When is a free trial not a free trial?
When you restrict most features until a user upgrades to a paid plan.
This happened to me yesterday when trying out an automated GA4 audit tool. It is counterproductive for a number of reasons:
If a free trial is advertised with limited functionality, users may feel misled when they discover that most features are locked behind a paywall. This can lead to a loss of trust in the company and its offerings, damaging the brand reputation.
Limited User Experience:
By restricting most features until users upgrade to a paid plan, users cannot fully experience the product during the free trial. This may lead them to underestimate the value of the product and opt not to pay for the full version.
High Churn Rate:
Users who discover that most features are unavailable may become frustrated and leave before they ever see the full potential of the product. This could result in a high churn rate and low conversion to paid subscriptions.
If users have a bad experience with the free trial due to its limitations, they may discourage others from trying the product or service. This could lead to a negative word-of-mouth effect, hindering potential growth.
Inadequate Value Perception:
By withholding most features in the free trial, businesses may fail to demonstrate the true value of their product or service. Consequently, users might not see a compelling reason to upgrade to the paid version.
Barrier to User Engagement:
Users might be less likely to engage with the product if most features are locked. This could slow their learning curve, lower their engagement, and reduce their chances of becoming loyal, long-term customers.