If you offer a premium subscription service, perhaps as the primary format from which your company delivers its value or a nice addon that provides free delivery, discounts, and a members area, it can be nice to implement a free trial to inspire new customers to sign up.
These free trials can last as long as you wish them to, from forty-eight hours to a week and even up to a month. This is a strategy used by even the biggest companies, like Disney, Netflix, and Amazon.
Yet it’s true that in this effort, costing out the chance of potential users exploiting our goodwill is important. After all, with many banking apps now allowing the verified use of virtual debit cards and free emails offered by a range of providers allowing you to create a sign-up profile in minutes, what’s stopping someone from switching accounts over and over to avoid paying you a dime?
Some companies, like Netflix and Disney, have since decided to suspend their free trials because of the funds they miss out on when this happens. But there are also worthwhile means of preventing customers from abusing your free-trial subscriptions, and in this post we’ll discuss the best methods of doing exactly that:
Verifying Contact Telephone Numbers
You can verify customer contact numbers ahead of time in order to verify a free trial with billing information. While customers may be able to easily create a virtual debit card or simply ask their bank for a replacement, it’s harder to switch up a telephone number because this has to be registered and paid for by a telecom company.
On top of that, it’s unlikely for general users to register a great deal of SIM cards because they’ve already given their family and friends the phone number to reach them on, and so there are social limits preventing them from switching up their phone number on one card every so often. Verifying contact telephone numbers, then, can help you restrict or limit multiple accounts that try to go for the free trial despite already making use of one on a main account.
Device fingerprinting is a useful tool you can apply to better identify like customers. A device fingerprint is basically the unique markers of a particular device, from the phone type to the IP address it uses, its location, and more.
It’s then very easy to see how many accounts have been created from one device, banning those that reach over the limit of acceptable account creations. Device fingerprinting can also help you sell licenses to particular software in the confidence that this cannot be pirated easily or abused from machine to machine. It’s a valid tool that even the biggest companies like Amazon are starting to use so that their free trial programs can continue for premium subscriptions like the Prime service.
Cheap, Not Free Trials
There’s no reason as to why a trial of your services has to be entirely free. Right now, Xbox’s Game Pass subscription service allows for a trial month to new users but asks for £1 or $1 in order to activate that code. To many, this is a negligible cost, and won’t deter them from trying out the new subscription package.
For others, as in those who abuse free trial after free trial, it will provide a small upfront cost that they may not be willing to swallow. After all, those who will want to use a free trial continually may not have the funds to afford an actual paid month to begin with, and so filtering out those from your services, as a business trying to make money, is certainly a worthwhile use of your time.
Another good workaround to stop free trials from being abused is not giving access to all of your possible features during the trial period. Of course, if this is supposed to tempt newcomers to use your paid service, it shouldn’t be too restrictive.
However, any social benefits, like being able to offer discounts to partner accounts, from viewing all of the content you have on offer within the space of a month, or downloading it for offline use, which your paid service might provide, can limit the purpose of free trial after free trial while not scaring away new and genuine customers.
With this advice, you’re certain to prevent customers from abusing your generous free trial period and ensure anyone who wishes to use your service beyond that point pays for the privilege. You’re running a business, after all.