The Ultimate AppSumo Review & Guide to Lifetime Deals
In this AppSumo review I will take a look at some of the most important questions you may have about AppSumo. If you are wondering who they are and what they do and what some of their best deals have been then you are in the right place.
I will also be talking about some of the new AppSumo alternatives that have started popping up recently and whether they are worth your time.
What is AppSumo?
AppSumo is a marketplace for businesses to get access to lifetime software deals.
Think of AppSumo like Groupon for marketing and startup nerds.
Every week new deals are added to the website where you can expect to save anywhere from 50% to 99% on apps to grow your business.
AppSumo's founder Noah Kagan started AppSumo out as a side hustle but it quickly caught traction in the market especially when they started to use the services of a professional copywriter for their email blasts.
There is a definite growth hacker and startup vibe to AppSumo so the type of lifetime deals you will expect to see include things like tools to help you design better websites (like Ultimate Addons for Elementor) all the way to invoicing and reporting tools making it easier for you to get paid.
You can also expect to see a lot of social media marketing and content marketing tools.
But because of the AppSumo business model you must remember you are not going to find companies like Microsoft or Adobe featured on their website.
That being said there have been numerous times where I have been super impressed by the caliber of company that AppSumo managed to get a deal on. Companies like TechSmith and Deposit Photos spring to mind which have had deals featured on AppSumo before.
How does AppSumo work?
AppSumo negotiates deals with app vendors based on the significant size of the AppSumo audience which represents publicity and an immediate capital injection for the startup.
The video below does a great job of explaining how websites like AppSumo work.
As you can see the business model makes sense for startups who want to feature their app on a network as large as AppSumo which virtually guarantees sales in a quick amount of time.
Is AppSumo legit?
For buyers AppSumo is still a trusted source for getting software cheaper and if you don't like what you bought you get an immediate no question asked refund for up to 60 days after your purchase.
The risk to you as a buyer from AppSumo is absolutely zero to answer the question of whether AppSumo is legit. However there is a definite cost to the app vendor because they have to give most of their revenue to AppSumo (70%) to be featured. This goes a long way to explaining why AppSumo has revenue in the 8 figures (think 10's of millions of dollars per year.)
If the startup has not done their due diligence they could get seriously overwhelmed with new clients and support requests for very little monetary return.
So this does highlight one potential concern with AppSumo deals not so much with AppSumo themselves but with the actual app vendor themselves. To mitigate this risk AppSumo does do a lot of due dligence on who they feature but their have been times when a deal has gone south and the company goes out of business.
To AppSumo's credit this most recent case they stepped in and gave a full credit refund to their customers (of which I was one) and I immediately bought another AppSumo deal.
And while I am talking about this AppSumo does have a refund policy where you will get your money back on any deal you buy if you ask for a refund within 60 days.
What have been the best AppSumo Lifetime Deals?
So many legendary deals have passed through Appsumo. The reason entrepreneurs and growth hackers love AppSumo is more than just the price, it's the quality of the tools they recommend.
The Sumo's as they call themselves are former employees of big companies like Facebook, Google and Mint who know what to look for when it comes to business apps.
They test each of the tools before promoting and hand select the best of the best and negotiate special deals normally over 70% off and sometimes 99%.
We are talking about AppSumo deals like:
- ClickMinded – By Tommy Griffith who was the SEO manager for Airbnb.
- TechSmith Camtasia Studio – Arguably the best screen recorder on the planet.
- MissingLettr – The tool that keeps promoting your content on social media.
- Beacon – eBook designer that can create ebooks from your WordPress posts.
- Stencil – Tool for creating professional graphics faster.
- CloudApp – Collaboration and annotating tool in the cloud
- Ultimate Addons for Elementor – making the best website builder for WordPress Elementor even better.
There are also free AppSumo deals like:
- The Clickminded SEO Checklist
- Giving Docs
It's best to claim these free deals ASAP because as soon as all the codes are gone the deals are likely to not come back however there have been some notable exceptions like Clickminded and DepositPhotos which have come back especially around Black Friday promotions.
On that topic you definitely want to make sure you are subscribed to the AppSumo newsletter and pay special attention to emails from AppSumo around Black Friday as they often bring back a collection of the best deals for the year for that sales weekend.
If you do decide to sign up to the AppSumo newsletter now you won't get spammed but you can expect a monthly AppSumo newsletter which is always entertaining and also alerts as soon as new apps enter the store.
And while we are talking about AppSumo and the best time to buy from them you may be wondering about any AppSumo discounts or coupon codes and I'm happy to share some buying hacks with you.
Are there AppSumo Coupon Codes?
Yes there are you just need to know where to look.
The first place you will find codes typically for 10% off your cart is through their newsletter. Sometimes to celebrate a new company coming into the fold or just because they like you as a subscriber they will email a code for 10% off.
However there is a way to get a guaranteed 10% off every single purchase but it does require you to be a member of their AppSumo Briefcase or AppSumo Plus memberships (more on that shortly).
Before I talk about those memberships I want to share the easiest way to get significantly more value from every AppSumo purchase you make.
I have a startup called Bootstrapps which is a large collection of apps that are on discount and of course we feature AppSumo deals but when you purchase through us we sweeten the pot and give you a bonus WordPress plugin of your choice.
