Help describing my software product
Category: Business and Money > Advertising and Marketing
Asked by: jonathanclark-ga
List Price: $5.00
06 Aug 2002 16:52 PDT
Expires: 05 Sep 2002 16:52 PDT
Question ID: 51501
I need some help describing my software product. Specifically I would like some ideas on how to present it quickly and clearly on the main page of my web page as well as in a banner ad so that people in the software development arena understand what it does. The product is at: http://thinstall.com On the surface it's similar to Install Shield/Wise because it provides that functionality, but the real value in the product (IMO) is it's ability run an entire application suite from a compressed EXE without extracting any files to disk. For example I can create a distribution of microsoft word (without any help from MS), that runs as one compressed EXE and no external files are needed. Thinstall load a starting EXEs directly from the package into memory and intercepts all of it's file I/O to provide transparent decompressed as needed. To the application it looks like all of it's files are on the harddrive. Thinstall can also load external EXEs and make your bundled files visible to them, so when you call ShellExecute with a filename that doesn't exist on the harddrive it still works. There are large number of there things that it can do, but I'm afraid it's just too much and I need to be able to convey the main idea quickly on the first page. Most surfers dont go further than that, and I fear few understand what it does from the current description. For example Ive gotten I myself am a certified InstallShield developer, and I was a bit confused as to what thinstall does.. A few of the things the product can do are listed at: http://thinstall.com/about Im considering spinning off many of these features into separate products so as not to clutter the concept of Thinstall. I need some guidance from people who see this with a fresh mind. Thanks! Jonathan
Re: Help describing my software product
Answered By: j_philipp-ga on 07 Aug 2002 05:26 PDT
Hello Jonathanclark, I suggest to you an "inverted pyramid" style of introducing Thinstall. That is, you go from the most important facts to the less important ones, and you start with the broad concept and introduce details later. You might also want to create links of important keywords of your introductory paragraph. Those could be leading directly to sections of your site's FAQ. I've been looking at how you currently approach the task, and I think you can enhance it by reflecting what exactly one would need to be convinced to give your software a try. You know your program best, so I will outline the ideas and hope you can manifest them into a solid product description. This is your current text: http://thinstall.com/ "Thinstall creates a Virtual Filesystem inside your EXE allowing you to keep your files bundled and compressed during execution. With Thinstall, there is no need to install anything, just click and run." 1. Who needs this? Leave no doubt about what target group you are addressing: "Thinstall helps software developers to create ..." 2. Why does someone need this? This is important for both introduction text and banner ad: "Thinstall solves the task of bundling files ..." 3. What sets this software apart? Mention the specific problems when not using Thinstall: "Without Thinstall, you would have to manage complex interactions between the operating system and ..." 4. Provide a concrete example to illustrate the use of the software: "If you have an application X, which comes with several files -- executable, text documents, program DLLs -- you can now use Thinstall to ..." 5. Put the product into a context of other applications the target group may be already using: "Thinstall fits right into your development process of distributing software, and it works hand in hand with products like ..." 6. Make it easy to "keyword scan" the page. Create a list of words important and unique to your application. Emphasize them in the introduction. You might want to reuse the keywords for your banner ad. "Thinstall ... Virtual File system ... DLLs ... EXE ... Windows ... distribution ... installation ... bundled ... decompressing ..." 7. Place your product into a timeframe. Put the current year into prominent position; otherwise nobody will know the page and product is up-to-date and solves current problems. "Thinstall has been tested for a long time, and the recent stable 2002 release achieves ..." 8. Avoid "advertisement lingo". Steer clear of overusing "free", "easy to use", "all in one", exclamation marks, and so on -- especially in the banner ad. Personal and professional should be the way to go. 9. Link to specific help pages for every possible type of developer you are trying to target: "Thinstall for the VB developer ... for the C/C++ programmer ... for Microsoft .NET projects ... for InstallShield users ... " 10. Provide a direct feedback at the end of the introduction, and optionally also a discussion forum or guest book. If you have any positive user comments, publish them. "If you have further questions, don't hesitate to email me. If you provide me with your project description I will get back to you within 24 hours, describing how you can make best use of Thinstall. ... The following developers successfully use Thinstall; John Doe says it helped him ... you can discuss your project in the forum ..." After creating the introduction, examine the wording. Analyze formal aspects: - are the paragraphs small? - did you use short sentences? - did you use the simplest words possible? And analyze the style: - Which sentence is not as clear as it could be? - Is there a strong direction from first to last sentence? - Are you getting straight to the point -- or do you sometimes "introduce" the introduction? - Does the text address the reader directly and urge him to get active and download the file? I hope these points help you get a fresh view on which road to take, and I wish you good luck with your product!
rated this answer:
Fantastic answer. Exactly what I wanted to hear. I can't tell you how useful this is to hear. I've posted a number of questions on google-answers and this has been the most useful answer I've received. When I get back from holiday I'll be implementing many of these suggestions. Thanks again to ld-cdc and snapanswer for great comments as well.
Re: Help describing my software product
From: ldcdc-ga on 06 Aug 2002 19:03 PDT
Hi. I just want to say that I loved the program. (the idea behind it) Here's a page you should read. It will give you some ideas on how to structure your main page : http://a-web-biz.com/salesletter.htm (www.a-web-biz.com is my site) A few tips: Try to introduce the visitor to your site in a friendly manner, not by telling him what the program does. He might not even know that your site is about a program. Incite him to read more of what you have to say first. After "Welcome to Thinstall!" say something like "If you're new to this site please take a few moments to let me explain what the site is about. And here we go! This site promotes a program called Thinstall. The program's name comes from two simple (and carefully chosen) words: "thin" and "install". And now you can explain what the program does, but leave the technical words beside. Explain the idea of the program. Don't explain it to a programmer, explain it to a human being first. If the potential customer is interested in the idea of the program, he will "ask for more information". And that in-depth information will be on other pages of the site. That's what I feel anyway. Conclusion: introduce the visitor to the site first, treat him like a friend. Also try to put the ideas in a bit more words. Keep in mind that the visitor might have absolutely no idea what the site is about. So give him the information slowly. Consider him to be like a child. That's it. If you need more help you know where to find me. :)
Re: Help describing my software product
From: snapanswer-ga on 06 Aug 2002 19:44 PDT
Interesting concept. Here are some things that would make me interested in your product if I was a developer or an IT person creating in-house distribution CDs. I think your software allows this, but, these things didn't jump out at me... if your software does these things, raise them to the top of your information. 1) You can run your applications from the CD, DVD, or network, never installing them to your hard drive. 2) Providing software for your traveling sales team has never been easier. Advanced compression allows you to place the software they need on a single disc. One DVD (CD enough space for standard apps?) for your applications... easy to travel with, easy to manage, easy to replace. 3) Great for networks. Store compressed executables on your file server so that your client system hard drives can be restored without reinstalling applications. The easy way to track and manage software license compliance. 4) Your applications will load twice as fast. 5) Distributing a marketing demo? Running software from the CD assures your customers (and you) that your installation did not change a single file on their hard drive. 6) Software developers, zero installation means zero installation support costs. How would you like to ship a product without having installation headaches, frustrated users, and costly support calls? With thinstall, you can ship a product with a single compressed executable. Say goodbye to installation support. It seemed like your product has a ton of features... and somewhere it is nice to have a page with a complete list of features. However, my suggestion would be to divide your customers into different categories... then tailor a message for them. Many web sites organize information by product topic... successful web sites additionally organize information by customer (either individual or group). Good luck with this interesting product.
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