Advice on getting free users to pay for a PRO option of a product

Hi I have a small project at I created the site to drive traffic to my main product, but to my surprise, the free basic tool site took off, and we get about 25,000 users a month.

So I thought let’s do a PRO version of the tool, even if only 1% of the users sign up that’s still $$$. So we created the PRO version, but so far I have only sold a small number of PRO accounts:-(

Maybe the free version is enough for most users, but you would think more users would have some interest in the PRO features.

When you click the button to try pro it goes to the demo there is no marketing information on this page, so maybe users are not clear on what the advantages of going pro are?

I also thought maybe we should add the pro features to the free page and when the user tries to use them they get a message like ‘This is a PRO feature, click here to try PRO for free…’. I don’t want to annoy users too much so if I do this any suggestion on how to ‘mark’ a feature as PRO so users are clear on what is a PRO option?

If you could have a quick click of and give me any suggestions I would appreciate it.

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Why provide the ability to “Try Pro for Free”? Isn’t that the point of the free offering - to prove that your products do what you claim that they do? With the caveat that I don’t have experience in this, my gut would be to simply make that a “Try Pro” that takes you directly to the Register/Payment page. Giving an additional chance to try the pro features for free seems like a way to introduce a leak in your funnel.

There are 2 things you can tweak:

  • free => paid conversion UX
  • free vs. paid difference

I would have only one site. Instead of listing “pro” features I would have them listed the same way as regular options, but marked pro. When user checks that option, there would be some in-line flow to upgrade the user to paid account (in-line as opposed to bouncing to a separate site).

You can try limiting free option to N conversions (e.g. 5 free conversions per day, based on cookie/ip address). If they reach daily limit, tell them to upgrade or wait 24 hrs. If you log usage, you can see how many current free users would fall over the limit.

Instead of doing monthly price (which people might feel uneasy about), you could do a pre-paid plan e.g. 10 cents (or whatever) per conversion, buy credits in packs of $10 (i.e. $10 for 100 conversions).

Don’t ask for donations. You probably don’t get any anyway and it makes you look unprofessional. Also “pay to have it for free” pitch doesn’t make any sense.

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I agree with this. Unless you are an agency that needs to convert docs from clients to HTML most people will need this once in a while. In that case the pre-paid make sense.

Look at I use this tool from time to time so instead of buying the software I just bought some credits

Thanks guys we will go with merging the pro features into the free version and when a user clicks a pro feature we will show a popup window to go pro.

I don’t want to go down the credits route as it gets complex to code. Simpler with a flat rate.

Our core product has credits

Just trying to squeeze a bit more revenue out of this basic tool site.

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Yep. And rather than “try for free”, if you want to address Sales Objections, it’s probably better to offer a x week money back guarantee.

It’ not obvious to me what the benefits of the PRO are. And I’m not going to pay for the Pro unless I have a good reason.

You have to be very very careful with Pro features vs. Free version. Don’t give away too much with the Free. Make the benefits of the Pro obvious

BTW, one question I have:

Is the lack of conversions to Pro b/c:

  1. They aren’t even interested in the Pro features
  2. They want them but not worth the price.

You can suss out 1 vs 2 by letting someone START to use the feature but then let them know it’s in Pro only. (perhaps let them use it once so it doesn’t piss them off, or temporarily remove the “pro” label just for testing.

If no one TRIES to use the feature (with no “pro only” label) then the problem is #1.
If they use it then it’s something about #2

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