# For a SaaS, free trial of credit card upfront?
# Free Trial
By offering a free trial, if people sign up, you can have some feedbacks, fix some bugs they discover and get feature requests.
But beware of time wasters, people that don't convert after you respond to all their requests. You can see many curious people signing up by offering a free trial.
# Credit Card Upfront
With credit card upfront, you're doing the only real (allegedly?) validation that you have something valuable, having people paying you for what you offer. This is what recommended in Tyler Tringas Micro Saas Ebook in the MVP phase (find it here, I highly recommend you to read it, a real bible!).
What can be difficult, it's too not have any signups, 0 SIGNUP because of asking for the credit card upfront for your MVP and thus having no feedback at all. But at least, you know that either people are not interested or they don't grasp what they would obtain from your landing page.
# The danger of free trial
This deserves its own chapter. This is my last point as I want to emphasize something that can be difficult to imagine. The world is filled with brilliant people, that have too much time on their hands.
I'm working on a SaaS that is an automated solution to send satisfaction surveys by email. We offered a 14 days free trial, and in the trial plan, the user can send at most 500 emails, to get the feel of the service. We thought it would be enough for a trial. We also allowed people trying our app to use the mass sendings feature.
What we didn't know at the time is that smart people could use that and be detrimental to our cost structure.
Some guy from Bangladesh realized that the tool would be great to send spam emails for free as long as he can create different accounts. He or she managed to send about 7000 emails sent in creating a dozen accounts! He basically turned the app into a spam machine. I have since changed what can be done in a free trial to prevent this from happening again.
So if you do offer a free trial, be careful of what can be done with it, to keep your costs in control. With credit card upfront, you can weed out curious people and keep control of your costs. Also, it's the simplest way to validate. After that, you can modify your onboarding approach. Maybe a free trial is possible to offer? Or maybe a freemium model is right for your service?
Until next time!