Subscription service-offering free first year. Should I ask for PayPal details

8 replies
Hi there,
bit of a novice at this. I have a site that where users will subscribe for access to content for educational purposes. It is a yearly subscription. My strategy is to offer a free first year's subscription. My query is should I ask them for payment details when they sign up for the free subscription so that I can charge them when the second year comes up or does this put people off subscribing altogether? Is there a proven norm for managing first time sign ups and ensuring they repeat them or don't unsubscribe?

All insights welcome.

Thanks in advance.
#details #free #paypal #serviceoffering #subscription #year
  • Profile picture of the author zuberr
    How about testing both strategies in parallel and obtain proof of which way works best for you?

    If I were you, I would ask for payment details upfront. One year is a lot of time for your prospects to change their mind and hence it's very likely that your conversion will be low. It's also an effective way to filter out the freebie seekers.

    Just my 2 cents.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10923103].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Oziboomer
    Originally Posted by watchman10 View Post

    Hi there,
    bit of a novice at this. I have a site that where users will subscribe for access to content for educational purposes. It is a yearly subscription. My strategy is to offer a free first year's subscription. My query is should I ask them for payment details when they sign up for the free subscription so that I can charge them when the second year comes up or does this put people off subscribing altogether? Is there a proven norm for managing first time sign ups and ensuring they repeat them or don't unsubscribe?

    All insights welcome.

    Thanks in advance.
    Welcome Watchman.

    Do you want to make any money out of your site or is it going to be a charity?

    If you are offering annual subscriptions then you might give a 14 or 30 day trial but 12 months free trial. . . are you sure?

    One thing you can do that I've seen work for higher paying subscriptions is to offer a free trial but immediately after the prospect accepts the trial you offer them a reduced rate to lock it in immediately.

    So for example the regular subscription is say $97 per month.

    You offer 30 day FREE or $1 trial. (better to get the first dollar in many cases because you validate the credit card)

    Upsell immediately to lock in annual membership at say 30% off and on the same page offer lifetime membership at 60% off.

    If you wait a year and expect people to re-bill you might be disappointed.

    No-one is as keen as when they first sign up unless you are selling drugs of addiction.

    The other thing to consider is if you get people engaged and paying a lower than advertised fee then they don't want to let the subscription go because of the "fear of loss"

    Best regards,

    Ozi
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10923110].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Brent Stangel
    You can set up subscriptions through Paypal so the first term is free.

    So, people will subscribe and "pay" through PP. The first term is free so they will be charged $0, on the second term they are charged your set price.
    Signature
    Get Off The Warrior Forum Now & Don't Come Back If You Want To Succeed!
    All The Real Marketers Are Gone. There's Nothing Left But Weak, Sniveling Wanna-Bees!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10923139].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author EPoltrack77
    Boy that is a long time to wait!

    yeah when you set it up you have them sign up through your merchant account. You set the first payment a year from the current date.
    Signature
    Targeted Viewers! All your traffic needs in one spot. Get seen today!
    Click Here Now
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10923234].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author watchman10
    Thanks for the comments guys. Oziboomer, I'm still chuckling to myself although I think my target market could do with some drugs sometimes.

    Food for thought! A shorter trial period is better is actually a much better option with $1 payment. I really like this idea.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10923245].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Djwillster123
    Nah, I wouldnt risk it
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10924688].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Kate Davies
    Please ... don't give 12 months free. 30 days max!!!

    I recently read that the average time that people stay subscribed to a membership site is just 4 to 7 months. You'll never make any money if you offer a whole 12 months for free (and I presume you are in business to make money), they'll have got what they want in the first few months and will have moved on to the next bright shiny new object by the end of the first year.

    Kate
    Signature
    Local internet marketing in the UK
    Only the businesses who can be found online will succeed. Improve online visibility with www.vizzibiliti.co.uk
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10925007].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author agmccall
    You could ask for paypal info, but be prepared to have your account limited or banned a year from now. Most people that get this free membership will probably not last and forget what they even joined it a year from now. Then they will see this as fraud and start filing chargebacks, especially if the paypal account does not have a balanc and is backed up with a credit card and bank account

    al
    Signature

    Broken promises don't upset me. I just think, why did they believe me?
    ~Jack Handey~

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10925009].message }}

Trending Topics