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  Post #1 (permalink)   08-06-2011, 06:00 PM
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What you think about offering the first 30 days of hosting for free on shared and reseller plans. Do you feel it will get new business and do you think that they will stay with the hosting company. Have you tried it in the pass and what was the results
 
 


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  Post #2 (permalink)   08-06-2011, 07:00 PM
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In the past I got a lot of fruad and people wanting to abuse server resources for a free month of reseller hosting...But, with shared it is 50/50. I had my ups and downs but overall proved to be worth it.

By offering shared hosting for free for a month i probably gained 3-4 clients out of 20 or so people testing my service out every month. That may not seem like a lot of people, but I was very happy to get those 3-4. The rest tested my services and even though they did not stay for a 2nd month, they knew how reliable my services were. So, I may not have gained them as a client but their word-of-mouth advertising they did for me paid off.

I think I offered the 30-day promo for 4 months I believe and after which time I had gained roughly 12 new clients and had a steady stream of 1-2 clients per month afterwards.

BUT! You have to watch your servers. There is always a bad egg in the group of signups that just wants to ruin you. So always watch your server to make sure nothing is happening.
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  Post #3 (permalink)   08-07-2011, 07:58 AM
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Rather than offering 30 days free, offer a 30 day refund policy instead. This weeds out the freeloaders who are looking for hosting accounts to exploit or send spam from.

The same in any business, places usually don't give you the product free for "X" days, they instead have a refund policy, or a "second month free" type setup.

First 30 opens you up to many issues, some of which Romes touched upon.
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  Post #4 (permalink)   08-07-2011, 08:47 AM
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HostGator has grown by giving away first month for $0.01. Its not like $0.01 made any difference to them financially - it is the fact that they had to collect legitimate credit cards and weed out fraud. To most, $0.01 also sounds like too great of an offer to pass on.

Following this strategy, or the one Conor mentioned above is highly preferable over just giving service away with no point of verification or validation of your client base.
 
 
 


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  Post #5 (permalink)   08-07-2011, 09:49 AM
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What conor said is very good. I chose to offer a 30 day refund instead of a month free. Also, adding fraud detection through your billing system helps. I was using maxmind I believe is what it's called. The system calls them person to verifiy, and I will say 90% of fraud signups were stopped.

But, at the same time, some people do not like your billing system calling them so you lose a few people from signing up from it.
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  Post #6 (permalink)   08-07-2011, 08:39 PM
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I never offer free service 98 percent of the people do not come back and the people who sign up use it to send mass emails or miss use the service.
 
 
 


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  Post #7 (permalink)   08-08-2011, 10:53 AM
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Giving away service upfront is a very bad idea - better to offset that with an install fee, or add the free month to the end of the contract.
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  Post #8 (permalink)   08-09-2011, 07:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve-Hostirian View Post
Giving away service upfront is a very bad idea - better to offset that with an install fee, or add the free month to the end of the contract.
More effective is pay first month and next one free.

I found that one to work.
 
 
 


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  Post #9 (permalink)   08-09-2011, 11:09 PM
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Why not offer buy 1 month get 1 month free?
It will get rid of free-loaders and most fraud cases. Plus if you offer a truly good service you'll get some clients out of it.

Also, offering a 30-day money back policy is good as well though. But they aren't exactly getting anything extra for free, which is what will attract customers.

Or - you could offer a discount for new customers. Or a combination of a discount and free second month.
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  Post #10 (permalink)   08-20-2011, 05:21 AM
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It may work in some cases, but generally I agree with the above comments - try to avoid it.
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  Post #11 (permalink)   08-20-2011, 06:02 AM
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Maybe offer the first month for something insignificant like $ 0.10 with a 30 day money back guarantee.

So if they're not happy with the service they can get there 10 cents back.
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  Post #12 (permalink)   08-24-2011, 02:48 PM
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If you really want to give one month free then you should let them pay for their first month and then they get their second month free.

This way you don't get people who just sign up for free hosting and then leave afterwards.
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  Post #13 (permalink)   08-24-2011, 07:48 PM
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I agree with Conor as well. Offering a money back guarantee is the best idea. Offering service free for 30 days just isn't worth the headache you'll receive from the ones that just want to abuse your service.
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  Post #14 (permalink)   09-02-2011, 10:00 AM
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A lot of abuse and fraud I would say. Try and limit it to 7 days if you are going to take this approach.
 
 
 


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  Post #15 (permalink)   09-13-2011, 10:57 AM
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I like the idea of the rebate later on instead of the first free month.
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