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Introducing Blinksale Unlimited

Starting today, May 1st, we are making a big change here at Blinksale.

The perennial “tiered” plans model—the one that offers Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum plans—is being put out to pasture. In its place, Blinksale is introducing a new model offering just one plan: Blinksale Unlimited.

This plan is just $15 a month and offers unlimited everything: invoices, estimates, users, clients, support and more. No limits!

This is huge, we know, and raises a lot of questions. Do I need to pay more now? Do I get the same features? Is there anything I need to do? But the biggest question is probably, “Why?” Because counting invoices holds us back. Both of us.

As you have probably noticed, Blinksale has enjoyed a resurgence of development activity; the app has been redesigned, estimates have been added, Blinkpay has been launched, and there have been dozens of performance and UI enhancements made all over the place (with even more great stuff on the horizon). We love this product, and want to spend every day making it rock your bottom line.

Increasingly, the practice of limiting invoices based on each account type has either hampered or added complication to the development of new features. Every time we think about adding something new to Blinksale, we have to run it through the questions: “So how does this work with invoice counting? How does this feature change with each plan?”

Not only does this suck for us, it sucks for you. There’s this barrier between now and the future, and it’s invoice counting. It’s time to remove that barrier.

What this means for current customers

An email has gone out to all current Blinksale customers with details pertaining to this change. In a nutshell, all customers who were paying more than $15.00 before the switch will automatically switch over to Blinksale Unlimited and enjoy a lower monthly subscription. For those paying less than $15.00, you’ve got until July 1st to ponder the change and jump aboard.

For those not interested in switching to the new plan, on July 1st your account will simply “hibernate”—meaning you will still be able to request access to your account and sign up for Blinksale Unlimited. [updated 4/7/2012] We will never delete or hinder you from getting to your data. Again, if you ever decide to continue with Blinksale Unlimited in the future, your account will be waiting for you.

What this means for new customers

Starting May 1, 2011, new customers will have no “What plan to I chose?” dilemma. There will only be Blinksale Unlimited. One all-inclusive plan for one low price gives customers everything Blinksale has, without limits. A set of features that used to cost $99 now costs only $15. Dang, that’s a good deal.

Thank you

We’ve worked for months to architect a transition that is both fair and smooth for our current customers—and one that presents a great alternative for new ones. This is an exciting new chapter in Blinksale’s life, and we’re happy you’re here. We’re counting on you (and not counting invoices)!

Onward and upward!

50 Comments

  • On May 1, 2011, sanchez said:

    So I have been with Blinksale for quite a few years and as a small business trying to grow it’s crucial to find solutions that are cost-effective in those difficult first years but products that have the scope to grow with your business. Unfortunately this seems to be the final nail in the Blinksale coffin for me, firstly the free account was disabled and now i’m being forced to pay for features I don’t currently need… $100+ a year on a service that only offers estimates and invoices is very steep, if Blinksale included timesheets and project management/bug tracking then this subscription fee would be understandable but it’s very expensive for what it offers and I believe there are betters ones ones on the market for this price. Please reconsider this guys or get some other features online pretty quick as I think there could be a few people leaving and very few new customers signing up!

  • On May 1, 2011, Ben said:

    As a freelancer I issue one invoice a month. I would hazard a guess that there a a lot of other people like me doing the same via Blinksale.

    Although Blinksale is useful for me to issue invoices, for $9 a month I might as well go back to creating the one invoice a month with Microsoft Word. The new features are of no use to me, and I don’t want to pay for them. I understand that Blinksale needs to make money to survive, but for a web application that lets me input a few line items and emails a PDF, $9 a month is way too steep.

    I for one will be leaving. It was nice while it lasted.

  • On May 1, 2011, Craig said:

    And with that my account will now be cancelled. I’m switching to invoicemachine.com permanently.

  • On May 1, 2011, Nate said:

    I’m in the same boat as Ben. While i think Blinksale is fantastic software, [edit] the price is too steep for the features I actually use.

    Thanks for letting me use your software for free up until now. Best of luck in the future.

