Prototype and Landing Page are built. Now what?


I'm building a web app that generates SEO reports. I've built a bare minimum prototype and received some exciting feedback from potential customers.

As of now, the only thing I have publicly live is a landing page with a teaser tag line and an email sign up. I've put off choosing my pricing model until I received some validation from potential customers. Now I want to ship something, but I have a few options in terms of what scale of a product to initially ship.

Quickest time to ship Free Version only - This can include what I already have in my prototype with limited report results.

More time to ship Free Version AND Paid Version - will include full reports, but will also require development of a billing system, account management, customer service ticketing, etc.

Most time to ship Free Version AND Multiple Paid Tier Plans - I think I can split the Paid Version into two subscription levels: Site Manager and Agency (Agency level can generate more reports)

After writing all this out, I can already tell it will take significantly more time to create paid versions compared starting out with just a free version.

Should I initially ship a Free Version and continue to collect emails?

Pricing Freemium Prototype

asked Jul 11 '13 at 01:22
201 points
  • You can't make money without a payment system in place. I'd recommend launching with the free version AND putting the paid version online as if it were available, with the call-to-action, pricing and terms of service all done so that you can test-market your product and most likely do some A/B testing to adjust your site. Then, when people click on the "buy" button, you tell them your site is still in private beta and that they can receive an email notification of the launch. And in the meantime, you build the billing system! That's my recommendation. – Frenchie 8 years ago

3 Answers


The sooner you ship, the quicker you will get feedback from real users.

The feedback will help you discover what's important and where do the revenue streams can come from.

Ship now so that it is not guesses, but facts, what drives the features of your site. Good luck!

answered Jul 11 '13 at 02:14
Pablo Marambio
151 points


Based on what you've said, I'd say go for 1a - build the fast'n'free offering and put it alongside the paid version. You don't have to have built the pay version or the payment collection to get data, you only have to work out the best way to make the people who tried to pay happy.

However, there's a lot you don't say, for instance, what does "exciting feedback" mean? If it means, people are seeing significant value in the promise straight away, you might want to test whether a 100% paying customer model (with a free trial, because people expect and need to sample) works. As with any change of pricing or change of intent, you need to think how to handle existing customers (including people who have accepted whatever promise is stated or implied on the test site) - but don't just sail into freemium because you dislike complexity!

In the end, this is a judgement call, and you have to pick.

answered Jul 12 '13 at 00:24
Jeremy Parsons
5,197 points


Should I initially ship a Free Version and continue to collect emails?

yes,but i will suggest you to go with a plan for how much time you will give a free service ?.After planning it out you will be able to utilize the development time required for a paid version.
You can utilize this time to ride on the market by promoting your site on social media,meanwhile with free services you can show the customer quality of the service which you will be offering to them which will also help to make them chew their minds to think what will be offered in the paid version and making them enthusiastic about it.

here is also the other way out

Provide the paid service on trial based term (If your business support such strategies).
Fix the plan of switching to paid version according to your development time required to develop payment stuff.
When done switch the free trial version to a paid one.
answered Jul 11 '13 at 23:58
Net Starter
101 points

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Pricing Freemium Prototype