I was wrong about my free trial for my SaaS, but that's OK

So when I first launched my SaaS GummySearch, I added a free trial. I thought about the structure, and decided to break from the mold and instead of having a time-limited trial, make it a credit-based one (in my case, count # of searches on in app).

I wrote about my reasoning at the time in this IH post. After having run with the trial for a few months, I've decided that my product has evolved, and so have the conditions for a free trial.

I'm glad I did the credit-trial initially, but I just switched GummySearch over to a week-long trial after thinking about the pros/cons. Here are my learnings, for SaaS builders that are thinking of implementing something similar.

What a credit-based trial is good for:

  • if you product is in active development, a credit-based trial might be a good fit for you. As your early users only get part of the features that later users get. So having it be credit-based gives them a change to remain users as you continue to develop
  • if you're still figuring out how your users use your product, a credit-based trial inherently forces you to build in some coherent analytics into your product

Reasons I'm moving to a time-trial instead:

  • credit-based trial doesn't really create any urgency to purchase, while at the end of the week you can have the chance to ask each user to purchase. because not everyone got to the end of my credit-based trial, I didn't even get a chance to ask everyone to pay
  • knowing that your trial users are there for 1 week means you can really curate your email drip to educate them and get them towards converting
  • It's a lot easier to track conversion rate per trial cohort based on their start date. To improve conversion rate, first step is tracking it.

In summary, I'm glad I got the data from my credit-based trial, and now that the product is MVP-complete I am excited to optimize for paid conversions. I'm also happy I didn't shut out my early users, as I've been really surprised how many came back months after signing up for the first time (to be greeted with a much more valuable product)

Happy to answer any questions about my learnings from implementing a free trial for SaaS. Also, if anyone has any additional tips they'd like to share about converting trial users to paid ones, let's hear them!

Trending on Indie Hackers
✨ Let's hack Twitter ✨ 70 comments My SEO experience 18 comments How do you login users on you site? 9 comments Why I started following back everyone 8 comments How do I not quit? 5 comments 200 early user signups for Beta 2 comments