Daily Stand-up February 17, 2020

Can it hurt your product if you provide a free version of it? - Weekly backlog 2020/06

Ferenc Forgacs @feriforgacs

I spent most of my time with freelance projects last week and working on the results of The Maker Report. Sadly, I haven’t finished all parts of the report but I’m at 90% so I’ll push on Monday to finish that remaining 10%. I could spend my nights and weekend working on it but when I left my 9 to 5 it was also one of my goals to have a better work-life balance so I skipped late-night hacking this time. I have mixed feelings about it though because this way I missed my goal again but I also had a great weekend and I have more energy for this week. Probably I should do this more often and the bad feelings will go away.

I helped my girlfriend launch her first product and while I did that I had to take a look at my Mailchimp settings for Story View. The free version of the plugin has 1 to 3 downloads every week (it had 55 downloads since the free version became available) but in the last 3 months, no one purchased the PRO version. This makes me think that people are looking for a plugin like this (the landing page had 150 new organic visitors in the last 30 days) but maybe they don’t want to pay for it, or they would pay for it but the features I made available in the free version is more than enough for them. If that’s the case, I didn’t make the right choice when I launched the free version. To test my hypothesis I’m going to remove the free version of the plugin. I’ll probably decrease the price for a short amount of time as well. I made some sales at this price already but maybe it’s a bit high. We’ll see.

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Todo for this week:

  • Publish the results of the Maker Report (10% left)
  • Remove the free version of Story View and lower the price
  1. 2

    I don't think pricing is an issue here, if you really think it is, maybe switching temporarily to a monthly subscription and significantly lower the price will answer your question for sure.

    I think you are right in your analysis, the free version probably does too much, maybe limiting to an absolute minimum the features (limited amount of stories, one font, one or two designs) would be enough for the users to try the product.

    1. 1

      I was thinking a lot about the available features in the free version and I didn't want to cut on the core functions (eg limit the number of stories or story blocks) but maybe I'll have to do it.
      Implementing a subscription-based business model would take a bit more time but you are right that I can give that a try.
      Thank you for your suggestions.

  2. 2

    Great insights @feriforgacs !

    I do agree with the removal of the free version but why do you think lowering the price would change anything?

    You could also keep your current pricing, see how it goes from there, and then if you're not getting any traction > lower the price.

    Also for your current free users, you could send them an email (if you have it) or find another way to make them aware that you are removing the free version, but in exchange offer them a lowered pricing for Xmonths of your base price.

    1. 2

      You are right that I should change one thing at a time otherwise it will be hard to know what was effective.
      Sending an email to the users of the free version is also a great idea, but first, maybe I'll try to get some feedback from them instead of trying to sell the PRO version.
      Thank you for your feedback and ideas 🙏🏻

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