Cross-selling statistics from

19 11 2007

Cross-selling is one of the easiest way to maximize your revenue per order. Cross-selling is not only the easiest, it’s also effective technique. I started using this technique in August 2007 and I wish I have started using it earlier. Here are stats from from August till mid November.

I created 7 cross-selling groups. I’ve selected suplementary games that are similar to primary item (the first one that visitor puts into the shopping cart). Here is the list of groups and their effectiveness:

Maggie X – 13.6% effectiveness.
Runes X – 0% effectiveness!
Maggie X – 14.3% effectiveness.
Runes and Path of Magic – Windows – 50% effectiveness.
Path of Magic and Runes of Avalon – Windows – 13.8% effectiveness.
Runes and Path of Magic – Linux – 90% effectiveness.
Path of Magic and Runes of Avalon – Mac – 14.81% effectiveness.

Thanks to this technique I made $577.92 more than I would without using it (before I started cross-selling I had only 1 or 2 orders with multiple products). The best thing about it is that I didn’t have to pay a penny for it to get this extra revunue.

Effectivenes depends on suplementary game. It is a great way to sell sequels or level packs. It doesn’t work if you sell game for kids with puzzle game (that’s why Rune X had 0% efficiency). It works better if primary game is more expensive than supplementary game (50% of Runes of Avalon ($19.99) customers ordered Path of Magic, but only 14% of Path of Magic ($9.99) customers ordered Runes of Avalon).

Now, while I was writing this article I found out that Runes of Avalon for Mac was set up with wrong cross-sell group (Runes X). That mistake probably cost me around $200. Remember, always test your sales machine. If it is not set the way you want it to be set you will most probably lose money.

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Double your game development budget with UE Funds

18 11 2007

If you live in one of EU countries you can double your game development budget. You need to send an application to MEDIA EACEA/17/07 program. First deadline passed on November 15th 2007, though there is second deadline on April 15th 2008. There’s plenty of time to prepare.

How does it work?

You need to send an application and if it wins, you get 50% of development budget refunded. 75% upfront and 25% after project completion. So you can either double your development budget or increase ROI.

I sent my application 2 days ago. It was one of the easiest applications that I’ve seen to gain EU funds. It has 26 pages, but most of them is filled with instructions on what to do or just an honorable declarations that you need to sign. But don’t be fouled. When I filled up and printed it all it weighted 730g! That’s because you need to send your project description in 3 copies and you need to attach proof of distribution of one of your games. In my case it was a publishing deal (13 pages).

The hardest part about it was creating a design documentation for upcoming game. You don’t want to spend to much time on it, because you don’t know if you win and you need to make it as great as possible, so you’re chances of winning are as high as possible. The problem is that you need to think about the game that you will want (and be able) to start developing in 6 months (that’s when you’re going to find out if you won). You don’t want to start unless you know that you received funding. Another problem is that you should include a lot of elements such as GUI concept, visuals or interaction description (and it takes time to create it good looking).

Each country has it’s own consulting agency and all papers localized. The agency was pretty helpful, though I was the first one that was applying for game development so in many cases they didn’t know what proofs or documents should I supply.

The whole thing looks very indie friendly. While you can’t be an individual (you need to be a registered company), there is a lot of restriction that don’t let big companies take part in this program.

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Track full order datails with Google Analytics and eSellerate (or Plimus, BMT, etc.)

13 11 2007

You can have Google Analytics anabled and working great, but if your e-commerce service is located on 3rd party domain, then you lose a lot of important informations, such as referral site, visits to purchase, days to purchase, etc. If you use the trick described below you will be able to track all this useful informations. I made it to work with eSellerate, but I am sure it can be done with Plimus, BMT and other e-commerce providers.

First of all, all your buy now links have to call a script that will save Google Analytics cookies to database. To match visitors with cookies we will use visitor IP. The script that will set the cookies on e-commerce domain will delete database entry right after retrieving it. It is not a perfect solution, but it will work in 99.999% (how many orders do you expect placed within few seconds from the same IP?). So instaed of calling:

you call

Mygame.php has to include save_GA_cookies.php script and then redirect to real e-commerce address. save_GA_cookies.php script looks like this:

// this script should be called before you redirect to e-commerce shopping cart
// it saves Google Analytics cookies to database along with User IP

// include your database engine

$dbga = new clsDBAnawiki();$IP = $_ENV[‘REMOTE_ADDR’];

$utma = mysql_escape_string($_COOKIE[‘__utma’]);
$utmb = mysql_escape_string($_COOKIE[‘__utmb’]);
$utmc = mysql_escape_string($_COOKIE[‘__utmc’]);
$utmx = mysql_escape_string($_COOKIE[‘__utmx’]);
$utmz = mysql_escape_string($_COOKIE[‘__utmz’]);
$utmv = mysql_escape_string($_COOKIE[‘__utmv’]);
$utmk = mysql_escape_string($_COOKIE[‘__utmk’]);

$dbga->query(“INSERT INTO an_ga_cookies(ga_ip, ga_utma, ga_utmb, ga_utmc, ga_utmx, ga_utmz, ga_utmv, ga_utmk) VALUES(‘$IP’, ‘$utma’, ‘$utmb’, ‘$utmc’, ‘$utmx’, ‘$utmz’, ‘$utmv’, ‘$utmk’)”);


Then you need to insert into your e-commerce html template following line:

<script TYPE=”text/javascript” src=”” mce_src=””>

set_GA_cookies.php reads GA cookies from database and sets them on e-commerce domain via JavaScript. The problem is that you need a SSL domain address otherwise your shopping cart will show unsecure site message. The good news is that this domain doesn’t have to be on your server or your own domain, though you will need to tweak my code to make it work on 3rd party server.

