April 1, 2019

How do you decide what to give away for free vs what to hide behind a paywall?

Mike Fogg @mikefogg

Working on a newly-over-engineered version of https://www.applight.io to launch soon and really think I should give something away for free but am in the process of deciding what goes where.

Any personal guidelines, experience or thoughts are greatly appreciated!

Possible solutions:

  1. Give the whole experience away for free – charge for business features (custom domain, contact forms, etc. similar to https://carrd.co).

  2. Give just a sliver of the features away – let's say in my case that may be the hero (top) section only, with paid versions able to make a full landing page.

  3. Remove the free version altogether – pay to play baby :)

  4. Introduce a Free Trial – instead or alongside a Freemium model

Pro's and cons of each, hoping some people have had some experience either way. If not, if you were to visit and create a landing page, what would you pay for?

Happy Monday!

  1. 3

    I think a good rule of thumb for some products is the point when your app switches from giving helpful, actionable information to doing things for the user.

    Once you start "doing" rather than "informing" I think that's a good point to start charging.

    1. 2

      Love this, thanks!

      1. 1

        No problem. Happy to help.

    2. 1

      Love this. Also wanted to add, as a content marketer, that this is strategically the best approach from a marketing/sales standpoint. Provide value upfront by telling them WHAT they should do and WHY to do it, and even tease HOW to do it... but don't let them do it until they pay.

  2. 1

    test them all and see what works!

  3. 1

    I can share my experience. I built findbetterquestions.com, which initially offered a 15 day free trial with all the features. I’m now down to 7 days, and I think I’m still giving away too much.
    Why? Because people can get a lot of value out of the product in 7 days. If possible, I think you should offer a quantity based trial.

    No free trial is probably also possible if people can get a feel of the product through other means, like extensive screen-recordings, documentation, …

    My product lets you create lists. That’s what you pay for. So I’m thinking about letting my users create their first 3 lists or so for free.

    I hope that helps

  4. 1

    One thing to consider with offering freemium is that it does incur some cost on your side with the storage and server usage from a host of users that likely want to give feedback or need support that haven't really given you anything yet.

    1. 1

      Ugh, so true. That's like the one major downside of Freemium... really have to figure out what a "Free" user costs.

  5. 1

    When I've started to work on my ashop.co project, I imagined that I'll only have payed package. But during my beta launch - free package or trial was most requested feature. I thought that 19$/m was not a big price to try things out... but nope.

    So I've decided to introduce free package, I'm removing all the advanced features -- custom domains, cart.

    Also, according to AJ, freemium packages make it easier to market your product. :)

    by the way, love your product! looks really nice!

    1. 2

      Appreciate it! Thanks so much. I'm in the same boat, paid only would be awesome... but I'm thinking that free will help get some early users to give feedback.

      1. 1

        It's actually amazing how similar are our projects (with similar pricing even) and both of us seem to be on similar stages (But I did give mine a lot of user testing already) ;-)

        Would be happy to connect and collaborate;-)

  6. 1

    This comment was deleted a year ago.

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