One Finger Discount

November 9th, 2009

What a whirlwind few days it’s been. Late Thursday evening, I was inspired by the current MacHeist promotion, and decided I would like to offer a 20% discount coupon to my customers. 1/5 off? That would make it 1/5 free, right? So it’s not a 5-finger discount, but a 1-finger discount. (Too clever for my own good, perhaps!)

I added the coupon code “OneFingerDiscount” to my store. But before I went to bed, I had the idea that other developers might also like to get on board. I tweeted:

MacHeist isn’t enough? “OneFingerDiscount” coupon = 20% off until MacHeist ends. (Other devs, add coupon, retweet).

Feedback from other developers was immediate and positive. What the heck. I registered a domain: Before going to sleep I invited developers to let me know if they were using the coupon, so I could list them on the site:

Going to sleep. If you want to offer 20% “one finger discount” while MacHeist lasts, email me Launching tomorrow.

Fast-forward 8 hours and we had dozens of developers on board. I spent the weekend splitting time between my usual childcare responsibilities, and desperately trying to keep up with the interest among developers and the press. And customers! Who were thankfully visiting my store at an increased rate, and buying more of my software than on average days. The promotion has been a great success!

Now the event has been going for 3 days, and is slated to last through the end of this week (Friday). As of this writing, we have 85 developers participating, and the number is likely to keep rising. If you are a developer and want to participate, you can still submit information to me after adding the coupon code to your online store.

If you’re not a developer and are just looking for some excellent discounts on a huge variety of Mac applications, check out the One Finger Discount page and see what everybody has to offer. It’s not a perfectly designed web page, but I think it gets the job done!

12 Responses to “One Finger Discount”

  1. pemmax Says:

    Great idea. I just published news on my blog –

    All the best with this project.

  2. Peter Says:

    One question, though:

    Are you selling 20% more software to make up for the fact that you’re selling it for 20% off?

    Otherwise, you’re losing money on each sale but making it up in volume.

  3. Peter Stuart Says:

    Thanks for all the hard work on this, Daniel. I’ve gotten a nice boost in traffic and sales thanks to the One Finger Discount.

  4. darth Says:

    Great idea! Any chance you could convince Cabel and Panic to join in, even for a day or two?

  5. alex Says:

    Thanks for the One Finger Discount. I’m discovering more indie developers and thus a few apps I had never heard about before. I bought one, and downloaded a free one.

  6. Michael Barber Says:

    I noticed from Daring Fireball that there are now more than 100 developers taking part. I think that is more than double when I checked before. How about an RSS feed listing the developers taking part?

  7. Daniel Jalkut Says:

    Hi Michael – since earlier today I have added an RSS feed to the site.

  8. dave enders Says:

    Thanks Daniel, I grabbed some software in the 11th hr Alaska time .

  9. Frank Says:


    Any chance you’ll be doing another promotion like this any time soon? The reason I ask is that I found out about this via your blog, and using Firefox v3.5.5, I kept checking out the site each day to see what new apps were part of the promo. At some point, the list never updated. It stopped at entry #75 – Code Chemistry. You added numbers up through 117 to the page, but no new software was listed next to those numbers.

    Well, tonight I ran across another website blog for a product I was considering, and turns out that product WAS part of this promotion. But I’d never seen it, as I’d have jumped at the chance since I was already on the fence regarding this software. I went back and checked out, and nope, nothing past #75. I thought, “What the heck?!”

    Then I tried something. I loaded the website in Safari. Sure enough, NOW I see actual entries up through #117. Looking at the HTML, seems you changed the format you used starting right at #76, and obviously never tested it with multiple browsers, as Firefox STILL doesn’t load any entries past #75 (even after clearing the cache).

    It’s a shame that devs missed out on potential new customers and customers missed out on a possible good deal due to this. Only now have I found out that several programs I’ve been curious about and might’ve jumped at (I know one I would’ve lept at for sure) that apparently were part of this promotion. I think your counter to MacHeist is admirable and should be supported. Please do, however, consider doing a bit more testing of the site if you decide to do this again.

  10. Daniel Jalkut Says:

    Hi Frank – I don’t have any plans to do another promotion anytime soon. I’m sorry to hear there were bugs that prevented FireFox users from seeing the whole list.

    The whole think was pretty spontaneous so there wasn’t a lot of testing. Obviously this has its downsides, but all in all I think the promotion was still a success.

    If I do do it again, I’ll definitely have some lessons to apply!


  11. Frank Says:

    Ah well. Was worth asking. :-) I will admit I was miffed when I saw that I’d missed out, but that’s life. All the same, good exposure for some pretty nice apps.

    I know the whole software bundle idea has both its supporters and detractors (e.g., those who think it’s gets more users than otherwise might buy a program, while others think it devalues software, etc.). I have to admit, I’m guilty of haven taken advantage of one or two bundles myself (and yes, it’s gotten me hooked on some programs I might otherwise never have used). But I like your approach as well. I think there’s enough room in the market for both approaches. In some cases, this is all it takes to get people off the fence, and they get just the software they really want (and the devs make more per unit, so it’s win-win).

    Hopefully it was a big success. It would be interesting to see (though no clue how you could do this) how many folks went with this approach vs. the bundle approach.

  12. Daniel Jalkut Says:

    Frank: it would be hard to compare One Finger with the various bundle promotions, because they tend to be a lot more planned, and marketed. For instance MacHeist and MacUpdate’s promos are often advertised in Macworld, and possibly other print magazines. The hype and marketing of those promotions is great.

    I agree with you there is room for both types of approaches. At the end of the day, I’m not a marketer, just a software dev with a little spontaneous creativity :)

    One thing you might consider is trying the OneFingerDiscount coupon on the store you were interested in. I know that at least some devs have left the discount up for a little longer than strictly required by the promotion.


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