No insight or analytics
That’s right, and maybe it’s too obvious - but without any way of measuring the key metrics of your platform, how are you going to make decisions about what to do next?
Before diving into any future development, I would recommend outlining what outputs you’ll use to determine if the changes you might make will have a positive or negative impact on platform engagement. Take your time over these, I’ve outlined some of my key considerations below:
- What data do we want to capture?
- Where do we capture it from?
- How is it going to help us?
- Who is the data on?
- How frequently should we review it?
- How do we segment it?
Remember that it’s not the quantity of the data, but the quality that will help your platform thrive. This is going to become more important with the upcoming changes to GDPR, and is a great opportunity to revisit your customer flows and ensure that everything you are doing will comply with the guidelines coming into play during May 2018.
Value doesn’t align with your users
Remember that your freemium model should first and foremost align to your target customer’s needs. I know that you might have already invested a huge amount in developing a new product or service, but shoehorning a freemium model around features or functionality that have no relevance to their needs will not convert to sales, or provide any actionable insight that would be valuable to your business.
I'll give an example - let’s imagine that I run a digital business that helps connect users in a local community together so that they can trade digital goods that they don't want, earned by buying other products or services on the site.
If I add a 'freemium' option to the system that allows users to accrue and trade goods, but ask them to upgrade to premium before they can trade with anyone else, we limit their experience of our USP and therefore fail to make a connection to their point of need.
A better system would be to limit the amount of transactions a person could make during a specific time period, or even reducing the amount of other users they could trade with. Be mindful that in order to convert a freemium user into a premium customer you first need to prove your value to them.
Poor quality experience
So my final, and potentially the largest, risk to any freemium experience is that your product or service no matter how much you believe in it, just isn’t up to scratch.
Don’t be afraid to decide that freemium isn’t right for you right now. Take time to refine some of your features, maybe even strip some out to create a refined version for release, users will get frustrated when they find sub-optimal functionality which will hamper attempts at getting them to stay engaged or upgrade.
Users also like to see new updates, delivered regularly with continual support - which lends itself to a more iterative approach to developing your offering. This will also give you an opportunity to engage them, and let them tell you what matters most to their needs.