Freemium Marketing for B2B SaaS Founders

This is the third chapter of the B2B SaaS Marketing Playbook

“Don’t sit around in the middle where everyone else is. Give away incredible value for free or charge a premium price (and still overdeliver).”

Action Items

1. Offer a Free Plan


Mailchimp Free Plan

Mailchimp’s revenue increased after they introduced a free plan in 2009. The free plan is a lead magnet that triggers a sales process aimed at converting free users into paying customers. (Page)


WordPress Free Plan

WordPress removes sign up friction by offering a free plan. Easy content exporting means that WordPress has weak vendor lock-in relative to other SaaS companies. Free users often move to self hosted solutions instead of signing up for their paid plans which are billed yearly. (WordPress Pricing)


Unlimited Apps

Glide delivers value before requiring users to pay. This risk-free proposal acts as a lead magnet and leads to more users signing up. (Page)


Zoom Free Plan

The free plan is a great customer acquisition strategy for Zoom. The marginal cost of supporting free users is nearly zero. Meanwhile, free users become leads and help the tool spread by chatting with others. (Pricing)


Notion Free Plan

Free forever plans are popular among workspace tools such as Notion and Evernote. (Pricing)


Webflow Free Plan

Webflow lowers sign up friction by offering a free plan. Users can create websites without a credit card. (Pricing)


Airtable Free Plan

Airtable offers a generous free plan. Lots of users leverage the spreadsheet/database tool to build robust solutions without paying a cent. In exchange, Airtable gets permission to contact these users and test conversion offers. (Page)

2. Offer a Free Trial


30-Day Trial

Basecamp does not offer a free forever plan. The company forces a purchase decision once the 30 day trial is up. (Basecamp Trial)


Trial Plan – Try for free

Intercom does not offer a perpetually free plan. Users can try any plan for 14 days before making a decision. (Pricing)


Shopify Free Trial

Users can try Shopify for 14 days without a credit card. (Pricing)

3. Do Both


Always Free, 12 Months Free and Trials

AWS offers a variety of free plans including: free forever, 1-year trials and short-term trials. (Page)


Free Plan and Free Trial

Zapier offers a free forever plan which allows the company to stay in touch with users and test conversion offers. The company’s paid plans also come with a 14-day free trial. (Page)


Free as a Customer Acquisition Strategy

SaaS companies use free plans as lead magnets. Free users sign up with their email and this triggers a process to convert them into paying customers.

Email addresses are used for advanced targeting on platforms such Facebook as well as email marketing sequences.

Remove Free to Raise Revenue

When SaaS companies stop offering free forever plans, they tend to get less sign ups but more revenue. This is what happened with Sheet2Site.

Companies add friction by removing forever free plans this also filters out non-serious users. Trial users are forced to decide whether or not they are getting enough value to justify a purchase.

Unless a SaaS has a large moat, such as Ahrefs, they will offer a free plan or free trial.

Ahrefs’ industry dominance allows them to offer paid trials. These are discounted, one-week trials that allow users to try the service without paying full price.

This paid trial strategy validates payment and makes conversion more likely.

The Book

This is the third chapter of the B2B SaaS Marketing Playbook