$1 dollar 30 day Trial offer - Yes or No

by bwh1
73 replies
In the process of building a membership site we talked about offering a $1 dollar trial.

While I see the benefit of getting people faster into the place I think that reality will kill the value of what we offer.

I mean that 90% of the trial members don't use what we offer and quit without even trying.

So while a TRIAL offer has it's positive side, there is this negative side (just as everything in life).

Which side you think OUTWEIGHT the other.

Would you use a trial offer to fill up the membership site faster or go the hard way and don't offer a trial ?

G.
#day #dollar #offer #trial
  • Profile picture of the author Lisa Gergets
    I'm interested in the responses to this as well, as I have two MS's launching soon and don't know which way to go with them...
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason_V
    I think 30 days is too long. I'd go for 7 or 14 days but not 30. I think 7 is perfect. It gives them a chance to get a taste of what you have to offer and you get your full membership fee a lot sooner.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tim Franklin
    Good question, on one hand you think it is a good way to get the numbers into your program, but in reality, it may not work out well, thinking about the analogy, think Aesop fables, the fox and the sour grapes, but really, if you give a good value, I say, a higher price point is in order.

    Lets, say, you set the price point at 50 percent of the normal price, chances, are the user will feel the need to get at least their monies worth.

    Sort of like going to an all you can eat buffet, most people will eat till they bust, because they paid a lot more than one buck, see the ratio?

    If someone paid one dollar, there would be some that would eat as much as they could, but others would eat less, because they would get to the point of equalization sooner.

    Just a few thoughts,
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  • Profile picture of the author Scott Ames
    This is a guess and only my opinion. I've not done any testing.

    I would think giving away something of value along with a free 30 day or 14 day trial of the membership site may work better than a $1.00 trail. Ask Frank Kern or Lee McIntyre .
    My thinking is that you invoke the law of reciprocity and people will stick longer.
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    • Profile picture of the author filiks
      Originally Posted by Scott Ames View Post

      This is a guess and only my opinion. I've not done any testing.

      I would think giving away something of value along with a free 30 day or 14 day trial of the membership site may work better than a $1.00 trail. Ask Frank Kern or Lee McIntyre .
      My thinking is that you invoke the law of reciprocity and people will stick longer.
      when you give something of value to your customer it spurs them into taking action irrespective of the trial days

      in fact i want to believe that with a dollar value placed on your ms many will think what they will recieve might not be of great value to them.

      so what count most at the end of the day is not the dolar tag but the percieved value!
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    • Profile picture of the author Greg guitar
      Originally Posted by Scott Ames View Post

      This is a guess and only my opinion. I've not done any testing.

      I would think giving away something of value along with a free 30 day or 14 day trial of the membership site may work better than a $1.00 trail. Ask Frank Kern or Lee McIntyre .
      My thinking is that you invoke the law of reciprocity and people will stick longer.
      Frank Kern used a $1 trial for his "Screw Google" campaign, so apparently he thinks it's a good strategy.
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    • Profile picture of the author Tavoymann
      Originally Posted by Scott Ames View Post

      This is a guess and only my opinion. I've not done any testing.

      I would think giving away something of value along with a free 30 day or 14 day trial of the membership site may work better than a $1.00 trail. Ask Frank Kern or Lee McIntyre .
      My thinking is that you invoke the law of reciprocity and people will stick longer.
      I'm with you. For such value of the product the trial Is somewhat on another hand.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dexx
    Aweber does $1 trial for 30 days...can't be that bad as I'm sure they've tested different price points and times and ended up sticking with this one...
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    • Profile picture of the author Lance K
      Originally Posted by Dexx View Post

      Aweber does $1 trial for 30 days...can't be that bad as I'm sure they've tested different price points and times and ended up sticking with this one...

      Aweber has the built in advantage of providing a service that their clients come to depend on. It's a business solution. And if someone spends 30 days building a list(s), they're much less likely to cancel.

      So in their case, it makes perfect sense to make the initial commitment as small as possible. Because to them, the initial sale is a bigger challenge than retention.
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      • Profile picture of the author Dexx
        Originally Posted by Lance K View Post

        Aweber has the built in advantage of providing a service that their clients come to depend on. It's a business solution. And if someone spends 30 days building a list(s), they're much less likely to cancel.

        So in their case, it makes perfect sense to make the initial commitment as small as possible. Because to them, the initial sale is a bigger challenge than retention.
        Also true, I'm actually considering that type of business model for hooking local business clients.

        30 days "free trial" of letting them build a list of customers and leads...gonna be pretty hard to walk away from that after they build a list of 100+ customers they can contact...

        but should they decide to leave, then I now have a bonus incentive for a competing business heh

        ~Dexx
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  • Profile picture of the author money2k
    I like the 7 days myself. I am also launching a membership site soon, but I will just go for the gusto first. If that does not work then I might offer a discounted rate
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  • Profile picture of the author TelegramSam
    IMHO 7 days is perceived as too short.

    14 days sounds better.

    Sam
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    • Profile picture of the author Greg Jacobs
      I did a 60 day free trial and got about 3000 subscribers. These are my conclusions

      PROS

      - The 60 day free got LOTS of people to sign up. which is what we wanted as the low-end subscription would upsell to our main product

      so in terms of lead-generation yes it was a success

      CONS
      LOTS LOTS LOTS of people after 60 days completely forgot they signed up and basically caused us much headache with our payment processor.


      I would not recommend it.
      After that practical experience,
      14 days is the max I would do (less depending on the situation) .

      by that point they remember what is going on and it is still long enough to get them comfortable in the door.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dr Dan
    I would like to hear more feedback from those that have tested this also. I am looking at doing a $1/ 14 day trial for my weekly video coaching program. So would love to hear more feedback on this subject also.
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  • Profile picture of the author artwebster
    $1?

    Listen, as a potential consumer that does not sound like a cheap introductory offer - it sounds like someone who doesn't have faith in the value of his product.

    If you give a true trial, surely a user could simply extract all the information that they really need and then cancel the contract. If you hold back on aspects of your service, you are not giving a true trial.

    Rock and hard place anyone?
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  • Profile picture of the author Tracy Yates
    As someone who has tried this very technique, I can tell you that I agree with most of what other Warriors here have said.

