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Nagging screen - How much to nag?

In my products, I show the "x days left" nagging screen only after 15 days for a 30 day trail. So that the user does not get annoyed at the very beginning of the trial.

One of my products Notezilla runs automatically at startup. So I don't show the nagging screen then. I show the nagging screen when the user is trying to use the software (like creating a sticky note or accessing existing sticky notes).

Suddenly I have a confusion. Whether I should nag a little more so that the user would make the purchase decision faster?

Like nagging from day 1 works better than nagging from day 15?
Should I nag when computer starts up?

What do you think?
Gautam Jain Send private email
Wednesday, December 04, 2013
 
 
Ok, ok, we hear this answer so much, but anyway....

I'd test it.

On install have the software randomly choose which type of trial to use. The first time a new license key is used, call home & record the data. Eventually you'll have enough data to make a call on which type of trial converts better.

Anything else is just opinion and will vary too much between products / groups of users.
Jonathan Matthews Send private email
Wednesday, December 04, 2013
 
 
I'd say nagging on startup is a really bad idea and if it was me, I'd uninstall it pretty quickly. I guess it depends on your target market, so testing would help, but really I'm sceptical about the idea.
Scorpio Send private email
Wednesday, December 04, 2013
 
 
Nagging on start up is not good. Can you not change to nag after first use (after each boot) or nag 10 minutes after first use ?
koan Send private email
Wednesday, December 04, 2013
 
 
Does nagging actually have to be a nag, though?  What about a nice splash screen with a short delay (5 or 10 seconds?) that shows a "tip of the day" that can only be disabled after buying the app?  Then you don't look like you're nagging but being nice.  The passive-aggressive nag, LOL.
PSB136 Send private email
Wednesday, December 04, 2013
 
 
Across all my products, I have 3 nags:

 - First launch
 - Halfway through trial
 - Trial expired

I've been considering letting my software have reduced function after the trial expires rather than no function.

The reason I do this kind of nagging is because the first time just tells them "Hey, it's a trial!" Then they have to actually use it to even get to the second nag. If they actually get there, it's pretty much a guaranteed sale because my targeting is really good. The last nag is just "Err, you've been using it for a long time now, buy the damn thing."
Bring back anon Send private email
Wednesday, December 04, 2013
 
 
I pop up the nag screen the second time users run the software.  For the first 3 weeks of the trial I allow users to dismiss the nag for 7 days.  For the last 7 days they can dismiss it for 24 hours (until the trial expires of course).  I used to show the nag screen every time the software started.  Conversion rate is no different between the two different systems.  But personally I do like the system that allows users to dismiss the nag.
Mark Nemtsas Send private email
Wednesday, December 04, 2013
 
 
I agree with others that you dont want to annoy. I use a splash screen that indicates it is the trial and is shown every time but it has a close button so they can get rid of it immediately. when they exit the application[its a desktop app] they get a Thanks for using our software window with an order button.
After the trial expires, the app continues to run but with even more limits.

BTW, how do you folks determine when the trial expires? Is it easy for your users to figure out how you do it and just delete the tracking file or Registry entry?
Bill Anonomist Send private email
Wednesday, December 04, 2013
 
 
Regshot and/or Sandboxie makes it easy for anyone to discover (and thus delete or modify) a tracking file or Registry entry.  They can use your app forever when armed with these tools.

Better to cripple something instead, so they actually have to risk a crack or pirated version.  If they end up with CryptoLocker as a result, great!
PSB136 Send private email
Thursday, December 05, 2013
 
 
Having said that about the Registry above, I once wrote a test app (unreleased) that used a common Registry entry in the midst of other entries that looked very similar, and that changed often too.  This makes it harder for Regshot to determine which one the app is reading/writing.
PSB136 Send private email
Thursday, December 05, 2013
 
 
I use registry + my own magic. I have no idea whether it works :)
Bring back anon Send private email
Thursday, December 05, 2013
 
 
@Bring back anon 

So what's your magic?
Bill Anonomist Send private email
Thursday, December 05, 2013
 
 
Littering files in spots that look official with an encrypted date that looks scary to touch. I know, I know.
Bring back anon Send private email
Thursday, December 05, 2013
 
 
@Bill: Magicians never reveal their secrets.  :)

Seriously, using the Registry is pointless if the user launches your app with Sandboxie.  They can run your app over and over as though it's the first fresh install.

Having said that, my own apps check for the "sbiedll.dll" service when it runs, and if found, my app just quits.  Tested with many Sandboxie versions and works great, meaning that my app only runs if not launched via Sandboxie.
PSB136 Send private email
Thursday, December 05, 2013
 
 
Just had a thought about nagging -- you could have 2 versions of your apps: a Newbie, and a Pro.  The Newbie version is 100% free but has a startup tip of the day which can't be closed for 10 seconds, and has other things like big balloon tooltips when items are hovered over.  Also, for every action, confirm with the newbie if they're sure.  Basically, be ultra-helpful and friendly at all times, to the point where the user starts getting sick of it.

They can always upgrade to the paid Pro version which has none of this.  :)
PSB136 Send private email
Friday, December 06, 2013
 
 
Something of an aside, I just got a Nigerian spam email that must have been generated using a commercial program/script that the spammer hasn't purchased yet.  And the email has a header and footer urging me to purchase such and such spam generation script.  So even spam generation scripts nag their customers.
Mark Nemtsas Send private email
Saturday, December 07, 2013
 
 
@PSB136

But are there not legitimate reasons for a user to sandbox applications? Maybe they are just trying to protect their system from malware because they are not familiar with your company. You lose a possible sale in that scenario.
Bill Anonomist Send private email
Monday, December 09, 2013
 
 
Bill, they can always run it in a VM instead of Sandboxie.
PSB136 Send private email
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
 
 
"Bill, they can always run it in a VM instead of Sandboxie. "

Only if they are the kind of people capable of setting up a VM.

Sandoxie has the advantage of being very simple for that purpose.
Sylvain Galibert Send private email
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
 
 
PSB136: "Basically, be ultra-helpful and friendly at all times, to the point where the user starts getting sick of it."

And deletes it.  You would be breaking the workflow with all of that help^Wsabotage.  The user might not get quick with your software and then go with software he could get quick at.

Sincerely,

Gene Wirchenko
Gene Wirchenko Send private email
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
 
 
My point is that just because Sandboxie, or any
VM, is in use does not mean the user is trying to cheat on your trial. They may have every intention of buying your but dont want to put their system at risk with an unknown app.
Bill Anonomist Send private email
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
 
 
@Bill:  I know, I know.  :)

I even have a way to detect VM use for my apps but don't stop it on those, because I'm aware that someone may be using my app on a Mac or Linux in a VM.  So I let that slide, but draw the line with Sandboxie on Windows.

I have a note in my manual that my app doesn't run under Sandboxie because it's incompatible with it.  If that costs me a sale, then too bad for me.
PSB136 Send private email
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
 
 

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