Dear SaaStr: How Long Should a Free Trial Be for SaaS Products?

It doesn’t really matter.

What I mean is, this is one of those things in SaaS that is over-analyzed, as if it will make a magical difference.

The sales team will like a shorter period, often, to help them close a deal that month, to shorten sales cycles. This is the real reason you often see 14 day (vs 30 day) trials — it helps the sales team. And that’s OK. It’s fine.  Just bear in mind that’s the real history behind the extremely common 14 day duration you’ll see at many sales-led SaaS leaders.  To help sales get the deal in this month.

Sometimes 14 days really isn’t enough to get enough usage out of the product, for sure. Then you make need to make it longer. On a one-off basis, or for all customers, or per edition. Say, 30 days. Which is also fine.

But …

What really matters is engagement. How do you get the prospect to even use the trial period at all? Many customers, for many products, won’t just automatically start on their own. Most prospects aren’t like you and me. They don’t just grab-and-go.  Almost all of us underinvest in getting those Free and Free Trial users really going as quickly as they could.

So what’s generally most important is investing in on-boarding, both programmatic and human assisted and driven.

Not arguing over how many days goes into the trial.  Just do what creates the best user experience there.


Tom Tunguz did a deep analysis here of over 600 startups.  He found it didn’t really matter how long the trial was, 14 vs 21 vs 30-day free trials didn’t matter.   More here from SaaStr Annual:

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