Best Practices

PM Podcasters on Free Trials, Freemium Plans, and More

If you’re like me, you’re looking for something new to listen to over the Thanksgiving long weekend. In honor of our colleagues at Pendo launching their free product this week, I’ve decided to share some episodes that focus on free trials, freemium options, etc. Plus, I thought it’d be a relevant topic as I sign up for about a dozen free trials of shopping apps in preparation for holiday gift-giving. Don’t judge me.

Have a happy and healthy holiday, and enjoy these listens.

Product Love Podcast: Randhir Vieira, VP of Product at Headspace

Headspace, the popular meditation app, is a highly mission-driven company. Their goal? To improve the health and happiness of the world. That mission drove them to create a freemium version of their product. According to VP of product Randhir Vieira, the aim was to make the mindfulness practices in their app accessible to as many people as possible. In this episode, Randhir also discusses product-market fit and North Star metrics.

This Is Product Management: Building Freemium Products Is Product Management

Like many product managers, Michael Pici didn’t start out in the field. In fact, he began his Hubspot career as an account executive. He made his first move into a PM role when he helped take on the challenging task of shifting the company’s go-to-market strategy to include a freemium option. In this episode of “This Is Product Management,” Michael explains why the freemium strategy at Hubspot falls into two categories: pools and rivers. He also discusses where the growth role should fit in a SaaS organization.

Product to Product: Hotjar’s Marc Von Brockdorff on Freemium Pricing Models

Fast-growing data analytics and feedback startup Hotjar attributes a lot of their success to embracing a “free forever” freemium model. That’s why it’s a bit surprising that they initially didn’t intend to create a free version of their product. In this episode of Roadmunk’s Product to Product podcast, Hotjar co-founder Marc von Brockdorff tells the story of how and why they changed their minds. During their free beta launch, the team saw their user base grow exponentially through word-of-mouth and the network effect. They knew they couldn’t ignore the kind of growth a freemium offering could bring.

Product Love Podcast: Patrick Campbell, CEO of Profitwell

Patrick Campbell has managed to build a successful company out of three things many PMs fear: bootstrapping, pricing, and freemium. And he says there are a lot of freemium myths out there. During this episode of the Product Love Podcast, Patrick explains why freemium isn’t a revenue model — it’s an acquisition model. He also discusses why startups should invest in studying customers who are churning and the ones who are renewing.

Product Love Podcast: Kyle Poyar, VP of Market Strategy at OpenView

Ahhh, pricing — the most exciting product management topic. However, when you think about pricing as a kind of “dark art,” things get more interesting. After all, it isn’t taught in business schools or in training programs. Kyle Poyar of Openview has built a deep understanding of pricing strategy over his career. In this podcast episode, he discusses growth maximization, freemium models, and the effects of behavior/psychology on pricing.

OpenView BUILD: Building and Growing Free SaaS Products People Love With Serial Entrepreneur, Hiten Shah

Hiten Shah has built a number of successful software companies from the ground up, including KISSmetrics, Crazy Egg, and now FYI. He has also reached the impressive and unique goal of reaching #1 on Product Hunt. In this episode of OpenView’s BUILD podcast, he not only shares some advice on how to do so yourself, but he also explains why the product-led growth mentality has been so instrumental to his many accomplishments. In addition, he explores the risks and benefits of freemium offerings and why product should take some lessons from growth.

UI Breakfast, Episode 168: Succeeding at Freemium With Tim Valishev

A freemium model might seem like nothing but a win for today’s SaaS company. And its popularity is no doubt growing. However, going freemium is definitely not without risks. In fact, it can even destroy your entire business, especially if you’re a young startup. Tim Valishev, CEO and co-founder of JivoChat, joins the popular UI Breakfast podcast to discuss how he grew his company via a freemium option and how to properly balance gated and free functionality.