some time today to take a third look. This time the visitor numbers going back and forth from CodeCanyon (Envato) and rich-snippets.io.
As a reminder, I share my ideas and thought processes because I read the book “Traffic Secrets” by Russell Brunson. In his book he describes that you should share your product journey with your (soon to be) buyers. I think it’s a really good idea because it shows that I put a lot of heart and soul into the plugin and am very committed to it, too.
Why away from Envato?
Actually, I never wanted to. I never really thought about it: leaving Envato. In the end, nothing has been decided yet. Because I want to think about it first. And that’s what follows now:
On the positive side for me, Envato is a huge traffic driver with their own platforms (Themeforest, CodeCanyon, etc.). You put a plugin (or any other product) there and you end up with immediate sales, which you can use to make a good, (almost) passive income. In the case of a plugin, of course, it’s anything but “passive” but that’s a whole other topic.
What I’m getting at is that even though Envato sometimes takes up to 50% of the profits for themselves, you can still make good money even though you don’t do any marketing. That’s a big plus especially for developers, who often don’t want to do that. Quite the opposite to me: I already wrote once that I like to do all this.
Disadvantages of Envato
Besides the high fees, which I might be able to cope with, there are other things that keep bothering me:
- Envato is quite slow when it comes to further developments.
- Buyers can request a refund after years, even if the plugin no longer exists.
- There is no way for the seller to reach all buyers directly (except via an update message from the plugin).
- There is no recurring payment option. Instead, Envato promotes its own Envato Elements program quite prominently with a banner.
- Affiliate payments are only received when promoting a new user, but not when an existing user buys something.
- There is no proper tracking. You can put in Google analytics, but I can’t find out if people who come through my site end up buying. However, by using a trick, I still managed to do it.
- You are not allowed to place your own ads (e.g. on Google).
- You can’t place ads internally on Envato either (e.g. Amazon has been doing something similar for years).
Ultimately, however, it is their right. They can do anything they want. It’s their platform. I therefore have to decide whether I am willing to continue to put up with these disadvantages.
What if … ?
I found out that I am responsible for 59% of my sales. Leaving Envato would ultimately save me 12% in costs on those nearly 60% sales. Plus: I could earn longer term by switching to annual billing.
What I don’t know, and therefore what I’m trying to answer for myself:
Will just as many people jump on the train if it’s an annual payment method? Or is this something people want to avoid?
Many of my colleagues have done this in the past. The resistance has been solala. Some think it’s good, others don’t. In my opinion, there is a 50/50 chance.
Will I have more or less sales because people prefer to buy from me than from CodeCanyon? (That’s a fair question, as this blog post showed).
My suspicion is that I could sell faster and better because a) the sales process is more personal and b) it eliminates an extra step, namely the round trip through CodeCanyon. Imagine that a new user might not even know CodeCanyon, he might not buy.
Would it make more sense to switch to a SaaS model right away?
I think it depends on having a good product. That is absolutely the case with SNIP. Advantage for me would be that technical problems would occur less often as everything runs on my server. That would probably also take away some of my support load.
Are there possibly many customers who first end up at CodeCanyon, then come to my website and then come back through my affiliate link?
I did manage to find out that only 7.4% came from CodeCanyon in the period from January 2020 to February 2021. However, I don’t know if these people then clicked on my affiliate link to then buy. How do you find out?
I will discuss the whole topic next Monday in my mastermind and see what the others have to say about it. Then maybe I can judge a little more objectively what steps I will take in the future.