Free Trial Fear: Abuse Points are Value Points

free trial abuse points are value points 300x210 Free Trial Fear: Abuse Points are Value PointsAccording to Wired, next month at the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas, a security research duo will demonstrate how they built a Money-mining botnet on online application-hosting services – perhaps like Amazon Web Services, Heroku, or Cloudbees – using only Free Trials and Freemium accounts.

Cue the overly-dramatic sky-is-falling music as we mourn the demise of SaaS Free Trials and Freemium (remember, those uses of “free” are very different).

I know a lot of entrepreneurs, founders, executives, and product marketers at SaaS and Cloud companies will read that Wired article and say to me – since I’ve been quite vocal about not being a fan of requiring a Credit Card to get started on a Free Trial – “See Lincoln… not having a credit card wall opens up our system to abuse!”

But they’re wrong… and here’s why.

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SaaS Free Trial Extension Requests are a Bad Sign

free trial expired extension SaaS Free Trial Extension Requests are a Bad SignI got this question about SaaS Free Trial Extension requests and I thought I’d answer it here, for all to see.

“Lincoln, that was a great guest post by Steli Efti from Close.io on sales mistakes that lead to churn. I was reading Steli’s blog and found a recent post where he says “short trials + liberal extensions” is the way to go. While you haven’t covered this directly (unless I missed it), it struck me as something you’d likely have an opinion on. I’m confused… who’s right?”

I’m right, obviously. [End of Article]

No, actually, I think we’re both right, but my view on this is from a slightly different angle.

I agree that if someone asks for an extension you should probably give it to them.

However, I see the fact  that they asked for the extension in the first place as an indicator that there’s a deeper problem, this request is a symptom of that problem, and the request itself as an opportunity to engage and learn what we can do to solve that problem.

Don’t worry; I go into great detail on why I think that, how to treat the symptoms, and how to eliminate the underlying problems.

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The Best SaaS Free Trial Length

best-free-trial-length

Here's a secret no one talks about: SaaS Free Trial Length is a Marketing Gimmick.There isn’t a best SaaS Free Trial length that works for every SaaS company, in every category, for every market. I know, that contradicts my reputation for saying … [Continue reading]

Ideal Customer Profile Framework

ideal-customer-profile

I can't over-emphasize how important it is to have a clear definition of your Ideal Customer.Your Ideal Customer Profile dictates (or should dictate) everything from the features and functionality of the SaaS product you build, to the words you … [Continue reading]

4 Sales Mistakes That Lead To High SaaS Churn

steli-efti-close-io

I've said many times that the seeds of churn are planted early. Whether it's in your marketing - both the things you say but also the types of customers you target with your messaging and outreach - to the things you say and do during the sales … [Continue reading]

SaaS Free Trial: Requiring a Credit Card is Shortsighted

barbed-wire

I got this email asking whether to require a Credit Card to start a SaaS Free Trial or not and what the best Free Trial length is.So instead of just answering him directly, I decide to use it as the basis for this article.Here's the … [Continue reading]

5 Steps to Unstick Your Stuck SaaS Onboarding Flow

unstick-your-onboarding-flow

The other day I got an email from a SaaS CEO friend of mine telling me his product team is finally ready to tackle a major problem with their onboarding flow during their Free Trial.It turns out they have one screen in the flow that is causing … [Continue reading]

Customer Success: The Definitive Guide

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My original definition of the SaaS Business Model, published way back in 2009, included a tight-coupling of Core Product/Intellectual Property, Marketing, Revenue Model, and Network Centricity... but now I'm modifying the definition to include … [Continue reading]

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