I'm sorry I didn't explain that comment better on twitter! I assume you're referring to this tweet of mine
There's an important distinction between your paraphrase and what I originally said: I said that a sale would discount for the wrong "audience", not "customer". We're always happy to provide discounts for our customers! But a time-based sale would reach a whole different audience than our customers, which would be disrespectful of the investment our customers have made in our products.
With a time-based sale, there's no doubt that some of the purchases would certainly come from our loyal customers—which would be great! But we wouldn't reach most of our customers in time, since we don't have a good communication channel in place for reaching them.
Meanwhile, we would pull in a lot (and I mean a lot!
) of new customers who didn't think our app was worth buying at $20—but who are happy to buy in at $10. We're suddenly selling our app to a whole different audience of more casual customers, all of whom got a much better deal than the serious customers who invested at $20.
Now we've done two unfair things to our $20 customers: a bunch of them missed the sale, so they're disappointed about that. And a bunch of them are kicking themselves for ever investing $20 in our app since a whole bunch of new people are getting it now for just $10.
But it doesn't end there: we've also now diluted our loyal customers' level of support because our support team's is now supporting a whole bunch of new, more casual customers who invested less money. This is a double-whammy: people who invest less money are actually more likely to need support because they're less likely to invest time learning our app—and because they've invested less money, we have fewer support resources available to spend supporting them.
In the end, time-based sales simply reward people who find out about the sale in time. If we knew we had a communication channel that would reach the bulk of our customers in time for them to take advantage of the sale, this might be more practical. Of if we had some way to block out people who weren't our existing customers during the sale period, that would also help dramatically. But without those options, I'm afraid the sale would reach some of the right audience—like those reading this message—but a lot of the wrong audience.
Again, I'm sorry that my brief note on Twitter wasn't more clear about why
we think time-based sales are a bad idea. I hope this explanation helps clear that up!