AppSumo is a site which offers deals on software. This digital marketplace has been around for a long time now and only offers ongoing deals. Since sales of any type are transient in nature, you can expect that most of the deals on sites like AppSumo will change frequently.
Although AppSumo is one of the oldest sites of this nature in existence that doesn’t mean you’re stuck with only one source. Today, there are many wannabes that have tried to follow up on the AppSumo model – some more successful than others.
With a growing number of software marketplaces popping up, how well do these websites stack against AppSumo? Let’s take a deeper dive into these options and see what we get.
AppSumo has been in the software marketplace business for almost a decade now. Founded back in 2011, this platform has helped hundreds of developers and software publishers earn chunks of money.
Software lifetime deals and discounts
There are a number of deal types offered via AppSumo, the most notable of which are the lifetime deals. This means that buying that software or service via the platform is a one-off expense and you can use it forever. Aside from that, there are also annual deals and even freebies.
With the growing number of marketplaces, AppSumo seems to have been going up against stiff competition. At the time of writing, AppSumo listed 66 deals – still a rather significant amount.
They divide the software available into quite a broad range of categories but apparently, the more popular areas are in marketing and lead generation. There are of course the odd items out on occasion such as eBooks and other informational material.
We will look into each of these AppSumo alternatives below.
* Disclosure: Affiliate links are used in this post. We earn a commission (at no additional cost to you) if you purchase through our links. This helps to cover our writer and site operation costs.
5 Best AppSumo Alternatives
When compared to the powerful due listed above, Dealify seems to have a bit of a disappointing range of deals. In fact, when I hit the site, only 6 deals were actually available. Even taking into consideration deals that come and go, having less than ten deals on the entire site does seem a bit off-putting.
Aside from their rather meager offering, the Dealify Facebook page also has limited exposure with only a few hundred followers. Dealify doesn’t really pretend to be otherwise though, with the owner claiming that he started the site out of “passion for Online Marketing and Growth Hacking.”
Their marketing pitch targets them at marketers and ‘growth hackers’ but looking at the first deal on display, I was not very convinced. It was an offer on a password management application.
Who Dealify is for: Growth Hackers, Marketers, Small Businesses
If you’ve gone for looking at AppSumo to a similar site like StackSocial your first reaction would probably be “WOW”. StackSocial started up a few years after AppSumo and has been growing strongly since then.
Since the time they started up, Stacksocial claims that it has earned over $50 million for customers, saved visitors over $1.5 billion, and listed over four million deals. By any measure that’s a pretty big chunk of software and dollars.
There are literally hundreds of deals available on StackSocial and the platform has grown past the ‘just software’ stage. It now is practically a full eCommerce platform that also has deals on everything from auto gadgets to fashion accessories.
While purists might not be too happy at that, there isn’t really anything to cry about since StackSocial has still maintained its strength in core software offerings. A quick search for ‘VPN’ alone brought up more than 20 options to choose from.
StackSocial is easily the best AppSumo alternative I have found to date. In fact, it far surpasses AppSumo in terms of what is on offer at any given time.
When a marketplace company has more staff than the number of deals it has active, I’d be a little concerned if I were the owner. Unfortunately that's the current position that PitchGround seems to have found itself in.
I first found this site when I was doing some basic research about AppSumo – the PitchGround Ad was constantly showing up on Google saying “You could do better”. This means that their marketing team is actively targeting AppSumo customers. Perhaps more time should be spent on sourcing deals for their own users.
A quick glance through the PitchGround site showed a total of 27 deals – only 5 of which were active at the time this article was created. The remainder were marked as ‘sold out’. Aside from that, visitors to the site are constantly badgered to sign up for their deal notifications via a series of very annoying pop ups.
Who PitchGround is for: Small businesses, marketers, pro bloggers
Rather than focusing only on website owners or businesses, DealFuel offers a wide range of very useful multi-purpose software and even resources. Some examples of this would be Junk Cleaners for PCs, or even packages of fliers for business use, some of which are even given away for free.
With 21 pages of deals to choose from, browsing the site may take you awhile. They’ve made this easier though with multiple ways of sorting through the deals on offer. Of special note is that DealFuel has special categories covering WordPress and Plugins – great for many site owners out there.
At a glance, this is another small operation run by a core group of people that has managed to build a successful site. Inspirational for any other site owners who are using their deals to grow their own sites, yes?
Who is DealFuel for: WordPress site owners, small businesses, regular deal-seekers
Deal Mirror is very much focused on deals for software to help websites grow. They have a number of offerings that cover categories ranging from marketing to social analytics. Unfortunately, at time of writing they seem to have limited deals of offer.
While the ones I found were fairly useful, there seems to be a little lack of depth in what is available here. Still, it’s nice that they understand the difficulties of newer sites starting up and have created a category labelled “Deals Under $20”.
Deals here also come with a satisfaction guarantee, and they will refund any purchases you want, no questions asked.
Who Deal Mirror is for: Pro bloggers, small to medium businesses
Marketplaces reach out to developers, publishers, or service providers and negotiate the terms of a ‘deal’. These deals are often unique to the marketplace so as to create a compelling sales factor.
Marketplaces then take on the job of making the deal as attractive as possible to its visitors. Meanwhile, for each sale that’s made the man in the middle (the marketplace) takes a cut – sometimes a significant amount.
This three cornered strategy benefits all involved. The source of the software gets free market access to an otherwise untapped customer segment and the marketplace earns a portion of each sale. Finally, the buyer gets a great discounted deal.
Most deal marketplaces also work with affiliates so you will likely come across sites that offer deals spanning more than one marketplace. This further helps the marketplaces extend each across the Internet.
In fact, if you’re interested, you yourself can start-up an affiliate site and leverage on the deals offered by these marketplaces.
Conclusion: Are Deal Marketplaces Useful?
By now you have probably realized that the majority of these deal sites are actually geared towards website owners who are looking to expand growth. Content and SEO are the vital core of any website or blog, but extending outreach is a different matter.
Popular categories for software deals include:
Courses and Guides
Sales and Lead Generation
Marketing and Outreach
Deal websites are useful in more ways than one. The first is obvious – savings in cost. Deals found on the majority of these sites are often unique in their offering. Take for example the opportunity to buy a lifetime licence for an application rather than having to pay annual recurring fees.
The second is a little more subtle. Let’s take the case of an affiliate site owner who wanted some application to help with lead generation. Aside from looking for a deal for what you want on a marketplace, you can also browse through alternate offerings to see if you can come across something better or that offers good value for your money.
Also keep in mind again that these deals change regularly, so you can always check back to get new ideas on what software might best work for your business.
About Timothy Shim
Timothy Shim is a writer, editor, and tech geek. Starting his career in the field of Information Technology, he rapidly found his way into print and has since worked with International, regional and domestic media titles including ComputerWorld, PC.com, Business Today, and The Asian Banker. His expertise lies in the field of technology from both consumer as well as enterprise points of view.