ariasystems.com / experts2
Free trial periods and “Freemium” models have grown in popularity as ways to drive increasedadoption o recurring services. The thinking behind both is that giving potential customers exposureto the service, even in a less-unctional variant will entice some subset o ree users to convert topaying customers.While there are many popular examples o successul products that have used ree trials or ree-mium oerings to develop large and loyal paying customer bases, not all services are a good tor such models. Furthermore, there are a number o considerations in approaching these modelsthat are important to help organizations achieve their goals in terms o adoption, conversion, andlong-term monetization. This white paper describes and analyzes both ree trial and reemium ap-proaches. It highlights the inherent trade-os and sometimes-dicult choices that must be madeto maximize success. It concludes with some recommended best practices or deploying ree trialand reemium oerings.
Leng yo See Sell isel – Feetls nd Fee (Ft&F) odels
Many companies already use FT&F models as a mar-keting vehicle or their products and services to driveengagement with more prospects and to use reeevaluations to convert interested ree users into pay-ing customers. While there are some exceptions, themost widely deployed FT&F oerings generally sharea ew common traits:
Dgll-deleed wh led o zeo oss s-soed wh llowng ses o he see
reng eene odel – reng nd sb-spon eene odels he beoe nes-ngl popl s. donl one-e phs-es. Whehe o onen (.e. Hl, NeFl, Newyok tes), B2c pplons (onlne ges,lod-bsed onse bkp sees) oB2B pplons (“Enepse” edons o opensoe pplons, web so nls),n Ft&F oengs pooe sees del-eed sbspon o sge odel.
“tohless” sles le – Ft&F odels el onhe sspon h epeenng he see n sel-see shon, who sgnn Slesneon o le soe sppo, wll be s-en o de onesons.
For the purposes o this discussion, we will denea ree trial as access to a service at no cost thoughlimited either by time or usage. Sometimes ree tri-als provide access to a reduced-unctionality versiono the service, but in most cases oer access to aull-eatured version. Time-bound ree trials may lastor an arbitrary period such as 30 days or 3 months.Usually the service is automatically disabled aterthe specied trial period has elapsed. Usage-boundree trials typically involve some initial credit eitheras dollars or units o service. Usually the service isautomatically disabled when the units or dollar cred-its have been exhausted, similarly to the time-boundscenario. A good example o usage-bound ree trialapproach is LinkedIn, the popular proessional socialnetworking site that tempts potential advertisers withoers or $50 in ree ad placement credits to try ad-vertising on LinkedIn.
Op-n o Op-o?
One key consideration or ree trial oers is whetherto make it an opt-in or opt-out program. The opt-inmodel generally means that the user o the trial willbe inormed at some point that their trial is about toexpire or has expired, with an oer to sign up or thepaid version o the service. Clients can then opt in byproviding payment inormation or subscription ees