Over the past three years, I have spent quite a bit of time understanding. exploring, and analysing the market for Lifetime Deals for SAAS (Software As A Service) products. During this period, several products have been tested, reviewed or purchased by me. In this post, learn about my understanding of this market.
Table of Contents
Why should you consider Lifetime Deals or LTDs?
Background: What are SaaS deal sites?
SaaS or Software as a service means a software, application or a program that you can use by subscribing. It could be free, Freemium, Open Source, or Paid (only). For example, email services like gmail, Outlook, etc. are also SaaS-and both offer free and paid subscriptions. So is the case with social media automation tools like Buffer, Hootsuite, as well as graphic design tools like Canva.
The common features of these sites typically are:
a. Discounts of upto 90 percent over the prices listed on the provider’s website.
b. Special offers, add ons, options to “stack” the deals (ie buy multiple licenses)
c. Promise of adding new features, updates and price protection.
With the rising popularity of Internet or Web based SaaS providers, a whole set of websites, forums, facebook groups, subReddits, and newsletters have cropped up in the past few years that offer discounted plans for several SaaS products.In this post, you will learn about a few of them, as well as a specific category called LifeTime Deals or LTDs.
Many of these sites require you to become a paid member before you can make a purchase. Others incentivise you to become one, by offering discounts and special deals (e.g. Appsumo Briefcase). For Facebook groups, you need to be logged on to facebook, AND become a member of these groups (Martechwise for e.g.) in order to subscribe to deals specific to those sites.
What is a Lifetime Deal for a SaaS product?
A “Lifetime” deal for a SaaS product is a separate category within the world of discounted deals. Different sites or providers have different definitions for the terms “LifeTime” deal. Let me simplify it as follows:
A Lifetime deal for a SaaS is a deeply discounted deal in which the subscriber pays an up front fees to the service provider, or aggregator in exchange for an extended period of usage. This period can be either the LifeTime of the product, the company who offers this SaaS, the lifetime of the developer or the customer, and so on.
The definition of LifeTime varies by service providers. There is no common or a single definition for this term, and therefore it is extremely important to read the fine print from the site you are looking to purchase the deal from.
My personal definition is rather simplistic. I consider a lifeTime Deal to be one for which I pay up front and aim to use for the next 3 to 5 years. More importantly, the ROI (Return on Investment) should be obtained within the first year of the use. If these two conditions are met, the LTD is a good one.
Why do I consider a span of 3 to 5 years?
This range is my personal preference.
What Are the Advantages of Lifetime Deals
Advantages of LTDs can be categorized among the following:
-Founder or SaaS providers
-Reviewers and Influencers
Advantages to Founders
I will quote from my own post in a facebook group when I mentioned about the advantages to developers from offering Lifetime deals. Using the example of Appsumo (AS),
What are the limitations or disadvantages of LTDs?
At first, it was “wow” I am getting this deal for so cheap! Only to find that some providers either:
a. Closed shop or got acquired
b. Balked on the terms
c. Stopped updating the app or the software
d. Offered promised updates for additional fees
My Take on LifeTime SAAS Deals
My philosophy on buying Lifetime deals now hinges on three points
1. What is the provider’s motivation for the lifetime deal? e.g. free PR (imaging, tens of del sites referring your products, reviews on YT, discussions in FB groups, and forums such as this); increasing customer base; MVP Validation, etc..
2. What is the deal being offered; i.e. can I upgrade later, or this is a watertight one.
3. Can I approach the founders / designer(s ). This and ( a ) are the key decision points btw.
In recent times, I have reached out to the founders for a few deals on Appsumo and elsewhere. Have asked for test accounts, if I liked- I have considered buying If it is not to my taste, I have given feedback, thanked and moved on. Then there are outliers like Koofr ( steady, reasonable MRR) currently on Stacksocial. These are the types of companies to be treasured.
Another one is Invideo. They have been on “sale” on Appsumo for over 1 year now. But they received VC funding from Sequoia’s surge program, so the focus would be greater subscriber numbers rather than MRR – though latter is important, VCs will invest for growth and product development at early stage.
Where To Find Great LifeTime Deals for SaaS : Deals For Startup, Agency or Blog?
Below is a small list of sites and groups where you can find great deals (Annual or LTDs) on Saas products for your startup, Agency, or Blog. If you see the overall market for “lifetime deals” it is growing, with new deal aggregators cropping up every so often. So indeed there will be rif-raff.
4. Stacksocial (including Neowin, Androidcentral)*
10.FaceBook Groups (Martechwise, Lifetime Deals Forum)
11. Only Lifetime Deals
12. Discount In Review
*There are multiple sites such as Windows Central, Neowin.net, Android Central, as well as tech blogs and sites whose online stores are powered by Stacksocial.
Update February 2021:
Below is a further list of sites that offer Lifetime Deals. I have not purchased any deals from any of the below sites, leaving them below since I had researched them for this post. You may also want to read this discussion on Indiehackers.
**Note that JVZOO have a bad reputation as per many members of the Martech group on Facebook.