Day 18: Create a Free Trial Program

People are protective of their wallets. Same with businesses. As a seller, you need to prove the value of your product upfront. A website, product descriptions, and even video may not be enough.

Users may want to preview your product before they commit to becoming subscribers or first-time buyers.

Prove the Value of the Product

Give them full transparency or functionality, but put a time limit on the trial. For instance, CrazyEgg (heatmapping software) gives users a free trial for a full 30 days:

Fuze, a platform for video collaboration, conference calls, and presentations provides a 60-day free trial.

KISSMetrics provides a 14-day trial before users can opt to pay for a subscription:

If You Can’t Do a Free Trial?

One option is to feature a demo. A Speak2Leads free trial is quick to set up, but because there is people-power involved, it is not instantaneous. That’s why the company offers a demo as well:

If you’re a consultant, you may not have a free trial or demo to offer up. What you can do in this situation is provide advice for free. You can schedule a free consultation call and/or produce free content to demonstrate your expertise.

Match the Trial to the Right Funnel Stage

Advertise your free trial on your website —especially where early funnel users are likely to be browsing. Audiences who aren’t yet ready to buy need an intermediate step. Free trials are highly compelling offers for people who need more time to decide.

For instance, when readers come to the CrazyEgg Blog, they’re not necessarily ready to become paying customers. A sidebar banner showcases a free trial instead:

Today’s Homework

Today’s homework may take more than just today to complete. At the very least, you can get the ball rolling with your development teams to get your free trial ready as soon as possible.

  1. Set up your free trial. You might offer a free consultation or trial account that’s limited to a specific period time. Choose whichever framework will make the most sense for your business.

  2. Adjust your product pricing page to reflect the free trial (once it’s ready)

  3. Advertise your free trial on your blog and homepages (once the trial is ready)

  4. Notify your email/distribution list that you have a free trial.

  5. Day 21: Launch User Surveys

    Google Analytics is a great way to collect and monitor website trend data. But what are your visitors thinking? To answer that question, you need to ask your users some basic questions.

    If you’re like most website owners or marketing managers, you don’t have time to reach out to everybody 1:1. Administer a web survey instead.

    Survey Fundamentals

    Market research surveys have a bad rap (because they’re annoying). It’s common for companies to spam their customer list with phone calls and really long email surveys.

    Stop badgering people. You’ll only scare them away.

    But don’t be overly cautious and quiet, either. People want to share feedback about your company. They’re happy to help, and they feel good knowing that you value their opinion.

    Just be sure to follow the golden rule of web surveys:

    Keep it short.

    Don’t worry about being scientifically accurate. Even the most sophisticated survey tools have natural biases in the data. Just make sure you’re focused on the information that matters most for creating the best user experience possible.

    Now that you know the golden rule, here are some others:

    1. Make sure your survey has a purpose

      Avoid asking questions out of curiosity. Anything you invest your time, money, or resources into should directly influence revenue. Ask questions related to user experience, usability, and buying decisions. Translate this feedback into revenue-generating initiatives for your website.

    2. Keep the questions simple

      Get right to the point. Don’t use technical jargon. Be direct. Don’t assume that your website visitors know what you’re talking about.

    3. Be consistent throughout the survey

      A rating scale is a great way to capture user sentiment. and to quantify key variables. If you decide to use a rating scale, make sure to stay consistent. If you switch your rating scale around, you’ll end up confusing your respondents.

    4. Keep the order logical

      Begin with an introduction that inspires your website visitors to take your survey. Jump into broad questions and then narrow down your focus. Ask for contact information and demographic details at the end of the survey.

    5. Offer a ‘thank you’

      Reward your users for taking the time to complete your survey. Give them a discount or promotional code. Incentives are a great way to boost response rates. But keep in mind — incentives also create sampling biases in your data. Not everybody will be motivated by the same incentives.

    Tools to Use

    There are range of tools available for getting started. Choose the option that best supports your implementation, customization, integration, and analytics needs.

    1. SurveyMonkey

      This tool is ideal for website owners who need control over their surveys. Key features include question creation, custom branding, response collection, and robust reporting. Pro plans start at $24 per month.

    2. SurveyGizmo

      SurveyGizmo is ideal for website owners who want to fully customize their surveys. The platform features pre-programmed question types, a custom questions API, advances survey logic, and integration partner support. Customers can also partner with the SurveyGizmo team to get surveys designed, customized, and deployed. Plans begin at $19 a month.

    3. iPerceptions

      This tool allows website owners to collect answers to a range of research questions. The platform immediately captures information including location, IP address, operating system, browser type, and version. You can also listen to customer information in 32 languages. The platform comes with advanced text mining capabilities and the ability to collect information on a secure site through encryption features. Premium plans begin at $399 per year.

    4. Qualaroo

      This tool will help you understand and optimize your website experience. Qualaroo Insights will let you ask focused questions to your website visitors. Qualaroo lets you target the right questions at exactly the right moment you are likely to uncover critical insight. You can serve unique follow-up questions based on previous answers. For instance, when a user answers that a certain feature is important to them, you can ask why.

    Today’s Homework

    Set up your first online survey. Here’s what you need to do:

    1. Decide what level of customization you want. This will help you figure out whether you need to use a tool like SurveyMonkey or SurveyGizmo or whether your time is better spend using something like Qualaroo.

    2. Go through each platform to try demos. Decide which one complements the look and feel of your website.

    3. Decide what questions you want to ask about your website. These questions should influence decisions about your business. Have your team weigh in with ideas.

    4. Launch!

    Whoo hoo! Another week down. Time to jump into the final stretch.


    emily anderson / brilliant brand

Emily Anderson