Re: Free demo policies

From: John Gaskill <>
Date: Thu 30 May 2002 09:20:56 -0600

Tom Jeffries wrote:

>One of our primary means of advertising is posting unlimited
>30 day free demo versions of our software on our site and on
>shareware sites. We request an email address from people who
>download from our site. There is an opt-out box; those who
>opt out get a single "Thank You" email and those who do not
>are added to our mailing list.

Hi Tom,

You did not state what kind of software you are selling and
I did not visit your site to look. It strikes me that the conversion
ratio of product where there is substantial competition might
be low to begin with. Having that information might help us
better advise you.

>We get a lot of false email addresses. We're considering two
>changes to our policies- I'd like feedback on both.
>1. We can require a valid email address, with varying levels
>of certification of validity up to and including a requirement
>that people respond to an email sent to them before they can
>use the program. Right now our requirements are very low- the
>syntax has to be right. We get quite a few

What is the purpose of collecting e-mail addresses?

If you are offering a shareware product, or a software
product with a full-featured demo period, why not just let
people download it and give it a try?

I downloaded a demo security program from McAfee
a couple of years ago and it did not suit my purposes.
Unfortunately, they are still spamming me. I don't
like it because none of the spams they send me apply
to any operating systems I use. Needless to say I am
not going to buy anything from McAfee because they
did not remove my name from their list as I have asked,

>2. We can reduce the length of the free trial. Some of our
>competitors offer 15 day trials instead of 30, or limit the

The email program I use was acquired through a
demo/download. It gave me the opportunity to download
unlimited e-mail during the demo period, but to only send
five e-mail messages. After I got started using it, I did not
want it to go away, so I immediately executed a paid

Can you do something similar with your programs?

There is nothing like cutting someone off in the middle
of a good experience to make them willing to pay for it.

John Gaskill

Received on Thu May 30 2002 - 10:20:56 CDT


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