This is going to a be a quick post about up-selling. This is something a lot of startups do very poorly and there’s a billion blog posts already about developing an MVP and the death of the Freemium model out there. This is a micro-lesson in startup economics.
You won’t get paid if you don’t ask for it
Maybe you can manage to get 10 million users to sign up for your new magical hosted blogging service by giving it away for free but you have to get paid eventually so how are you going to do that?
Ask your customers to pay you. I know, seems logical right? Then don’t be afraid of it. Ask early, ask often.
Here’s a great example of an up-sell right out of the gate. BAM! It’s not an especially compelling argument but it’s not bad. It obviously did a little homework for you and puts an idea in your head. I don’t have any stats on how effective this is but the point is that if it wasn’t there the conversion rate would be 0%.
Now here’s an example of a missed opportunity. Tumblr doesn’t even ask you. I don’t know if they offer it as a feature!
(Update: they don’t. )
Develop features you think people will pay money for and then be direct about asking them to do so. If I have to track down how to turn on a feature and pay for it… I won’t.
- Freemium Paper by Lincoln Murphy of Sixteen Ventures (chargify.com)
- Giving Something Away: How Tech Startups Land Their First Customers (dailyfinance.com)
- The pitfalls of having nonpaying customers (customerthink.com)
- The art of going from free to fee (theglobeandmail.com)
- Should Tumblr care? David Karp tells users who complain to “go away” (postdesk.com)
- Will Freemium Work for You? (rapportive.com)
- I Eliminated the Free Plan from my Web App for a Month: Here’s What Happened. (mattmazur.com)