The freemium business model is one of the most widely used models on the internet. It’s a great fit for online services, subscriptions and games. Any business that deals with intangible services like consulting, software applications, education, etc. can be adapted to use this business model.
The “try before you buy” approach is especially appreciated by consumers. For the entrepreneur, the freemium model provides an opportunity for explosive growth by enabling the fast creation of a customer base who is interested in what you have to offer.
This business model has had its share of criticism. There is a tendency for users to take advantage of the “free” aspect of your business. This can be mitigated by installing the proper safeguards and restrictions. Some less scrupulous businesses sometimes do not say clearly which aspect of the content is paid. This is very prone to abuse, especially for services that have automated payments.
Listed below are a few legit ways to make money online using the freemium business model. You might want to study their different implementation of the model to give you an idea of how to apply it to your own.
Consulting services are usually paid on a project basis or per engagement. When converted into the freemium business model, some very basic tasks and resources are freely accessible to people who register. Payment is usually required for more intensive study and customized solutions.
This is the default business model of a whole slew of online games. It’s very common for apps on Facebook or standalone massively multiplayer online games to offer free subscriptions. Enticing players to join up is easier when you allow them access to the full game experience. You earn by charging for premium and unique content sold to players.
Mobile apps generally use the freemium model. They make great examples of the successful use of this model. You can download the apps from the phone manufacturer’s website or preferred provider. Use it as a fully working product, and then charge customer for extras and special updates.
Whether it’s for an individual or a group, online remote training is a cost- effective solution that is a good fit for the freemium business model. You can offer all your resources for free on line but you can charge for more specialized training or the certification.
A lot of fully functioning software are now being offered for free under the “freemium” model. Instead of being asked to pay upfront, you are allowed to download and use the software on your system. You don’t get product support, upgrades or customization options. They are only available once you’ve registered and bought the software.
A good example of a company that’s taken this approach is Skype. You get all its basic functionality, but to be able to contact phone numbers in other countries, you need to pay for it. It is still a good deal since additional features of the software are enabled when you subscribe to a package.
There sites that offer free webhosting online. You get to use the basic features of their system but there is a limit on the amount of bandwidth dedicated to your site.
Some online news sources now use the freemium model to earn their income. You’re free to visit their site but some articles are unavailable to you. Others limit how many articles you can read before they send out a message asking you to subscribe.