We are rethinking our 30-day trial for our B2B (small business) CMS. It is a very niche service and we have about 600 active paying subscribers at this point.
In the past, I have always subscribed to the idea of making the trial as easy as possible to start as that is the conventional wisdom.
However, we get a lot of new trials and a lot of them don't pan out. We have a fairly rigorous routine of calling and getting in touch with these folks, so it does take some of our time every time a new trial signs up.
I'm considering requiring a credit card at trial sign-up and then billing them automatically after 30-days unless they cancel.
Of course this will reduce the number of people that sign up for trials, but I wonder if that is a good thing?
- less trials to follow up with
- folks that sign up are more qualified leads
- they are more likely to allow the billing cycles to start if their credit card is already on file
I notice that this is the practice of 37signals. It seems a bit sneaky to me and we have a very small niche and I don't want to be billing people that don't want to be billed, but I do see a much higher conversion rate if we do this.
I suppose an intermediate solution is to optionally allow a customer to enter a credit card at sign-up.
Any thoughts on how to evaluate this beyond just implementing it and seeing how it goes?