Pros and Cons of offering your prospect customers a free trial of your web based product?
Hi all, we have a web based Testimonials/Review and Feedback management system (www.testifor.com), which have been launched in the market few months back. And now we have decided to give our prospect customer a 15 day free trial, in order to attract more customers.
But here, I am keen on knowing your views on this. Is it a good step or strategy to offer free trial to your prospect customer? What are pros and cons of this? Or Is there any alternative way we can choose to attract more customer?
Would you love to have a free trial of a product before you go and buy the same?
PS: your feedback on our system are always welcome
Go ahead no problem . if it s not costing you more. Its ok.
Thee is only cons of free trail you can arrange meeting with client and tell them all imp things you offer start with low fees and gradually increase it
A free trial draws people because they know they can test your service, support, and their learning curve without risk. All they can lose is their own time invested. In the process, they give you information that your marketing and public relations people can use. Also, from the perspective of sales psychology, if you can put product in a prospective client's hands, you are more likely to get the sale. Your servers will need increased bandwidth, but temporary users tend not to require as much resources as committed users and they are, after all, temporary.
One alternative to the free trial is the tiered service structure that allows selecting between package with ranges of features. A free basic service will get you more reviews (that is, publicity) and more potential buyers. It's like the free trial, except the limitations are placed on capabilities instead of on time. Plus, demonstrating that you care about clients before you've seen their money brings good will.
I mentioned above that if you can put product in a prospective client's hands, you are more likely to get the sale. In the case of free, limited-capability offers, users (for example, for personal use) who use the product over a longer period invest more time into learning the tool. That investment becomes time that they'd rather not spend again to learn to use a competitor's product. If they later need the paid version, they will consider yours first.
It's a great idea to offer a free trial because people will want to try the software. Make sure you collect credit catd information. Once the 7 to 15 day trial is over, your company could send a courtesy email to the consumers that their credit cards on file will be charged. This way the consumers will know ahead of time that the free offer expires and anyone who likes the software could confirm with your company that they want to keep using your software, but also, get input on your product via one question survey on how they like your product.
In my experience a free trial is OK but a better alternative is a low cost test drive of your product.
This way you have income from these "test drives" and you have a somewhat better assurance that the potential customer will use the product during the test period becuase they have invested in it.
Raise your prices to $50-$100-$150 per month and charge $75 for a month of using the $150 level.
This way the potential customer can see what they may not want to use going forward and make a better decision on what to buy next.
You should asjk them to commit to six months minimum in order to get the refund of the test run.
When giving free trial for the type of service you do try connect the trial activation with automated credit card billed subscription, this will:
- eliminate the prospects that are not really prospects
- make people that subscribed to your trial take the service more "seriously"
- ensure more income for you
For others it is easier to create a "demo" account with setup data, and let them try the product on the staged demo that you control. For this kind of a trial require they register, so you collect all information, send unique access account data to their emails to get as much real people as possible.
Very often you forget to create a staged demo, and you can loose a lot of prospects because of a simple fact - people don't have time and will to setup your product just to see how it works. And that is why you get a lot of free trial registrations where customers dont use it - they will log in, see there are things need to be done - and forget about it. Give them REAL LIFE experience of full possibilities.
All of the comments have merit here but the most important aspect is how does this aid in closing the sale and turning a customer into a client. Before the expiration of the trial, how are they contacted and what is asked and presented and why?
Food for thought, follow the model.
1) never stop freebies
2) freebies can enable addiction to your product/service
3) look at bundling offers to increase your funnel (prospect base)
It is a good idea, provided you could bear the cost. People are always ready to try something new free, provided they have a use for that. If they are happy and like, it is a wonderful way for marketing. Don't hesitate to start that concept. Pradeep Berry
The trial option that you had launched makes it better to use your business product. This is because, we were able to achieve several responses on doing so with one of our products.
It has made the customers to engage more with the Trial option, rather making them to purchase the product. Indeed, the users keep growing as well you can be getting to know the requisites from the customers that can still help you build a few more features to the existing/new system.
Coming up with such a thing really makes the right choice, but still the trial period should be considered up based on the customers preference, I guess.
I like money back more than I like free trial. If you use free trial they must give you the credit card info up front and agree to purchase if satisfied. Usually about 3 % will claim the refund which you categorize as a Marketing expense. The offer is most effective when combined with some other compelling reason to buy. Your USP.
