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PLG reverse trial examples

over 1 year ago 3 mins read
Adam Schoenfeld
Adam Schoenfeld

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Freemium vs free trial is an age-old question.

After reading some of the work from Elena and Kyle, I'm convinced that the "reverse trials" offers an attractive third option and will gain popularity.

In many ways it's the best of both worlds.

Users get more access with less friction.

Vendors get more conversion without compromising ongoing engagement.

I thought we could add value to this conversation by surfacing more examples.

I just posted a summary deck.

From our PLG dataset, we can see that free trial is the most common free offer of any kind.

Freemium is equally well known, but much less common.

Then we see a solid 20% of PLG companies with BOTH.

Free trial + freemium does not always = reverse trial, but this segment is a starting point to find role models and examples.

You've probably already seen some of the reverse trials from PLG icons like Airtable, Canva, and PandaDoc.

In this post we dug into a few that you may not have seen.

We broke them into two buckets:


Mandatory Premium Trial. Premium trial is positioned as the single door into the product.

Free plan is in the background until the trial ends.


Optional Premium Trial. The user can choose their own door.

Both options are accessible and available upfront.

Lauren did a full analysis, tearing down each example here.

But in the spirit of Zero-Click content, I'll share one of each...

OneFlow is a beautiful example of the mandatory premium trial.

The experience is on point and user messaging is super clear.

Wistia is another example worth running through.

This is a case where the user get a lot of choice and the vendor positions the options and reinforces the benefits along their journey.

I'm very curious to explore the whole range of "free" strategies in modern B2B.

From free trial to freemium to open source to alternate product, there are almost infinite ways to use the power of "free."

Like most things it's not "new." Many of the classic marketing examples in *Scientific Advertising* and *Ogilvy on Advertising* show the power of free samples and other related offers.

Estee Lauder was building community and doing product-led growth 70 years before they became SaaS buzzwords.

B2B "standards" are finally shifting to the buyer.

*Where would you like us to dig next?*

I read all replies.