5 Reasons Why Every Startup Should Offer a Free Tier, and 1 Big Reason Why They Shouldn’t

5 Reasons Why Every Startup Should Offer A Free Tier, And 1 Big Reason Why They Shouldn'T - Gettyimages 1385627582 513263

A well-thought out free-tier strategy can be incredibly effective for bringing in new or “on-the-fence” customers. A poorly executed free-tier strategy can damage your brand forever. 

A friend of mine is the owner of a minor league baseball team. He once told me that he had one rule for the promotions he ran to maximize attendance at the games. He would discount – or even give away – food, drinks, souvenirs, anything associated with the ballpark experience. 

Except for one thing: The game tickets themselves.

“The minute you do that,” he said, “you devalue the product on the field.”

He’s right, of course, and that’s the one big reason you should never give away the “product on the field” for free. Yet startups, especially tech startups, give away their product all the time in the form of a free tier. They let you use their product as much as you like for as long as you like, within certain limits. 

Here’s the thing. Those free tiers work. Unquestionably, but within certain limits.

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This article was written by Joe Procopio and originally published on www.inc.com