Corbett Barr is one of the Founders of Fizzle, a membership site that provides online training resources for entrepreneurs trying to build businesses on the web. Fizzle came about as a result of the work Corbett did for the past 5 years of building audiences and creating products online, such as Start A Blog That Matters, and coaching people to do the same.
A Quick Preview of the Podcast:
- Why you should implement trial offers for online products
- How to make people commit to your trial without it being free
- Why $1 will prompt prospects to convert
To See These Tactics In Action:
To See The Transcript:
Tim: Trial signups can be a great way to get customers in the door. If you product provides a lot of value and serves a specific need, trials can be really effective. The problem for a lot of companies is that often trial users tend to be tire kickers. They sign up never use the product and don’t convert to paying customers. So is there a way to not only increase your trial sign-ups but also convert those folks to paying customer?
Today’s guest is Corbett Barr from Fizzle.co, a membership site for entrepreneurs that includes training, a community and more. Corbett and his team have had fantastic results. They increased the number of signups while converting more of those trial signups into regular customers. They also discovered a really interesting result when they tried both free trials and $1 trials. You won’t want to miss this. I’m Tim Page, the conversion educator here at LeadPages and this is ConversionCast.
Awesome, Corbett, thank you so much for coming on the show. I’m excited to have you here.
Corbett: Thank you so much for having me.
Tim: Cool. So the first thing that we would love to share is can you tell us the result that you were able to get with the tactic that we’re going to talk about today?
Corbett: Sure, yeah, absolutely. I was able to get a 156% increase in signups for our main product.
Tim: Whoo, that is beautiful. Awesome. I can’t wait to talk about that. Before we get into it, I know we had Chiz Reeves on the show previously but I still think it would be helpful to find out you know, tell us a little bit about Fizzle.co and what your role is there?
Corbett: Sure. So Fizzle.co is an online training library for people that are building businesses on the internet and it’s also a community of entrepreneurs. We have about 1200 active members in there. My role is I am one of the founders of Fizzle and it came about directly as a result of the work that I’ve done over the past five years in building audiences online, coaching people to build audiences and creating other products like Start a Blog that Matters which was one of our flagship courses before which is now part of the Fizzle training library.
Tim: Awesome. So prior to implementing the tactic that we’re talking about what were you doing differently?
Corbett: Well we have a monthly membership basically for Fizzle so people join and they pay us on a monthly basis $35 a month. They get access to our entire training library and community and then if they want to stick around, they stick around.
What we were doing before was essentially when someone signed up they simply paid the regular price, the whatever the monthly price, that’s what they paid in order to get into the membership to begin with.
Tim: Okay. And what are the numbers look like when you you just had the regular price there?
Corbett: Well I can tell you that you know we just had a baseline basically. We knew how many people were signing up every month given that we had that price. The conversion rate would vary you know, based on whatever source of traffic we had coming in. But the thing that we wanted to do was to see if we made some sort of special offer in the beginning some sort of trial if we could get more people in the door and then the big question was even if we get more people in the door, are they going to stick around for the second month and are they going to stick around as long as you know, a normal customer who had paid the full price to get in to begin with would stick around. And that’s where we got the increase from.
Tim: Awesome. And so what was the trial offer that you put up?
Corbett: So the trial offer is that people can actually join Fizzle and this is ongoing right now. They can join Fizzle for the first month for just $1 as opposed to the $35 normal monthly price.
Tim: Okay. So I mean that’s a pretty small thing you know they get to try, they save 34 bucks on the first month and to see 150% increase in conversions is pretty amazing. So what – I know that you said that that was the idea that you wanted to implement. What gave you the idea to do that?
Corbett: Well we have been studying a lot software as a service type businesses because we have a monthly subscription model. It’s very similar to a lot of different kinds of software that are out there and our experience up to that point had been you know mostly from selling things that were one-off products. Courses that people would buy and just pay us once for. So as we’ve jumped in in this monthly subscription model, we started looking around for you know, what other people were doing. We found that in the software as a service business it’s very common actually to have a free trial offer where people get in and try things out for free and then if they want to stick around or if they want more features that they end up having to you know, pay for this. Sometimes it’s a free trial, sometimes it’s premium.
We actually experimented with that as well but what we settled on was actually charging a dollar to get people in in the beginning and the logic there was essentially that you know, we want people to be able to experience this thing for themselves and to see whether or not it’s right for them. The signal that that sends is just that we’re very confident in our product and that we think people will love it. And that if we lower the barrier to them getting in, that we’re going to hopefully be able to get them to stick around for a long time.
With the freemium model or with the free trial model, what we found was that it was difficult to convert people from completely free memberships into paying members versus charging someone a dollar for the first month and we’re not exactly sure why that is except that obviously you know when someone signs up for a dollar, it’s a little bit different commitment because they’re actually giving us credit card details to begin with. They’re signaling that they’re willing to pay for something to begin with.
