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As a consumer I hate this. If you know that you need the software it isn't a big deal to add your CC info, but if you are just trying out some different products/services it is really annoying.

Also, I suck at completing timed trials. I sign up for a service, play with it for a bit, and might not come back for a few weeks - usually when the trial has expired. Having to enter credit card information is exactly one of the roadblocks that causes me to abandon ship and put it in the "This is a pain and taking more time than I thought, so I will just do this later." category.

So, while I don't think you are losing any customers that already know they need your service, you may be losing some who might need your service, but aren't sure yet.

The best onboarding process gets me signed up as quickly as possible (you are clearly doing that) - and takes me through an interactive tutorial (i.e. "Enter your project name here") where you are actually entering information into the system, not just completing some demo that isn't useful.

Show users how to do something useful with your service as quickly as possible and you will have their attention. The CC info will be secondary - they will happily enter it when the time comes!

This is exactly what I think I'm proposing to do. If you come across Planscope and think, "Interesting. I'd like to play around with this" you can - quickly - and with no time requirements.

But once you have a real life project that you're getting paid for, then you come back and kick off your formal trial.

I'm curious how this goes (so please post a write-up when you have data). We (www.agentmethods.com) collect credit cards up front exactly to avoid that "create the account and forget about it" situation. The clock is ticking so our trials are serious.

We experimented with removing the credit card at signup and it killed our conversion rate from trial to happy paying customer.

We now invest a significant amount of support resources into trial users which we wouldn't be able to do if we opened the floodgates to every uncommitted tire kicker.

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