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Andy Brice
Successful Software

Doug Nebeker ("Doug")

Jonathan Matthews
Creator of DeepTrawl, CloudTrawl, and LeapDoc

Nicholas Hebb
BreezeTree Software

Bob Walsh
host, Startup Success Podcast author of The Web Startup Success Guide and Micro-ISV: From Vision To Reality

Patrick McKenzie
Bingo Card Creator

Trial Features: Lite or Pro

If your software has more than one version (for example, a Lite version, Standard version, and Pro version), how does your trial period work? That is, which version of the software does the user get during the trial period? 

If they get the Pro version (version with the most features) during the trial period, do you get a lot of complaints when they then purchase the Lite version and no longer see some of the features they had in the trial? (I can very much imagine my customers doing that.)  What do you do to mitigate that?

If they get the Lite version (version with the least features), do you have a way for them to trial the Pro features too (before or after purchase)? 

Or do you force them to choose which version they're interested in when downloading/signing up?
M.B. Dude Send private email
Thursday, February 07, 2013
I let them choose the edition at install time. I have all 3 editions in a single executable. This means they can change edition without even exiting the program. It was a bit more work, but I think it was worth it.
Andy Brice Send private email
Thursday, February 07, 2013
I have 3 editions and my trial is the most featured version. Less than 1% of users complain about features got blocked when they entered their key. This rate is acceptable to me.

Update from one version to another is just price difference (no additional cost): some people don't complain and just upgrade their edition.

I don't really want to bother people with thinking about editions when they start trial.
Kuzmitskiy Dmitry Send private email
Thursday, February 07, 2013
We have Standard, Professional, and Enterprise. Trial is time-limited Enterprise, and we have a detailed feature matrix on our Web site. Some users still end up purchasing a wrong edition, but most, if not all of them, then upgrade. I cannot immediately recall any big complaints.

In fact, we asked exactly this question in a customer survey. Most respondents then said what we have is okay, a few said they would prefer edition-specific trials, and some others said they would have liked the ability to disable or highlight the features available only in the more expensive editions.

We have concluded that edition-specific trials would be an overkill, but made the trial display a notice upon activation of an Enterprise-only feature (there are only three of them.)

As always, YMMV.
Dmitry Leskov Send private email
Thursday, February 07, 2013

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