    I tried both the free X days trial and the $1 X days trial periods. Guess which one perfomed better in terms of both retaining members and generating more sign ups?

    If you guess the $1 trial, then you would be correct.

    Having said that, either method/technique did not generate any members that stayed longer than the "3 month retention median", so take these words for what they are worth to you.

    Since running both of these, I have not done any more free or $1 trial periods for the simple fact that it doesn't do much to retain members for extended periods of time.


    Tracy
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  • Profile picture of the author Asher
    Like the many voices, I think the dollar trial option
    is a much smarter choice.

    People get to see what they're getting.
    You're effectively getting a buyer (even if it's a
    dollar).
    You got the foot in the door (and they opened
    it).

    But in terms of the time, while I haven't done
    any of such testing myself, I feel 14 days is
    the best option.

    Asher
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  • Profile picture of the author Riz
    I have a membership site outside the IM niche and is uk specific.

    We tested the various £1 trial periods, 7 days, 14 days and 30 days.

    7 day trial was the clear winner. As Greg said above if the trial period is to long you get a lot of headache from the people who forgot about the membership site and that they were to be billed again.

    The opt out rate on average after the trial period was the same for both 7 days and 14 days.

    Every business and their market is different. The best way to determine is to test test test. However, the majority opinion i think is 7 days or max 14 days UNLESS you have a service based membership where the users become reliant on your service.

    Riz
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  • Profile picture of the author AndyBlackSEO
    I'm also debating the trial period and price point myself for my forthcoming product. It's quite interesting to hear peoples views. I was thinking about doing $7 for the first month but then I hear lots about these $1 trials. Decisions decisions!
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    • Profile picture of the author seobro
      $1 trail will only help you if you have a stellar product that people want, otherwise they will sign up but later bash your product and do more harm than you can imagine. Remember that people must rationalize why they drop you. Typically it will be by saying - those grapes are sour.

      If your product is great you will find your retention of new members is high. This will enable you to quickly grow. That has its own problems as you will hopefully find out and may soon experience.

      Sadly many companies after they get big have poor customer service. This could be due to staffing issues. They then enter a period of long decline before they are finally gone.
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      • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
        Originally Posted by Scott Ames View Post

        I would think giving away something of value along with a free 30 day or 14 day trial of the membership site may work better than a $1.00 trail. Ask Frank Kern or Lee McIntyre . My thinking is that you invoke the law of reciprocity and people will stick longer.
        I tend to agree with this on one level. I think it would bring the law of reciprocity into effect for certain kinds of people. I also think there would be a very high drop out rate, and many of those will take everything you have and some may abuse it (such as adding your products to torrents).

        I'm going to try something a little different in a few months. I have a paid membership site now, but I'd like to grow it faster. I'm planning on create a free level. Joining would only cost your name and email address. I think I'd be able to build a new mailing list rather quickly, and within the free membership area they'd see all the cool updates to the paid area, tempting them to join the paid side everytime they log in. All I have to do is keep giving them reasons to log in.

        Anyone else tried that?
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  • Profile picture of the author Bill_Z
    We did $4.95 trial for 14 days (not the IM niche) to kickstart our membership site. It did work as we got alot of purchases, but keep in mind many will cancel within the trial period and many that don't will complain that they forgot to cancel and want refunds. Most of these are people that can't afford the regular price and would have never purchased in the first place, or just would never pay the regular price in the first place.

    Every once in a while when we run a promotion, we do offer this however it's been more trouble than it's worth and generally just stick to our regular price point. You get more serious people, less complaints, and less refund requests. You may get lower subs but it's less headache, so it's your choice.

    I would say give it a try to give it a kick-start and experiment and see for yourself. I would definitely NOT do the free trial, you should charge at least $1. Sounds silly but it weeds out alot of bad customers. Good luck!

    Bill
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  • Profile picture of the author Dr Dan
    Great advice guys.

    I also went for a free plus shipping type model. But it was promoted more like a pay for our printing costs and shipping at 2.95 trial + shipping which comes out to $15.95. After that you get to review the product for 30 days and then will be charged something like $298 paid in 2 monthly installments. It was for a sales copy course by charlie cook. I thought it was great idea and I jumped on it, but must be a nightmare on returns.

    Here is the email Russell Brunson sent out on it:

    Hey Dan

    Charlie Cook just mailed me a copy of his new "Copy that sells" home study course for FREE! He wanted me to review it and give him my feedback.

    After going through it, I told Charlie there was a problem...

    "The problem is that everyone NEEDS to know how to write good copy - it's probably THE most important element to making money online, BUT... it's not as sexy as social media, PPC, SEO or some of the other hot topics of the day.

    BUT - the fact remains - good copy will make everyone of those elemenets EXPONENTIALLY better for you.

    So, I told him that the only way I'd let you know about the product, is if he'd do for you the exact same thing he did for me. Ship you out a FREE copy of the course. If you liked it - THEN you could pay for it! If not, then send it back to him.

    Seemed like a great deal to me and I'm very excited that he said yes - he just had one request. He wants you to pay $2.95 and help him cover shipping just so he knows your serious.

    SO - now it's your turn. Go let Charlie know you want a copy for just $2.95 (Instead of $597), help him cover shipping costs - and go throught he full course this month.

    If you like it, keep using it. If you don't - send it back and it won't cost you anything else. Go get you copy now before it's gone forever:

    http://www.on2url.com/app/adtrack.as...11&AdID=448563

    Thanks again
    Russell Brunson

    P.S. - this will go fast. The course normally sells for over $597 - so go get it for $2.95 now before he starts charging full price again: http://www.on2url.com/app/adtrack.as...11&AdID=448563
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  • Profile picture of the author WD Mino
    Hmm well in light of the FTC regs I would not offer a trial in fact I do not on my sites the trial has to be the same as the recurring amount so unless your planning on a site for a buck I would not do it.
    -WD
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  • Profile picture of the author Sandy Cormack
    I belong to a direct marketing membership site. The site guru offers a $1 7-day trial.

    The hook is, the site is PACKED with information, far more information than you can view, absorb, re-view, contemplate, and integrate in seven days. Articles, videos, lots of audio transcripts of web seminars - well over 100 hours of stuff.

