LinkedIn Twitter Facebook

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. His business interests include a diverse range of industries from manufacturing to property to technology. As a technology commentator he has a broad presence both in the traditional media and extensively online. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

More about Ben here.

2 responses to “On Trial Periods for SaaS Companies–Is Shorter Better?”

  1. Neil Ballard

    This is interesting stuff Ben and you’ve pretty much covered why.

    The science and the art around this is critical for success (or failure) of all vendors and is still either overlooked or not not enough attention paid at least.

    A couple of points to add.

    With entry-level products, trial length can actually be rolled up as part of the pricing equation! It may sound fickle, but who said customers aren’t fickle?

    In this respect, 60 days was an advantage of course. 14 days is one extreme to the other. Being part of the marketing mix, this may result in a temporary dip in trial sign-ups. Probably countered quickly by ever-growing trial numbers gained by ever more intense marketing and awareness.

    The point is with over 100 triallists a day, with the data gained in the first month on behaviour
    they can quickly see what’s happening; what’s working or not etc. And tweak accordingly.

    There was also an element of lock-in with a longer trial length. Yes horror, but I’ve said it! As Duane said, “I want people to love it, not feel locked in”!

    My gut feel is that 14 days may be too short for KashFlow users, but the data will be easier to analyse to make that judgement. As I said to Duane, people decide No much quicker than Yes. This is in response to their analysis of how many times users log in correlating with whether they convert.

    Data around where marketing and sales crossover is always interesting. The point is it can be measured and results analysed. You wont get the psychology of every user, but you can ensure longevity of the service.

    All this has an effect on how the brand Is perceived too. This is just another part of a larger project to redefine the company and solution. Be interesting to see how it all looks when the dust has settled.


  2. Tasos Christidis

    I agree with the initial remark that if the users don’t “jump into” the software immediately, they are very probable to “forget” or bypass.
    The idea behind the 14-day trial is to somehow “push” the prospect to actually jump on the horse, ASAP.
    True, 14 days are not enough. It could be a good idea to have a customer support representative call on the customer on the 15th day and ask “is everything alright? Do you need any help?” In my book, this shows vendor proactivity and if I was the buyer I would appreciate it.