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Andy Brice
Successful Software

Doug Nebeker ("Doug")

Jonathan Matthews
Creator of DeepTrawl, CloudTrawl, and LeapDoc

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BreezeTree Software

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Patrick McKenzie
Bingo Card Creator

Trial Registration

Has anyone here implemented a trial version of b2b software that requires registration? What has  your experience been with conversion rate?

1.  I know of some successful companies that do this. They require user to request a trial license by sending an email and the license is returned to that address. 

2. I have also seen where the trial license is sent only to a recognized corporate email address  and not to any of the known free email accounts.

3.  Another scenario I have seen requires the request be sent via a form inside the trial after it is installed, but the trial does not function properly until the trial  license is activated - I am pretty sure that scenario involves a hardware-locked trial license where the submitting form grabs some hardware ID.

I am leaning toward the first scenario, mainly because it is simpler to implement.
Bill Anonomist Send private email
Monday, June 08, 2015
 
 
All of those will work.  But they also will all involve losing a few people who don't want to bother.  So you have to decide if the extra information you gain is worth the potential lost sales.  The more hoops a person has to do, the fewer will be willing to do it.

In our case we asked the user for their first name and email address, and then immediately forwarded them to the download page.  So no verifying the email address/waiting for an email, etc.  We even let them leave the fields blank before they clicked submit.  We found we were losing about 20% of our downloads with just that tiny amount of information request. 

The other factor is who is your target customer.  Our are IT people, who or sort of cranky when any sort of marketing is involved.  Maybe your niche isn't that way...
Doug Send private email
Monday, June 08, 2015
 
 
Used alternative #3 long time ago (today 100% SaaS). Do NOT advise that a registration is requested. Let the user first install then ask for registration to unlock! Our application was JWS so we could correctly check request/download rate - very good 90%+. Most problems from confirmation emails (incorrectly picked by client spam filter ... user requests 4-5 times the unlock key, be prepared to manage!). Suggestion: do not limit to corp email, initially - decide later. Surely somebody will not request unlock key: nothing lost - those people would never buy anyway!
Franco Graziosi Send private email
Tuesday, June 09, 2015
 
 
> somebody will not request unlock key: nothing lost

What about reputation lost?  Won't those people bad-mouth your product to others as being sneaky and underhanded?
PSB136 Send private email
Tuesday, June 09, 2015
 
 
> Won't those people bad-mouth your product to others
> as being sneaky and underhanded?

Yes, probably.  And the 100 people that see their bad-mouthing is nothing compared to the 1,000,000,000 that will never see their post (unless you're in a _very_ small and tight-knit community).

When your product is unknown, getting anyone to care enough to even bad mouth it is surprisingly hard.
Doug Send private email
Tuesday, June 09, 2015
 
 
@PSB136

In fact, let me put it another way.  You wrote some software.  I've actually wondered what it does.  You've probably posted a link to it at some point.  I've looked a little.  Can't find it.  Googled a bit.  Gave up.  And I sort of know you from this board, and am a mod on this board.  With all that, I STILL don't know you, don't know your software, and don't actually know anyone else that knows about your software.  Now think of the billions of people on the web that don't even know about this site! 

I'm trying to help you stop worrying about what everyone will think.  It's amazingly hard to get any attention at all on the web from enough people to matter.  So don't get held back by fear.
Doug Send private email
Tuesday, June 09, 2015
 
 
@Doug

Good points. Like you, my buyers are IT folks, mostly management level in mid-large company, and often the CTO.

Another angle on requiring registration is that it may leverage the "hard to get" psychology: the product must be really good if the seller turns away those not willing to provide email and also must be very successful and can afford to do so.

Being too easy and/or too cheap does not impress the corporate buyers.
Bill Anonomist Send private email
Tuesday, June 09, 2015
 
 
I moved my B2B software to "register and we email download link" scheme and it targets people between 'power user' to IT specialists so expected some push back as "IT folks very wary of marketing"

5 years ago or so ran 2 A/B tests - quoting from memory now as don't have the stats any more

#1 Registration v no-registration. Big drop (think it was nearly 30%) in downloads, no discernible drop in post installation page load or any other metric including sales.

#2 Registration page v Registration page with small (but not tiny)"click here to download without registering" link below it. Very few people (<5% IIRC which is strange considering the 30% drop - just the sight of the form scares the tyre kickers away) used this so dumped it.

Take way for my niche - if they are serious prospects they have already spent some time browsing site before deciding they want to trial it so a registration form is not too much of a commitment.

Oh - and never had many obvious mailinator type accounts so never worried about limiting to just corporate email which is bound to cause more problems than it solves - don't worry about the tin hat brigade (and I wear a tin-hat on occasion!)
Ryan Wheeler Send private email
Tuesday, June 09, 2015
 
 
> I'm trying to help you stop worrying about what everyone will think.  It's amazingly hard to get any attention at all on the web from enough people to matter.  So don't get held back by fear.

Thanks, Doug.  Wise words, and appreciated.

Part of my problem is one download site says I have over 20,000 downloads of one app, so it would appear to me that at least that many people would know of my app and notice any changes to licensing or such that I implement.  However, I seriously think that figure is just pure BS, the more I think about it.
PSB136 Send private email
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
 
 
I assure you that almost all download sites have fabricated, highly inflated download counters.
Even download.com seems to be inflated to me. Softpedia is greatly inflated (I can actually measure true downloads via referrals, it's almost 0 compared to ~3000 on their counter) and smaller sites are even worse. Some sites simply list a fixed number (or a random one) and that's it, it's really ridicolous, ignore all their numbers.
Zka Send private email
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
 
 

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