Although I like the “freemium” concept, my company – WorkingPoint – has just decided that we will discontinue free accounts. This decision was hard because a bulk of our userbase and a significant portion of our new subscribers are free accounts. However, the desire to grow quickly is hampered by our need for a paycheck. In a perfect world, we wouldn’t have to worry about making money, and can continue to work on building a better software and still be able to give it out to users for free. But alas, in the real world of VC funding and SEM, the freemium concept is just not sustainable.
Now, unlike some of the recent pricing changes in the startup community: Chargify, Recurly, and Zendesk, we did several things before launching our new plans:
- Grandfathered existing customers and try our best to keep all promises – If sometime in the past we promised a customer unlimited invoices, or free reports, we made sure they will continue to receive those benefits. Even if they upgraded to one of our new, paid plans, we still allow them to downgrade back to the plan they originally signed up with. We hope that this attention to details and commitment to our customers will let our users know that we think of them every step of the way.
- Notified all customers before the new pricing plan goes into effect – Although nothing would change for our existing customers, it’s just common courtesy I guess???
- We tested our price point before releasing them – Months ago we ran a test to see at which price point would a customer still find our products worth the money. We learned that people actually converted at a HIGHER rate when we RAISED our prices. This taught us that there is a lot of value in the product that we are leaving on the table. So armed with this information, we made our move.
- 30 Days Free Trial for all new customers – We have a ton of great demos and documentations for our product, but we think the best way to evaluate our software is to use it. Customers can use us for a whole month, WITHOUT providing a credit card, and decide within 30 days if they want to continue and provide payment information at that time. This should make it easy for anyone interested in our software, but have doubts or are unsure if we are a good fit for their business.
Anywho, the next couple of days and weeks will be interesting. If our software is as useful as we try to make it, we hope that customers will continue to signup and we expect participation will increase. So far a few customers have emailed us with concerns and questions, but we are trying our best to explain to everyone that nothing will change for them. We also want to stress to everyone that this change will ultimately help us grow as a company, and provide us with the resources to improve our software in the long run.
If you are interested in grabbing a free account before we push our the code, you better hurry. WorkingPoint Free Signup. It won’t be around much longer :)
Disclaimer: The views expressed above are mine alone, and does not represent my company. I usually say a lot of stupid stuff, that’s why I write in this blog. You don’t have to read it. Look away!