Here is the code for set_GA_cookies.php:

// script generates JavaScript code that sets Google Analytic cookies on

// include your own database library

$db = new DB();

$db->query(“SELECT * FROM an_ga_cookies WHERE ga_ip=’$IP’ LIMIT 0, 1″);

$jscode = ”;
while ($db->next_record()) {
$utma = $db->f(‘ga_utma’);
$utmb = $db->f(‘ga_utmb’);
$utmc = $db->f(‘ga_utmc’);
$utmx = $db->f(‘ga_utmx’);
$utmz = $db->f(‘ga_utmz’);
$utmv = $db->f(‘ga_utmv’);
$utmk = $db->f(‘ga_utmk’);
$id = $db->f(‘ga_id’);

$jscode = “setCookie(‘__utma’, ‘”.htmlspecialchars($utma).”‘, 30, ‘/’, ‘’, false) \n”;
$jscode .= “setCookie(‘__utmb’, ‘”.htmlspecialchars($utmb).”‘, 30, ‘/’, ‘’, false) \n”;
$jscode .= “setCookie(‘__utmc’, ‘”.htmlspecialchars($utmc).”‘, 30, ‘/’, ‘’, false) \n”;
$jscode .= “setCookie(‘__utmx’, ‘”.htmlspecialchars($utmx).”‘, 30, ‘/’, ‘’, false) \n”;
$jscode .= “setCookie(‘__utmz’, ‘”.htmlspecialchars($utmz).”‘, 30, ‘/’, ‘’, false) \n”;
$jscode .= “setCookie(‘__utmv’, ‘”.htmlspecialchars($utmv).”‘, 30, ‘/’, ‘’, false) \n”;
$jscode .= “setCookie(‘__utmk’, ‘”.htmlspecialchars($utmk).”‘, 30, ‘/’, ‘’, false) \n”;


if (!empty($id)) $db->query(“DELETE FROM an_ga_cookies WHERE ga_id=$id”);


function setCookie(name, value, expires, path, domain, secure){
(expires?';expires=’+new Date(+new Date()+expires*864e5).toGMTString():”)+
<? echo $jscode; ?>

That’s it. I used PHP, but you can use any other web language to do that. Commands are self-explanatory, so I am sure you’ll be fine. Just in case you don’t want to copy the code from this page you can download zipped scripts.

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MacZOT – sell more great Mac Games

9 11 2007

Last week I featured Tom’s Hen House and Maggie the Gardener 2 on MacZOT (Nov 3rd). I made it a bundle with retail price at $22.94 and the discounted price at $13.65. My bundle was featured for 24 hours and it managed to get 12 orders. Not much, but that 12 orders I didn’t have to pay to get them.

Besides 12 orderers I received 89 visitors from MacZOT (yes, you can link to your website) with 27% convertion to download ratio (though most of people downloaded the game directly via MacZOT download links).

MacZOT is a website that offers great Mac apps at great prices. We work with independent Mac developers to bring you special ZOT discounts on some of the best Mac applications available today. We have a new offer just about every day. The offer period is for 24 hours only (or as indicated on the time clock on the main page), during which time you can download and demo the featured product by clicking on the TRY button. If you decide to go for it, you simply return to the main page and click the BUY button. We use PayPal to process our payments, and it is very simple and quick. You do not need a PayPal account to purchase using PayPal.

MacZOT takes a fair share of the price (40-60%), but you can get all custumer emails if you need/want to (you need to send them serials or links to full version somehow). On most portals you earn much less than that.

I’ve spoken with Lisa Biskup from MacZOT to find out more about their service:

Probably only sold that many because the games are not well known already and because of that, not that many people downloaded them to try. Also, game bundles are good, if the games are well known, but maybe not so much if not.

The games that do the best are like Monopoly, Scrabble, Bejeweled 2, etc. when they are discounted down to about $10.95 or $11.95.

Anything that is $9.95 sells way more than $13.95. Our customers are definitely looking for a great deal. And they will buy it even if they don’t have a chance to try it because what’s $10.

Also, our audience likes games but we sell a lot more of productivity type apps, so apps that help people make more money or make their job easier. We only do games on the weekends for that reason.

I’d love it if you’d share your experience with macZOT. For some developers 12 in one day is a lot and for others it is nothing. We have had several 1000s sell in one day of bundles and of single apps over 1000 as well. It just really depends on how great the deal is and what the app is.

It is a good way to promote your app and we obviously like to make some too in order to keep our business alive. We can’t just run apps that will make us $50 per day.

Do you have a great Mac game? If so, contact me and contact MacZOT :)

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