We invented a thing: Treemium!

September 7, 2022
min. read
Erdem Menges
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We believe we all have a shared responsibility to do our part against climate change we wanted to take a step in the right direction with our new treemium initiative. The idea of a treemium is simple: we offer a fresh approach to experiencing our platform for everyone, and we plant a tree for each activated user. Let me explain why and how we do it:  

Climate change is one of the top challenges facing our planet and species today. Reducing our energy consumption, making mindful choices for our environment and minimizing carbon emissions are the most effective ways to combat this phenomenon. In addition, planting trees, using more renewable energy sources and educating our communities are effective alternative methods. Our customers reduce their cloud carbon footprint thanks to improved efficiency and preventing mistakes that can be costly (both in terms of availability and carbon footprint). On top of that, we want to plant trees to encourage more DevOps, SRE and security teams to use Lightlytics for cloud change intelligence.  

But let’s not stop there, we believe there’s a lot of room for improvement in how we explore new SaaS platforms. Today, there are two commonly used methods to experiment with new SaaS offerings:  

  1. The trial model (aka the try & buy):  

This is where a user signs up to use a full version or a version limited capabilities of the platform for a limited number of days (the best practice is between 7 to 30 days for most SaaS). The benefit of this model is that the user gets to experiment with the best the platform has to offer, and then make a purchase decision at the end of the trial period. The downside is that the user may not be able to make a decision at the end of the trial period, and may want to use the platform for longer before unlocking true value out of it.  

  1. The freemium model:

This is where a user signs up for a version of the platform with limited capabilities or limited resources. Unlike the trial model, this model isn’t time bound and is indefinitely free in most cases. The benefit of this model is that the user can get a deep understanding of the product with elongated use and has the option to use this version to get the desired value indefinitely. The downside of this approach is that a new user doesn’t get to see the full capabilities and value of the SaaS platform, and may form an opinion about the platform based on the limited version they’re using.  

As we were doing a brainstorming session on finding better ways to serve our customers, and get more customer feedback, we evaluated both options above and found ourselves asking the following question:  

What if the trial model and the freemium model had a baby? 😊  

Well, we believe this affair would be an opportunity to deliver more value to first time users, and maintain users who may opt to remain as free users of the platform after their initial trial. So, we came up with a hybrid model that we call a treemium. Here’s the how this works:  

  1. A user signs up for the treemium,
  1. Once they activate their account, we plant a tree in their name and send them the tree certificate via e-mail,
  1. During their first 21 days, they use our platform with full capabilities,  
  1. The user can refer up to 5 friends, and gets an extra tree for every activated referral,  
  1. At the end of the 21 day trial period, the user can choose to become a paying user (the user can easily buy our Pro plan via Amazon Marketplace), or they’re automatically moved to our free plan.  

The treemium comes with no obligation to become a paid user after the first 21 days and we don’t ask for credit cards to sign up. You can learn more about our plans and the free plan on our plans page.  

We hope this model will encourage more users to sign up (hey, you can plant a tree just by checking out cool tech – in 30 minutes), help spread the word with referrals, and will create a healthy community for our platform – of free and paying customers. We also believe this model will inspire other platforms to initiate similar models where we can deliver more value to users during the experimentation period, and do good for planet Earth.  

Please check out our treemium page for details. We’d love to get your feedback, and even better we’d love to see you on our platform!

Read the GigaOM CXO Decision Brief:
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