Increase Free Trial Conversions by Validating Cards

Free Trial

Offering free trial periods can be an effective way for subscription-based merchants to showcase their services without requiring any commitment from the consumer. A downside, however, is that you can attract “trial junkies” – those who sign up just to get the free stuff, with no intention of ever actually buying a subscription. One way to cut down on trial junkies and increase the likelihood that free trials convert to members: require a valid credit card to access your trial.

Starting today, when you create a Recurring, Dynamic Recurring or Instant Conversion price point with an initial price of $0, you can use Free Trial Validation to ensure a good card is entered, without ever charging anything. Behind the scenes, cards are pre-authorized for $1, however that amount is never actually charged and is invisible to the consumer. When creating your price point in the Segpay Merchant Portal, just select the Free Trial Validation option.

Of course, you can still allow access to your free trials without a valid card by entering $0 for your initial price and leaving the Free Trial Validation option unselected. Or you can use Delayed Capture pricing, which pre-authorizes the recurring amount at signup, guaranteeing that the rebill amount is available at the end of the trial. This will help your signup approval rate while also helping convert more trials to full memberships.


Both the Detail Ledger and Transaction Detail reports can show which of your sales included Free Trial Validations. When you run these reports, select Advanced Options and choose Free Trial Validation. Both reports will include a new column to show if a transaction included a free trial validation and will show the amount as $0. The Transaction Summary report will include free trial validations in your signup count, however amounts are unaffected (since they are $0).

Note that Postbacks for Free Trial Validations will reflect the $0 amount and not the $1 pre-authorization.

Please let us know what you think of Free Trial Validations in the comments below, or send us a note to: [email protected].

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