Writesonic has a deal over on AppSumo Marketplace.
Thankfully, after many years of counseling, I've broke myself of my AppSumo additiction — but when I saw Paul C. at WPTuts post about it in his group, I decided it was worth a try.
To be fair, I'm quite skeptical of AI copywriting. What I've seen, in my very limited experience, has been pretty poor…
But what about Writesonic… Is it any good?
My Writesonic Experiment
To find out if this AppSumo deal was worth trying, I signed up directly with Writesonic for a free trial — which will give you 10 credits.
I decided to use all 10 on one article, since long-form content is my jam.
Their system prompted me to choose a topic, and I went with recurring revenue since it's something we discuss often and something I've wrote about quite a bit.
To get started with suggestions, I had to provide 100-150 words as an “intro”. I suppose this was to get the AI's creative juice's flowing.
One of the suggestions their AI gave me was “10 Tips to Generate Recurring Revenue as a Web Design Agency”. It's not the most original (or optimized) title I've heard, but it'll do.
My credits would only afford me 10 sections of the article, so I cut out the intro and outro so I could get all 10 of the “tips” their AI was going to provide.
I could go into more depth about the tool itself, the user experience, and so on — but what you really want to know is: Will Writesonic free me from ever having to write copy myself?
So let's cut to the chase…
I'll let you be the judge, but I couldn't help but provide my brief commentary at the end.
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10 Tips to Generate Recurring Revenue as a Web Design Agency
Tip 1: Sell more than just care plans
Once I started selling additional services with my care plan, I noticed a pattern emerging with my customers: they paid more than just a one-time rate. The value of a subscription is why many people subscribe to recurring services like Strava, Spotify, and Slack. These services typically include a small selection of free stuff along with the recurring costs that people already pay to do that thing. Instead of going the extra mile and selling more content for my care plans, I convinced my clients that they needed to go the extra step by providing ongoing content. At first I thought this was just one more thing I had to do— another step outside the box in my quest to grow my business.
Tip 2: Charge more per month
With simple tax planning your business could be taking home $150 more per month. To increase the rate you charge, it's not enough to set up a good care plan or make use of those companies that offer discounts. It's not enough to purchase more software, either. It's not even enough to hire a team member to help you with your care plan. The only thing that you need to do to increase the amount of monthly revenue you receive is increase your rate. To increase your rate, your aim should be to get to a point where it's more profitable to maintain the same level of customer service (from answering your client’s questions to following up with them) than to increase the number of clients you serve. This is where your customer success program comes in.
Tip 3: Move from monthly to quarterly
The main strategy that my business uses to generate recurring revenue is a subscription-based product. By simply charging a monthly rate for a care plan for a specific monthly time period, we’re able to produce consistent, predictable revenue month after month. With this approach, we’re also able to avoid the huge rush of customers that usually come at the end of a quarter. To achieve this, we first have to tie our web design company to a single, annual revenue cycle. That’s why my company splits its services into these 5 categories: Content Creation Content Creation is the backbone of our business and produces a steady stream of income year-round. It's the backbone of our business and produces a steady stream of income year-round.
Tip 4: Add on services
The last tip I want to talk about with regard to generating recurring revenue is the add-on services that can increase your rate by several dollars or more. While the template of your company will continue to change over time as you expand your clientele, the core principle of doing great work and providing value will never change. I will always be focused on quality, because quality is all I can offer. A product that's slightly better than the competition is not going to have any added value to it. Since my services are all unique, as my clientele grows I add more and more value to my services in an attempt to find a deeper meaning in the work I do. I do this by adding services to an existing plan that will help increase my income. “I can't thank Tom enough for this awesome work.
Tip 5: Make it easy for customers
When talking to new clients, I love finding out what it is about my company that they like. I love finding out their goals and then figuring out how I can help them reach them. The best way to do this is to make sure the service I'm providing my clients is as accessible as possible. This can be done by making my service searchable and easy to find on my website. Or by making sure that the company's logo is shown prominently in the headline or product listing, right next to my email address. Once I have their email address, I can send a standard template email that shows everything they need to know about my services— just like an offer to give a demo or get started. I've found this a huge draw to sign up for my services.
Tip 6: Create a subscription service
Consumers are constantly bombarded with spam at their desktops and phones, often telling them to download coupons or download apps that their grandmother would definitely get rid of (which, again, is actually bad for your business). Instead, spend your marketing dollars creating subscriptions that your existing customers would be willing to pay for. It's a win-win: a customer pays you upfront for your work, and you've got that recurring revenue locked in. This has been a staple in the marketing world for years. If you're ever in doubt, look at your competitor's offers—most likely you're going to find a product that's a good deal and includes lots of different things you could subscribe to.
Tip 7: Become a trusted advisor
From the very beginning of my company, I have strived to differentiate myself from my competition in terms of my knowledge, experience, and quality. While it’s taken a great deal of time to build these layers, I’m absolutely amazed at how instrumental each of these attributes have become to my ability to charge more with every new client. By creating ongoing value for my clients, I have been able to create the right aura around my business. People don’t just need to hear about my services— they need to actually trust that my advice will be of the highest quality.
Tip 8: Give them more than they expect
One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned over the years is how to create a recurring revenue stream that continues to grow over time. To create this, you first need to identify what your customers want. You do this by going straight to the source. First off, you have to know what your customers' current needs are, so you can optimize your site for them and then make it better to increase their satisfaction. From there, you can tweak and make sure they’re 100% happy with the products and services you provide. It’s important to get to know your clients so that when you offer your custom care plans, you have a clear understanding of exactly what they need. A couple of weeks ago, I had an issue with a new care plan I’m working on.
Tip 9: Make the customer feel special
People love to feel special. There’s no doubt about it. Even if it’s for the price of $10, the more personal something is the more people will pay for it. People still feel special when they receive a bunch of junk mail at their door every day, because no one would expect it to be delivered. Now let me ask you, when was the last time you received a package of free candy at your door? I don’t remember it, I’m guessing you don’t either. However, if you look at it more closely, if it was out of the ordinary then it would be more important to people. Yes, there will always be junk mail (probably out of guilt) but in general you don’t have to think too hard to come up with things that can be customized for a customer.
Tip 10: Provide an even higher level of service
We are a software development company. This means we spend our days collaborating with different teams to create some of the most exciting products you can imagine. But we’re not just building software for clients who already know us, we’re also adding value by always having new things to show them. We’re constantly coming up with new ideas and features that improve the user experience for our clients. Our product, CodeRush, has been a resounding success with over 9 million downloads across a plethora of platforms. We pride ourselves on our ability to handle all aspects of a project. Being that we’re just a small team of 12 developers, the integration of tech, design, and marketing seamlessly work together to build amazing apps for our clients.
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Okay, there's no way in hell you read all that right? Two gold stars if you made it through the 3rd “tip” before giving up.
What a steaming pile of garbage.
Your wallet is safe from AppSumo's clutches today, folks! Let your copywriting friends know their job is still safe (for now anyway).