    My theory is, his works because 1) you always want to be able to reference his material, because direct marketing is a broad subject and 2) it's like having a gym membership - you don't want to cancel because you think you'll eventually need it.
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    • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
      Originally Posted by Sandy Cormack View Post

      I belong to a direct marketing membership site. The site guru offers a $1 7-day trial.

      The hook is, the site is PACKED with information, far more information than you can view, absorb, re-view, contemplate, and integrate in seven days. Articles, videos, lots of audio transcripts of web seminars - well over 100 hours of stuff..
      That's an excellent point. If you have more content than most folks can go through in a short trial, you'll have a better chance of retaining them as long as it's good quality. On the other hand, if you don't, why would folks stay on if they've already feasted on the whole banquet?
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  • Profile picture of the author Affiliateprocom
    We've gone with the 3 days $5 trial, it works great and seems to keep the one's who aren't going to stay with it away. This way you don't end up with a ton of people coming in and dropping out like flies
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    • Profile picture of the author KevinDasilva
      Hey G & Warriors,

      Here is some thoughts for you...

      1. Your main objective NO MATTER what you charge or how many days the trial is to get them to CONSUME YOUR MATERIAL!

      So now what you need to do is create a "Newsletter" that goes out EVERYDAY!

      Day 1- Update your profile
      Day 2- Introduce yourself to the community
      Day 3- etc, etc, etc,

      Then you could also do an ADDITIONAL Newsletter on content like...

      Day 1 Domination Plan- Today we will learn how to ______

      Give What, Why, What If answers and then link to video, article or whatever content OR tool you want them to use!

      **If its a software make a video showing them to how to use a different part, module or whatever each day!


      2. You might want to try an ODD number of days like 11, 17 or something like that...

      I always for some reasons end up staying a member when I take an ODD NUMBER OF DAYS TRIAL then 7 or 14! DOn;t know why but it works.

      Obviously, it must because if its 7 days and I sign up on Tuesday I can write on a wall "CANCEL ___ ON TUESDAY!

      However, if its 16 days I will just move on and look around BEFORE making a mental commitment and not to cancel this trial because I am to lazy to figure out what day is 16 days away.

      3. Get their PHONE NUMBER! This way you can surprize them and call them up and introduce yourself and welcome them to the "club".

      How many people do this? NOT MANY! If any, its a rep trying sell them.

      4. Get them to STICK!


      The day BEFORE the trial is up send out a "Annoucement".

      TOMORROW YOU WILL BE RECIEVING PRODUCT XYZ... FOR FREE!

      Just to show my appreciation of you joining our community we will consistently be giving you as many opportunities to suucceed... BECAUSE Our Success Is Dependent on YOUR SUCCESS!

      This can be a bonus video or course, a product you have "re-sell rights to, a trial you arranged to get them from a product owner (HINT: MORE $$$) or anything else or value.

      ** MAKE SURE YOU DO THIS ALL THE TIME! And let people see you are TRULY invested in seeing them succeed. I myself do this for my members ALL THE TIME.


      Hope this helps guys. I am launching 2 membership sites right now and these are things I am doing and putting together. A LOT OF WORK but if your like me, which I would bet my yearly income your are, then you want to see people succeed.

      And this will NOT only make you more money, keep more members, but will help those who stay have a much greater chance at being successful as one of your members...

      Which to me is BETTER THAN MONEY!

      Your Friend,
      Kevin DaSilva
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      • Profile picture of the author mbacak
        I've made many mistakes with continuity. So...

        I'm speaking from personal experience after putting
        28,374 people into a $1 offer and 30 day trial.

        (BTW: I stopped all $1 trails over 1 year ago.)

        I hope this helps.

        3 Things to think about:

        Stick Rate
        Bitch rate
        Quality of Buyer

        Here's my comments about it:

        Yes, you will get alot more into your offer. No matter how
        much you try to make the offer clear as you can be. They will
        still forget about the continuity. Because they see $1 and
        will say oh well its just a buck. So, they forget FAST!

        Think about your optin subscribers for a sec.

        Someone subscribes to your list, next day you send
        an email out to your list. A few minutes later....

        -----Email----

        What is this.

        How did you get my email?

        Why are you spamming me?

        (Insert: Name of person that opted in)

        -----END--------

        So your bitch rate will be high, stick rate will be low.

        Now you have more customer support costs.

        Bitch rate = higher Customer support time and money

        Let's not forget of the quality of buyer.

        ----Quality of Buyers

        $1 get's all the tire kickers.

        You might want to think about raising it to 4.95 or higher.

        Now, even at that price (4.95 or higher) people have
        to think about there buying decision more. There for
        you are getting alot better buyer which...

        Increases Stick Rate
        Decreases Bitch Rate
        Increases Quality of buyer

        Last thing to think about before you build out your offer.

        IMPORTANT: If YOU Are Running Your Own Credit Cards

        This is time sensitive: Right now everyone is still up in the
        air of the true rules being released by Visa and Mastercard.

        Guru's are saying there interpretations, Merchant account
        companys are all coming out with their own rules. Realize
        an very important factor - these are all false gods.

        The real god in this situation is VISA/Mastercard.

        So as soon as VISA/Mastercard issues there stance on
        all of the membership and continuity internet offers. I'd
        suggest holding off on this project or sell it straight up.

        Then go back to the drawing board after you see a
        document with a VISA and Mastercard logo on it.

        Be very wary. Right now.
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        • Profile picture of the author bwh1
          Thank you Mr. bacak (I remember to be on your list in the past but it wasn't me who called you a spammer :-).

          So to the value, I personally voted in my poll for 4.95 - 14 days.

          This feels somehow "better" as it doesn't devalue the product and as you mentioned, separates the crowd.

          But you got me worried with the Master/Visa card thing. Have no clue what you was referring to.

          Can you explain more ? We where thinking about using 1SC or/and PayPal.

          Any problems with this in the near feature ?

          G.

          Originally Posted by mbacak View Post

          I've made many mistakes with continuity. So...

          I'm speaking from personal experience after putting
          28,374 people into a $1 offer and 30 day trial.

          (BTW: I stopped all $1 trails over 1 year ago.)

          I hope this helps.

          3 Things to think about:

          Stick Rate
          Bitch rate
          Quality of Buyer

          Here's my comments about it:

          Yes, you will get alot more into your offer. No matter how
          much you try to make the offer clear as you can be. They will
          still forget about the continuity. Because they see $1 and
          will say oh well its just a buck. So, they forget FAST!

