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Thread: Looking for some feedback on my website, and some marketing questions.

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    Default Looking for some feedback on my website, and some marketing questions.

    Hi, Iíve written a document scanning and ocr application and have my website up and running for it. I was wondering if I could get some reviews on the siteís appearance and layout. Also, if I could get opinions on the pricing Iíve set that would be great. Iím trying to get this website business off the ground while working a full-time job. My target market is not the large companies that already have document scanning software and/or can afford to pay tens of thousands of dollars each year to install and maintain it. I want to reach the many smaller companies with 1-50 employees that donít have this kind of software yet, only want to pay a ďlittle bitĒ for it, and who want to install and learn it themselves. I think thereís a market for this product but I donít know how to reach it. So far the website hasnít really gone anywhere. I havenít had much time to put into marketing it. I thought of joining affiliate networks but I didnít want give control of distribution to one of these monoliths and have the hassle of dealing with them. I started an affiliate program with iDevAffiliate but I havenít advertised it yet. My website is VeloScan - Home. If you could take a look and provide some feedback that would be great. If you know someone who could use this software I'm prepared to give them a permanent 85% discount just to get a user base. Thanks.

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    We will see what some of the others have to say but to me it seemed excellent. I thought the layout and colors were nice, the message easy to understand and the prices easy to find and understand. As far as how the pricing compares I have no idea but it seems competitive.
    Ray Badger, Turbo Technologies, Inc.
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    root Array Harold Mansfield's Avatar
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    The one thing I do like is the Go Animate video. It's really easy to screw those up and I think you did a nice job on it.

    I notice you keep speaking of it as a "website business". You're not in the website business. You have a document scanner. You're in the document scanner business. The website is store through which you sell it.

    I'm not a big fan of the website itself. It looks a little dated, and DIY. Lot of wasted space, bland design, copy writing needs a lot of help. Ordering looks over complicated.

    I don't know what this program is supposed to do so I can't comment on the price. When I hear document scanner I think of the thing that my all in one printer already does, or the free apps (One Note, Keep, S-Note) that I have on my phone that can scan, catalogue and change documents.

    I can see that you have a lot of content, it's just not presented or organized well. I think it could and should be much better.
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    I looked at your website and am not sure what the value proposition is. Your target customers already have a scanner and presumably that comes with OCR software. Is your OCR software more accurate than the big names?

    You mention document management software. There are a lot of established products on the market there, too. I used PaperPort for document management with my Visioneer scanner 20 years ago and now the software is owned by Nuance, owner of OmniPage and DragonDictate. What does your software add that the established off-the-shelf products don't have?

    You may have a value proposition but your website doesn't explain to me why your product fills my needs.

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    Thanks for your kind and honest replies turboguy, Harold, and David.

    Harold, yes you are correct. It's not a website business (it was the end of a long day when I wrote the post last night). Yes I built the website myself - trying to keep costs down. I agree it's not as modern-looking as most these days that have a landing page with a large image on it, but I do think of the website as neat, simply laid out, and easy to navigate.

    David, I have put many of the features of the application in point form next to the pictures on the home page, as well as in the features page, and have provided videos for people to watch, but I do acknowledge that potential customers would have to take the time to wade through it all to get the full picture. I think your final statement "You may have a value proposition but your website doesn't explain to me why your product fills my needs" sums up my dilemma. How do I *instantly* get my value proposition across to a reader if they haven't used a document scanning system before, or they have only used a single-user application whose main feature is to create searchable PDFs?

