Shorter Trial Periods

We’ve just changed the standard trial period for our SaaS Accounting Software product from 60 days to 14 days for any new trials as from right now.

This is a big change for us as it’s been 60 days ever since we started.


We analysed our trial data and found that the vast majority of people who never converted from free trial to paid-up had logged into the software only once or twice. It could be argued that this just means they quickly determined the software wasn’t for them and went off into the sunset never to be seen again. Maybe.

But we phoned up thousands of would-be customers and asked why they hadn’t continued with the software – the overwhelming response was “I just never got around to looking at it properly”.

Perhaps they were saying that because they didn’t want to hurt our feelings. Perhaps it’s true.

No Urgency

It’s something I can certainly relate to.

Send me an email and start it with “This isn’t urgent, but….” and it drops way down my To Do list.

A 60 day trial is just that – it says “this isn’t urgent”. You’ve got a long time to look at the software so it’s not going to be high on your list of things To Do. And I know all business owners have an ever-growing list of things to do.

So we’re hoping that shortening the trial to just 14 days will help focus peoples minds on having a good look at the software. We know that once someone logs in more than 3 times then the conversion rate rockets.

Channel Changes

We have lots of people re-selling the software – from affiliates to accountants and plenty inbetween.

The plan is to shorten the trial period available via our affiliates as from next month. We’ll be emailing them and letting them know so they can update their websites, etc. They can even use the rest of the month to do a big push on “last chance to get 2 months free”.

Accountants who have signed up to our Orbit system have done so on the understanding that they’d be able to let their clients trial the software for 60 days. So for existing “Orbiters” we’ll be sharing the results of this change and letting them decide if they want to shorten their trial period or not.

Sharing the Results

There seems to be very little research out there on the subject of trial periods and SaaS. We’re strong believers in sharing knowledge on this kind of stuff. So we’re hoping to be able to post again in a few months time with an update on how this went.

[UPDATE: The results are in.]

Feel free to use the comments box below to share your thoughts on this or ask any questions you may have.

Duane Jackson - Founder

As Founder of KashFlow, Duane writes primarily about the trials and tribulations of starting and growing a successful business. Having handled KashFlow’s PR internally for so many years he can’t resist writing a bit about that too.

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