          Think about your optin subscribers for a sec.

          Someone subscribes to your list, next day you send
          an email out to your list. A few minutes later....

          -----Email----

          What is this.

          How did you get my email?

          Why are you spamming me?

          (Insert: Name of person that opted in)

          -----END--------

          So your bitch rate will be high, stick rate will be low.

          Now you have more customer support costs.

          Bitch rate = higher Customer support time and money

          Let's not forget of the quality of buyer.

          ----Quality of Buyers

          $1 get's all the tire kickers.

          You might want to think about raising it to 4.95 or higher.

          Now, even at that price (4.95 or higher) people have
          to think about there buying decision more. There for
          you are getting alot better buyer which...

          Increases Stick Rate
          Decreases Bitch Rate
          Increases Quality of buyer

          Last thing to think about before you build out your offer.

          IMPORTANT: If YOU Are Running Your Own Credit Cards

          This is time sensitive: Right now everyone is still up in the
          air of the true rules being released by Visa and Mastercard.

          Guru's are saying there interpretations, Merchant account
          companys are all coming out with their own rules. Realize
          an very important factor - these are all false gods.

          The real god in this situation is VISA/Mastercard.

          So as soon as VISA/Mastercard issues there stance on
          all of the membership and continuity internet offers. I'd
          suggest holding off on this project or sell it straight up.

          Then go back to the drawing board after you see a
          document with a VISA and Mastercard logo on it.

          Be very wary. Right now.
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          • Profile picture of the author mbacak
            Originally Posted by bwh1 View Post

            But you got me worried with the Master/Visa card thing. Have no clue what you was referring to.

            Can you explain more ? We where thinking about using 1SC or/and PayPal.

            Any problems with this in the near feature ?

            G.
            Let me give you some references to help you:

            Passive Income | Update! New Best Practices for ALL Online Marketers. YOU MUST READ NOW! | Continuity Income | Ryan Lee

            My Merchant Accounts Announcement:

            http://www.powerpay.biz/docs/MCA-PowerPay.pdf

            But, also please note what I said here:

            Originally Posted by mbacak View Post

            IMPORTANT: If YOU Are Running Your Own Credit Cards

            This is time sensitive: Right now everyone is still up in the
            air of the true rules being released by Visa and Mastercard.

            Guru's are saying there interpretations, Merchant account
            companys are all coming out with their own rules. Realize
            an very important factor - these are all false gods.

            The real god in this situation is VISA/Mastercard.

            So as soon as VISA/Mastercard issues there stance on
            all of the membership and continuity internet offers. I'd
            suggest holding off on this project or sell it straight up.

            Then go back to the drawing board after you see a
            document with a VISA and Mastercard logo on it.

            Be very wary. Right now.
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      • Profile picture of the author bwh1
        Kevin

        outstanding post and great ideas. I will keep those in mind.

        Just a quick confirmation to point 1

        When you say "mail them each day", then I guess you refer to the TRIAL members during the TRIAL period, which is 7 or 14 days or whatsoever.

        Full paying members will not be bombarded each day. I think 14 days are the MOST someone can handle, or they will cancel just to get rid of your emails :-)

        Great idea in point 2. 11 days from today is when exactly ?

        Point 3, as well a good idea, depending on your funds. Guess that would make a difference.

        Or how's about sending a PERSONALIZED Audio in stead of sending a simple email ?

        Then it's self explaining that the objective #1 is to help people with their tasks. If you ain't have this as your main objective then you are at the wrong place.

        G.



        Originally Posted by KevinDasilva View Post

        Hey G & Warriors,

        Here is some thoughts for you...

        1. Your main objective NO MATTER what you charge or how many days the trial is to get them to CONSUME YOUR MATERIAL!

        So now what you need to do is create a "Newsletter" that goes out EVERYDAY!

        Day 1- Update your profile
        Day 2- Introduce yourself to the community
        Day 3- etc, etc, etc,

        Then you could also do an ADDITIONAL Newsletter on content like...

        Day 1 Domination Plan- Today we will learn how to ______

        Give What, Why, What If answers and then link to video, article or whatever content OR tool you want them to use!

        **If its a software make a video showing them to how to use a different part, module or whatever each day!


        2. You might want to try an ODD number of days like 11, 17 or something like that...

        I always for some reasons end up staying a member when I take an ODD NUMBER OF DAYS TRIAL then 7 or 14! DOn;t know why but it works.

        Obviously, it must because if its 7 days and I sign up on Tuesday I can write on a wall "CANCEL ___ ON TUESDAY!

        However, if its 16 days I will just move on and look around BEFORE making a mental commitment and not to cancel this trial because I am to lazy to figure out what day is 16 days away.

        3. Get their PHONE NUMBER! This way you can surprize them and call them up and introduce yourself and welcome them to the "club".

        How many people do this? NOT MANY! If any, its a rep trying sell them.

        4. Get them to STICK!


        The day BEFORE the trial is up send out a "Annoucement".

        TOMORROW YOU WILL BE RECIEVING PRODUCT XYZ... FOR FREE!

        Just to show my appreciation of you joining our community we will consistently be giving you as many opportunities to suucceed... BECAUSE Our Success Is Dependent on YOUR SUCCESS!

        This can be a bonus video or course, a product you have "re-sell rights to, a trial you arranged to get them from a product owner (HINT: MORE $$$) or anything else or value.

        ** MAKE SURE YOU DO THIS ALL THE TIME! And let people see you are TRULY invested in seeing them succeed. I myself do this for my members ALL THE TIME.


        Hope this helps guys. I am launching 2 membership sites right now and these are things I am doing and putting together. A LOT OF WORK but if your like me, which I would bet my yearly income your are, then you want to see people succeed.

        And this will NOT only make you more money, keep more members, but will help those who stay have a much greater chance at being successful as one of your members...

        Which to me is BETTER THAN MONEY!

        Your Friend,
        Kevin DaSilva
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    I think $1 is too cheap and will attract people just looking for basically freebies. You will probably have a high drop out rate with that kind of traffic. I'd go for $5 for 3-5 days. Still not much money but I think it might help to screen out those who are almost certainly going to grab what they can get and get out.
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  • Profile picture of the author bwh1
    OH WOW, so many great answers here....

