May 6, 2019

Ask IH: To free or not to free?

Andy Hahn @aphahn

What's your take... Is a free tier useful for a SaaS product?

As I'm working to find fit I'm considering promoting the free tier of Front Desk as a free visitor management system to help bring in customers to work with. I do have the ability to monetize free users to some extent w/o selling any data. Is this a good strategy or am I shorting myself?

Like if you think free is a good idea, otherwise tell why not in the comments...


  1. 3

    Free might be a good idea in a few scenarios. For example when the users provide you exposure. But I’m not sure that’s the case with your product.

    You need to ask yourself what is the goal of the free plan and whether non-paying clients give your business any benefits. If the answer is yes, I would consider the free tier. Otherwise, stick with the trial.

    1. 1

      Great advice, thanks!

  2. 2

    Others will probably provide a more data-driven perspective, but someone here once reminded me that free can be very expensive for a solopreneur. This is because of the cost of scaling support primarily. If that's not an issue, I think free is a way to get market share if that's what you need in a crowded space.

    Personally, our space wasn't crowded so I decided on free trial instead. If you don't know whether our service meets your needs after the free trial, we probably a) didn't do our job in value creation, or b) had a trial that's too short.

    1. 1

      Hmmm, support is a very good point... At very least it will be a something to keep an eye of and drop the plan if it becomes burdensome.