Experiment: Free-trial Timeline Page vs. Long-form Feature/Benefit Page
2 min read

Experiment: Free-trial Timeline Page vs. Long-form Feature/Benefit Page

We've recently been running a lot of A/B tests in Clearful, many of them on our pricing page. This one did surprisingly well but had a very interesting tradeoff that we're now trying to improve.
Experiment: Free-trial Timeline Page vs. Long-form Feature/Benefit Page
Clearful free-trial timeline page vs long-form feature/benefit page

When we launched our Pro subscription plan a year ago, we started with a very basic short-form pricing page. It had a checklist of features, a monthly and yearly plan to select, and a small amount of social proof. We tried to hit all the boxes that tend to do well.

We've since been regularly testing the pricing page and have managed to increase trial starts along with user retention. Here's our best-performing pricing page so far:

When researching what other apps are doing, my co-founder Maria came across an article written by Jaycee Day, a Senior Product Designer at Blinkist. In it, she detailed how a timeline-style pricing page test improved key metrics across the board - increased free trial starts, increased push notification opt-ins, reduced customer complaints, and reduced trial cancellations. Pretty amazing results!

We decided to try this type of pricing flow in Clearful and test it against our tried and true long-form feature/benefit pricing page (shown above).

Here's the timeline-style page:

And here's the free-trial-ending push notification prompt that appears after a user starts a free trial:

The result: 54% increase in trial starts (yay) with worse retention for all users in the test (uh-oh).

In terms of trial starts, this page performed far better than even the best-case scenario we predicted beforehand. The best part - the vast majority of these users are converting to our Pro subscription plan. There isn't a corresponding drop in conversions to paid.

More good news - we also saw an increase in opt-ins to push notifications.

The most fascinating part of this test, however, was the decrease in retention, particularly because observed retention was worse not only for users that started a free trial but even for users that saw the pricing page but did not start a free trial.

Our working hypothesis is that our long-form pricing page, with its features and benefits, testimonials, social proof, and frequently-asked-questions, provides users with a better understanding of our product and more confidence that Clearful is what they're looking for.

We're next going to test the free-trial-timeline page against our trusty long-form page, with a key change - the timeline component will be added to the top of the long-form page. Let's see if we can get the best of both worlds - higher trial starts and paid conversions, better push notification opt-in rates, and a reversal of the negative retention effects of the timeline-only page. 🤞