  • On May 1, 2011, John Pitchers said:

    Thanks Blinksale. Seems some people are unhappy with the change. But, this is makes my subscription cheaper and we use Blinksale a lot.. For what Blinksale offers, it’s really good value.

  • On May 1, 2011, Cerise said:

    It’s a fantastic deal for heavy users (and much, much cheaper than invoicemachine in that regard), but for those of us that only use Blinksale sporadically it’s not so good. Never mind. I’ve loved using Blinksale – I used to be a fairly heavy user until we switched to QuickBooks in-house, but I kept Blinksale on as backup for when I’m away from the office, to enable me to draft invoices online when I don’t have access to QB. I’ll switch to invoicemachine’s free account for that, but I wish Blinksale all the very best. If I didn’t have to use QuickBooks, I’d certainly remain for the Blinksale Unlimited switch.

  • On May 1, 2011, Dave Lehman said:

    I’m in the same boat– I only send a few invoices a month, so not worth it. But FreshBooks offers a great free account, so I’m off to setup an account!

    Too bad, Blinksale has been great. Seems like you could keep a legacy free account available for long-time users.

  • On May 1, 2011, Jason said:

    Question: For those of us who were are on a cheaper plan and are being offered the “Friends and Family” pricing, how long will this discounted price stay in effect?

  • On May 1, 2011, FreetariansUntie said:

    Some people are always going to want free solutions for anything, and for them, sure, there are other sites willing to provide the hardware, software, time, and electricity to gift them the ability to send invoices for free.

    I’m a huge user of free-as-in-freedom Open Source software, but for a valuable business service such as this, $15 a month is a bargain. I also use and pay for QuickBooks for accounting, but steer clear of its invoicing features in favour of BlinkSale, and this change won’t change that.

    I understand we’re all at different stages in our businesses, but it’s important to note that if you can’t swing $15 a month for your invoicing solution, you may not be engaged in a viable business and may have more to reconsider than what brand of invoicing solution you use.

    I’m not trying to be inflammatory here — I am the poster child of undervaluing one’s own time, trying to learn from and share painful experience. That experience leads me to suspect that many of us who expect this or that service to remain free are often working for free a little too much ourselves.

    Take this opportunity to ask yourself the harder question: are you charging appropriately for your own services? Or are you looking back at the past 3, 5, or 10 years and wondering where the time went, why you’re not further ahead?

    I’ve only started to address that this year, and it appears BlinkSale has been doing some similar thinking. The process has paid off already in my business, and I hope it does for BlinkSale.

    I hope the idea helps your business too… the world needs more entrepreneurs, good luck with your venture.

  • On May 1, 2011, Chris said:

    Geeeeeez. I’m happy for the change. Getting a lot more value for $3 more a month.

    No-brainer.

  • On May 1, 2011, Kyle said:

    Blinksale isn’t the first Web 2.0 company to try and fix itself with a mid-level one-size-fits-all model. Eliminate free options and raise prices on light users on one hand, cut prices for heavy users on the other. If there were enough heavy users to subsidize an entry-level free/lite/”Bronze” product for people who don’t use it often (and keep the VC folks happy too), this wouldn’t be happening. Plus, switching the entire product and pricing structure twice in a year doesn’t inspire a lot of trust — not that the periodic major outages over the past few years help any with that. So how long will “Blinksale Unlimited” last at this price, before management realizes the model doesn’t work (again)?

    Me, I send three invoices a month. So I’m moving over to Invoice Machine as well. Good luck with this and Blinkpay, hope you’re still around in a year.

  • On May 1, 2011, Krista said:

    It seems strange to abandon your freemium customers in this fashion. I’m sure you would have thought of grandfathering free customers into their plan–curious about why you chose not to do this.

    Now, since I’ll need to move to Freshbooks to send one invoice per month, when I get back to the point of needing to send multiple invoices per month, I’ll be converting to a paid customer at Freshbooks, since I’ll already be set up there. Thanks Blinksale, best of luck to you–it was nice while it lasted.

