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Simple to buy and use reduced perpetual version

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eliruss View Drop Down
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    Posted: 12 Sep 2023 at 9:26am

I do like Footprint Expert and have been using it for private projects for quite some time now.
I also had access to the professional version via some of my jobs.

I like the fact that you make the pro version available for free to try things out and use it for entry level work.
However, I'd like to suggest to add a new tier for home-use / open-hardware projects / SME's that has the following properties
  • Easy to buy (online, preferably via PayPal, without getting a quote first) 
  • Perpetual license with a few months of maintenance
  • License management similar to the "Pro" version via online activation (preferably with a time limited offline period, e.g. 14 days, for people with unstable internet connections)
  • Available for entry level CAD systems like KiCad, CircuitStudio, DipTrace etc.
  • No ads or nag screen
  • Perhaps additional perpetual "upgrades" like a simple library or file based save/load of footprint definitions (instead of a full library) and limited saved settings, using the same easy to use purchase mechanism, sold for a reasonable price.
  • Price range of of ad-free version $70 to $100, with upgrades maybe sold at $50 each
I think that there might be quite a few users that have used footprint expert at work and would like to use it for their own projects if it is easy to obtain and reasonably priced. 
Also, I think the conversion rate from free to paid would be much higher if the purchase of the lowest tier would be direct without quote or dongle.

The free version can be used for home use (and I suggest you keep it available), but for me the ads that steal focus from/cover other applications are just very annoying and take the fun out of that. 
I'm willing to spend some money on this useful software, but registering a business to make the purchase, getting a dongle, installing the license management etc. is something that is just overkill for private use.

I'm not sure whether the currently advertised "starting at $99" means perpetual or subscription, but for me the whole offering is just too unclear to encourage me to pursue a purchase or get a quote.
Also for private use, subscriptions are not very attractive.
So I suggest you offer a perpetual package where it is easy to see whats's included, that is easy to buy and set-up and causes little to no manual overhead for you.

If you are worried this will reduce the number of subscriptions or enterprise purchases you get, I think there is quite some room between the full fledged suite and the pro version that would be useful for home-use/small entities but not enough for bigger teams or more professional users that have e.g. library guidelines etc. that need to be configured.
The same is true for the price range, so you would probably reach customers that currently will not buy from you considering the available options.
Also, when adding new footprint types and updating cad export for latest versions, people would probably re-purchase from time to time to keep up to date.

Thanks for considering and keep up the good work.

Kind regards
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Nick B View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nick B Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Sep 2023 at 10:17am
We have several license options:

The $99 starting price is for subscription only. We cannot do a perpetual license without USB key for under $100 - it would be unfeasible to keep developing the software if we sold perpetual licenses at this cost. I'll send you an email.
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