    Thanks to all (pressed the thanks button a few times)

    First , I added a Poll to this as I could see that MANY Warriors would like to get a better idea about this.

    Second, it seams the following.....

    FREE TRIAL - not a good option unless it's a software or service which enroll the trial user right away and makes cancellations almost impossible (good example mentioned AWeber).

    $1 dollar trials - Good option but would be perfect if there are 2 levels in the membership to upgrade to the full version. Trial period not longer then 14 days. The $1 trials for PHYSICAL DVD's are IMO a huge turnoff, I always skip those as cancellation is a headache becasue they don't use PayPal.

    $4.95 dollar trial - this definitely will spread the curious from the serious. Here I think a 30 day trial would be fair. Autoresponder can handle the Countdown to cancel before the 30 days are over IMO.

    For me, knowing the project, I can say that the $1 OR $4.95 trial for 14 days seams the best.

    Let's see what the poll will show us. Thanks again for your contribution.

    G.
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  • Profile picture of the author quiescen
    I've tested this as well. I offered a $1 trial for 7 days to my online piano lessons site. Initially, I got more sign ups but as others have stated, it wasn't worth the headache with those who selectively forgot they had to cancel or be billed for the full rate.

    I have a TON of material on my site. It would literally take someone weeks if not months to really go through it. Still, the $1 offer indicates 'low value.' I know, I know ... it get's em in the door. But think about it from your own perspective. The first thing you think most likely when purchasing these trial offers is, I'll get in and get out fast if I don't like it.

    It works. But it didn't work for me. The way I figure it, if someone can't afford $19 a month to access what I've got, they're not going to stick around for $1.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
    I voted for $4.95 for seven days, but that was based on . . . nothing. My answer might be different if I knew what your site was about and how much the regular membership is. If it's $10 a month I'd have voted for one of the $1 options. If the monthly cost is higher than I guessed I would have voted for the $4.95/14 day option.

    Kevin mentioned getting their phone number. That would be a deal breaker for me. The last thing I want is phone solicitation. Require that and you'll lose people. There was a thread about this just a few days ago, and the upshot was - never again.
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    • Profile picture of the author bwh1
      Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

      I voted for $4.95 for seven days, but that was based on . . . nothing. My answer might be different if I knew what your site was about and how much the regular membership is. If it's $10 a month I'd have voted for one of the $1 options. If the monthly cost is higher than I guessed I would have voted for the $4.95/14 day option.
      Dennis

      the project is a membership site for $40/month with unique training modules and personal coaching on a member base, what will be the kick IMO.

      Sorry that i didn't mention this as it definitely influences the answer to my initial question.

      G.

      P.S. I picked as well $4.95-14 days
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  • Profile picture of the author WD Mino
    You guys are missing the fact there is now a law prohibiting the price from being different then the recurring amount. sometimes it pays to pay attention. the FTC and the merchant provider can just shut you down. is it really worth the risk?

    even if you use paypal, paypal is a merchant they operate under rules now that there has been some regulations set about by the FTC regarding negative option free/low trials etc there is now a law . gee I marvel at how this is just missed and carried on like no big deal
    -WD
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    • Profile picture of the author bwh1
      Originally Posted by WD Mino View Post

      You guys are missing the fact there is now a law prohibiting the price from being different then the recurring amount. sometimes it pays to pay attention. the FTC and the merchant provider can just shut you down. is it really worth the risk?

      even if you use paypal, paypal is a merchant they operate under rules now that there has been some regulations set about by the FTC regarding negative option free/low trials etc there is now a law . gee I marvel at how this is just missed and carried on like no big deal
      -WD
      Heck that's a important info and has maybe to do with what Bacak told about the Mastercard/Visa changes i have no clue about.

      Sincerely, I've read the FTC rules but can't remember that part.

      Are ALL those great WSO's against the FTC then ?? LOL

      Seriously, if there are more details to this, please point me into the right direction