  • On May 1, 2011, Sherwood said:

    I accepted the upgrade, but I’m right in the middle with respect to the opinions offered.

    [edit] $180/yr for new sign-ups *is* a lot for the ability to issue an occasional formatted e-mail w/scheduling and archiving. But it’s not a lot if the time savings makes up for that – running a few dozens invoices through BlinkSale *will* save time and money, no matter how little you value your time.

    So my point is: this move represents value to heavy users. To keep heavy users happy, I hope we’ll see more development work to make the value proposition (convenience, reliability) more compelling.

    (My pet peeve: I can’t schedule 5 monthly invoices and then stop automatically.)

  • On May 1, 2011, Lech Rzedzicki said:

    This is a warning to all cloud based services – I signed up for a free plan and to be deprived of it is just bad PR.
    While blinksale is great in general, I can’t really recommend you now – after all you might change your mind again and start charging us $99 a month again because electricity prices went up.
    I agree to differentiate by a number of invoices was artificial and previously features like send as PDF were also a strange differentiator as you can always print to PDF…
    But in general like others say over $100 is a lot to pay for this amount of functionality – I can probably have someone carve the invoices in stone for that kind of money.
    I think you should reconsider and see about trying to serve ads perhaps so it remains free and scale your solution to more users so that you get enough clicks.
    Unless you do it quickly enough a googler will do it in his 20% time project and serve it for free forever with better gmail integration.

  • On May 1, 2011, Hersh said:

    Indeed. This is not a good move. I think they are better off working on more promising features and enticing free users to pay than pull a trick like this. Of course free users will go elsewhere, say invoicemachine.com, billing boss which has no limits on free or siwapp.org which is opensource and you can install it on your private server.

    Give me more value for my $$ and I’ll pay. Not for a just pdf maker, sure.

  • On May 1, 2011, txbc said:

    Sorry you aren’t as excited about it as we are.

    No tricks. Just a matter of focus.

    There are a number of great free options out there, but this (free) just isn’t something we have any passion about.

    But again, sorry that it isn’t going to be a fit for you.

  • On May 1, 2011, txbc said:

    Thanks for the feedback, but I think we will stay away from ads, and remain focused on our user base — even if smaller. We are ok serving a smaller subset of users, but with increasingly better functionality and service.

    Again, very sorry it wasn’t a good fit for you.

  • On May 1, 2011, txbc said:

    Thanks for the comments.

    We are way more excited about helping you solve the last part of your post — ie, making small improvements to things like recurring invoices (and your feature request has been logged)—along with providing value for the heavier users.

    All the best,

  • On May 1, 2011, txbc said:

    We have been grandfathering these freemium customers for years (the free plan has not been available for a long time).
    But I am very sorry this doesn’t fit with your business and wish you the best with your business.

  • On May 1, 2011, txbc said:

    Kyle,

    We are self funded (have been since the beginning)—so no VC’s to cater to.
    We are growing and having to make hard decisions like this is part of that growth.

    We are committed to keeping our focus tight, not trying to be all-things-to-all-people, but decisions like this are still very hard.

    I am sorry that this doesn’t fit well with your business and wish you the best.

  • On May 1, 2011, txbc said:

    Thanks Chris. We are excited to have you and look forward to sharing more about the bigger, better things to come.

    Please help us spread the news—we are going to have a lot of negativity to overcome in the next few weeks.

    All the best,

  • On May 1, 2011, txbc said:

    Thanks very much Shane for the feedback. Like I said to Chris, please be vocal about this, as we will have a lot of negativity to overcome in the coming weeks.

    But you are correct…as we have grown, and have continued to learn about what makes us tick—both individually and as a company, we just felt we were better served by doing more for fewer customers than less, for more customers. A hard decision to be sure, but we are standing by it.

    All the best, and thanks again for being a supporter and customer.

  • On May 1, 2011, txbc said:

    So will be very sorry to lose you Dave.

    FYI, we did in fact keep the legacy free account around for over a year after removing that option from the site. But I know it is sill frustrating to have to change.

