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Oct. 9, 2020

Taking Advantage of All Available Technology – At A Discount With Chris Schelzi, AppSumo

Taking Advantage of All Available Technology – At A Discount With Chris Schelzi, AppSumo
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In this episode, Andy interviews Chris Schelzi from AppSumo. offers substantially discounted apps through their partnerships with developers throughout the world. Chris walks listeners through the origin behind AppSumo as well as details the hottest discounted apps for eCommerce retailers.

Discover what App Sumo is and what they can offer for your business.


Andy Splichal is the World's Foremost Expert on Ecommerce Growth Strategies. He is the acclaimed author of the Make Each Click Count Book Series, the Founder & Managing Partner of True Online Presence and the Founder of Make Each Click Count University. Andy was named to The Best of Los Angeles Award's Most Fascinating 100 List in both 2020 and 2021.

New episodes of the Make Each Click Count Podcast, are released each Friday and can be found on Apple Podcast, iHeart Radio, iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts and


Andy Splichal  0:01  

So welcome to the Make Each Click Count Podcast. This is your host, Andy Splichal. And today I'm being joined by a special guest. He represents a company called  AppSumo. AppSumo works by finding online website discounts on a variety of different apps. So a big welcome to Chris Schelzi. Did I do that right, Chris?


Chris Schelzi  1:14  

Schelzi. That's it.


Andy Splichal  1:15  

Schelzi. Perfect. Hello, Chris. How are you?


Chris Schelzi  1:17  

I'm doing well. Thanks for having me, Andy.


Andy Splichal  1:19  

You're welcome. You're welcome. Now, before we dive into today's topic, of taking advantage of all available technology and at a discount, let's just try to clarify how I define what AppSumo does. I said AppSumo works by finding discounts on a variety of apps. Is that correct? Or would you describe that a bit different?


Chris Schelzi  1:41  

Yeah, I'll give you an A plus, I'm going to change one of the words. Instead of finding I would say we create those discounts. And what I mean by that is, we're not just an aggregator of deals, we have a world class business development team. And what they'll do is we we like to think of them almost as sports agents, or scouts, where they're kind of going down to the minor leagues, they're seeing what other tools are on the market that maybe people aren't looking at, they maybe only have a couple 100 Or a couple 1000 users, they're relatively new, and we go out, we find these companies, we partner with them. And then through that negotiation, we develop these crazy discounts on the tool. So it's cool, we'll say it's normally $49 a month. For access to it, we'll negotiate a deal, or it's $49 lifetime access for our users. And then the benefit for those partners is they get exposed to our very large audience and platform where we have, you know, over a million subscribers, we have hundreds of 1000s of people coming to the site, every month and all of that. So they get massive exposure, and a lot of new customers a lot of new revenue, and our users get a massive discount on incredible tools.


Andy Splichal  2:50  

Well, that sounds great, especially the part where I got an A plus. 


Chris Schelzi  2:54  

That's always good.


Andy Splichal  2:56  

So before we dive into too, what do you guys have when you tell tell the listeners a little bit about AppSumo? How long have you been around? How did you start? How did you get the name or all that good background information?


Chris Schelzi  3:07  

Yeah. So estimate was started by Entrepreneur, Noah Kagan, who was number 30, at Facebook. And he started AppSumo out of his I believe his mom's basement in in 2010, which is a very entrepreneurial story. In he started it because he wanted to get discounts on software for himself. You know, when you're when you're a small business, when you're an entrepreneur, and you're getting going software tools can add up very quickly. But they can also be a massive piece of leverage for their business. Typically, though, there'll be replacing employees in certain ways. And so he wanted those discounts for himself. So he started reaching out to a couple of companies and putting together bundle offers. And I believe his initial one he did on Reddit, where he just posted on Reddit for people to go buy, it just had a landing page setup where people could go, and they could buy this for, say, $25 or something like that. Started it for less than $100 using some remote workers in across the world. And that's how AppSumo was born. It took off and then it's been it's been growing ever since. So yeah, we just celebrated our 10 year anniversary this year.


Andy Splichal  4:11  

Wow. That's great. Now I think we touched on a little bit that I see the just these huge discounts on these different apps. And so you have the development team, you say that they how did they find the apps to partner with I guess would be my big question?


