Free trials: How did they affect your business?

14 replies
Hello there,

This is a question for anybody offering a free-trial for their products. How did it affect your business, how was the before and after conversions? Did it benefit you?

Please tell us your stories.
#affect #business #free #trials
  • Profile picture of the author hannahlist
    I've promoted free trial affiliate offers in the past.

    They aren't a slam dunk.

    You still have to walk people through the KNOW-LIKE-TRUST process.

    Why is giving out FREE TRIAL subscriptions a hassle?

    People are naturally suspicious.

    Can't say I blame them.
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  • Profile picture of the author nmwf
    In my industry, free trials are expected, so I've provided such from the very start. For that reason, I don't have any pre-trial data to share. I don't know why hannahlist thinks it's a suspicious behavior though. Perhaps s/he can share why.
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    • Profile picture of the author VENAXIS
      Originally Posted by hannahlist View Post

      I've promoted free trial affiliate offers in the past.

      They aren't a slam dunk.

      You still have to walk people through the KNOW-LIKE-TRUST process.

      Why is giving out FREE TRIAL subscriptions a hassle?

      People are naturally suspicious.

      Can't say I blame them.
      This is actually what I'm going through right now. I offered a free-trial to an interested customer and he went into an extreme defense state, asking me "who are you and why are you doing this for me, heck you don't even know me!" it was a bit more dramatic than that, but you get the idea.

      Originally Posted by nmwf View Post

      In my industry, free trials are expected, so I've provided such from the very start. For that reason, I don't have any pre-trial data to share. I don't know why hannahlist thinks it's a suspicious behavior though. Perhaps s/he can share why.
      Would love to hear hannahlist's story as I'm going through a similar problem myself.
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  • Profile picture of the author The Cypher
    Free Trials suck, in my opinion and experience. I'll get back to my experiences in a moment though...

    Now before I start, not all markets are the same, and sometimes free trials are expected, and not having one causes you to have more issues than not... so just keep that in mind.

    Free trials don't instill any amount of trust, and you're not creating a 'buyer'. Most of the time, companies don't spend the time to unveil the 'why' of free offer. If your service or product is so good, why are you offering it for free? Are you creating suspcious customers? Maybe... depends on what you're selling.

    The biggest mistake businesses make is they make the free trial act as both the lead magnet and the segmentation sale. Big mistake. The trial should be the segmentation sale, not the lead magnet. There's easier ways of offering lead magnets, specially if you're selling services.

    Hope this helps a bit.
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  • Hello,

    I have promoted free trials from CPA networks before with little success..

    i think it comes down to how well you presell, you can't expect to make good sales just by direct linking

    it's always about building value and relationships!
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    I think free trials are a waste of time.

    As the only person whose emails I look forward to, Declan, would say, "A buyer is a buyer is a buyer is a bloody buyer."

    At least get the $1 from them.

    Why?

    Obviously it's not about the buck.

    It's to identify WHO has a credit card and the authority to use it.

    Makes sure you don't have only freebie seekers on your list, right?
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  • Profile picture of the author pjman
    I ran the $1 trial in market and then a full charge in 10 days. It took up too much of time to get phone calls from customers and refund them. I found that switching to a straight flat charge and focusing on posting tons of free content for SEO worked the charm.

    -Yes, my conversion rate is lower.

    By focusing on SEO I was able to triple the number of people looking at the offer.

    Trial- Converted at 1.2%
    Straight Pay - Converts at 0.6% x 3 times more customers. I'll take the win with less time spent.
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  • Profile picture of the author atvking
    Well if you have a product that the customers will actually need then giving out a free trial is a good way to go IMO. It also depends on what your actual product is.

    The best products for free trial are Software as a Service. Something the customer will need over and over again. I feel free trials should be limited and should not include the top version of your service but rather something from the middle. If you know what you are doing and you know how to dose your "free" then you can easily convert the free trial in to a sale.

    Sometimes just capturing the potential customers e-mail and turning him in to a paying customer down the road, is a better choice than not capturing the e-mail and not nurturing the lead.

    Free trials should not be done in the early phases of a product when all the bugs are not fixed and you have not implemented everything you want and you do not have a marketing funnel in place where you know exactly how you will reach out to free and paying customers ect.
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  • Profile picture of the author brettb
    I sell software, and I give away free trial versions. It's pretty much essential to do this in the software niche.
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    I used to offer free trials. Got some good response rates, but most cancelled right before the free trial was over. I just told myself that if I really am the good marketer that I really am.... then I don't need to offer a free trial for anything. So it was either get sales at a fixed price, or show my prospects the low-value that I have by giving away my CORE product for free.
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  • Profile picture of the author VENAXIS
    Thank you all for your inputs! This has been greatly helpful for me.
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  • Profile picture of the author hagendazz07
    I never gave away free trial for a digital product, but I did give away a lot of free physical products when I was doing ecommerce. I'd say it all depends on what you're trying to accomplish, what niche you're in and so on. Personally as a customer I always like free stuff so from that point of view free trials are a really good idea, but that's not necessarily the case business wise.

    Joel
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  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    I've never done free trial but like a $5 trial for 7 days and it didn't work any better
    than the full price for the first month. The difficulty with free trials is that you don't
    even know if the prospect is ABLE to pay. A $1 trial eliminates that payment issue.

    The best place for free trials is for software products. This works best because
    the prospects learns to use the software during the free trial eliminating a lot
    of need for customer support.

    -Ray Edwards
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