      Thanks a lot

      G.
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  • Profile picture of the author frqhuss
    I would like to go for free trail of no cost because if i like what you are offering so i dont mind spening some good money too...
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  • Profile picture of the author WD Mino
    Goodness sake running a membersite is an amazing business model but there is always a need to research because I train in this I had to be up on it . here is a direct email from a top merchant provider as well as links to the ftc regs
    DIRECT RESPONSE BEST PRACTICE GUIDELINES FOR MERCHANTS TRIAL OFFERS
    Marketing models that employ "Free-Trial", "Deferred Billing" and/or "Shipping Only" are considered trial offers for purposes of this communication. Consumers must be receiving a tangible good or contracted service in exchange for charging of payment cards. Incentivized discount offers are acceptable when the cardholder is receiving goods
    or services in exchange for payment; however we will be unable to support accounts engaging in hidden or delayed charges and 'free' offers that are not truly free.
    1. Avoid using terms in your marketing and offer presentation such as "Free", "Risk Free" or any similar and potentially misleading phrases when consumers will be enrolled in a monthly continuity program at the end of a trial period, or will be paying a deferred charge for the trial period. The phrase "Free Trial" is prohibited unless there is truly no cost or obligation incurred by the consumer.
    2. "Shipping & Handling Only" offers must be a fair and accurate shipping charge reasonable to be accrued by the merchant for providing the product.
    3. Trial offers must be extended for a minimum of 10 days.
    4. Trial periods should not begin until the product is shipped to the consumer.
    MARKETING
    1. Avoid creating a 'false sense of urgency' for the consumer. Unless the consumer's ability to order is genuinely taken away after a specified timeframe or order count is reached, this practice is prohibited. Use of applications such as countdown clocks, tickers, or language such as "Offer Expires Today!" is also prohibited.
    2. Product claims, by law, must be truthful. Claims regarding effectiveness must be substantiated by clinical research conducted to support the claims, and consistent with the formulas and ingredients in your product
    3. Qualifications for trial periods of a product should follow pre-determined rules disqualifying consumers who do not meet parameters, including but not limited to: Age, Weight, Height, and Location.
    4. Unreasonable claims or guarantees are prohibited. Examples of claims considered unreasonable are: "Flushes Pounds", "Flushes Toxins", "Builds Muscles"
    - Stating that use of a product will result in permanent weight loss
    - Stating that a product will cause the consumer to lose a specified amount of weight in a specified timeframe
    - Stating that a product will cause substantial weight loss no matter what or how much the consumer eats.
    - Stating that use of a product can cause weight loss (or muscle growth) in specific body parts
    "Free Money", "Instant Money"
    - Stating that the product can substitute the income of a full time job
    - Stating that money can be earned with little to no effort or investment
    - Stating that use of a product will earn you hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars
    Additional examples include:
    - Stating that the product has been successfully used by an unrealistic or unsubstantiated number of people
    - Stating that a product will secure the consumer a job, either at the product's company or another company
    - Stating or implying that a product is endorsed or in any way associated with President Obama or a government entity.
    ENDORSEMENTS/TESTIMONIALS:
    1. Endorsements and testimonials of user experiences must reflect the true and honest opinions of the endorsee(s).
    2. Endorsements and testimonials provided must present a clear picture to consumers of realistic results of using the product. If advertisers do not have substantiation of a specific claim or endorsement, then generally expected results must be clearly disclosed and backed by substantiation of any claims.
    3. Blogs used for promotional purposes must be in compliance with published FTC guidelines, representing an accurate and full representation of the endorsee, or clearly designated as a fictional story if developed internally for marketing purposes.
    4. News Sites published in marketing materials must be in compliance with published FTC guidelines, and must be clearly presented to the consumer as an advertorial. Written consent should be obtained from a media outlet prior to using the logo.
    5. Implied celebrity endorsement by use of an image in your marketing is prohibited without express legal written consent.
    AFFILIATE MARKETING (CPA) NETWORKS
    A significant contributing factor to Historical Excessive chargeback violations has been the utilization of CPA Networks. Transactions generated from internet traffic and all other lead sources must be managed and monitored for potential fraud using an approved system. Third Party service engagement may be a requirement for account approval.
    1. CPA Networks should contractually be held accountable for monitoring traffic generated from participating marketers.
    2. Merchants must have monitoring plans in place to detect suspect traffic and monitor Affiliate and Sub-Affiliate performance.
    BILLING TERMS DISCLOSURE
    The FTC has recently published guidelines regarding "Negative Option" enrollment programs and is taking a very aggressive position against merchants utilizing/employing this business practice. Recommendations taken in part from the FTC's website may include but are not limited to the following:
    1. Negative Option disclosures must be clear and conspicuous to the consumer and comply with published FTC
    principals.
    2. The full price of products sold must be within reasonable "fair market value"
    3. Under no circumstances should consumers be billed for a product or service not disclosed.
    4. Consumers must be required to validate understanding of the terms of the offer twice during order submission.
    The first validation can take place with the initial offer presentation prior to submission of credit card information, and the second during the checkout process. The confirmation order page must also require consumers to acknowledge that they agree to the Terms & Conditions and authorize the merchant to charge the credit card
    for the disclosed dollar amount. Terms must be displayed adjacent to the "submit","confirm" or any other "call to action" button confirming the order. The price must be within 100 pixels of the "submit","confirm" or any other "call to action" button.
    - Terms must be in a minimum 12-point "easy to read" font.
    - Avoid visually distracting graphics from the display of terms.
    - Pre-checked boxes must never be used.
    - Consumers should be required to actively and individually select each offer or bonus during the checkout process when there are multiple offers or up sells presented. No offers or up sells should be pre-selected or pre-checked.
    - Consumers should not be able to move forward in the offer or checkout until the box acknowledging the terms is checked.
    - Verbiage must clearly disclose the enrollment into an ongoing membership with no distraction. An example of an acceptable disclosure is: "By clicking "Submit" you acknowledge that you understand you are being enrolled in a 10 day trial for $4.95, and after expiration of the 10 day trial period you will be charged $59 per month until you cancel your service"
    - All products or services purchased when the call-to-action button is clicked should be billed as a single charge unless the order is fulfilled at different times requiring multiple charges.
    - Shipping and Handling should not be billed separate from charges for the product or service.
    BILLING TIMEFRAMES
    1. A merchant may not bill a consumer the full price twice in a 30-day span. An acceptable billing cycle example would be:
    - Day 1 - Consumer signs up for a 10 day trial offer with paid shipping of $4.95 charged at the time of order.
    - Day 11 - The first monthly order is shipped and the consumer is billed the full price of $59.
    - Day 41 - The second monthly order is shipped and the consumer is billed the full price of $59.
    2. Consumers should not be billed prior to shipment of products.
    REFUND POLICIES
    Merchants must not make it difficult for consumers to exercise the disclosed cancellation procedures and all cancellation requests must be honored in accordance with the stated terms of the transaction.
    1. Refund policies must be disclosed prior to the sale completion. Establish a clear, concise statement of your refund and credit policy. Your policy should be consistent with the objectives of your business and the products or services sold.
    2. Merchants must not require return of any trial offer product samples in order for the consumer to receive a refund, or cancel their ongoing subscription.
    3. "Full Money Back" or "Full Satisfaction" guarantees are considered false and prohibited unless the offer provides a full refund on all products, including but not limited to Shipping & Handling charges.
    4. Refunds should be for the full amount charged including shipping and handling
    5. All future billing to a customer should be canceled when a refund is issued.
    6. All future billing to a customer should be canceled when a chargeback is received.
    BACK END OFFERS, AKA UP SELLS OR CROSS SELLS:
    All sales should be directly between the business entities (merchants) processing the transactions and the consumer, with consumer authorization for all purchases.
    1. Under no circumstances can consumer data be shared with another company as this is a violation of Brand
    Regulations, including but not limited to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard.
    2. Forced and hidden up sells are strictly prohibited
    3. Up Sells with recurring charges are prohibited, regardless of consumer opt-in or acknowledgement of the offer.
    4. A one-time bonus offer may be extended to the consumer for an additional product offered by the same company as the initial transaction. The price of the bonus offer must be clearly disclosed and the consumer must acknowledge the terms of the sale prior to providing credit card information for completion of the sale, and again at order confirmation/ submission.
    DESCRIPTORS
    1. ALL MERCHANTS DEFINED AS OFFERING A DIRECT MARKETING PRODUCT WILL BE ASSIGNED A DESCRIPTOR FORMATTED TO COMPLY WITH VISA REQUIREMENTS, TO INCLUDE AN *.
    2. Billing descriptor should be consistent with the website name, marketing materials, purchase confirmation, and shipping notification (if any) sent to the consumer.
    FULFILLMENT
    1. Orders must be fulfilled in a timely manner. It is recommended that all products be shipped within 48 hours (2 business days) from the date of order.
    2. A confirmation email should be provided for all online orders with physical shipment, within the prior 5 days to shipment or 2 days following shipment, including the following information:
    - Merchant contact information (at minimum a consumer service phone number)
    - Order information including purchaser's name, unique order or customer ID, summary of item(s) purchased
    - Terms of the order, including initial amount billed and future billing schedule (this should be stressed)
    - Cancellation and refund policy
    - Delivery confirmation / tracking information
    3. An invoice should be included with the product including the following information:
    - Merchant contact information (at minimum a consumer service phone number)
    - Terms of the order, including initial amount billed and future billing schedule
    - Cancellation and refund policy
    CUSTOMER SERVICE:
    1. Multiple methods of cancellation must be provided for consumers to cancel or request refunds, including at least two options of contact. Example of acceptable service channels include: phone, email, mail, and online chat. Phone support is strongly recommended as one of the options.
    2. "Contact Us" information including contact methods and hours of availability should be prominently displayed in all marketing, offer and payment pages, as well as included in purchase confirmations, invoices and any other communication with consumers.
    3. Customer Service must be easily accessible and available during reasonable business hours
    4. Refund and Cancellation Policies must be followed as disclosed to the consumer at the time of order
    5. Hold times to reach Customer Service must be less than 2 minutes.
    6. After hours voice mail should include a greeting that properly identifies the merchant to the consumer, provides hours of Customer Service availability and an expectation for call back.
    RESOURCES:
    The FTC has published the regulations along with many resources online for businesses and consumers. A few helpful links are included below:
    Commercial Practices Part 425, Use of Prenotification Negative Option Plans:
    http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-...ON=1&TYPE=TEXT
    Prenotification Negative Option Plans:
    http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/products/pro09.pdf
    Advertising and Marketing on the Internet:
    http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/business/ecommerce/bus28.pdf
    Dot Com Disclosures:
    http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/business/ecommerce/bus41.pdf


