March 17, 2022
Everyone loves to get something for free, so offering potential customers a product trial before they commit is a great way to build loyalty from the start. Of course, you run the risk of people taking advantage of your “try before you buy” generosity and taking the freebie and then never returning to pay full price.
To try to mitigate this risk, you can consider different types of free trial structures and see what might work best for your business. Your goal in offering trial products for free or a trial subscription is, of course, to let would-be buyers get a true sense of how fabulous your product is or how much they just can’t live without your subscription. The mere suggestion of try and buy should pique curiosity in potential customers and make them want to explore what you have to offer.
Offering a free trial also gives you, as the seller, the opportunity to make the best impression that you can on the people who take you up on the offer. This is your chance to offer stellar customer service, a super-easy shopping and checkout process, and of course, an amazing product or service. You can also use an offer of a free trial to manage online payments and make sure that your payment service provider offers all that you need to run a successful business.
Read on for all you need to know about offering free trials and why the online payments system that you choose matters.
There are a number of different options for you to consider when thinking about the type of product trial you are going to offer. The one you choose will depend on what type of product or service you offer as well as what your goals are in giving out trial products for free or getting people to sign up for a free trial subscription.
Types of free trials include:
The best way to mitigate the risk of someone taking the freebie and running is to take credit card information from them up front with the stipulation that you will not charge them until after the trial period is over or until they expressly say that they wish to purchase the non-sample size of the product.
You must have a payment services provider that allows you to collect online payment information without actually putting a charge through until a later date.
It’s perfectly legitimate and most companies are in the practice of collecting payment information as part of a try before you buy scheme. Customers provide the information with the understanding that they will not be charged until the end of the trial period, at which time they can either cancel or go forward with the purchase. It is a commonly accepted practice to put the burden of action on the customer - if they do not cancel the trial before the designated date or send back the product on time, the merchant is free to charge them as agreed.
Depending on the different payment methods that you offer, you should be able to allow customers signing up to a free trial to enter the information of the online payment option of their choice. You will just need to ensure that you set up the checkout page in such a way that the card or other payment method will not actually be charged until a later date. If certain payment methods that you offer do not allow for deferred payments, then simply disable that option for the free trials.
There are not many risks when it comes to offering a free trial subscription or a free trial product, but there are two to be aware of: the risk of losing money and the risk of wasting time.
There are many more possible benefits to offering a free trial than there are risks. Here are just a few of them:
It doesn’t make good business sense to offer a free trial without first managing online payments and making sure you collect the customer’s payment information so that you can charge them when the time comes.
Pay.com can help make sure you have all the right infrastructure set up to help you collect the information you need to make it easy for customers to sign up for your free trials and for you to receive the funds quickly and easily. There are three features in particular that will be most useful when offering free trials: the dashboard, easy integrations and free cancellations.
Pay.com’s customized dashboard gives you all the information you need to know about your customers, whether part of a free trial or full-fledged payers. You can track who has signed up, where they are located, what payment method they want to use and more. It’s easy to call up reports from the dashboard so that you can see the information that you need at any time. You’ll always know whose trial period is coming to an end so that you can charge them or you can set up automations and have the charges go through automatically.
Pay.com can easily be integrated with other platforms that you may use like Shopify, Woocommerce and more. It’s also super easy to integrate all of the different online payment methods with Pay.com, so whatever method you want to offer your customers to use when they sign up for their free trial, you can do it at the click of a button.
While you hope that most customers will continue on and become paying customers at the end of the trial, there are those who will cancel and it’s important that you make this process easy for them. A good customer experience - even if at this point they are choosing not to become a paying customer - can go a long way in building loyalty. Later on down the road they may decide they actually do need the product you offer and they will remember what a pleasure it was and will return to you.