Ok - it looks like a great offering, so you're over the first hurdle which is basic product quality. Here are some thoughts about free trials. I think they are generally a good idea. However... 1) Like any other feature, they create engineering workload, so you have to make sure that you don't accidentally create a bad user experience with a buggy free trial that can't up with other system updates, etc. 2) The client may not be able to move fast enough to evaluate the product. This is a huge issue. I have faced it many times marketing business technologies. A system like yours requires the client to have a review process up and running. Assuming that someone on the customer side is ready to go at the start of a free trial might not work. 3) If the system touches anything IT related (yours doesn't seem to ), a 30 day trial is too short.They need at least 6 months to have time playing around with the tool. 4) A free permanent version is always a good approach because it creates a closed loop for an upsell.
Free Trials work for people who are vetting a solution. It may attract some "hoppers" who go from one free product to another, but in the case of a product like yours, I'm guessing it would not attract many "hoppers." People who do the free trial and then leave are the people you NEED to survey for product improvements.
One strategy for a free trial would be to offer 30 days free, but collect credit card information up front, so the monthly billing begins automatically if they do not cancel. 30 days is enough time for someone to become familiar with the product, and sometimes being off the radar for a month causes some people to say, "Oh well, I guess I'll at least pay for this thing for a month since I used it free for a month." Simple implementation is crucial, with some kind of hook once they build the management system into their business. The hook I am referring to would be a noticeable promotional and marketing benefit to the organization. I think it would be helpful to put a blurb in your own marketing material where you mention the fact that many companies spend at least $5,000/mo. on PR and marketing campaigns. If you can create a perception that your product is worth thousands, but costs very little, you'll be golden. As it stands, if I were a business owner considering your product, I would be thinking that Testifor would not help businesses that don't generate a lot of street buzz. iShoutOut is an example of a company that is touting promotional value, so I think a combination of your testimonial approach, along with some way to blast out promotional conversations would work well.
As a small business owner, I'm going to share my opinion. I'm getting nicked and dime'd to death by $30, $60 etc a month services/tools that I'm unsure of long-term effectiveness. In 15-days I'm going to be able to evaluate your software, its ease of use, the back-end, the front-end (if I have time to really give it a try) -- but I'm not going to be able to really judge long term effectiveness toward my business to know if the relatively low cost has value. It does appear to be the norm for web applications to offer a 15-day trial, and it's likely to be the expectation for new comers - until some other "possibly a metered" solution becomes more normal..
*Increase interest in the product.
*Allow customers to see the advantages over the possible competition.
*The it sound great, now I need to see it - is answered with no investment from the company except the time to try it...
The biggest CON to trials, is they elongate the sales process in most cases. The biggest reason to go free trial is increase exposure, but as I've learned many times, adding a major barrier to trial can also be a killer and foster even negative reviews. So asking for a credit card before the trial can begin will have some people moving right on by. Asking for too much sales based information can make the potential go right on by.
In addition to that, keep in mind that setting the period correctly is an issue. I've reduce the time from 45 to 30 or 30 to 15 or 15 to 5 days, each time there is a percentage that will resent the lowered time, because they feel pressured, which that is the point, you want to move them from kicking the tires to buy! I've also used the X number of times to access the product with NO time limit just a usage limit... this one even has more issues.
Another approach we have used with particular products is a 20 day no questions asked refund policy. In a trial, if the customer hits a snag they may move on without contact. When there is a 20 day return policy they will at least reach out to you for the refund and then in most cases, not all, you can administer some support over the issue(s) they may be having. However, this approach only works if the product or service is fairly straight-forward, you don't want to be solving each issue a customer may have if for instance you charge for support. This approach puts more strain on the support team and may not have enough buys to offset the expense of support.
Hope this helps and good luck,
One additional recommendation is to request that they answer a survey or give a testimonial in exchange for the free trial. Word it so that - by accepting this free trial - they have agreed to provide feedback so that you can better improve the client's experience. This feedback allows you to create promotional testimonials and "see what other clients are saying about us" type marketing.
Yes, a very good idea. People need to try a system to see if it fits their needs. This needs to be free without obligation. Let the product sell itself. If it's really good, then you will get subscribers. For those that do and do not subscribe, require some feedback about the good and bad points etc.
Word of mouth goes a long way.
Completely agree with Jeff here.
In terms of pros/cons.
You give the option for your members to try the software and see how valuable it is
You get to interact with people you wouldn't have, giving you a chance to showcase your service.
You have a large userbase enabling you to quickly spot problems
You have an effective marketing list of people to remarket and upsell to
You give the option for your members to try the software and see how awful it is
The additional cost of the trial software setup (IP logging etc)
With a free copy, you are giving crackers the chance to crack it