Credit card or no credit card? That is the question.

iMeet Therefore I Am

iMeet Therefore I Am

My company PGi, sells a product called iMeet.  It’s a very cool tool for online meetings and conference calls.  Since I’ve joined PGi, I’ve become a religious user.  I hardly even pick up my landline phone anymore  I just do all my calls through iMeet whether I’m on my computer, iPad or smartphone.

In the past, we’ve had an online sign-up process where people interested in iMeet can get a free 30-day trial.  The only catch, they had to put a credit card down.  We did some analysis and found that about 60% of people who started the sign-up process would drop out when they got to the credit card page.  That’s a lot of online prospects to lose.

Fortunately, we were able capture information about those customers before they get to the credit card form, so our sales reps could follow-up.  But, we still lose a considerable amount of prospects in the process.

So, we just took off the credit card requirement.  Now you can do a trial of iMeet with no credit card.  After 30 days, you’ll have to sign up for a plan and give your credit card at that time.

Click here to see the “no credit card” sign-up page.  And feel free to do a free trial while you’re at it.

We’re going to closely monitor the results.  Having the credit card requirement could be an effective way to screen out the lower quality prospects who only want to use iMeet free for one meeting and they’ll never use it again.  Or, it could really limit our ability to get more people to use our product.  My hypothesis is that we’ll get a lot more sign ups but a lower rate of conversion from trial to paying customer.  In the end, I think we’ll get more paying customers.  It will be interesting to see what happens.

If you sell a product with a free trial, do you require a credit card?  Do you think the credit card requirement helps or hurts?  Post your comments below.

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One Comment on “Credit card or no credit card? That is the question.

  1. Consumers prefer free trials that automatically expire unless the consumer acts to become a paying customer after signing up for the product. Vendors prefer free trials that automatically become paid subscriptions unless the customer acts to end the trial.

    Your post doesn’t indicate whether the free trial automatically becomes a paid subscription but I assume that it did when a credit card was required and I assume it does not when a credit card is not required. I assume your conversion rate will drop like a rock when you aren’t taking a credit card and automatically converting users from a free trial to a paid subscription.

    I used to go through my credit card statements periodically and cancel all the crap I signed up for unintentionally but it really galled me because by the time I got around to cutting vendors off, they had already grabbed a few months of revenue for a service I wasn’t using. I suspect there are a lot of companies that survive on revenue from customers that aren’t using the service and haven’t cut the company off yet. Now I use small value prepaid cards to sign up for free trials and things I know I won’t use long. That way I avoid giving a company unfettered access to my bank accounts or credit cards.

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