Best practises for free trials?

In your experiences, what are the best ways to implement free trials. Whilst not all sites should have them, I strongly believe that sites which have free trials perform better than those which don't.

  1. 2

    Keep them as short as possible. 30 days are standard, but it really screws up conversion funnels. You don't want people to be bored waiting for their trial to end. You want to convert them when they're the most excited about the product (ideally right after they hit that first magic moment or receive value).

    If you're B2B extend trials upon request. Most organizations are disorganized and have to go through tons of internal processes to evaluate and purchase a product. Make "dealing with the vendor" the easy part for your customers.

    Also, nice to have: build in a mechanism for returning users to restart their trial after N months. If you don't, you'll completely break the process for users who try out the product and want to buy later.

    My experience with TaxJar was a good example of this. They limit accounts to 1 account per linked Stripe account, and a short free trial. Spent weeks with support to actually use the product a year later.

  2. 1

    Free trials have been extremely effective for us.

    They work best for services that are customized & personal IMO.

    Example: My service sends custom monthly digests of 5 of your competitors' ads across 10 different sources.

    This sounds valuable on paper: but giving a full report on 1 competitor for free (no strings attached) makes it real for the subscriber + gets them thinking about what others are up to.

    No CC required at trial for us either - make it as low commitment as possible. Sure - some people take advantage, but it's all about providing free value in the beginning.

    Maybe those people who took advantage in July come back next January, you just never know.

    Put in the work on the front end to reap the rewards later.

  3. 1

    Really depends and is worth experimenting to find what works best for your business model and customers.

    Generally I'd recommend taking credit card upfront to prevent spam and tire kickers from joining. This generally leads to lower churn compared to no credit card upfront, with the downside of less overall signups.

    14 day free trial is pretty standard and if you don't have a good reason to make it longer or shorter that's as good a starting point as any.

    I believe it's important to really view this as an experiment though i.e. v1 of your trial and pricing model. It WILL change I promise you 😄

    See how things go for a month or two and adjust course as needed based on the feedback you get from paying and canceled customers.

  4. 1

    I am a bit on the same line with @joeheadbuff on this one. I feel that offering free trials devalues your product.
    Or maybe more so makes it so that a ton of people sign up for the free trial but then jump ship when the trial period ends.
    The flip side of the coin is that there are people that start the free trial and forget to cancel and get charged. I'm not sure about others but I have always seen that as a scummy technique even though it's the customers own mistake for not cancelling in time.
    I would rather focus on customers that are willing to pay straight from the get-go, maybe with a discount?
    In the end, though it depends on the type of business.

    Have an awesome day mate! 😄

    1. 1

      Register with no credit card info at the beginning. That is what I do.

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