Free Trial vs. $1 + Continuity Conversion Rates

18 replies
Hello

I was wondering if anyone has any statistics on taking a product that normally is $17 and turning it into a software-as-a-service membership site.

I geuss I was wondering how the conversion rates varied when changing the offer.

I feel that I once read that a free trial will double sales but triple refunds, so I assume a $1 trial will have similar results.

I was just wondering if there are any experts out there in this kind of stuff, as I am considering changing an offer.. but it will be costly to do so.

If anyone could chime in, it would be great.

Thanks
#continuity #conversion #free #rates #trial
  • Profile picture of the author fcf360
    The easy answer is, if you go for a free trial, a lot more people will be signing up to test you out. While on the other hand, if your product is not inherently strong (is not high converting and is not the only such product in the market) then you would have a hard time getting anyone to sign up for even $1 trial. Thus, the free trial, or $1 trial should be driven by how unique and how high converting the product is. If a product is something that doesn't have much brand power, and thus no one in the market seeks out, then the free trial would make the most sense. And if you try that and then you have more business than what you can handle, then I would test out the much higher priced options. I think that would be the best way to go in this instance.
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  • Profile picture of the author Stuart Walker
    Sorry for the predictable answer but the only real way to know for sure is to test.

    What worked for other audiences and other products in similar situations may not for you.
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    • Profile picture of the author AffiliateWaves
      I guess you will not get your answer easily .There are many factors to be considered like niche,competition,popularity .

      You can go with $1 plan , best of luck
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      • Profile picture of the author planetlubs
        Since it is a free trial, the refunds rates would not be high becuase by the time people decide to purchase, they have tried out the product an are convinced that they need it.

        but with the $ dollar + continuity, the refunds would be high. However, you know that they people you have have the ability to pay and so if you captured their email you can follow them up later with other offers.

        However, as one has said above, you should not fear to test out. That is the only way you will get reliable data and statistics.
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  • Profile picture of the author buddy7
    I would be interested in the longevity of those who join a continuity site with a $1 trial vs starting at full price if anyone has experience with that.
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  • Profile picture of the author JosephC
    [DELETED]
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    • Profile picture of the author Steve Waller
      Originally Posted by JosephC View Post

      I have a website that had a free trial, but I switched to a $1 trial, and here is why.

      When someone sees free trial, they are attracted to the offer, because its free. I have noticed that when you target people looking for free things you do not get as high of a conversion rate. Especially in PPC traffic. If you offer a $1 trial, you know they have a paypal account or a credit card and are not freebie seekers. You can convert these $1 trials into monthly subscriptions a lot easier than a free trial. Do not worry about refunds, worry about converting trial members into monthly sales. I suggest the $1 trial. Just my $.02
      Thanks for the interesting results Joe - what you say makes a lot of sense.
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  • Profile picture of the author Shiffty
    JosephC,

    Well said. Do you have much experience in ecommerce backends?
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  • Profile picture of the author janicetalberty
    $1 work convert better though it gets less signup..
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  • Profile picture of the author CedricHarel
    I agree with Stuart Walker, the test is the solution.
    However I think that 1$ is the best solution. Beacause there is a move from your visitor. They spend 1$. So they are interested by your product.

    If there is a free demo. Your visitor don't care about your product. It's free so it's not important.

    You can also install a process -> 1$ and after 7 days 46$
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  • Profile picture of the author dinkO14
    You should test it, it is not same for every product.

    In my opinion best option will be $1 trial, it is also first indication that someone is able to buy product.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Hess
    This is an interesting read: http://sixteenventures.com/The-Reali...um-in-SaaS.pdf

    I think it would totally depend on your specific offer whether to go $1 trial or free..

    The only way I would go free is if you have a strong follow-up sequence in place and segment the freebie seekers from people who eventually buy so you can start promoting other offers to the list of non-buyers. Just because they may not be interested in your product doesn't mean they wouldn't be interested in something else. (or you can use them and sell solo's for additional revenue)
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    • Profile picture of the author indata7800
      The pdf doesn't open.
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      • Profile picture of the author Lance K
        Originally Posted by Mark Hess View Post

        Originally Posted by indata7800 View Post

        The pdf doesn't open.
        Try this one...
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        • Profile picture of the author Black Prince
          Sorry to bump an older thread, but I've recently had some experience in this field.

          The particulars: A recently launched membership site. The price is $47 following a one-week $1 trial. The target audience speaks Spanish.

          My hypothesis was that a $1 trial would kill two birds with one stone:

          - It would reduce refunds as people would have a chance to check out the website for a nominal fee, and could cancel if it wasn't for them.

          - It would boost the conversion rate with pre-qualified buyers (i.e. those with credit cards and willing to pay.)

          It is not long since the site launched, so I have very little data so far. But I can say that despite it converting well, I've had 2 out of 8 buyers ask for a refund immediately after they were billed the $47 following their $1 trial.

          This is especially frustrating because, as I said, one of the main hopes of the trial was to keep refunds to a minimum. I don't think they have occurred because of the product (we've only received positive comments on the material, and there is too much content for somebody to 'smash and grab', even in a week).

          It's early days so I'm not going to read too much into the data, but I am going to make some amendments. I'm going to shore up the pricing page, making the billing schedule as crystal clear as I can. I'll then run more traffic to the site and see what happens. Should the refunding persist, I'll consider just having an upfront price of $47 (super pre-qualified buyers only, i.e. those willing to pay the full whack right from the beginning).

          Anyway - thought this might add to the discussion, and I'd be interested in any feedback.

          Cheers.
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  • Profile picture of the author 3MinuteVideos
    Try this link instead (since Mark's isn't currently working):

    There are 7 Types of Freemium and Why That Matters...
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  • The point of $1 trials is to ding their credit card so, x days later, the regular monthly fee automatically kicks in. You need that initial micro transaction so your payment system records their credit card on file.
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  • Profile picture of the author shaffadell
    Originally Posted by The Oilman View Post

    I feel that I once read that a free trial will double sales but triple refunds, so I assume a $1 trial will have similar results.
    I don't know about this stat, but I gain confidence in a product when I see a $1 trial offering. If the product was a flat out scam you can bet they would for sure bypass any trial offering in order to take your money as soon as possible before heading for the hills (websites with a lot of flashy lights and bells/whistles that DO NOT offer a discounted trial I am extra skeptical of)
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