    To answer your questions quickly:
    * My app uses the free Tesseract OCR application (originally developed at Hewlett Packard Laboratories). This OCR is as good as the other commercial ones and you can install over 50 additional languages to OCR in at no extra cost.
    * My app provides OCR if your device didn't come with any. OCR that comes with a device can usually only create searchable PDFs (how long would it take for Windows to search through 100,000+ PDFs to find the documents that contain the text you're looking for?). My app stores all the scanned documents and PDFs in a central location, and it stores the text extracted from those documents in a central SQL Server database for fast searching. You can also extract text from specific points in a document, verify the text as correct, and export that text if required.
    * My app does the basics of what the 'big boys' do at a fraction of the price. From my home page: AUTO-TEXT-EXTRACTION; AUTO-DOCUMENT-RECOGNITION; AUTO-DOCUMENT-CLASSIFICATION; SEARCH BY DOCUMENT CLASSIFICATION, REGIONS OF INTEREST, FREEFORM TEXT & MORE; VIEW, EXPORT, PRINT & EMAIL DOCUMENTS; CREATE WORKFLOWS; MANAGE CASES; AUTO-CASE-CREATION FOR DOCUMENTS; ROUTE DOCUMENTS THROUGH YOUR ORGANISATION FOR ACTION; RUN A HELPDESK; SINGLE OR MULTI-USER; CLIENT-SERVER BASED; FREE DOWNLOAD; EASY, QUICK, DO-IT-YOURSELF INSTALL (no consultant costs).

    And I have pricing on my website - a lot of vendors don't, which I assume means it's going to cost you.

    But again, how to get points like these across quickly to a reader? Thanks guys for your feedback. I do appreciate it. I will have to ponder further.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JimmyC33 View Post
    Thanks for your kind and honest replies turboguy, Harold, and David.

    Harold, yes you are correct. It's not a website business (it was the end of a long day when I wrote the post last night). Yes I built the website myself - trying to keep costs down. I agree it's not as modern-looking as most these days that have a landing page with a large image on it, but I do think of the website as neat, simply laid out, and easy to navigate.
    But it's actually not. You're making that assumption based on what you know and the fact that you did it yourself, so you're proud of that. And you've done a good job at getting something up. It's not horrible. You've made some good moves. But it's not good enough to compete and get people to purchase with confidence.

    Quote Originally Posted by JimmyC33 View Post
    David, I have put many of the features of the application in point form next to the pictures on the home page, as well as in the features page, and have provided videos for people to watch, but I do acknowledge that potential customers would have to take the time to wade through it all to get the full picture. I think your final statement "You may have a value proposition but your website doesn't explain to me why your product fills my needs" sums up my dilemma. How do I *instantly* get my value proposition across to a reader if they haven't used a document scanning system before, or they have only used a single-user application whose main feature is to create searchable PDFs?

    To answer your questions quickly:
    * My app uses the free Tesseract OCR application (originally developed at Hewlett Packard Laboratories). This OCR is as good as the other commercial ones and you can install over 50 additional languages to OCR in at no extra cost.
    * My app provides OCR if your device didn't come with any. OCR that comes with a device can usually only create searchable PDFs (how long would it take for Windows to search through 100,000+ PDFs to find the documents that contain the text you're looking for?). My app stores all the scanned documents and PDFs in a central location, and it stores the text extracted from those documents in a central SQL Server database for fast searching. You can also extract text from specific points in a document, verify the text as correct, and export that text if required.
    * My app does the basics of what the 'big boys' do at a fraction of the price. From my home page: AUTO-TEXT-EXTRACTION; AUTO-DOCUMENT-RECOGNITION; AUTO-DOCUMENT-CLASSIFICATION; SEARCH BY DOCUMENT CLASSIFICATION, REGIONS OF INTEREST, FREEFORM TEXT & MORE; VIEW, EXPORT, PRINT & EMAIL DOCUMENTS; CREATE WORKFLOWS; MANAGE CASES; AUTO-CASE-CREATION FOR DOCUMENTS; ROUTE DOCUMENTS THROUGH YOUR ORGANISATION FOR ACTION; RUN A HELPDESK; SINGLE OR MULTI-USER; CLIENT-SERVER BASED; FREE DOWNLOAD; EASY, QUICK, DO-IT-YOURSELF INSTALL (no consultant costs).
    I didn't really notice the features presented in a way that made me see value. Just needs some reorganization along with design to make it more clear.

    Quote Originally Posted by JimmyC33 View Post
    And I have pricing on my website - a lot of vendors don't, which I assume means it's going to cost you.

