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Product Led Growth - Going Freemium

February 25, 2022 by Matt Zentz

Something exciting happened this week at Marketpath. We launched a Free plan for Marketpath CMS that doesn't require a credit card to take a site live. This is a pretty big deal and something we've been planning for the last 6-8 months.

However, this was never in our original plan. We originally designed our platform so developers could build an entire site for free in our preview environment and then take the site live when completed. It was our version of the try-before-you-buy process. It allowed a developer to really see the power and flexibility before they committed to a paid plan.

That trial process is fine and dandy, and it’s still available, but it doesn’t help us spread the word as easily. We needed something else to accelerate growth. With our product led growth adoption, introducing the freemium model is just what we were looking for.

Benefits

Sites using our Free plan can have up to 20 pages, 300 MB of storage, and 2,000 page views. Free sites can be created with or without a credit card. If a site does not have a credit card and exceeds the 2,000 page view limit, it will be deactivated and show a friendly message until the beginning of the next 30 day term.

With a credit card, however, the card will be charged for any overages and, more importantly, it will remain active and accessible. You can use our pricing calculator to see what overage costs look like for each plan.

We added the Free plan for personal resume or portfolio sites, small charitable organizations, microsites and landing pages, or very small new businesses just getting started.

Our Goal

Our primary goal with the Free plan is to spread the word about Marketpath CMS and how developers can build complex, custom designed sites in a fraction of the time and with a fraction of the ongoing maintenance other platforms demand.

Our secondary goal is to provide front-end developers, designers, and marketers a place to show off their best work. One of our target markets is digital marketing agencies, which happen to employ front-end developers, designers, and marketers. What a coincidence!

On down the line, other individuals and organizations can take advantage of our platform by building and implementing their own sites and solutions. We want to be the launching platform for everyone looking for a simple, reliable, and very fast web content management system.

Challenges

There are also some scary implications by offering a Free plan.

Growing too fast could be a huge challenge. We have a highly scalable architecture but every architecture has its limitations. I hope we grow fast enough that we get a little scared but not enough to cause issues.

Unsavory users could use our Free plan to build malicious sites - although we hope our 2,000 page view limit provides a solid barrier to that. We will have our finger on the kill switch if we find one of these or a site is reported and doesn’t meet our terms & conditions.

We don’t want to be considered a cheap alternative to other popular systems. Offering a Free plan could lead to that and sway legitimate users from adopting our platform.

There are a number of other risks and challenges to a freemium model but in the spirit of rapid growth and getting some early traction, we’ll square up with those little punks when the time comes.

Wish us luck!

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Related Tags: Product-Led Growth, User Experience

Matt Zentz, founder of Marketpath

Matt Zentz

Matt Zentz launched Marketpath from a small Broad Ripple bungalow in February 2001 with a focus on custom web application development. He built the first, basic version of a hosted CMS called Webtools and shortly afterward expanded his team and created the first version of Marketpath CMS.

Matt has worked for a national consulting firm, taught computer programming to high school juniors and seniors , and led the information technology arm of the auxiliary business units at Indiana University.

Matt graduated from Indiana University in 1999 with a B.S. in Computer Science and has built custom web applications since 1995. Matt is husband to an amazing & supportive wife, has three beautiful children, and supreme master to Archimedes (Archie) the dog. He coaches various kid sports, enjoys building furniture, and plays guitar and piano. Matt is very active within his church community and several area not-for-profits.

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