4 Alternatives to a Free Trial for Software Services

You are currently viewing 4 Alternatives to a Free Trial for Software Services

A subscription is an important conversion from leads into loyal, recurring customers. For many, subscriptions are an investment in the value of the software. Paying for a subscription level, even a small personal subscription, is a decision point that requires motivation, push, and a smooth transition for leads who become subscribers. 

Free trials are a traditional approach to inspiring a subscription to a service, all the way back to the days of magazines and regular canned popcorn deliveries. A free trial gives your clients a taste of the full service, often with limited features. While simple, it can be an effective and smooth introduction for new subscriber clients.

However, free trials, despite their ubiquity, are not always the best answer. They only work if they fit with your product and overall strategy. There are a few reasons why a free trial may not work for your product:

  • The trial gives away all the value of the software and, once the user gets what they want out of the free trial, there is no need to continue with the subscription.
  • The product requires long-term use to discover its benefits.
  • The software must be customized or configured to the individual’s or company’s needs and the implementation requires commitment from both parties.

What should you do if a free trial is not right for you? Here are four smooth ways to transition your leads to loyal subscribers without using a free trial.

Money-back Guarantee

A way to take the risk out of the purchase, money-back guarantees give your customer the ability to test out the product without feeling trapped in their decision. For example, MaxQ Technologies’ AP/PR Laser Checks for Acumatica and Dynamics SL come with a money-back guarantee.

Sandbox Environment

Offering a controlled environment for the customer to test their demo in is another way to remove the risk associated with a software subscription. A sandbox gives the customers a place to safely explore, demo, and test the software without affecting other data or worrying about compatibility issues.

Informational Videos

Give your potential customers detailed information about your products with information videos. Include benefits of key features and demonstrations of how to use the product.

Get Creative with your Freemium Model

From Free to Advanced Tools

Many services entice their new subscribers with a few free tools that are useful enough to interest and help potential clients but are only the tip of the iceberg. When your tool-using leads, look for your more advanced tools, invite them to subscribe to your more advanced services. The quality and design of your free tool stand as testaments to your expertise and the quality of your more advanced tools beyond that. Clients can see the value of the subscription by their own motivation to access your advanced tools.

Personal tier to Collaboration tier

You can provide single-users access for free but shared team spaces both require and come with your managed subscription support. This also builds your reputation among independents who will share the free tool with enthusiasm amongst the freelance and independent developer communities. Some of these will have teams of their own and decide a professional subscription is well worth the investment.

From Free to Advanced Tools

You can offer your subscription features for free but place a limit on usage or capacity, such as the amount of storage allowed. To increase the limit, users must subscribe. However, you run the risk of users only uses the allotted free amount, so it is important to make sure that the revenue from paid users justifies this model.

How should you onboard new subscribers and introduce the subscription model to leads? It all depends on the new user experience you want to create. Whatever approach you use, make sure it fits your strategy and provides a smooth experience for your customer. Contact us today to dive deeper into subscription strategies for success and growth.

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