SaaS Sales & Free Trials: With or without credit card details?

SaaS Sales & Free Trials: With or without credit card details?

While many companies simply follow the trend and what their competitors do (as little barriers to get using their product), some still struggle with this dilemma… and for the wrong reasons.

Should you ask for credit card details before starting a free trial, or not?

In this post I’ll briefly summarize my thoughts, based on what I’ve seen in real organization that decided to have free trials with, and also without CC details.

Try before you buy

“Try before you buy” has become the primary consumer mindset when buying software (SaaS or mobile apps) across almost all verticals and price points. Whether we consider low price points (free or freemium) to enterprise pricing (demos). Getting this right is crucial, otherwise all your prior investment into lead generation, will be lost.

But why do we see this trend?

The amount of SaaS vendors is dramatically increasing, and so is the competition in the market. Because of this, what would cost you money in the past is today given away for free in free trials or freemium products. All for the sake of demonstrating how and why is their solution better.

Customers are simply used to trying something and evaluating whether they like the product or not – i.e. whether they get the value or not, before purchasing.

Ultimately, because this is what consumers expect, asking for the extra step of commitment and investment of submitting credit card details will lead to lower free trial sign-ups.

Hoping to get only “high quality” sign-ups by creating the pay wall is not likely to be as profitable as acquiring a larger number of free trial sign-ups, and delivering exceptional value.

Free trials need to create real impact

Providing exceptional value is always a must.


Through an intelligently designed onboarding process which guides your users through the right hoops in order to realize the value you provide.

Also, this can be complemented by useful content related to the benefits your product brings.

How much of this value should you provide? Enough to the point where upgrading is the only logical course of action at the end of the trial.

My verdict? Focus on top of funnel lead generation efforts, make the free trial sign-up as effortless as possible — therefore without credit card details, and focus on delivering exceptional value as soon as possible during the free trial.

SaaS Onboarding Playbook (1)

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