Should You Offer a SaaS Free Trial? Why We Abandoned Our Free Test Plan

In early 2015 we moved from offering a free test plan to a 14-day Saas free trial. After diving into our resources and conversion numbers, this was an easy choice. Here’s why we made it.

Why Did We Make the Switch?

Pro: Offering a free test plan made it easy for anyone to create an account and start using Wisepops. In a perfect world, this would result in more paying customers!
But that’s not what happened.
Con: These customers were low-quality and taking up valuable resources for our paying customers. For example:

  • Non-paying users generate a lot of support tickets.
  • Non-paying users still add to our server load, which we pay for. Unfortunately, our servers can’t differentiate between a free user and a paying customer.

And after a bit of digging, we weren’t the only ones with this problem. According to Forbes,

“Small companies have to execute with precision. The hard part is knowing where to draw the line. In other words, don’t give away the store.”

How Does the 14-Day Saas Free Trial Work?

To register for a Saas free trial, users just need to select a plan and fill out the short up form. They don’t need to enter their credit card information and we were adamant about this detail. Many companies require credit card information because they think it will help conversions. But studies show it actually does little for conversions. Plus, I hate entering bank information before I even know if I’ll like the product. It feels a little, well, salesy.

How Will We Measure Impact?

We’ll be keeping a close eye on how this change effects our business:
1. The number of new trials per day vs. the number of new accounts per day over the next three months.
2. Conversion and number of customers now vs. the last three months.
3. Traffic and customers via the “Powered by” link on other pop-ups vs. the last three months.
4. Impact on our support resources.
5. Impact on server bandwith.
Stay tuned to hear more about how this goes down.

Benjamin Cahen Experienced entrepreneur, Ex-Amazon, Ex-VC, Ben is founder & CEO at Wisepops.

Lastest posts