Free Trials

Free trials are a great way to increase your MRR.

What is it?

When you give your customer a timed subscription to your product, hoping they would start paying after it ends.

  • % Conversion Rates: B2C > B2B

Only do it if:

  • Your product is intuitive AF
  • If the person using it makes the purchase decision

Create an effective trial by:

The Don'ts

  • Don't ask credit card upfront. Use Google Captcha to deter scammers.
  • Don't auto-charge people. Customers hate this and Stripe punishes this.

Beware of...

  • You will get a flood of support requests. Have an FAQ, pre-written answers ready.
  • A user on trial is not yet a paying customer yet they'll need storage space, customer support, and onboarding. Be prepared to lose money until enough of them convert. For sustainability, you can price the product to offset this expense.Final price = Price of product + Cost of covering a trial. This assumes 100% of trials convert to paid. This is not reality. You will have to calibrate the formula with your own conversion rate to stay afloat.

Measure everything

Collect data, regardless of whether someone converted or not. Keep a log of:

  • Who the customer is
  • What they came for
  • What they did
  • Did they convert
  • What will they do now

If you tracked the customer throughout their trial well, this is what their journey should look like:

User - jon@gmail.com joined on Jan 11 with a primary pain point of - making HQ posts for IG stories is tough. She created three posts during her trial of 10 days and logged in to check how her posts were doing 15 times. One of her posts showed more than average impressions. Post call she mentioned she likes the product but the uploading feature is broken. She won’t be converting to the paid plan. She will continue to use Canva.

Crunch the results

If your conversion rate is:

  • Low: Customer didn't find value, go fix the product
  • High: Pour more resources into user acquisition, bring down CAC

Tools

  • User Onboarding - Appcues
  • Product Tracking - Mixpanel
  • In-App surveys - Hotjar
  • Email Campaign - drip.com

Technical Implementation

Implement a trial system for your app:

  1. Create a trial_ends_ondate in the user DB model that saves the day when the user's trial will be over.
  2. Set this field for 7 days ahead (if the trial is for 7 days) when the account is first created.
  3. When the user logs in, check their user object to see if the trial_ends_on has passed. If so, show a payment screen, else let them through.

Opportunities

  • If a user can’t pay, do a “Give us a shoutout on Twitter and get $5 off” or “Get $10 off for every friend you tell about our product”. You can make them send you screenshots.