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 300x296 The Best SaaS Free Trial LengthHere’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 “always do this” or “always do that” but that’s the way it is; the only best Free Trial length is whats best for your current situation.

For instance, I helped a company via Clarity the other day that has a 7-day free trial. In the context of their current situation – offering / market / customer / value prop / speed of value recognition by customers / etc. – a 7-day free trial seemed to make the most sense. Sure, they had 99 problems, but Free Trial length wasn’t one of them.

But there is something I want you to always do … and that’s to think before putting up a Credit Card wall, developing your Pricing Strategy, or coming up with a Free Trial strategy – including choosing the length of the trial.

This article will help you avoid picking a Free Trial length at random, will help you understand why doing that is a bad idea, including why you should understand your customers, the market, expectations, how your value prop and competition will influence your prospects view of the trial length you selected for your product, and much more.

Here we go…

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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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