Imagine a professional online application in Flash or Silverlight that's being sold for around $15 per person. Which in your opinion is best for the first-time visitor?
- Give everyone access to all its features, but have a nag popup every 5 minutes.
- Create a light version which is missing some of the more advanced features. Then allow customers to sign up for a 30-day trial where they can evaluate the professional version.
I have tried both methods and my findings are a bit inconclusive because I wasn't able to test these things in isolation. But I'm curious how others feel about these experiences.
Is a nagging popup so annoying that it would turn you away from the product forever? Or is the "sign up for a trial" page too much of a barrier to get a taste of the professional features? Or is there a third alternative that's even better?
This is venturing into marketing territory. After a little more digging into this subject I came across an interesting article from Coding Horror. In particular I liked this story...
When Williams-Sonoma introduced bread machines, sales were slow. When they added a "deluxe" version that was 50% more expensive, they started flying off the shelves; the first bread machine now appeared to be a bargain
So with that in mind, perhaps a tiered product range with trials could work...
- Lite Version for $15 (offer a 30-day trial)
- Professional Version for $30 (offer a 30-day trial)
UPDATE: After switching to a Standard / Professional model I saw a huge jump in sales. Essentially the Standard version is what you use when you first go to the site, but you see a nag popup every 5 minutes. You can read more about it here.