Chris Schelzi  4:26  

I get it. These people are like detectives. One time we were looking for an old video and one of the guys on the business development team when none of us could find it. He scrounged up this old Kickstarter campaign and he's just he's a beast at finding things on the internet. I don't know. Honestly, I don't know what their secret sauce is. But, but they look at all of these different websites. I mean, the the ones you've probably heard about Product Hunt and things like that where they'll see what tools people are talking about. A lot of it will be referral as well. They're looking at international. So a lot of partners from from Eastern Europe and places like that, where there, they haven't tapped in to a US market yet. So they're looking for an entry point. And we'll help foster those relationships, a lot of companies in France that we've worked with, so um, yeah, they they, their master scouts, and they're spending all day long looking, you know, turning over every stone on the internet and finding these these hidden gems that then we bring to our audience.


Andy Splichal  5:26  

Interesting. And how, how is AppSumo making money on transaction? Is there a membership fee? Or is there fees of the app? Or how does that work?


Chris Schelzi  5:34  

Yes, so it's, it's free for our users to join. So anybody can can buy these products. And then yeah, we make a percentage of the transaction. So we basically function as the marketing and distribution arm for the software company. So when they do a partnership with us, their job is to have an incredible tool, our job is to do everything else. So we put together all of the marketing material for them. We have an in house video team, where we write the scripts, we record the scripts, we do a video walkthrough, so we'll create about a two to three minute promotional video for them. We have world class copywriters who write the sales letter, we have an incredible Facebook and Google ads to where we'll run the ads. And we'll pay for all of this out of pocket on our end. And that's how, and then we'll you know, send emails to our list of hundreds of 1000s, sometimes millions, depending on the campaign. And we'll do all the marketing, the promotion and the distribution. And then that's how we earn our cut. And we'll send you know, 10s, if not hundreds of 1000s of dollars to our partners, as well as send them 1000s of new customers. So so it really is one of those Win win wins for us, for our partners and for our customers.


Andy Splichal  6:43  

Now I see when I when I go to, I see some different categories, including what's hot and remote tools. Are you able to give any recommendations on some of your favorites from those categories?


Chris Schelzi  6:55  

Yeah, absolutely. It's crazy to see this. Because when I when I joined for actually celebrating my four year anniversary on Saturday, October 10. But when I first came on, we were doing maybe two to four tools a week, or a month, excuse me. And now we have, you know, you look in here, there's hundreds of tools. So we started rolling out these category pages to make it easier for people to filter through them. But in the what's hot, one of the tools that everyone on the team has been particularly excited about, it's called BigVu. And it's basically a teleprompter for your phone. So if you're trying to a lot of people are doing you know, Instagram lives and Facebook Lives or YouTube videos, and trying to record from your phone. It's hard to do that with a script. And so this is an app that allows you to record and have your script right up on the phone. So it looks like you're reading naturally. But you also got your your notes pulled up your cheat sheet there, which people are really excited about. And then in the remote work, or the remote tool section. One of the tools that I use every day is called Book Like A Boss. And it's just a booking tool. But you can also sell services on it, people can book time with you It syncs with your calendars has integrations with with stripe, so you can take payments and things like that. So Book Like A Boss is a is an incredible tool as well that I would I would highly recommend.


Andy Splichal  8:13  

And you know, right off how how much are those? And what's the standard price? And like, what kind of discount are those on?


Chris Schelzi  8:20  

Yes, the tools are typically between 50 and $100 for the first plan, and we do value based pricing. So for certain tools, there will be it'll go in stages where maybe it's for your first user, it's $49. And then to get five users, the price increases from there. So you kind of get to choose the level that you want to get it at. But for those ones specifically, BigVu is $69. And that's the teleprompter tool. And again, that's, that's $69 lifetime access. If you were to pay full price that would be almost $1,000 a year. And then for the next one Book Like A Boss, that one is $125 right now that's a one year deal and that's about 50% off what the what the typical price would be there.


Andy Splichal  9:05  

Alright, and now I see there's even you have a freebie section. What what's what's in the freebies sections that's just to get people to entice to come in or is there anything good in there? What what is that?


