Using TrialPay for Software Upgrades

This week, I tried something different with TrialPay:
Free software upgrades.

I emailed all customers who were still using an older version of our software and offered them to upgrade to the latest and greatest for free using TrialPay. Plus, I included an alternative “pay anyway” option with an extra $10 discount on the upgrade ($14.95 instead of $24.95).

My Email

Here’s the email I sent out yesterday. Be warned, it’s looooonnnngggg!

Subject: Upgrade to Movie Collector 6 for free

Dear ~Contact.FirstName~,

This is Alwin, Overlord at

One of my minions just told me that you seem to belong to the small
minority of users that is still using an older version of Movie Collector.

Which makes me sad, because it means that you are missing out on all the
new stuff that my team here has worked so hard on in the past 12
months. The programmers have improved the software, and the content guys
have pushed our online movie database to an entirely new level.

I understand that money may be an obstacle. Even with our regular
50% upgrade discount, we’re still talking about a $24.95 upgrade fee.

However, I have great news for you today: you can now upgrade to v.6 for free.

How’s that possible? Well, that’s a long story:

(Can’t wait? No time? Prefer the short story? Then just click here: )

About a year ago, my wife Sytske and I were attending a software conference
in Boston, USA. We love going there, it’s fun to meet old friends again.

One of these friends is Edwin (you guessed it, he’s Dutch too), who happens
to be the president at WinZip. And Edwin told me that I should really go
talk to these “TrialPay guys”, as they had a brilliant system which would
let me give my software away for free, while still making some money.
Edwin was using TrialPay for WinZip too, and it had worked out great.

So I followed Edwin’s advice and met with the TrialPay people (they had a
booth at the conference). Really nice folks. I always like meeting people
face to face before I do business with them, so this was a great start.

I spoke with TrialPay’s Julia Pluss and she explained their system to me.
And Julia convinced me to try it for
(that took about an hour because I must tell you I was a bit skeptical …
… in my book, there’s no such thing as a free lunch…)

Here’s how TrialPay works:

* You try or buy one offer from one of TrialPay’s advertisers.
* You get the Movie Collector 6 upgrade for free.
* TrialPay then pays us a small amount, using money from the advertiser.

In the weeks after the conference, Julia helped me set up a “Get it Free
with TrialPay” option for our Standard editions (you may have seen it on
our website). And it was a huge success. Since then, thousands of users
have received a free Standard license for one of our programs.

So we figured, why not use the same system to allow our users to *upgrade*
their software for free? This way, you guys and gals can finally enjoy the
latest and greatest and we still make some money (way less than $24.95 but
I don’t mind).

You know what, I’ll even give you the PRO edition of version 6, even if you now
own a license for the Standard edition (two upgrades for the same $0 price!).

To take advantage of this free upgrade deal, click this link now:

** What if you can’t find a suitable offer at TrialPay?

Mmm, good question. Let me think …

How about this: I’ll give you an extra $10 discount on the upgrade fee,
*on top of* the standard 50% discount. This means you can upgrade to the
PRO edition of Movie Collector 6 for only $14.95.

To get this special deal, use the following upgrade link:

then, during checkout, use this discount coupon: CLZUPGRADE

** Worried about your existing data or about having to learn new stuff?

No worries! When you upgrade to the new version, all your existing data will
be preserved and automatically available in the new software.

And if you know how to use your current version Movie Collector, then you will
feel right at home in version 6. Basic usage is exactly the same, the new
features will in no way make it harder or even different to use.

** Here’s a reminder of What’s New in Movie Collector 6 **

* Synchronize your data with Movie Collector Connect:
* Export your collection to the Clz Movies app for iPhone and iPod touch:
* Choose your own screen fonts and font size.
* Improved Movie Collector MCE viewer.
* Super-easy Add Movies Automatically screen, which uses the
movie database only. Just search, select your movie, click Add.
* New Print screen with a simpler, easier to use layout.

More details and screen shots can be found here:

Okay, that’s it for today. Thanks for reading my long story 🙂
I hope we can welcome you into the happy v6 crowd soon…

Alwin Hoogerdijk

The results

I must say I had no idea what to expect. The last major versions were released in December 2008 and we have been pushing the upgrades hard and often. So I wasn’t sure if there was any chance of converting the users who apparently had decided to keep using the older versions.

Now, one day (and few hours) after I sent the email, we have processed just over 130 TrialPay transactions, with an average of $15 per transaction. Not bad at all.
However, the alternative $14.95 offer was used 430 times.
This is after emailing about 50 thousand customers. Which is a 1.1% conversion rate, after just one day.

The numbers are higher than I expected, but what I am most surprised about is the number of users who opted to pay anyway.
Maybe they couldn’t find a suitable offer at TrialPay? Or they assumed that a free upgrade was too good to be true?

BTW: the above numbers are not final yet, at the moment I am still seeing a steady stream of upgrades. I’ll try to post the final results later.

User Feedback on TrialPay

Finally, here’s some examples of emails we received today, just for fun. Please don’t see these as reasons *not* to use TrialPay. I mean, email 100 people and there will always be one that complains.

sounds like a scam to fill email with spam and my computer with spyware

I got your trialpay offer email. I’ve been thinking I should upgrade
and get a scanner, so I followed the link to trialpay just to see what
is involved. But to be honest, it sounds like a scam to fill email
with spam and my computer with spyware. And I could not get past the
first page with out entering my email address, NO THANK YOU. If I
have to enter personal information, even an email address before I can
even find out the details of what is being offered, there is no way
I’m going to continue. I’ve managed to keep my email relatively clean
with this mentality.

wholesale ripoff

I definitely do not like this stupid idea of TrialPay. That is a wholesale ripoff.

is this ligit?

I recieved this email, and want to know if your
aware of this, and if this upgrade is free from you —with no strings
attached. I currently own the lic to movie 5.6 Pro version—Please
Read the following email that i recived to confirm. Is this a free and
ligit permanent update that you will back??

don’t lose your dignity

I love the program and respect the way you do business. Don’t get
involved with people like trial pay. I know times are hard the market
sucks for luxury software, but it doesn’t mean losing your dignity to
losers like Trial Pay.

Times are hard? Market sucks? Ehm… not here 🙂

2 thoughts on “Using TrialPay for Software Upgrades

  1. I think a lot of people can’t use trialpay because of their geographical position. For example for me being in Cyprus I can see only 1 offer to buy some stupid Australian jewellery and for some countries trialpay have no offers at all

  2. “Product is not available” at TrialPay for Russia 🙂 As well as for many other countries. Trialpay works for USA, Canada and Europe. By the way, I tried several ways to use TrialPay and the highest conversion I got was for the major update offer posted in our maillist after several reminders with the usual payment link.

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