What is a lifetime deal?
A term that usually refers to subscriptions to SaaS (software as a service) products, a lifetime deal is a special offer for customers. It allows them indefinite access to your product or tool as long as it is still functioning and available.
You usually offer a lifetime deal at a discount on the pay monthly price to encourage people to buy into it.
Offering a lifetime deal can be part of your customer retention strategy and encourages customers to become long-term clients.
When should you offer a lifetime deal?
Companies tend to offer lifetime deals when starting out, as it’s a good way to get users to take notice and sign up.
You may also want to test a lifetime deal when looking for product market fit. You give an introductory offer to see how customers use and interact with your product.
If you need cash flow, offering a lifetime deal is a quick fix to get more sales in a short period of time.
Pros of lifetime deals
- Offering a lifetime deal when you’re starting out is a great way to get brand buy-in and ask for product feedback from your users and target customer.
- Your early adopters can become brand advocates and refer your product to others. If you’ve done the work and spoken to your customers before launch, you’ll have a product that solves a real pain point for them. They’ll want to see you succeed.
- A lifetime deal is a great way to get traction when you don’t have an audience. It can help you make early sales. Using a lifetime deal platform like AppSumo allows you to launch your product in front of a large audience.
- Offering lifetime deals can help lower your churn rate as customers are locked in.
- You’ll pay less in transaction fees as it’s a one time payment.
- You have the opportunity for up-selling and cross-selling. After all, customers prefer purchasing from a brand they already interact with.
Cons of lifetime deals
- A lifetime deal is a one time payment that doesn’t help you with your long-term growth.
- You’ll have to provide customer service to those lifetime users, even though you only received a one time payment.
- The cost of servicing the new customers who purchased a lifetime deal can end up being higher than their lifetime value (LTV).
- There’s no recurring payment which means it won’t contribute to your monthly recurring revenue (MRR) or yearly recurring revenue (ARR).
- It may cheapen your brand if you offer a heavily discounted offer.
- Monthly subscribers may value your product more than a one-time buyer. They understand that they’re paying for improvements and maintenance.
- Platforms like AppSumo take a significant cut of your sales (as much as 70%).
Should you offer a lifetime deal?
Weigh up the pros and cons for your business. One way to avoid the pitfalls of a lifetime deal but receive the benefits is to offer a limited number. Calculate what makes sense regarding immediate cash flow and customer lifetime value.
An ideal SaaS business model has monthly recurring revenue so you can sustain your costs and grow your profits.
Be clear about usage expectations with lifetime customers, and depending on your product, make it clear that unlimited usage is not possible. Does their deal cover any upgrades or new features? Or do they need to make additional payments for them?
Making the terms of your deal clear will ensure your customers are happy and remain brand advocates.