Intch Blog
Home » Blog » Product development » A Lifehack-Style Guide to AppSumo: How We Made $274k

A Lifehack-Style Guide to AppSumo: How We Made $274k

AppSumo is definitely one of the best hosting and promoting global platforms for SaaS products. I’m Mike Inishev, founder of the startup Boomerangme and this is my guide to AppSumo. I explain how we set up our space there, how we reached our first 1k users and how we started earning.

Let’s start with a quick word of intro. 

AppSumo is a platform, strong of 1.4M users who can purchase software at competitive prices with a lifetime license. The platform mainly sells SaaS, marketing tools, business performance improvement software, and educational products. Most AppSumo users are entrepreneurs from North America and Europe.

And Boomerangme is an electronic loyalty program that digitizes printed promotions for small businesses. Unlike ordinary print stocks, our startup helps avoid accounting problems and adds analytics. The platform collects data and can adjust loyalty programs online.

Boomerangme Appsumo screen

What does AppSumo do and will it work for you?

A bit of background on why AppSumo was right for us: back in mid-2021, one of our investors suggested we look into AppSumo. We also joined the GoGlobal program and one of the tasks set was to test AppSumo and learn how to work there.

AppSumo is a tool to check product market fit. I would compare AppSumo to a client funding platform, similar to crowdfunding in a way. IT companies and startups can acquire their first clients, evangelists, and gather a community. What would take 3 years on their own, SaaS developers can do in a matter of 2 or 3 months. If properly prepared, that is.

The limiting factor is that, according to the terms, the product must be sold at a very low price. It is essential to plan accordingly because the additional sales can amount to a serious increase in workload and finances. A startup needs to continue with all the work of the team, development, and support. That’s why the extra sales earned on AppSumo can become a liability. With investments secured, our Boomerangme project had the backbone to experiment and work with AppSumo a bit longer. Companies on their own funds, however, need to carefully plan and consider the additional workload.

As soon as the market is confirmed and a first clientbase is formed, it is essential to move on from AppSumo and start earning independently.

Self-listing vs Select Campaign

First and foremost, there are two distinct categories on AppSumo: Self-listing and Select Campaign. You have to pick one to get listed. 

Self-listing means there will be no specialized support from the platform. Your product appears on the 5th page, underneath 7 filters. The platform takes 30% of each sale. You should get prepared for 2-3 months of self-hosted moderation. There is a trick though. Before posting, write to the AppSumo business development team, arrange a meeting and tell them about yourself. That personal conversation removes a significant layer of paperwork and should get out of the general order of the queue and speed up the process. We passed moderation in 2 days.

In order to reach those AppSumo developers, you need to be introduced. Try your luck with the six handshake rule, or write to me. I’m willing to share contacts.

Boomerangme payout
Self-listing payout

If the AppSumo team sees potential in your product, they offer a Select Campaign and connect promotion through their own channels. Traffic increases significantly, but the revenue sharing also changes dramatically. The platform, now, takes 80% of the proceeds. You can definitely try to negotiate better terms. You have to stop selling in the Self Listing category though. 

The preparation for placement in the Select campaign takes about 2 months: contract signing, designing of text and video materials, etc.

Campaign overview
Select Campaign payout

Upselling on AppSumo: be ready to adapt to an unexpected audience

Once AppSumo launched, we were suddenly getting contacted by new types of sources. Not by our regular coffee houses, bakeries and beauty salons, for which the product was developed, but by marketing agencies. They actually wanted to resell Boomerangme. They were interested in a reselling option, White Label. It made sense to us as we could earn more with less work.

Intch App – Your Chief Networking Officer Try it

The issue at the time though was that AppSumo prohibits a repositioning. Everything should be clear on the platform: one product, one license, preferably for life, and a fixed price. It makes sense when you take into consideration the site’s position. How are they to take a commission from reselling projects?

After a dozen questions from users about that reselling option, we decided to give it away for an extra charge, but unlimited – the buyer could connect as many clients as they wanted. This violated the rules of AppSumo. The site administration spent a week deciding what to do with us. Over the course of this week, our sales grew, with up to a hundred companies buying Boomerangme daily. The success of the product and the 80% commission to AppSumo motivated the admins to simply turn a blind eye to our additional sales.

Appsumo commission

During the first month, we sold 150 White Label licenses. This is an average of 15 thousand dollars a day just for the sale of the reselling option.

After a while, we decided to cancel unlimited licenses. Now marketing agencies, buying our product, could connect five clients, and had to pay extra for the following connections. Oddly enough, this did not reduce the volume of purchases and did not cause any reaction from AppSumo. 

The one crucial aspect: communication with customers

The client on AppSumo is different in that they are in need of a bargain. They are looking for deals that are 100 to 1000 fold and get the product forever. And yet, the bigger the bargain, the more they demand. Each AppSumo user considers it their duty to come and criticize the product. We averaged 120 ticket requests per day. 120 tickets for a startup is a huge flow of work.

Three fundamental points in organizing support:

  • 24/7 support

We had employees in Europe and the Far East. They covered the whole world and worked in shifts.

  • Shifts of 2 people per timezone and 2 timezones working simultaneously

You need a team of 4 to handle any covers that might strike: sickness, force majeur, etc. We did not immediately come to this. In the first week after launching Boomerangme on AppSumo, I had to answer user requests myself at night.

  • Knowledge base

The better prepared, the faster the team can respond and, the fewer people are needed. We did not have time to do much in this direction, so we managed through prepared quick answers to recurring questions.

No one expects a high speed of support response from a startup, of course. But this greatly adds to customer loyalty. Working support can solve problems and shortcomings of a product readily. We received feedback that “yes, the product may be raw, but support responds quickly and fixes everything.”

