Free Trial Subscription – Investors Business Daily Case Study
October 12, 2007
Investors Business Daily Free Trial
Are free trials a selling tactic, a useful tool for consumers, or both? I received a lot of comments and emails on the Free Trial Offer post the other day and decided to dig into this one a little more by looking at a free trial offer from Investors Business Daily.
The story actually begins 8 years ago. When I graduated from college and started my first job I went from making no money at all to earning $40K a year. Suddenly I had all this money coming in and decided I wanted to invest some of it but didn’t know where. I signed up for the Investors Business Daily to learn more about investing and would pour through it every day during my lunch break and after work. Soon I began working insanely long hours, with no time to read the paper so I canceled the service and dumped all my money into a mutual fund.
Fast forward to the present. I was visiting with a co-worker yesterday who subscribes to Investors Business Daily and always raves about the investing news and tools they provide. He encouraged me to give it try but I balked since I’m used to reading all my financial information online. When he mentioned they have an online digital edition as well and that I could sign up for a 4 week trial period I decided to check it out.
After researching the offer a little I realized this was a perfect example of how free trials are both sales tactics and good consumer screening tools. I would never sign up for a service that charged a monthly fee without knowing more about what value it would offer me in return for my money. A referral is what began the process but my interest would never have made it past that initial conversation without the free trial.
So the sales tactic worked, it convinced me to sign up for a service I would not have otherwise. Of course, this was a type of service I had already been interested in and had been considering so it benefits me as well. The free trial allows me to see if I can put the financial information in Investors Business Daily to good use without costing me any cash.
Protecting My Paycheck
Since signing up for the free trial requires you to put your credit card on file, I was sure to check out the terms of the offer and the cancellation policy before signing up.
“For free trial access to eIBD and the IBD Investing Tools on investors.com, please enter your credit card information and billing address. You may cancel any time during the four-week free trial period. If you opt to cancel, you will not be billed. Otherwise, after your free trial period, we will bill you for your subscription automatically, at the current monthly rate of $28.95 (US). Thereafter, your eIBD subscription will renew automatically on a monthly basis, and we will charge the credit card we have on file.”
After calling the 1–800 number they provide to make sure I could easily cancel if I decided against the subscription I felt like I had covered my bases.
Trying It Out
After signing up for the free trial I was taken to an upsell page where I was given a long list of trial offers for other financial services and products. I opted against any of those and was taken to the confirmation page, one free trial at a time is enough to keep track of. The free offer was an effective selling tactic, now I just have to take advantage of the trial period and decide whether the service is for me or not.
All posts by Ben Edwards