When it comes to attracting new clients and generally boosting interest in your business, few strategies often prove to be quite as effective as special offers and promotions.
Many organizations seem acutely aware of this, as a recent study has highlighted how deals have been a key tactic in the last few months. According to research from Viamedia released in the middle of June, 46 percent of local businesses in the US have made use of incentives and promotions as they have looked to drive sales across this year.
Of course, such offers can come in many different forms, from a simple coupon to a special discount for new customers. However, one strategy that seems to be used a lot these days is the free trial or demo.
Becoming The Norm
The idea of giving away access to a product or service for free – even for a limited time – might seem very odd to some businesses. After all, if you have spent years developing and refining an idea, why would you suddenly decide to just give it away for nothing?
However, free trial periods have become the norm in many areas, with them having a particularly strong presence in the world of streaming platforms. For example, Netflix has offered a free month of service to new customers for a long time, while Disney+ also offered a week for no charge. In addition, at the time of writing, Google’s video game streaming service Stadia provides access to a host of titles in its one-month Pro trial.
With all of that in mind, could there be scope for you to make use of a free trial or demo within your business? And if so, what are the ultimate benefits that such a step could bring?
A Full Overview
One of the most obvious benefits of a free trial is that it gives customers and clients the chance to get a comprehensive overview of everything you can provide. For instance, Amazon explains how people who sign up to its Prime free trial get to access a range of perks such as free two-day shipping, Prime Video, Prime Music and reading options too. This means customers can get a feel for every aspect of the service and ultimately decide if it will prove cost-effective for them.
On a similar note, for those who are unfamiliar with your offering, a free trial or demo gives them a great chance to enjoy some hands-on experience without any risk. A good example of this can be seen in the world of forex as demo accounts have become a key tool in that area. Not only do they give beginners a chance to gain an understanding of trading platforms, but they also ensure that more experienced individuals can test new trading strategies in what is ultimately a safe space.
Furthermore, free trials and demos can be very attractive to potential clients and customers as, after all, who doesn’t love getting something for nothing? It could also be argued that the move may make your business look generous, while it perhaps also shows you have confidence in your service.
Plenty To Consider
However, while the information above might have sold you on the idea of offering a free trial or demo, it is worth bearing in mind that there is more to think about than merely introducing such an offer.
In a blog post for sales consulting organization The Bridge Group, Peter Cohen looked at free trials from the perspective of software-as-a-service (SaaS) and warned that the key was to ensure that such promotions are part of an overall plan. More specifically, he suggested there was a need to have a follow-up strategy in place as you look to convert trial users into actual customers.
He also added that offering services for free will still cost a business money, so firms need to ensure that they have funds to keep their operations running while they give away access to products for no charge.
In The Spotlight
Free trials and demos have been in the spotlight in recent years and, while they may not be suitable in all sectors, they could ultimately prove effective for some organizations. With many consumers being used to seeing such deals, it may well be worth looking at whether the promotions could be useful for your business.
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