all so have a demo version that can only export water mark images and does not expire OR expire in 60 days(import is ok),
this keeps people involved in the forum and keeps them using your software and they might buy it later on down the road.
if it shows to expire in a few days do you think there still going to hang around this forum if the program expired?
a popular more active forum will draw in business.
if your worried all there going to do is use the freeware and not buy it then have a extended expiration form they can fill out to get another 30 days.
the demo version used by others can bring in business,
if some one uses the freeware version that export with watermark images and post it on another forum and some one else says WOW what program did you make that in? and the person says MarvelousDesigner2,
you may now have a new buyer.
the only thing about it not expiring is, if you tell them its not going to expire then you change your mind later.
personally i would go with the 60 day demo and let them fill out a form for another 30 days
How about a solution of such, that helpsd the developer with funds that assist the development process.
The current trial allows for approximately 30 days. Extend it to 45 days. If user wants another extension after the initial demo period, it will cost $9.99 to extend demo for another 30 days, $19.99 to extend for 60 days with a Max of 2 extensions. (non-refundable)
This would encourage users to purchase a personal license at $99 rather than renting product twice for a total of $19.98 or $39.98 and have it expire. This also shows a commitment to the program and its use as well as giving the developer funds to assist with the software development.
This is not a bad marketing strategy, in such that the casual user would have made up his/her mind within the first 45 days, a more serious user who will become a potential customer would extend the software use for whatever reason, sometimes time constraint and the definate hardcore user would purchase immideately at the various price level.
Now there will be a question about the extension demo cost being credited towards final $99 purchase: Well there are several ways to deal with that;
1. No the funds will not be credit you were already give a chance to test and purchase the program at $99
2. 50 % of the demo price will be credited (program will net developer $105 or $120 instead of $99)
3. Full credit - potential customer pays difference minus a small surcharge single renewal user would pay $90, multi renewal user would pay $60
Now keep in mind this could also become an accounting nightmare, but with a good tracking system it is very workable.
There are a lot of other questions that will arise from this solution, but i will leave them up to the community to ask.