    I am no lawyer but the fact is your taking an awful risk with any trial.
    -WD
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    • Profile picture of the author MarshallWayne
      It appears that as long as you're shipping a product, you can have a trial. For instance I could say, I'll ship you this CD for $2.95 + 2.00 S&H so you can try out our membership site.

      However we couldn't say, FREE + Shipping. Am I interpreting this correctly? I really want to get the facts straight.
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  • Profile picture of the author paulie888
    WD, thanks for that illuminating post! My head is spinning after reading those rules and regulations, it sounds like the FTC could get you on a whole bunch of technicalities if they want to when you're running trial offers. I suppose we could all wait for the dust to settle and see what will actually be enforced, we'll just let the big Gurus and merchants be our 'case studies' and guinea pigs for the time being...lol.
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  • Profile picture of the author WD Mino
    Paulie,

    Right now the FTC and Merchants are "cleaning house' this is an awesome thing for us but we need to abide by the law it is not just the gurus in the last week there has been hundreds and hundreds of site shut down. there has been way too much cr@p going on and the time has come for house cleaning.
    -WD
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    • Profile picture of the author bwh1
      Originally Posted by WD Mino View Post

      Paulie,

      Right now the FTC and Merchants are "cleaning house' this is an awesome thing for us but we need to abide by the law it is not just the gurus in the last week there has been hundreds and hundreds of site shut down. there has been way too much cr@p going on and the time has come for house cleaning.
      -WD
      WD

      To be honest, it was about time.

      Thanks for the post, somehow similar to Mbacak's post and an important issue.

      But guess the "rules" are more about fair play, to cut down on all those scam offers which force you into something you didn't ordered, wanted or expected.

      If you are clean with your offer, explain and state what it is, what it cost and what it delivers you won't get in troubles (unless you don't honor those promises off course).

      G.
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      • Profile picture of the author WD Mino
        Originally Posted by bwh1 View Post

        WD

        To be honest, it was about time.

        Thanks for the post, somehow similar to Mbacak's post and an important issue.

        But guess the "rules" are more about fair play, to cut down on all those scam offers which force you into something you didn't ordered, wanted or expected.

        If you are clean with your offer, explain and state what it is, what it cost and what it delivers you won't get in troubles (unless you don't honor those promises off course).

        G.
        Inevitably the decision rests with you. with the way they have structured these new regs I avoid them like the plague. your trial offer has to be the same as the recurring charge though so if you want your membership to go for a buck by all means offer it up but if you don't I wouldn't do it.
        -WD
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  • Profile picture of the author areaK
    My vote was $1/7 days. But it would also depend on course slightly. Crowd Mountain (IM membership course) unfolds 1 Boot Camp Module per 7 days so there's a $1/12 day trial so they get access to Modules 1 & 2 and then have to decide whether or not to move forward. I think it's a great fit for that particular course.

    So, again, all depends on how the course is set up but I wouldn't say more than 14. IM courses don't tend to have the best stickiness so I've heard.

    ...and agreed re: Aweber, if you're going to build that list, you're going to NEED them after that free trial so you're likely to stay.
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  • Profile picture of the author birdie28a
    I voted for the $4.95 for 14 days like most of the people on here. Not really sure why it just sounds like a better offer for some reason.
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  • Profile picture of the author Greg guitar
    I refuse to vote when the the main candidate listed in the voter's pamphlet isn't even on the ballot. Check the title of your thread against the choices on your form.
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    • Profile picture of the author Vogin
      Free for 7 days. People react well on free things and 7 days is enough time to interact with any program, if you're serious about it.
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    • Profile picture of the author iAmJT
      I like $1 trials personally and they appear to be gaining popularity in a variety of niches. (I do have a $1 trial for one of my own products currently) Of course, without testing you'll never know for sure but a $1 for a 14 day trial sounds like a great deal to me. 7 days (in my opinion) is too short.
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    • Profile picture of the author getleanin12
      Is there anyone out there running a $1, 14-day trial for a continuity program and having a lot of success? I'd like to take a look at your front-end marketing funnel and sales copy if it's converting well. Our company is currently running a $1 trial offer and we need to increase our conversion rate. I don't care what niche you're in either....thanks!
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  • Profile picture of the author Greg guitar
    Oh, I forgot to mention, another reason I didn't vote is that I think a 30 day trial is better than a shorter one. I think people are too busy to give something a fair shake in less than that, and I know if I sign up for a trial and don't have time to try out the service before the expiration, I most likely will just cancel.
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    • Profile picture of the author bwh1
      Originally Posted by Greg guitar View Post

      Oh, I forgot to mention, another reason I didn't vote is that I think a 30 day trial is better than a shorter one. I think people are too busy to give something a fair shake in less than that, and I know if I sign up for a trial and don't have time to try out the service before the expiration, I most likely will just cancel.
      Hi Greg

      the thread started WITHOUT the poll.