    But again, how to get points like these across quickly to a reader? Thanks guys for your feedback. I do appreciate it. I will have to ponder further.
    I know that this kind of pricing is common...based on users. But it's also one of the things I, as a business owner, hate. I either want to own it, or want to just use it as needed and want to know the price for that. Monthly? Yearly? Once you get past 3 tiers, I'm tired of listening. It's too complicated and I'm positive I don't want it now.

    Not understanding why it's based on users. Are you using resources to provide the services. Is it cloud based?

    i admit I don't get it either. Seems like I have 2 or 3 programs or apps on my phone that do those things, but I conceded that it's not a product I need nor do any of the features stand out as something that solve a problem that I'm having.

    I've stood out in my industry by NOT doing it the same way as everyone else. By making it easier for people. If yours is the same, does the same, and is priced the same way, why do I need you instead of an established player? Even if yours is cheaper, your website doesn't sell it well at all.

    Again, you've got something online. And that fact that you've gotten something online yourself is admirable. But you've put it together with no understanding of marketing, design, copy writing, or sales and it shows. I suspect you've attempted to mimic what you've seen, which is fine, but it doesn't translate well if you don't understand what you're mimicking or why.

    The issues you have can be fixed. Where you fall short can be improved. What you don't know you can learn.
    You can't keep things the same, yet expect a different outcome or you'll waste a lot of time and money beating a dead horse.
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    In regards to your layout, it was stated above that it looks very amateurish. You want you business to have a professional feel and this look doesn't relay that message.
    You may want to invest ($50-$100) to buy a wordpress theme with a "Clean Look" out-of-the-box. Utilize the top right side of your header on the page for a call to action (CTA).

    You have the following small text at the bottom of your site in orange font (Probably meant to be CTA??):

    FREE TRIAL: 5 USERS, 100 DOCUMENTS & 100 CASES.

    I would probably rephrase this message though to something like,

    Get Your FREE TRIAL Today!

    I would also add a button right under the text. If this is your CTA - Place it in the header, Upper right.
    Place your social sharing buttons somewhere else on the website. It's taking up valuable real estate.
    You appear to have a table layout but the pictures don't enlarge when you click on them. I have a natural tendency to want to see a bigger picture/graphic.
    You are listing features next to the graphics and you assume your reader will know what they are. You don't say why it is either important or cool to have that feature.

    For instance:
    AUTO-TEXT-EXTRACTION.
    AUTO-DOCUMENT-RECOGNITION.
    AUTO-DOCUMENT-CLASSIFICATION

    I see the above listed features and I say to myself, "so what". I don't know why I need that.
    You should explain what the feature will do.

    I'll give you an example: Air conditioning in a car (feature), You will stay very cool when you go out on a drive on those hot summer nights (benefit)

    The text on your pricing page looks too bunched up. Also, the table should probably stand out a little more with some colors, even if
    just for the column headings.
    Center the table.
    Space out bullet points on pricing page.
    Last edited by jasonstorm; 03-02-2017 at 04:00 AM.
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    Harold: Yes, I see what you mean. I've got to step back from being personally involved with the design of the website so I can see the flaws (not easy). I based the pricing on number of users because every organisation I've worked in always pays for multi-user software based user-licences. Microsoft, many-many companies, charge that way, so I thought that would be acceptable. Also it seems reasonable that in a multi-user system the more users who are using the system the more one would expect to pay, as the more users using the system, the more support you would be expected to provide to that organisation (if you ever got big enough you've have to be hiring helpdesk staff, etc. and charging per number of users is a way to facilitate this). Annual charging is a way of ensuring the business remains viable. If I sold 1000 copies @ $132.00 one-time payment each, that's $120,000.00 after 10% govt. tax, which would be fantastic, but the money would be gone eventually, and then I'm supporting 1000 users while still working a full-time job. If I charge the same 1000 customers $132.00 annually, now I can move into the business full-time and really start growing it and supporting my customers better. The customers support me so I can support them.

    JasonStorm: thanks also for your advice and comments on my website - they are much appreciated - as are all the others' comments. I'll look into the Wordpress themes, CTA's, and text placement.

