Even though you have a good product, many customers are going to think twice before they pay the price you name. There are several reasons for that and not the least of them is that they simply don’t know if they should believe your sales pitch. Sure your marketing materials say that you’re the best but they don’t know that. For customers like these, there’s nothing better than a free trial, and now we have some statistics to show that it really helps converting triers into paying customers.
A free trial helps your customer try out whatever you are selling without making a commitment. And as long as you think you are charging the right price for a product that you believe is useful, there’s a fair chance that the people trying your product, after seeing that it is actually good, will buy it or subscribe to it for long-term use. According to eMarketer, offering free content is becoming exceedingly successful. eMusic for example, offers free music to users visiting their site and claims that the promotion has helped the company convert half of their free members into paying subscribers.
One way to use this strategy is to create a hierarchy of accessibility to your services or content. For example, allow users limited functionality of your product or limited access to your content and let them register for a fee if they want more functionality. This way, they get a taste but are left wanting more – and if there is value to be had in what they haven’t seen yet, they will open their wallets.
As Allen Klepfisz of free-to-consumer music firm Qtrax said, “Free is important. In an Internet context, people expect things to be free. News is free, video is free, search is free, so why should music have to be paid for?”
By letting them try out what you want to sell (for free) you can let the consumer decide if it’s worth paying for or not. As a result, the customers you have won’t be left with a bad taste in their mouths.