When I first launched the MVP for UseHoney back in September, there wasn't any type of paywall up front in the sign up flow. In the first month, about 20-30 people signed up, tinkered around with the product, and then ultimately disappeared. This was not unexpected, and to be honest I was just excited to have people interested enough to sign up, even if none of them would convert to paid customers.
Shortly after that, I started experimenting with the sign up flow, putting a credit card requirement up front with a 14 day free trial. Not unexpectedly, this resulted in an immediate drop off of signups.
Then, a couple of weeks ago, seemingly out of nowhere, I got my first "paying" customer! Someone who was willing to put down a credit card upfront before starting the 14 day free trial. Unfortunately, I fumbled on a couple of things here. Most importantly, I didn't have the proper systems in place to notify me when customers were signing up. After the initial drop off in sign ups, I wasn't manually checking new user sign ups as frequently, and I didn't actually realize I had gotten a paying customer until the last day of their free trial!
Sadly, the person churned before I had a chance to actually reach out and figure out how they had found UseHoney, what they were interested in using the product for, and how I could hopefully improve the on-boarding experience.
Even though my first customer churned, the validation that someone was interested enough to sign up and pay is a huge motivation booster to keep pushing the project forward.