Free Trial Approaches: How to Ask Your Customer to Pay?

Free Trial Approaches: How to Ask Your Customer to Pay?

Free Trial Badge

As discussed in the recent webinar with Sixteen Ventures, a free trial is not in itself a success without taking into consideration the approaches or how you want the execution to happen. The technique is to get your customers “cling” into your product – you want them to get hooked. If this is the first thing you had in mind then you know that you need to be very careful when it is time to ask them to pay for the service. There are two options here: either opt-in or opt-out.

  • Opt-in – A safer approach because you will let the customers in first, prior to asking for their payment info. The free trial here can be compared to a buffet room. They can basically eat everything on the table but they will have to pay if they want something that is not on the menu. That means they have the access to the general services but they will need to pay more if they want more options.
  • Opt-out – You need to be very careful when choosing to opt-out. In this option, you are asking for the payment information before starting the free trial. Although the customer is not yet paying for the service, laying the payment info on the table might create the impression that they are already at risk of getting something they will regret later on.

Getting Customers to Pay

When thinking about how you will ask the customers to pay, you can consider incorporating IRV and DRV in your plan. IRV or “immediate realization of value” and DRV or “delayed realization of value” can work if combined properly to opt-in and to opt-out options. Delayed realization of value can work for opt-in while immediate realization of value is perfect for opt-out.

Free Trial Big Screen

It is difficult to introduce “payment” especially when you started the service for free. But the customers know that they will eventually get value for the service you are offering. They just need to find a justifiable cause. What are they getting out of their money? Is your service worth it? Will it be beneficial to the entire organization? These are common questions that your free trial offer should answer. It is not the money or the payment but the “opportunity” to improve their business that they are after. Unless your system is helping their business, you cannot materialize any forms of payment.

The Best Free Trial Approach..?

Opt-in is a much better approach but it does not mean that opt-out is less effective. Remember, when asking for the payment, it’s not really about the approach or the credit card. It’s all about your product– and how effective your system is to match the customer’s business requirement. So if you have a good product and you are able to match this with the perfect approach to ask for payment, there is a big chance that you can increase your conversion rate exponentially. If you want to check out the entire webinar, click here.

PS: We at Convert did not A/B tes this experience yet due to the amount of backend work it requires

Originally published July 30, 2014 - Updated August 06, 2014
Dennis van der Heijden
Co-founder and CEO of, Dennis is a passionate community builder and out of the box thinker. He spends his time innovating to make Convert Experiences better. Learn about his journey as an entrepreneur and leader on the SaaS Club podcast.
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