Chris Schelzi  9:18  

Oh man, there's a there is absolutely good stuff in here. A lot of these ones are deals that I've closed myself. We have a lot of books in here. We've actually partnered with a company in Austin called Scribe, if you know the author, Tucker Max, who I Hope They Serve Beer in Hel and things like that, he has a company called Scribe where they help write and promote books for other entrepreneurs and things like that. So you'll see a handful of books in here. And again, these are books on Amazon that people are buying and paying for and we got them for free in here. So breakout blueprint, how to find your passion and kind of scale that into a business. We have, just going through here now we have million dollar email templates, where we take the actual email templates that we've used to generate 10s of Millions of dollars. And and we put those there for you. All it really is is a, we just get your your email off that then there's also a handful of courses as well, that I'm really proud that we got in here. So we have one for building up an agency one for running Google ads we partnered with with teachable for a build an online Empire starter pack. And this is a $2,500 bundle that took me about six months to work with him to work out. And we have that in the store for free. So if you're looking to build your build your online empire, that's a great place to start. They have courses in there from people like Pat Flynn, as well as others in there. So this is a section where if you're looking to get your foot in the door with AppSumo, and you want to get some free tools, there's it's hard to go wrong in here. Yeah, there's there's a bunch of great stuff.


Andy Splichal  10:47  

You know, I was checking out even I downloaded a couple days ago, the ClickMinded SEO checklist. And I thought that was really good and had a lot of great pointers, especially for Ecommerce companies who are are trying to get ranked organically. So


Chris Schelzi  11:02  

Yeah, that's it. That's a great one that's by Tommy Griffith who is former Airbnb as well as a couple, couple other big companies that I don't want to I don't want to get wrong. But yeah, he has a full blown course called called ClickMinded, that walks people through everything they need to know to get their SEO up and running. And then this cheat sheet, this checklist is a freebie in here that you can download. And it's it's not one of those things that you download it but you really need to get the course to get the value out of it. It's it's got its 10s. If not, it's a very long checklist with a lot of value in there for folks. 


Andy Splichal  11:35  

Yeah, no, I was very impressed that you could actually get that for free. It's very, very helpful. That's great to hear. Now, when I was looking, I see two on the study of paid for of course, it's not relevant on the free, but 60 day money back guarantee on like, almost all is it all software? 


Chris Schelzi  11:54  



Andy Splichal  11:55  

Yeah, that's very unusual. Why? Why did you decide to offer that AppSumo?


Chris Schelzi  12:02  

Entrepreneurship is risky enough, right. So we wanted to take some some of the risk off the table for people and that's something that's, that's really important to us, we have a lot of entrepreneurs in the company, we have people who run there, and we, you know, some people in the company have like candle businesses on the side or floor or businesses on the side. And they're using our tools to build that up. And so this is kind of in the blood and the bones of everybody here. So we want to make it as risk free as possible for people. So buy a tool, it's already 90 50 to 90% off what you're already paying for it. But you know, I'm sure many people listening to this have bought a tool and they're excited about it, and then end up not using it so or it's doesn't do what they think it can do. So if that's the case, and you know, you bought it and you want you want to get your money back, then we absolutely, you know, we're not trying to make a quick buck off people we're trying to really invest in entrepreneurs for for the long term. And we call them everyday entrepreneurs, because it's not just about the next Mark Zuckerberg and you know, if he's on our list, and he wants to wants to do that, we're more than happy to have him. But really, you know, the core of our business is that every day entrepreneur who wants to start their business, grow it and scale it and wants to do it, you know, as cost effectively as possible. And so if they need to take advantage of that, and we have plenty of people who will, who will write in we call it even a 60 ish day money back guarantee, because if it's day 65, or whatever, it's you know, we're gonna we're gonna honor that we're not we're not looking for those those types of types of transactions.


Andy Splichal  13:30  

Well, that's great. That's definitely some great risk reversal. You know the price, how do you guys decide I look in here, it looks like some 50 60 70. Even I saw one, I think it was like 90% off? How do you set the price? How do you decide what kind of discount you're able to offer?


