The fear is fair enough because most of the new SaaS enterprises fail at the initial level only. So, the upcoming SaaS companies have to be very careful and construct an ingenious strategy to not to fall in the hands of disgrace at the initial level only. In this post, we will discuss why offering a free trial might be dangerous for your SaaS product.
Well, friends, the same situation does not arise with everyone as every business is different. You must also not keep this fear in your mind and hesitate to frame your ideas. No doubt SaaS product does fights at its initial level of launch as it involves too many technical issues. And also it varies from person to person, that how they deal with the issues in the preliminary stage where everything is offered free of cost.
At times, free trials can be risky if not anticipated the risks well before in time. In the first part, I will explain to you why a free trial is a risky affair and in the second part how you can fight with it.
You launch your product too hurriedly
Yes, this is the first and the main reason why the SaaS products fail at the trial stage. Even if you have planned your software with the utmost strong as well as easy to use features, still there will be some points which you might have not noticed, and which can become a significant issue after the launch.
Always figure out every possible constraint which a person might come across while using your free trial version. Do not offer the free trial of such products where your customer cannot understand the benefits and get a full picture of the product. And if you still want to go ahead it, make sure you remove that risky barrier which might cause problems in future.
The main motive behind offering a free trial is to make the client aware of the software functions and what are the advantages you will get after buying it. The free version basically familiarizes the customer with the value they will get after buying the premium version of the service. Your customer will always try to get the maximum benefit by trying to get everything that you promised in your trial version.
Makes sure the customer gets the while information about your product in that period, otherwise your hard work put in designing the product will not pay off well.
But in order to build too much trust factor, do not offer more time for the trial session. For big and established enterprises, it might be possible but for others, it might affect other elements like capital and sales. And also one situation doesn’t fit all, however hard you try. So, it is better to put in all the efforts before the launch of the product and then deal with the issues with the best team of experts hired to do so.
Confused or intricate configuration of the product
If your product is not understandable by the users, then the free trial will be a risky affair. Under no circumstances, your client will try to go further with the process of buying if he doesn’t figure out the usage of the product. If the user finds the product to be complicated or not responsive enough to add value to his project, he will certainly opt-out of a further course of action.
There are a few reasons why your product will fail to impress the user in its trial case. One of the reason might be the complex procedures of the product which involve too much money. You have to shred more money to make the product explicable to the user in the trial version. Another reason for the failure of the product at the free trial stage is that the enterprise-level product needs specific guidance before its use. And if that proper direction is missing, the trial generally goes ineffectual.
The complication with the product might be related to the integration process, the product needs direct execution work, or a product needs third party add-on to display the complete execution of the work.
To solve the technical issues and complexity of the software, the product distributor might go for live demos, live webinar demo, and one-on-one personalised demonstration to effectively deliver the value of the product.
Delivering all the value of the product in a free trial
In order to attract buyers don’t give away all the worth of your product to those who are not even going to buy it. Be vigilant about determining results by focussing on customer attainment. Don’t give too much value to those who don’t convert by even delivering the best from your side. The tech-savvy companies never worry about on these points. You need to assimilate the course of action in your sales conduit first and evaluate outcomes by sales, not customers.
Let me explain it to you with the help of an example. Just imagine that your customer wants to hire your service for getting his particular task done. That task is only required to be done once in a year. So, by taking advantage of your free trial version, he gets his work done and receives all the usefulness of the SaaS product offered from your side. Then how come you think that the person will pay you when he has already got his work done free of cost.
That is why it is always risky to offer free trials.
Now let’s move on to the second part where I will provide you with few tips to avoid the free trial or face the attempt with full confidence.
I have seen the companies really fear that the free trial session might incur loses. It is because there is an alarming misunderstanding of the concept that free trial will bring down their enterprise product. Yes, in some cases it might devalue the product, but if you approach the free session strategically, then you might not fall into this trap. Let’s discuss a few points which clearly specify that the free trial is not always risky.
Need for Proper Planning
Before announcing the free trial session always take proper measure to make sure that the product will not lose the value. And it can be done when you execute the set course of action in an anticipated manner. The experiment which is crappy, ineffectually accomplished and unrelated with the required consequences might damage the value during the free trial session.
But believing in your approach and presuming that the product will attain higher potentials and get highlighted in the trial stage, will build trust.
Turn free trial into a productive tactic
Don’t get offended when someone tells you that your product will lose its value if offered for free. Instead, take it as a positive methodology to grow your business. The smart and intelligent users very well know that the free trial version is just a small complimentary part of the premium version. They very well know that they will just be seeing a prevue of the product with some features and the full-fledged features and functions will be revealed in the paid version.
So go with the flow and confidently offer the version if you rely on your product completely. Seller of the Ferrari car never says no for the free test drive even when he knows the other person will not be able to afford it. Still, all the details will be explained to you and you will be handed over the car for a free test drive.
The bottom line of this point is that if you trust your product, make others also feel in the same way.
If not a free trail, choose the substitutes
If you still think that offering a free trail will be a risky affair and will devalue your product, then don’t hesitate to go for other options like:
- Money-back guarantee– This method is safe and ideal for new firms which offer SaaS products. It is because you can offer the best of your services to impress the customer in that time frame. If still he is not satisfied, then you can give his money back by deducting a minimal cost of operations. It will at least reduce the risk included in the purchase.
- Offer a demo– Before going further and offering full value of the product in a free session, go for a demo. In this demo, you can ask your customer to try the product in an organized environment. This will increase the usefulness of the product in the eyes of the buyer and might make him buy the paid version.
- Visual explanation – Explaining the usage and features of the product through a video is also a good idea to influence the buying decisions of the consumer. In this way, you will be able to make the product understandable to the users along with stepwise instructions. A video is very beneficial to the SaaS companies for demonstrating its value.
- Limited period clause– You must have heard about the 90-day timeout clause which obliges the customer to either pay for the first 3 months and tries the services or doesn’t pay at all. And your job is to give out your best in that timeline. With your heroic customer support and user-friendly approach, you can easily win the client’s trust and make him pay for the entire year’s subscription.
Try everything but do not oblige users to opt for an exit
I told you about both the scenarios which will help you make better decisions for your product. The free trial might not be a complete failure for your product if your methodology is correct. Your approach must consider all the above points apply and then choose the appropriate option for your product.
If you fully trust your product and rely on its successful working, then you can undoubtedly offer a free trail to the customers. And if you still have second thoughts about the course of action, then go for other options which I have already explained to you it the second part.
Your product is like your baby, which will be nurtured with full care and all the concerns related to it will be handled wisely. So, try to make the best out of it so that you and your customers reap the same reimbursements.