By Barbara Pfeiffer, The Partner Marketing Group

If you’re hearing a lot about ‘Click, Try, Buy’ recently – it’s not surprising. Also known as ‘Try and  Buy’, Click, Try, Buy (CTB) has taken hold of the high tech industry as a marketing strategy for SaaS applications. Depending on who I’m talking to though, the definition of CTB (and how and when it should be used) seems to vary.

So let’s start with what CTB is. At its simplest, Click, Try, Buy is a marketing tactic that takes a prospect through a free trial leading to a purchase when the trial ends. Most likely the purchase is via a subscription priced model.  Why then are so many companies NOT in the SaaS business looking at this method?

The answer lies in the reasons the CTB model was developed AND fundamental changes in how all B2B transactions begin.

  • Lower revenue, due to subscription pricing in this case, requires a lower cost of sales. In general, the SaaS model drives smaller deals. The cost of acquiring a new customer needs to reflect that reduced revenue. The same marketing tactics a company uses to acquire an enterprise customer are going to be way too costly for a subscription offering. This can easily apply as well if you are selling a lower priced product or service where one to one interaction with prospects is just too high of a cost of sale.
  • People are doing research long before a purchase decision is made.  According to recent statistics, 89% of business buyers start their research online and are well into the decision making BEFORE they ever connect you. AND they want to do that research without interruptions (a sales call). This has led to a shift to inbound marketing (tactics that help you get found by prospects such as SEO, blogs such as, and social media.)

So what does it look like when you apply CTB principles in a SaaS model versus any other B2B product/service sale?





Similar in both a SaaS and other B2B sale – click is about educating. In a SaaS sale the education is frequently around the software and software as a service. If you can offer an actual trial of some sort, that’s great, but for non –SaaS sales – a trial is more likely a demo (on demand and without a salesperson).One caveat to trials – particularly in a non-subscription model. There are some early discussions that suggest a more complex enterprise solution might be “cheapened” by a trial. Its early data on this but something to consider. If you’re not selling a SaaS solution, most likely your “buy” will be purchase offers unless you are selling single license LOW cost applications.  Offers to persuade buyers to purchase can be discounted pricing, attractive financing, add-ons (get x in services if you purchase by y.) In a pure SaaS model, nurture marketing tactics are generally used to nurture someone through the trial by providing things they can try and keeping the trial period top of mind. In a non-SaaS sale, nurture may be more about moving them through a sales funnel with relevant content such as infographics, e-books, whitepapers, analyst reports and more.

As you can see, there are elements of Click, Try, Buy that can work in any marketing plan. With so many prospects taking the “evaluation” portion of their buying process into their own hands – it’s a tactic most marketers should have in their toolbox.

For more information on how we can help you leverage the CTB tactic in your marketing, visit or opt into our monthly newsletter by texting the letters TPMG to 22828.

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