Simple! But enough self promoting let's talk about AppSumo Plus and AppSumo Briefcase.
What are AppSumo Plus and AppSumo Briefcase?
Ok let's talk about AppSumo Plus first.
For $99 a year you get 10% off each and every deal on AppSumo and you get early access to new deals, additional training on featured apps and also a Pro license to AppSumo's KingSumo giveaways product. (More on KingSumo and other AppSumo ventures like Sendfox below)
Now I will be blunt, AppSumo is not impressive to me firstly because I have KingSumo already from a previous deal anyway and because to make your money back (through the 10% off coupon code) on that $99 per year you will need to buy at least 2 AppSumo deals per month.
Granted for many of you who are just starting to build your software stack this can be really easy with all the great deals they featured but for me it's not a great value proposition. If AppSumo included some type of deal on their new email marketing platform SendFox, believe me I would quickly change my tune. But for now AppSumo briefcase is a way more compelling offer than Plus.
AppSumo Briefcase Review
Pay $49 per month and get access to some of the best apps to growth hack your business. Everything is covered from design tools, productivity, sales and business development, video creation, social media marketing and even client management for freelancers and invoicing.
If you had the assurance that all the business tools your startup needed to scale quick would only cost you $49 per month that would be a comforting thought in terms of financial planning and with AppSumo Briefcase it's possible.
Here are the exact tools included in BriefCase:
- Paperform Essentials for Customer Insights
- Poplink for lead generation
- KingSumo Pro for giveaway contests (similar software to this charges over $99 per month)
- SalesFlare for sales pipe lining for your sales team
- Book like a Boss for scheduling and meetings
- Website Auditor for SEO
- Grum for Instagram Marketing
- Missinglettr for social media posting automation
Now if you were just getting the above tools it would be worth it as they represent over $1.000 per month in value but there would always be this nagging issue of potentially having a preference for other tools not included in Briefcase.
So its good to know that with Briefcase you get access to the above plus AppSumo gift card credits you can use to get lifetime access to other app deals they feature.
The key takeaway with AppSumo Briefcase, is if at least two or three of these apps you were going to buy anyway it is well worth it. As soon as you join, you will get details on how to access the included apps and how to apply your AppSumo credits to your account.
To access the included Briefcase apps you select the app in the members area and then click redeem. You are then redirected to a confirmation page with your coupon code to register your lifetime account at the app vendor. Some of the apps have a time limit to claim the deal, so make sure to sign up for those ones first as soon as you sign up and login to your account.
What are the other AppSumo Companies?
AppSumo started out as a store for entrepreneurs, nerds and growth hackers to get a better deal on apps but it has grown to include a suite of marketing tools most notably Sumo which are designed to make managing your website and growing your conversion rate easier.
Let's look at these companies now.
- The first company to spring out from AppSumo was Sumo and this is a collection of web marketing and ecommerce tools to get more traffic and convert more traffic. Arguably the biggest pro in their favor is the fact that you can use the tools no matter if you use WordPress, Shopify or even Joomla. All you do is add a snippet of code to your website and you can access the tools on your website.
- KingSumo was the next company to be started by AppSumo and this app allows you to run viral contests on your website. AppSumo gives a lot of credit to giveaways as part of their overall growth strategy and KingSumo is what they built in-house to manage the process of running the sweepstakes and awarding prizes.
- Appsumo Briefcase as discussed already is a membership you can join to get access to a suite of growth marketing apps for your business for one low guaranteed price.
- SendFox is AppSumo's latest venture and one definitely to get excited about because they are taking on the over priced email marketing industry by allowing you to send unlimited emails for one lifetime price.I know it sounds unbelievable but I have signed up myself and it works well but to be clear its not as sophisticated as email marketing platforms like ActiveCampaign. However I do get a monthly email of new features they are adding to the platform that I haven't had to pay another cent for. Overall highly recommended.
As with all good things like AppSumo a number of AppSumo competitors have sprung up especially in the last two years and this represents only good news for you because you get more choice of lifetime deals.
If you haven't already visit www.bootstrapps.com because I keep that updated with lifetime deals and also requests for companies to offer lifetime deals.
Here are the most notable AppSumo alternatives
- StackSocial (true alternative to AppSumo)
Now what I will say about the above companies is that the only true competitor to AppSumo is StackSocial who feature a truly unbelievable amount of deals even more so than AppSumo.
The other companies listed above are nowhere near as big but that doesn't matter because if they are featuring the exact app you want and AppSumo and StackSocial are not you are going to love them.
So as said before you the buyer ultimately are winning when these lifetime deal websites spring up which is great news.
Concluding this AppSumo Review
Phew this AppSumo review has been comprehensive but I hope it helps you to feel confident in doing business with these Sumos. Being a client of theirs has been one of the smartest buy-ins I have ever made in my business career. The thing that separates them from competing sites is the quality and due diligence they take with every company they feature.
So it's a no-brainer on the buyer side.
But If you are interested in featuring your company on AppSumo you need to be ready for an avalanche of traffic and have done your own due diligence on whether the 70% fee you have to pay AppSumo is worth the cash injection you get upfront into your startup.
View the latest deals from AppSumo and don't forget to claim your bonus here if you do.