A/B Testing Idea #2 - Avoid demanding credit card information when offering free trials

Tactic_Avoid demanding credit card information when offering free trials


Being required to enter credit card details evokes the negative feelings associated with spending money.

Indeed, research has shown that the act of paying really disrupts the pleasure of an experience and that the more obvious, tangible or transparent the payment is, the less we enjoy making purchases and the more likely we might be to back out.

Offering a free trial allows you to show the benefits of your product without making customers pay, therefore removing the obstacle raised by the "pain of paying". Requiring them to enter their credit card details counteracts the point of this and will also make customers question why they need to enter their details for an apparently "free" trial. It is much more effective to remove any mention of 'paying' and wait to ask for credit card details at the end of the free trial. Then, they are  more likely make purchase, after having tried your product. In the meantime, you can make use of the other data they will provide you with to sign up for the free trial - such as their email address, their interests and product preferences etc. - which can be used for future interactions.

Inspired by Nick Kolenda


  • Pain of Paying (Prelec & Loewenstein, 1998)

The Research

Pain of Paying

The Pain of Paying explains how the act of paying reduces the pleasure of our purchase and that this “pain of paying” is affected by both the timing between payment and consumption and by the mode of payment.

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