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In my mind, there's more to it than a metrics-driven optimization in isolation from the rest of the company.

In your example, the Y% of people you might lose if your trial is too short may very well turn out to be higher paying and/or lower churn customers. What you suggest in your post is the marketing equivalent of sales and support ignoring the colloquial small fry, without realizing that the latter might be sitting on company boards and referring large clients.

Also, if they bookmark the service until they can set aside a time to sign up and evaluate (which as an occasional buyer of SaaS products, I can anecdotally report that some do), you'd have no way to reach out to them and build a relationship unless they contacted you.

By contrast, if you have a free tier, and/or make it clear from the outset that when your trial expires you'll be able to do new ones when the product hits major milestones, then you have the end-user's email, you're building a relationship, you can interview the end-user to understand why they didn't convert, you can try to rescue trials that didn't move forward with a sale for a reason or another, etc.




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