Chris Schelzi  13:52  

Yeah, so a lot of that's dependent on I mean, there's a handful of factors that go into it, some of the tools, we just have one price for it. Other ones, like I mentioned earlier, we have a value based pricing. So depending on the level of access that you want to this tool, the price goes up from there. So I'm just looking at one of the ones we have on here, client joy, which is for managing leads, proposals, invoice, invoices, and things like that for people running agencies. And then if you look at it, so it's $49 for five users. And then if you want to add more users, you want to do more white labeling and you know, if you're if you're frankly, if your business is at that level, and you need more more access, and the price goes up from there, some of the other elements will be depending on what the the cost to the company. So certain tools like video hosting tools, it costs a lot for the companies to host that and to manage that. So those tools you know, are going to cost a bit more just to help these companies offset all of their, you know, fixed costs that come with that. And then other tools there's more flexibility and we you know, the the name of the game for AppSumo is the tools that that you see here, they're going to be the best deals that you find on the internet for this tool, guaranteed. So if you see a tool on here and you like it, and you're wondering if this is the best price, I can assure you it is.


Andy Splichal  15:12  

Alright, well, that's great. Now I know you're everything seems to be a discount. But do you have any special offers or incentives? So especially excited about right now?


Chris Schelzi  15:22  

Yeah, one of the ones that just rolled out, in the past couple of days, it might have actually gone live this morning, which is a tool, we it's not a tool, it's a product that we brought back a couple of times over the years, and everyone goes bananas for it when we do, it's called StickerMule. And I know stickers that kind of sound like something that you get in first grade. And who else wants them, you know, for good behavior. I think that's one of the lines, we haven't the copy. But these are really high quality stickers. And I almost don't fully saying this, but they're awesome. It's normally $70. It's $9 right now for I believe it's 50 of these die cut stickers. And you basically upload your image, they have designers who are going to like fix it up, trim it, make sure it looks perfect, they'll send you a proof before they get printed, they'll email it to you, if you have any changes, you can request those and then they'll they'll mail them to your door. And these are great for you know, if you if you have if you're doing ecommerce, and you want to add these into, say your packaging, where when somebody opens up the product, you have a little branded sticker in there, they're great for laptops, phone cases, you know, bikes and things like that. So that's a fun one. Because you know, it's applicable to everyone. If you have a business, you have a logo and you want to you want to promote it, it's very low cost. It's $9 on here, it's a huge discount normally 70 and you get some get some great branding for your company. 


Andy Splichal  16:39  

Wow, nine bucks? 


Chris Schelzi  16:41  

Nine bucks, nine bucks 50 stickers, pretty good deal.


Andy Splichal  16:44  

Well, you know, on a completely unrelated topic, if any listener emails into info at two online We're currently given away free branded Make Each Click Count stickers this week. So


Chris Schelzi  16:55  

Oh, look at that I might have to write in what is that? What's that email address?


Andy Splichal  16:59  

I haven't signed up for that app yet. Oh. So cool. Well, that's all the questions I had. Is there anything I missed? Or?


Chris Schelzi  17:08  

No, no, you nailed it. This was this was great. I hope everyone will, will head over to AppSumo. And yeah, check out that freebie section. There's a I'd like to think there's something in there for everyone. Whether you're trying to grow an agency or get your first client or figure out how to you know, optimize your your SEO or your website. We got something for everyone. So hope you guys will will check it out. And if you have any questions, feel free to to reach out to me as well. 


Andy Splichal  17:33  

Cool. How could somebody reach you?


Chris Schelzi  17:35  

Yeah. Oh, man. I don't know if I want to try to spell my last name on a podcast. But you can absolutely email me it's a it's I'm also probably easier to find on on LinkedIn, you can just search for AppSumo. And I'm, I guess we have a couple of Chris's on the team. But uh, Chris Schelzi. Yeah, I'm in all the product videos, so it shouldn't be too hard to find.


Andy Splichal  17:55  

Great. Well, that's it for today. Remember, if you liked this episode, please go to Apple podcasts on leave a five star review. And if you are looking to take advantage of some of the apps that were mentioned in today's episode, you can go to Or you can reach out to Chris through the email he mentioned or within the Make Each Click Count Facebook group. Chris just joined the make each click count Facebook group the other day, so if you have any questions, you could ask questions to him directly in there. That'd be alright as well?


Chris Schelzi  18:28  

Yeah, absolutely. I guess that's probably the easiest way for people to find me.


Andy Splichal  18:32  

All right. Great. Well, remember, stay safe, keep healthy, happy marketing, and I will talk to you in the next episode.