I sign up for dozens of products each month, some of them are ones that I must pay for — usually they start with a free trial.

But almost always between signing up for the product, and actually using the product there is a delay. I signed up for a video hosting product recently, and didn't upload a single video for three weeks. When it came to actually using the product: I couldn't! My trial had expired and I had to enter a credit card.

I had to email their support and explain that I had not even used their application yet, and then they reset my trial.

I think this is a very poor user experience for customers. People obsess over the first user experience, but what about the "unactivated" user experience?

I have another product that requires me to integrate a javascript snippet. When I log in the user interface begs me to integrate the javascript snippet, but the user interface also explains to me that I cannot use the application until I start paying.

Introducing better — unlimited, in fact — free trials

Sign up for userfox, you'll be able to use all our functionality. We'll implore you to integrate, both on the website and via email. If you integrate, then you get a full 30 day trial to see if you want userfox in your life.

What if you don't integrate? That's cool. Come back any time and we'll be here waiting for you. The trial clock only starts counting down after you integrate.

This also makes sense from a metrics point of view. What is your paid conversion rate? By making this subtle change, your metrics are a true representation of how your product is doing: you're not simply pushing users to pay you regardless of if they use your product, but you're focusing on users that are actually activated.

This has even more benefits though: this way you can truly segment and communicate with your audience, you can ensure every message you send to a user is relevant to their lifecycle stage: no more "your trial has expired!" emails in the midst of an onboarding sequence about the benefits of your product.

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