A primary practice in the SaaS industry is to offer users a trial period to check out how your app works and see whether it will benefit them. Time bound trial is the most common trial option offered in the industry. But how does it stick up against usage based trial?
SaaS consumers are used to trials. This is logical because the consumers need to get a “feel” of your service before they decide to jump in. Some companies use the freemium model, where they offer a set of features for free and hope consumer can see the benefits of the app and later upgrade to access more robust features, storage space, support, etc. However, it is time-bound trial that is most prevalent among SaaS businesses.
SaaS Time Bound Trials
Time bound trials are everywhere, with most businesses offering between 14 to 30 days trial. The sales team hopes that within the trial period, users will have gotten the hang of the application and seen its benefits.
Time bound trials create a sense of urgency to the user. Given that the clock is ticking, the user may be more committed to trying the app and this is good news for the SaaS business in three ways:
- Serious users can be identified based on their activities. These users can be segmented and allocated dedicated Account Managers that can pursue them to close sales.
- The business can know which aspects of their app are important based on user activity. This information can be used in R&D.
- Payment based trials give the business some revenue regardless of whether the customer uses or doesn’t use the software. (e.g. Aweber)
In spite of the above advantages, time bound trials may not give users ample time to explore the service to make an informed choice. This usually leads to low sign up rates. Things happen; the user may go on vacation, PCs may crash, and so on; all this time the trial period clock is ticking. It is not uncommon for users to sign up for trials and never use the service until the trial expires.