    Thanks guys. I may be coming back to you at a later date.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JimmyC33 View Post
    Harold: Yes, I see what you mean. I've got to step back from being personally involved with the design of the website so I can see the flaws (not easy).
    Don't beat yourself up over it, it's hard for everyone. As an example I'm not completely head over heels about my own websites, but I don't need to love them. I'm not the one using them every day. I need other people to find them professional, credible, and for them to be easy to use and do business with me.

    When the phone rings and people send me money, I know I'm on the right track. It wasn't always that way. I had to learn and adjust.

    Quote Originally Posted by JimmyC33 View Post
    I based the pricing on number of users because every organisation I've worked in always pays for multi-user software based user-licences. Microsoft, many-many companies, charge that way, so I thought that would be acceptable.
    That's a great way to look at it if you were Microsoft. You're not Microsoft. If you want to emulate Microsoft, emulate 1975 start up Microsoft. Not 2017 industry titan with unlimited research, development, and marketing budget Microsoft.


    Quote Originally Posted by JimmyC33 View Post
    Also it seems reasonable that in a multi-user system the more users who are using the system the more one would expect to pay, as the more users using the system, the more support you would be expected to provide to that organisation (if you ever got big enough you've have to be hiring helpdesk staff, etc. and charging per number of users is a way to facilitate this). Annual charging is a way of ensuring the business remains viable. If I sold 1000 copies @ $132.00 one-time payment each, that's $120,000.00 after 10% govt. tax, which would be fantastic, but the money would be gone eventually, and then I'm supporting 1000 users while still working a full-time job. If I charge the same 1000 customers $132.00 annually, now I can move into the business full-time and really start growing it and supporting my customers better. The customers support me so I can support them.
    Yes, but everything you just said is from the position of what's in it for you. Not what's in it for them.
    Have you done any surveys or market research that says this is the kind if pricing structure people like?
    Or is this just the way it's always been so just keep doing the same thing as everyone else?

    Who still uses paper documents at the rate that paying for a program which does just that makes sense?
    You list a lot of features that sound common place to me, but are they so ground breaking that I can't find them anywhere else?

    The answer to part of your marketing question is, if you don't identify who needs this and target them directly, you won't sell it to anyone.

    Quote Originally Posted by jasonstorm View Post

    For instance:
    AUTO-TEXT-EXTRACTION.
    AUTO-DOCUMENT-RECOGNITION.
    AUTO-DOCUMENT-CLASSIFICATION

    I see the above listed features and I say to myself, "so what". I don't know why I need that.
    You should explain what the feature will do.
    I agree here. Maybe I'm just some poor schlep who doesn't understand the intricate details of the document needs of other offices, but this sounds like "Copy and Paste, Import/Export, and Save As" to me.

    From my phone I can take an image of a document import it into Word, or Adobe and sign it, edit it, save it to another computer, NAS, Google Docs, MS Office, Adobe Cloud or import it into another program (because every program these days accepts Word and Adobe docs) and finish up my call. And none of that costs me the expense of another program to do.

    How would you sell to me? A person that either has or can find a way to manage my documents without paying $132 a year for a computer based program that isn't as flexible as the functions on the phone in my pocket?

    Are you offering features that people truly cannot get anywhere else? If not, then why are you holding onto old school pricing from back when there were no other options?

    So who does still use that many paper documents and needs the features you're promoting?

    Car dealers? Real Estate agents? Medical? If so, then that's your market. Not just throwing a net to everyone and hope to get lucky.

    Seems to me there may be a way to innovate in the pricing area, not just be the same because you've grabbed some numbers out of the sky that say if you set this price, you can make this much, IF you get this many customers. Meanwhile you've done no research that says this price is viable, identifies what need you're filling in what market, and no strategy of how you will get those customers to hit those mystery numbers.

    Are you starting to get my point? Everything you've done here is based on assumptions. Going forward, once you are sure that this is a viable idea...not because you want it to be, but because your actual research shows that it is and that people will pay for it, you'll learn to do what it takes to give yourself a fighting chance to make a dent in the industry....or you won't and nothing will ever become of it.
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    Hmm, I think you can try to make it look more attractive, not so much white (even though it's simple and emphasizes other stuff). Please don't use "...", it looks like you are not certain of what your services are. In general, it look good, well organised

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