When you have a free trial, a lot of people get in just to kick the tires. It may have something to do with just the way that they perceive something as having a free trial. But we found that we didn’t get materially more people to sign up when we had a free trial versus a $1 trial. But that we’re able to convert a lot more people into paying members after the $1 trial is over.
Tim: That’s a really cool insight. So the conversions weren’t necessarily that much greater for the $1 trial from the free trials is that what you’re saying?
Corbett: Yeah. Yeah exactly so imagine you know, if with the $1 trial, we’re able to get 100 people to sign up a month, with the free trial w may have been able to get 120 or 130 or something like that to sign up. But at the end of the first month right now we’re able to convert about 65% of the people who sign up for the dollar trial into ongoing memberships whereas with a free trial it was 15% or 20%. So that the numbers just didn’t work out.
Tim: That’s a huge change. Wow I love it, okay. So is there anything that you would change now that you’ve kind of done this and it’s something that’s ongoing would you change anything about the way that you did it?
Corbett: Not necessarily. I mean I would have tried this out earlier because there were a number of months where we didn’t necessarily have trials in place and partly that was because the software that we’re using you know, didn’t exactly support what we wanted to try out. So it took us a while to kind of build that in to test it, to roll it out, to do some AB tests to find out what the results were and all that kind of stuff.
So I would definitely do it sooner. For people listening to this, whatever numbers I’m throwing out are for our business and your business is going to be completely different. I mean that’s the thing that we’ve found is that even though we had read studies that people had done for software as a service businesses it didn’t necessarily apply to us. That’s just because the usage patterns are different. The needs are different and so really you need to trial these things out and hopefully you know, we’re inspiring people to try things out but just because you try this out doesn’t mean you’re going to get results that are anywhere similar to ours. So you never know until you actually test things.
Tim: Yeah I think that’s one of the coolest benefits people are getting from the show is they’re hearing ideas and they’re getting to hear what things are doing, what things people are doing that are working and they’re getting inspired to try different things and test things out. What tests are you completing or what things are you doing in your business that you’re excited about and what are you expecting to come of that?
Corbett: Well just related to the trials that we were talking about, you know, we are still doing testing on this ongoing. One of the things that we’re going to try is reducing the trial period. It’s currently 30 days that people get to you know, to be a member before they start paying us on a regular basis. We are planning to try out running a 15-day trial period instead of a 30-day trial period partly just because you know, if the conversion rates are similar then that will obviously help a little bit with cash flow. That’s one of the main things that we’re planning to try out.
Tim: yeah. I’m not a big speculation guy but do you expect that to affect the conversion rate either way?
Corbett: Well it’s interesting you have to wonder what the difference is in terms of the number of people that will sign up and the number of people that will stick around and whether or not it creates any sort of sense of urgency or will it make people perceive us as being more stingy with our offer and maybe prevent them from signing up I don’t know. I suspect that it might not materially impact the conversion rate which in that case just means that we would be receiving a full payment 15 days earlier than we normally would which is again you know, simply a cash flow exercise.
And then the other thing that you have to test and this makes testing difficult but that is to look at the longevity of a customer that signs up given any sort of trial that you test out. So not only does the upfront conversion rate matter but also for us the lifetime value of our customers matter based on how long they stick around and how much they end up paying us over their lifespan.
So you always have to watch okay if I got someone in for a dollar instead of a full payment upfront, what does that do to the backend, you know, to the longevity of that customer and what they end up ultimately paying us over their lifetime.
Tim: have you had enough time to get results on that yet?
Corbett: Yeah. So for a dollar trial, it hasn’t materially impacted the lifetime value of the customer.
Tim: Oh that’s so interesting. That’s so cool. Well this has been awesome Corbett. Thank you so much for coming on and sharing this and it’s definitely been really cool to hear about the results of what you’re doing and we’ll be sure to send everybody over to check it out.
Corbett: Thanks Tim. I love the format. It’s quick and painless and I’m glad I can share it with you guys.
Tim: If you found this episode of ConversionCast valuable, you’ll love the free webinar that Tim is hosting this Thursday at 3:00 p.m. Eastern. It’s called Four Steps To Quickly Grow You Email List Without Spending All Your Time On Marketing and it’s designed to do just that.
This has been one of our most popular webinars and the event fills up quickly so make sure you don’t miss out. Head over to LeadPageswebinar.com and register now. Once more the webinar is called Four Steps to Quickly Grow your Email List without Spending all of Your Time on Marketing. It’s happening this Thursday at 3:00 p.m. Eastern time and you can reserve your spot at LeadPageswebinar.com. We hope to see you there. Of course we’ll see on the next episode of ConversionCast.
Listen To Discover How Fizzle Increased Signups & Conversions Using One Tactic