Don’t hide away from issues and don’t make empty promises 

Trust me, most support questions end with the question “when will this be done?”. Do not promise exact dates. With the amount of requests you are going to get from AppSumo, do not expect everything to go according to plan. Actually, be sure that it won’t. Promises unmet will only lead to losses. The right answer to the question about timing is “we’ve added this to our list of ideas.”

We actually published our roadmap and let users vote for features themselves. We used LoopedIn for that. There are other tools as well out there. The product development roadmap adjusts depending on what users now consider the most necessary.

Boomerangme public roadmap

In addition to the roadmap, users can send any suggestions for improvements, and the same principle works there. We combined similar ideas, put them up for voting, and the users themselves decided how important it was and prioritized it. Some of these ideas turned into roadmaps of their own.

Working this way allows developers to plan and do their job normally. It also adds to customer loyalty, and it is primarily for loyal users that you go to AppSumo.

Another life hack is not to take the development far from the customer. The best option is to put the developer on duty to view support chats. They do not need to actually participate in the chats, but this is how programmers see the agenda, what questions are asked and what does not suit users. This tradition has remained in our company even after AppSum. To this day, we have a developer on duty who follows support.

Building a community with AppSumo reviews from users

With the help of AppSumo, we were able to gather a community on Facebook of 450 active users. For the first month and a half, I allocated an hour and a half every day to answer all of the questions in chats. Getting a response from the founder is a kind of privilege for your first users and it greatly increases loyalty.

Never make fake reviews. It never looks natural, no matter what you might be told by agencies. And it doesn’t work. We made that mistake and were laughed at. It’s not worth it.

Anyways, if the support work and the community work is done with care and seriousness, then the number of positive reviews grows very quickly.


The AppSumo team recommends that you create accounts in advance and set up product pages for collecting reviews on these sites: 

Reviews in America and around the world are what SMEs look at before buying a SaaS product. No one will purchase at the full price list until there is a decent number of reviews. 

Our community has become self-regulating. We simply post updates and answer critical questions. It turned out that 400 people is a kind of critical mass. Beyond that point, a community begins to live a life on its own. We are now holding community contests that will help us collect product sales cases. 

G2 Grid
Due to feedback, we got into the G2 report


And recently, Boomerangme has been rated #1 among the Loyalty Management Software products based on usability ratings. It makes us super-proud because the rating is based on real user satisfaction of how easy the product is to administer, as well as how well the product meets business requirements, which means that we are delivering our value proposition.

Using different acquisition channels

Of course, it wouldn’t be right to just place your product on AppSumo and think it’ll all work magically by itself. This is particularly true for the Self Listing category. We focused on these specific Facebook LTD groups and were really happy with the results:  

The idea is to post about your product as widely as possible. You might be able to post for free. If not, admins typically ask for a specific format. You might give a product presentation and allocate a dozen promo codes for a lottery or a game. It’s worth it. Count that, with every free user, you’ll make 3 buyers.

Localization thanks to users from AppSumo

An unexpected effect from the AppSumo community is the almost free localization of the product. Boomerangme now works in 38 languages ​​of the world. We did not need actual proofreading in most of these as everything was done for us by users. When there were requests to add Taiwanese, for instance, we passed the texts through Google translator and published them. There were a lot of mistakes, of course. Users sent us corrections and we made an open Google spreadsheet with texts from the application. Native users edited the translation that we uploaded to the interface. The strength of the community allowed us to do free localization.


Our last day on AppSumo was August 30, 2022. We made a total of $32,000 that day only.

In total, we sold 383 reseller options in two months.

We made $274,317 in the categories Self listing and Select campaign.

But even more importantly, we gathered more than 100 reviews, confirmed our product market fit, added more than 200 ideas to the roadmap, made loyal customers, and our product is now ready to be sold through standard channels at market prices.

With proper preparation, AppSumo can be a great tool for SaaS startups and other IT products. The key is to be proactive, build close communication with customers, be sure to collect feedback on the product, do not hesitate to ask for feedback, and collect cases. 

To do list before launching on AppSumo

We’ve made a presentation to summarize the entire process of releasing on AppSumo, all with checklists of what needs to be done and when. 


  • Comply with GDPR and prepare all legal documents: Privacy policy, user agreement, cancellation policy etc.
  • Include the whole team in preparation for the launch
  • Recruit a support team and train them
  • Check the redemption script for AppSumo codes
  • Prepare a margin product for upselling directly
  • Create a FAQ to collect answers to recurring questions
  • Create a roadmap for the development of your product
  • Create a Facebook group for the community
  • Product accounts on / /


  • Test all basic functionalities 33 times
  • Product knowledge base
  • Record a walkthrough video of the product
  • Set up onboarding based on Intercom or Usetiful
  • Prepare a translation of the product into the 10 most popular languages and compile a Google spreadsheet with translations to be proofread
  • Create a White label with your domain connected via CNAME
  • Consider a referral program or a reseller option
  • Build email chains to engage in the product and collect feedback

I’m open to sharing more tips and tricks for startup entrepreneurs. Let’s connect on Intch. I get things done there when it comes to networking.


  • You rock, Mike 👊🏼

    It was a real pleasure to partner with BoomerangMe using LTD Hunt channels. I’m still impressed with your proactivity to answer every single question of our members! We rarely see a founder so keen on gathering feedback and turning that into value for his/her tool.

    Much success ahead for you, your team, and BoomerangMe! Thanks for mentioning us ❤️

  • Interesting, did anyone consult you on this platform or did you figure nit out yourself? Do they provide support?

Add comment