For innovative and growth-orientated businesses, convincing customers to take a chance on a new service is a core challenge.
While research shows that most people are theoretically willing to experiment with new or novel products, getting them to try your service isn't easy. Even when customer curiosity is present, many online businesses struggle with turning curious but hesitant prospects into paying customers.
One proven method for helping companies to bridge this gap is to offer a trial membership program.
Why Trial Memberships?
Trial memberships have a long history of introducing people to new products and services.
In the 1990's AOL helped pioneer the ubiquity of having an internet connection by posting free trial CDs directly to consumers. These CDs, which granted users access to a certain number of free online hours, converted at a rate of over 10% and convinced millions of people to pay for an internet connection for the first time.
Today, free trial memberships are offered by many businesses, and some are incredibly successful.
If you use Netflix or a similar subscription streaming service, you probably started using it through a free trial — and you’re not alone. Over 93% of people who sign up for Netflix's free trial offer end up converting to their paid service.
Still not convinced you should offer a free or nominal cost trial membership program? Here are four more reasons that’ll make you change your mind.
1. Show value to your customers
A trial period is a signal to potential customers that your service is a quality one.
This idea is backed up by research. Studies show that consumers are more likely to pay a higher price for a service that comes with a more extended trial period than an alternative product with a shorter trial period.
When potential customers see that you’re willing to let them use your service before making them pay for it, they feel reassured about its quality and fit.
2. Get customer feedback
A trial membership period isn't just a way to improve your conversion rates and get more customers. Trial memberships also allow you to gain valuable customer feedback, which you can use to quickly enhance your product.
By gaining lots of information on what does and doesn’t work, a trial period can allow you to move your product through multiple versions and iterations quicker.
In this way, a trial period can be a powerful product development device.
3. Gain high-quality leads
Sign-ups to a trial membership period are some of the best leads a business can have. Even if they don't convert to paying customers during their initial trial, sign-ups are still incredibly valuable.
That’s because prospects that sign up to your trial give you their contact details and possibly more profile information. Gaining access to this type of information allows you to nurture these prospects as valuable leads with targeted marketing messaging and communication.
Even if they don't convert this time, or to this version of your product, they might do so in the future.
4. Remove perceived risk
While they might say they’re open to trying new things, in reality, many consumers are risk-averse when it comes to long term commitments.
Consumers often want to try before they buy, especially when it comes to subscription or membership-based services.
Trial memberships remove this concern and allow commitment-wary customers to sample your offering without feeling like they’re being sucked into a long term relationship they don’t want.
If your business is a new take on an existing offering, you're going to be up against stiff competition. On the other hand, if you’re in a blue ocean market without many competitors, your service is likely novel and maybe not something many customers would generally consider.
Either way, a trial membership program can give your business the edge it needs to start converting more customers.
By allowing you to easily, quickly, and seamlessly integrate a recurring payments system into your membership business model, TillyPay is the perfect partner for companies looking to offer value to their customers through membership programs.