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Business Success with Free Products?

Unique Marketing Partnership Grows Software Company By Leaps and Bounds

Giving products away for free may seem like a strange way to grow a business, but for Halfpricesoft.com, it has been the key to success.  Halfpricesoft, the KY-based small business payroll software provider, this morning is pleased to announce the big sales success of the first three months of 2011, a 60-percent increase over the first quarter of 2010.

Having sold fewer than a hundred copies of their payroll and check printing software titles in the first years of business, software developer Halfpricesoft.com now sells thousands of copies each year by giving away their full-feature versions through partnerships.

Halfpricesoft.com launched in 2003 with a focus on creating payroll tax software solutions that is easy to learn and affordable for small businesses yet full-featured. The company found it difficult to market software as a start-up, since customers were unfamiliar with the company, and sold only a handful of copies in its first year.

With the knowledge that their software offered features and capability comparable to high-end business software, Halfpricesoft offered a 30-day free trial period for its products believing that when users tried the payroll and check printing software, they would realize the value offered by Halfpricesoft.com and purchase the full-use license. While the free trial period did increase sales, they remained far below expectations.

In 2008, the company produced a "Lite" version of its check writing software, with limited capabilities on some features, such as custom check designing. The company offered the new product for free on software download sites and supported it with an intense press release campaign.

"Everyone likes free stuff," said Halfpricesoft.com founder Dr. Ge. "When we launched ezCheckPrinting Lite for free, we suddenly started getting hundreds of downloads each month."

But while downloads of the free software were plentiful, conversions to the full-featured paid version were minimal. The search for an effective marketing solution continued.

Seeing that free software was popular with small-business customers, Dr. Ge and his team looked for a way to utilize this powerful marketing tool that would result in sales for their premium products. The answer came in late 2008 when they discovered TrialPay.

With TrialPay, Halfpricesoft.com is able to offer the full-featured single-user version of ezCheckPrinting, ezCheckPersonal and its other software titles for free when customers purchase a product from another company. In 2009, the company ceased to offer the "lite" version of ezCheckPrinting and used TrialPay to offer the product for free. TrialPay advertisers pay for the software when customers purchase their products or services.

"We sell thousands of copies each year now," said Dr. Ge. "It's a win-win-win-win situation: the customer gets free product, we make sales, the TrialPay advertiser makes sales, and TrialPay gets commissions."

Halfpricesoft.com took full advantage of its partnership with TrialPay by launching a public relations campaign featuring the TrialPay offer in press releases and newsletters. The company also highlights the TrialPay offer on its website, encouraging customers to get Halfpricesoft.com products for free.

Currently, several products are offered for free through TrialPay at www.halfpricesoft.com, including:

- ezCheckPersonal personal check writing software

- ezTimeSheet, computer-based time clock software for tracking employee hours

- blank check stock for use with ezCheckPrinting, ezPaycheck and ezCheckPersonal software

- Stock for printing W2, W3, 1099 and 1096 forms

orginal link: http://www.halfpricesoft.com/business-blog/post/2011/04/18/Business-Success-with-Free-Products-Unique-Marketing-Partnership-Grows-Halfpricesoft-By-Leaps-and-Bounds.aspx

About halfpricesoft.com

Based in Louisville, Ky., Halfpricesoft.com is a developer of tax and financial software for small business that is affordable and easy to use, requiring little to no learning curve. Halpricesoft.com titles include ezPaycheck, ezCheckPrinting, ezCheckPersonal, ezTimeSheet, ezW2, and Accu2000 Barcode Printing Software. The company website at www.halfpricesoft.com also contains resources and links to help small businesses with their payroll, accounting and tax reporting needs.

Contact Information

halfpricesoft.com P.O. Box 17067 Louisville, KY 40217 USA

email: contact@halfpricesoft.com

Fax: (866) 909-6448

Web Site: http://www.halfpricesoft.com/product_ezCheck.asp

More Stories By Casey Yang

I work for halfpricesoft.com. Halfpricesoft.com is a leading provider of easy-to-use 1099, W2 and Payroll Software solutions for accountants and small to medium size businesses. And its small business software can save user both time and money. For more information, visit http://www.halfpricesoft.com