My clients often want to have "trial" versions of their web 2.0 products. There are two steps to this process:
1. Say, "Hey we need a trial version!"
2. Sit around trying to figure out which features are necessary enough to lust for but not necessary enough to make the application utterly useless if they aren't in the trial version.
I always advise against this. I'd rather see a timed trial with all features where after so many days you switch to only some features unless you pay. You made features because they are useful. You want to show them off.
So today I signed up for naymz.com which is, maybe, something like LinkedIn mixed with Rapleaf. I'm not sure yet what it might do for me.
What I can tell you is that one thing it did was send me this e-mail right after I joined.
Someone just visited your Naymz profile. You've had a total of 1 visits to your profile since you created it. Please visit your reports to see more details.
So I click on the link and get this:
Apparently when I pay to join Naymz I can see who is looking at my profile on Naymz. This might be of value to me, I just don't know. Is this a feature that Naymz thought was lustworthy but not vital?
I do not know.
You see, there's so much stuff out there now, no one has the time or the inclination to pay you money on the offchance that your feature will be well implemented. You have to show them. First hand.
LinkedIn gave me a free enhanced membership so I would know exactly what I could expect from their service. Now that the free LinkedIn trial is about to expire, I will likely pay to maintain my subscription.
I know what I'm getting.
When someone evaluates your product, they are coming with their own value needs. Your product has many features. If one of the features you are holding back is the one that defines value for a given user, you will not convert that user. They have to guess if your other features indicate that the one of value is well implemented. People don't pay for a guess.