So you have a product or service, how do you get people to commit to it rather than checking it out? That's a tricky question. Before we dive in, let's differentiate definitions of commitment and loyalty.
- Loyalty means I’m sticking to it no matter what. And if there are other things out there, I’m not checking them out; I’m loyal to this product.
- Commitment is going beyond just checking the product. It means I want to have a relationship with a product or service. Commitment is when I’ve checked something out, and I’m now ready to make this product to be my tool for daily use.
The question becomes then :
How do I get people to that stage where they’ve gone beyond just checking my product out and now they want to work with it?
One of the problems with the commitment that happens in a lot of software - you need it, and you want it, but you don’t take the time to learn it. And so you never really learn it thoroughly and it always a little uncomfortable and never feels like you have a relationship with a product.
🚨 The trials of the product are critically important for a couple of reasons.
- You want people to have the experience of investing their time and energy and putting their information in,
- The principle of Reciprocity. If you give me something for free, you do me a favor, and I’ll be likely to do you a favor in return. You let me download your product and try it out, I’ll be more likely to buy it after that if you ask me to.
But then there is one product that let you try it out for 2 weeks. Have you had the experience while using the service they don’t give you all the features? For example, a feature you’re interested in it’s not available in a trial. That’s a bummer.
How to Improve
- Know your audience (importance of a customer profile) well enough to know which features and functionality are most important to the most people. You also don’t want to hide those in the trial and let them use the features they are interested in.
- A lot of product marketers make this mistake. They offer you a 14-day trial. That sounds very generous, doesn’t it? What is wrong with a 14-day trial? The answer - It’s really not enough time.
What happens usually is customer signs up for a service he/she is interested in. He/she tries it out a little bit during a spare hour on a weekend. But then they got busy and can’t finish it out, and when they go back on day 15th of a trial, they think, okay, I’m going to go back and finish that trial to see if they ready to buy this software.
Of course, now it won’t work, the trial period is gone. At that moment, they can probably buy it but they are just not sure if it's worth it. This is because they weren't given enough time to commit to it.
This is the case where company is probably going to lose a customer because they didn’t give users enough time to commit to it. Users didn't get to that commitment point.
When you a product manager or in charge of product marketing, you are so into your product. It’s everything to you and you just assume it’s the same for everyone else - if you sign up, you can start using it right away, right?
- So if you have a free trial, you have to let people have it long enough that they really can have a chance to commit.
- I think a much better way to have a trial instead of time is to do it by number. For example, you can have a trial with a project management software as long as you want but you can do it only for 3 projects. Once your work is in there, you will be reluctant to start with something else because you’ve already committed to this one.
What about you? Have you had experiences when there is no time actually to get familiar with a product to be ready to purchase it?
Let me know in the comments below 👇🏻. Thank you!