First off, Free Trial Definition
A free trial is a customer acquisition model
that provides a partial or complete product
to prospects free of charge for a limited
time. Typically, a free trial runs for 14 or 30
Two Types of Free Trials
(one you like & one you probably don’t like)
The big difference between the two...
Opt-In Free Trials (the one you
❏ No credit card required
❏ You need to sign up at the
end of the trial to use the
Opt-Out Free Trials (the one you
❏ There is a pay wall that
requires you to give your
credit card details before you
see the trial
❏ If you don’t like the product,
you need to “opt-out”
❏ Chances are you’ll probably
forget to cancel your
subscription… (or am I the only
Opt-In Free Trial Perks
(the option you already like)
The Golden Rule of Free Trials
(aka don’t do opt-out free trials)
Here’s why you shouldn’t use an opt-out model:
1. It’s hurting your brand.
2. It most likely is costing you a lot of potential
revenue - do the math for yourself here.
3. Even a $1 free trial is a really bad idea.
4. People don’t like this option so your conversion
rate will suffer.
Luckily, venture capitalist
Christopher Janz dealt with a lot of
stubborn folks and put together a
great model for you to check
whether an opt-in or opt-out model
will work best for your business.
See for yourself
Giving away your product for free without
having people upgrade isn’t a robust go-to-
You’re not building a charity,
you’re building a for-profit business.
- Lincoln Murphy
If you still think freemium might work, we’ve
got lots of questions for you.
Questions to ask yourself when considering freemium
1. How much will it cost to sustain a large segment of free customers?
Is a freemium model scalable for your business?
2. Can we provide enough value for users to realize product benefits but still
limit value to entice them to pay for a subscription?
3. How difficult is it to get started with the product? Does it require technical
integration and broader organizational approval?
4. How will we nurture and prioritize freemium users that are ready
5. Are we attracting the right kind of customer (i.e., a customer in our target
market with a real need, an urgency to purchase and a desire to expand
When to choose a free trial or
Here’s a fancy chart from the CEO of
Aptrinsic (smart man)