We recently made the decision to drop the "free trial" call-to-action from our site in favor of a "request a demo" call-to-action. A few reasons why:
- We're a sales-driven company, not a marketing-driven company. In other words, we expect to qualify, demo, and close accounts over the phone. We don't expect customers to sign up without speaking to a rep - though it has happened quite a few times!
- Our pricing starts at $149 per month, which prices us out of the e-commerce model. We recently launched a $499 per month offering and we plan to launch another up-market product in the near future. So we're migrating away from the "free trial" market.
- Free trials customers often don't have the best experience with our application. We're targeting SMBs with a focus on those that know what they're doing - so our app is a bit more complex than that of our low-end competitors. Free trials can sometimes leave customers confused, whereas demos let us frame the value, explain the app, and get the customer up and running more quickly.
- Requesting a demo is pretty strong interest indication and requires the prospect to clear a higher hurdle that a free trial - so our lead volume might drop, but lead quality might increase. Not a bad trade off if you ask me!
- Free trials attract all kinds of ne'er do wells - spammers, competitors, hackers, etc. A simple qualifying step keeps these goofballs out of your app and precludes lots of headaches.
Thoughts? We're watching the results very closely - will be interesting to see how the change plays out.