    We would love to keep you if you do the math and can make it work for your business.

    All the best,

  • On May 1, 2011, txbc said:

    Cerise, we will be very sorry to lose you—and sorry you will have to spend more time in QB.

    Please let us know if decide to come back!

  • On May 1, 2011, bclingan said:

    I have to agree with a lot of the other posts I’ve read… I do occasional work on the side and for me it was a big deal when I went from the free version to the $6 a month version. After having two kids I do less and less freelance work/consulting and a 50% price hike doesn’t work for me.

    Goodbye Blinksale, best of luck to you!

  • On May 1, 2011, Roland said:

    I’m also in the same boat as you! I’ve found CurdBee (http://curdbee.com), which is already matches to Blinksale Unlimited and yet Free! Also, it’s nice and usable than Freshbooks.

  • On May 1, 2011, Steph said:

    Thanks, guys, for the free upgrade. I’ve been using Blinksale for three years now and have been consistently impressed by the pace of development, the design changes and the ease of use. As a developer myself I completely understand your need to roll all the plans into one to facilitate development, and I have no problem paying for service that comes with such responsive PR. Best of luck to you.

  • On May 1, 2011, James Barry said:

    Why can’t you offer an option for light users?! I enjoy the service that gets provided but I don’t use it enough to justify paying 10 bucks a month. If I had the option to pay a small sum per invoice sent I’d be able to continue using this service.

  • On May 1, 2011, Dennis said:

    I am and will remain a fan of Blinksale. I love the balance of great UI and the right features for what I need.

    I am, however, one of the infrequent invoicers who is not in the demographic that Blinksale is moving toward. I will be exploring free and lesser options. My goal is a similar (more minimalist) feature set at free – $5 month. When sending out 2-3 invoices per month, that is just sensible. Additionally, I would not expect the $9 grandfathered price to linger eternally which would leave me with $15/mo for a couple invoices.

    It’s sad, but I respect companies with business plans who move forward to make them happen.

  • On May 1, 2011, Heather said:

    As with any part of my business, I aim to keep my expenses to a minimum. I never like to hear that I will have to pay for a service I’ve been accustomed to using for free. I also know, however, that as an entrepreneur, it is a very delicate balance to determine my own pricing structure so that I run a profitable business while others will gratefully afford my services. Truly, when I only needed 3 invoices a month, I might as well have created them by hand and emailed them. But now that my business is expanding, I really need the ability to send unlimited invoices without having to justify $99 a month. This couldn’t have come at a better time.

    Thank you, Blinksale!

  • On May 2, 2011, Brion said:

    I agree 100%! Couldn’t have said it better myself.

  • On May 2, 2011, Patrick Dodd said:

    Hey Bob, thanks for your feedback and we’re sad to see you go. Hope your business continues to grow.

  • On May 2, 2011, Patrick Dodd said:

    Hey Steph, We’re excited to have you and look forward to sharing more about the bigger, better things to come. Please help us spread the news—we are going to have a lot of negativity to overcome in the next few weeks.

  • On May 2, 2011, Patrick Dodd said:

    Hey James, we really decided to remain focused on our user base — even if it is a bit smaller. We are ok serving a smaller subset of users, but with increasingly better functionality and service. Very sorry it isn’t a good fit for you.

  • On May 2, 2011, Patrick Dodd said:

    Thanks for your support Dennis. Help us spread the word. :)

  • On May 2, 2011, Patrick Dodd said:

    Heather, you are so welcome. Glad for you to be continuing with us. A lot of exciting things are ahead for Blinksale. Help us spread the word. And if there is anything you need, please let us know.

  • On May 2, 2011, Joe said:

    I’m on the borderline – two or three invoices a month, sometimes more, sometimes none. I was “happy” to pay $6 per month for what I think is an excellent service – I’m worth it! Now, $9 is still ok but I’m feeling $15 might make me wobble a little. Is the Friends and Family discount permanent? I confess I’ve looked at other invoicing services because of this change but I’m sticking with Blinksale for the forseeable future (who knows when the others might end their free plan)?

