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WEB/DIGITAL which route to go when charging for internet service?

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which route is better?

  • charge money after X weeks/months for the service

    Votes: 1 25.0%
  • keep limited service free and charge for extra featured service

    Votes: 3 75.0%

  • Total voters
    4

ryanpal

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Jul 26, 2007
363
21
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nj
i'm wondering what a better route to take is. i have a web site which is going to provide a particular service. i want to know if it would be better to:

1. provide the service free for X weeks/months and then begin to charge a small fee after a certain number of users have become dependent on the service.

or

2.provide limited service for free and provide the bells and whistles (extra features) for a fee.


#1 seems like a great route with the exception of possibly making people mad. although this seems similar to the route that phone/cable companies take when people have their service and then up their price.

ryan
 

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kurtyordy

Bronze Contributor
Aug 28, 2007
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I voted for number 2, but I really like a merger.

Basic membership free. For first one, two, three (you pick) months premium is free as well. Then after that time period is up, customer has to choose. This will give them a taste of the good life, but allow them to still retain free value if they choose not to continue.

That was the flaw I saw with the rd system. They were harping on the insider, or whatever they called it, but never invited me to try it so I could decide whether or not it was worth it. They kept saying how good it was, but I never bought in.
 

Jorge

Bronze Contributor
Oct 5, 2007
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Mendoza, Argentina
I also voted 2. I think its easier to maintain your user base once you start charging
 

willymo

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Jul 25, 2007
36
5
12
Baltimore, Maryland, United States
I voted for #1.

As long as your clients know that they will be charged after a certain amount of time, they should not have a problem paying.

For example, In order to receive your service they have to sign up (name, email, credit card #, etc), but let them know their card will not be charged until after the trail period. You could offer 1-3 months free to give them a taste of what your service is like.
 

kurtyordy

Bronze Contributor
Aug 28, 2007
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Willy- The drawback to #1 is that if they choose not to continue, you have lost them except for the ability to market through email. However, if you keep them coming back for the free service, you have a growing captive audiance.
 

ryanpal

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Jul 26, 2007
363
21
35
nj
i should clarify that #1 would be along the lines of NetZero.

NetZero offered free internet (with ads but we'll leave that part out for sake of discussion) and then begain to charge about 2yrs later. This was just after X time w/out any "free trial" periods. So in essence I would wait until I had a large enough customer base and then begin to charge for it. Once again the idea is that they would be dependent on the service, however I could see it as pissing some people off therefore losing some customers.
 

kurtyordy

Bronze Contributor
Aug 28, 2007
2,375
282
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Lets take fast lane as an example. If MJ started charging, I would imagine, many would leave, and then later when he wants us to buy his second, third, and fourth books from him, there would be a smaller audiance to pitch to.

However, if he kept it free forever, and then next week sent all of us a pm asking us to help make his book an amazon best seller, it would only cost us x dollars.
1. he has a bigger audience to pitch to
2. I would buy it, and others would as well, because of interest, but also as a way of showing appreciation for what he created here.

BTW- I was pissed at Netzero, they started out as a free service, and when I signed up gave no indication of changing that. I understand that the business model was flawed, but it did not change how I felt about them for changing our deal mid stream. (I say this while logged onto the internet via netzero at $4.95/month.)
 

JScott

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Speedway Pass
Aug 24, 2007
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Here are the types of questions you should ask yourself before you make this decision:

Who are your customers? What is there socio-economic status? How much disposable income do they have?

How important will your service be to them?

Who are your competitors and how do they charge?

How do your costs scale with users, usage, etc?

How does your time commitment scale with users, usage?

What are your differentiating features?

Is your service something that customers will need for life? Or only for a short time?

Will you rely on traditional or viral marketing for new customers?

Is there a physical component to your service?
 

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