The Reason We Stopped Our Free Plan


Dryfta is an all-in-one event management platform for universities and non-profits. Until a few months ago, we had a free plan for event organizers to host events for up to 30 registrants. With access to all features. Without any time limitation on usage. It was a plain, simple free plan. Until we realized it wasnt. We were giving up too much for nothing.

Free plan for Dryfta

Most people signing up for our free plan never went beyond the account creation process. Only a bunch of users actually used it. Very small percentage of users upgraded to paid plans. Here’re some of the things that happened:

  • Too many random users signing up for too many random accounts resulting in database issues.
  • Server accumulated huge backups due to truckload of crap data coming from random accounts.
  • Server resource usage spiked.
  • Increased demand for customer support from free customers slowed dedicated support for paid customers.
  • The free users give you feedback that affects your roadmap and ask for support. But they don’t pay 🙂
  • Focus shifted from product development to managing server resources!

Stopped free plan

We stopped free plan and launched free trial instead with up to 30 days usage. Here’re some of the things we did after launching free trial. Good things started to happen.

  • Implemented eight automated onboarding emails to be sent at regular intervals (precisely every 3 days) which eventually increased conversion.
  • Implemented three personalized automated emails to be sent every 10 days. Conversion increased multi-fold.
  • Users would request extending the trial to 10 more days which we gladly do.
  • Some users would outrightly upgrade to continue using the platform once the trial period ended. Some would ask a few more questions, bargain a little and eventually they come onboard too.
  • Users who did not respond, the system would keep their account up for 30 days.
  • Post 30-days time period, account access was automatically disabled to prevent users from accessing the dashboard until they upgrade to a paid plan.
  • Once the trial period ended, the system would wait for 10 more days to let users upgrade to a paid plan.
  • If plan is not upgraded in those 10 days, the system would then automatically destroy the account.

Post launching free trial

Free trial is our best foot forward in terms of growth with more customers coming through the door. Automated emails and account management also helped us keep our system more refined and responsive.

  • Better onboarding automation and higher conversion.
  • No free account kept alive for more than 40 days which means more available resources for paid customers.
  • Faster data processing.
  • Quicker customer support to paid customers.
  • With our fundamentals returned to normal, Focus shifted back to product development.

Freemium is the best growth hack! But with limited resources, you need to make sure there is a cap on what and for how long are you going to give your product for free.

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