      But I could see that many warriors would like to get an answer, so I added a poll.

      A few experienced membership owners told that 30 days are TOO much for a membership site and get you a boatload of refund issues after the first charge (people simply forgot about it), that's why It's not there as poll option.

      I couldn't edit the title to $1 for 14 days, sorry if that doesn't match.

      Anyhow, thanks for your opinion

      G.
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  • Profile picture of the author TylerF
    Anything that requires payment for a trial will lead to a higher stick rate, since you will be getting buyers and not freebie seekers.

    In conclusion, I vote for a $1 trial + 7 days.
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  • $1 trials are great. It takes the pressure off a potential buyer and it's an easy way to get people into your funnel. I swear by $1 trials.
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  • Profile picture of the author Suzanne Morrison
    We have been using a $1 10 day trial at the Affiliate Power Group for a while now and it seems to be going well. There are always people who are going to sign up, take as much as possible then cancel, but we've seen around 70% of people staying past the trial.

    We've also been experimenting with the 30 day trial as a special offer, but I don't have any stats on retention for it yet.

    I don't think there is any set rule as it is going to depend a lot on the niche and what sort of things you offer inside the members area. I think the best thing is to test a few different trial offers and see what works the best for you.

    Cheers,
    Suzanne
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  • 7 days doesn't seem enough to me. I'd do a 14-day or a 30-day trial. It doesn't cost you anything to extend the trial period and it could make a difference to the customer.
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  • Profile picture of the author steve030
    I know this is a terribly old thread, but it's been so valuable for me looking at setting up my new membership site.

    Does anyone have some recent stats on $1 trials and how they have been converting for them?

    I'll be looking at using Click bank and they now allow $1 trials for membership sites (only had $4.95 previously, but emailed them an they said if you request it, they will give it to you).

    Any information would be great
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  • Profile picture of the author CecySan
    Are you going to be driving traffic ALL by yourself? If so, you want the trial to be shorter so you can begin to recoup your money spent on ads quickly. If your primary traffic source is affiliates the trial period should be as long as possible (30 days...). Your affiliates will get more people through the door, and make more money on the upsell process.

    The biggest problem you're going to face is CONSUMPTION... so you should have a daily task or lesson go out to your buyers at least for the first 30days of the trial period. If people don't consume your stuff they won't keep it...
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  • Profile picture of the author HJdev
    Interesting topic What do you guys think about a $X dollar + X days AND a 100% refund policy for the trial period? Basically it feels like a free trial but you have at least a valid credit card.
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    • Profile picture of the author NeshSab
      Very interesting situation.

      I'm torn between $1 + 7 Day Trial and Free 7 Day Trial.

      On the one hand you will have potential buyers with credit card/Paypal in file. On the other hand you will get much more sign ups, which you can convert to buyers down the road.

      With all that being said, maybe the Free 7 Day Trial is the better option.
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      • Profile picture of the author steffanmax
        Originally Posted by NeshSab View Post

        Very interesting situation.

        I'm torn between $1 + 7 Day Trial and Free 7 Day Trial.

        On the one hand you will have potential buyers with credit card/Paypal in file. On the other hand you will get much more sign ups, which you can convert to buyers down the road.

        With all that being said, maybe the Free 7 Day Trial is the better option.
        I have to agree, i have made membership websites for a couple of years.. and the model trial and recurring payment was good.

        People forgot to cancel their payment even 1-2 years after.. so i just got cash every month.

        I was suprised, but hi i'm just a business man.
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        • Profile picture of the author niles
          Originally Posted by steffanmax View Post

          People forgot to cancel their payment even 1-2 years after.. so i just got cash every month.
          .
          I also forget to cancel recurring payments for products that I no longer use especially if it is a small amount.


          A membership that I am thinking about joining is $1 for 3 days. I think 7 days for a $1 is best because they are at least they are paying something.
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  • Profile picture of the author Raymond T
    I know fizzle.co is experimenting with a $1 first month and apparently doing quite well. You actually lose money on the credit card processing side when you do this so converting a decent number to actual paying members is essential. Best of luck!
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    Web developer by trade with a flare for digital marketing and a taste for fine craft brews.

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  • Profile picture of the author seobro
    The $1 offer is a proven winner. First it gets rid of all the freebie hunters and such from your group. Those rarely buy anything and are a pain. Second, it gives you more exposure. This is important when you are starting out and do not have a big name. Third, you get real money. Not a lot, but enough to make it worth the trouble for you. There is something magical about 99 cents that I use over an over an over again. This I have found is the best price. I tell customers that it only costs them pocket change and that is a powerful image.
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    • Profile picture of the author Janice Sperry
      I am not an attorney.

      Originally Posted by WD Mino View Post

      Hmm well in light of the FTC regs I would not offer a trial in fact I do not on my sites the trial has to be the same as the recurring amount so unless your planning on a site for a buck I would not do it.
      -WD
      No offense but this is not correct.

      Originally Posted by WD Mino View Post

      You guys are missing the fact there is now a law prohibiting the price from being different then the recurring amount. sometimes it pays to pay attention. the FTC and the merchant provider can just shut you down. is it really worth the risk?
      No offense but this is not correct.
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  • Profile picture of the author extrememan
    Look at it as a new customer standpoint. It gives new prospects a pretty good luck into your product and let them decide over all. At the end of the day, if your product is helping then you can charge more in the back end.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tiiberiuss
    Many advertisers are doing $4.95 + 14 days for their free trial offers and they are doing very good.
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    Do you need kick in the SEPRs?
    These *magic* links will do just that for you!
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