  • On May 2, 2011, Michael said:

    I’ve used Blinksale for quite I while and been very happy with the service; I’ll continue as a customer under the new structure.

    However, the services I use/have used for time tracking also offer invoicing. It would be nice to consolidate time tracking and invoicing under one provider. If I decided to do that today, Blinksale would not be that provider.

  • On May 2, 2011, Dustin Overbeck said:

    I have been a satisfied customer since 2007 when I first signed up for the service when my company was just a fledgling start-up with only 10 customers. I was initially using Excel to create my invoices and hated that it was becoming cumbersome and difficult to use. After I found Blinksale, I was able to streamline one part of my business operations and free up some time. Also, the invoices looked better and more professional with Blinksale than when I was making them within Excel.

    What was nice about the developers at Blinksale is that they listened to my feedback when I emailed little time-saving feature requests to make the product better. Absolutely every single time-saving features I asked for over the past four years got implemented! It allowed me to work faster and better, and therefore was worth the nominal fee I was paying each month to use the service.

    Having people/developers listen to the suggestions that customers offer can make the difference between a good product and a great product. Blinksale is a *great* product. Yes, it costs a bit of money each month, but all things do. The service is priced appropriately for the features and time-savings benefits it offers.

  • On May 2, 2011, LA said:

    Any plans to offer an iPhone app to be able to manage invoices?

  • On May 2, 2011, Darren Cambridge said:

    Another satisfied user you’re losing. I’d be willing to pay, but not like I’m a small business rather than independent consultant. Thanks to everyone who’s posted alternatives here.

  • On May 2, 2011, Tyler said:

    I would be so ecstatic for that. I’d also love some way to integrate Blinksale and Square.

  • On May 2, 2011, Clifton Griffin said:

    LA, Tyler: I wrote an iPhone app for just that. Released it two weeks ago :)

    http://clifgriffin.com/2011/04/15/twitch-for-blinksale/

    As for the pricing change, I’m a $6/mo customer but will be sticking around. I am willing to pay more and it will be nice to not think about invoicing in terms of how many I have left!

    If a price point should be adjusted, I think it’s Blinkpay…just not seeing the value at that price.

    Clif

  • On May 2, 2011, Moot said:

    I agree with the statement final nail for blinksale coffin for me..too.

  • On May 2, 2011, Kay Krenek said:

    I see lots of negative posts, so thought I would add a positive one. I am a medium user (formerly the $12/mo silver plan) for several years now and even though my monthly price will eventually go up, I’m a happy camper. The recent addition of the Estimates feature alone makes it more than worth it to me. Not interested in Blinkpay at this time, but it’s nice to know it’s available should I need it. Even though it will cost me almost $200 a year, that’s pennies compared to the time it saves me.

  • On May 2, 2011, Ross said:

    Same boat. I’m off to find another solution now. Too bad, I really liked Blinksale for all these years.

  • On May 2, 2011, Jason said:

    I am happy with the change. I think this is a great service, and I don’t think $15/month is a lot to pay for what it offers and the time it saves me. $15 is equal to the time it would take for me to generate and track one invoice manually. Might not be for everyone, but it’s well worth it for me.

  • On May 2, 2011, Chris said:

    I am among the people who do a few small contracts a year, and it’s not worth paying a monthly fee when I go months without even logging into my account. Too bad. I hope this turns out to be profitable for you guys, because it seems like you’re losing a bunch of potential customers.

  • On May 2, 2011, Tyler said:

    Been with Blinksale since the early days, still love it! $15 a month is a small price to pay in order to get paid quickly by my clients. Can’t wait to see what add-ons you guys are working on – would love to have recurring billing (let clients save cc details for auto-billing recurring invoices). Keep up the great work!

  • On May 2, 2011, Patrick Dodd said:

    Hey Kay, thanks for the kind words! It really is empowering to know our users are behind us as we progress and improve toward the best invoicing solution we can make.

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