Extending trials with Instant Protection PLUS 3
With Instant Protection PLUS 3, you can configure your application to start as a trial for X days, and although a user can activate with a license at any time, a prospective customer may request an extension of their trial before making a purchase. Re-installing your application won't reset the trial period, so there are a few ways to give a prospect more time with the trial.
Method 1: Automating activation using SOLO Server (Recommended)
One way you can extend trials is to issue a License ID the customer can use to activate online.
Important: Please note that doing this with SOLO Server Shared URL or Dedicated URL will incur an activation on your account. Whether you sell a license or provide it for free, SOLO Server is providing the same services.
Configuring a Product Option
To issue a license that can extend trials, you have to configure a Product Option in SOLO Server with the proper settings. Assuming you have already configured a Product Option for activation after purchase, you can follow these steps to configure your new Product Option:
- Log into SOLO Server and click the Configure / Products menu. Click Show Options... next to the relevant product, and then click on the Option Name. Once you are on the View Product Option screen, click the Actions / Duplicate drop-down.
- Next, put a name like "15 Day Trial Extension" in and give it a non-zero price to prevent somebody from being able to redeem it for free through the shopping cart. Click the Submit button when done.
It is important that this Product Option remains hidden from your customers and the price is greater than the price of your product. If the price is set to $0 or an amount lower than the price of your product, you do not want a customer to keep purchasing the trial extension through the shopping cart. This is normally not an issue as your Product Option is hidden and you are creating the license for the customer. It is just an additional safety measure.
- Once you have created the duplicate option, you should be on the View Product Option screen, which should contain the details for the new, duplicated option. Click the Actions button and choose Edit.
- Set Option Type to "PLUS Option with Fixed Value"
- Un-check For New Customers
- Set the Activations per U/M field to 1 (one).
- Make sure "Allow reactivation on the same computer" and "Allow deactivations" are both unchecked.
- Set the Trigger Code # field to 20 (see the description here).
- Set the TC Fixed Value field to 15 (or the number of days for the new trial period).
- Check Enabled.
- Click Submit.
This only needs to be done once, and after this has been configured, you can simply add a license for a trial extension any time you get a request.
Adding a License
Any time you get a request to extend a trial, you can either search for the customer or add a new customer by clicking the Customers / Add a New Customer menu option. Once you have found or added the customer and are on the "Customer Details" page in SOLO Server, you can follow these steps to add a license which this customer can use to extend his or her trial:
- Click the Add License button in the Licenses & Other Items section.
- Select the trial extension product option that was created and click the Add New License button.
- (Optional) Set the Unit Price field to 0 (zero).
- (Optional) Add any notes you want to keep track of in SOLO in the Notes field.
- Click Submit.
- Provide the customer with the License ID and Activation Password needed to activate online.
Your customer should now be able to click the "Activate" and then the "Activate Online" buttons in your application to extend their trial! Furthermore, if the customer should come back after the extension has passed and ask for another extension, you can simply search for the customer, pull up the extension added previously, and provide the customer with another activation. Doing this will help you keep track of how many trial extensions you have provided (through the Activation History screen).
Method 2: Manual activation using the Instant Protection PLUS 3 wizard (without SOLO Server)
Another way you can extend your customers' trials is to use the Instant Protection PLUS 3 wizard to issue a trigger/activation code for your customer. This can be done via email, phone, etc., and requires you and your customer to communicate some numeric values to one another. Follow these steps to do this:
- When you get a request from a customer, open the Instant Protection PLUS 3 wizard.
- Open your Instant Protection PLUS 3 Project (IPP) file in Instant PLUS using the File/Open menu, or from the recent items list in the File menu.
- Once your IPP file is open, click the "Activate a Product" tab.
- Select the "Create the activation codes on this computer" option.
- Select trigger/activation code 20 ("Extend a trial by X number of days" - see the description).
- Ask the user to run your application, click the "Activate" button, and then click the "Activate Manually" button. If the dialog asks for the License ID and Password, we recommend using Method 1 above instead.
- Now ask the user for the "User Code 1" and "User Code 2" values. Enter these values into the corresponding fields in the Instant Protection PLUS 3 wizard.
- In the "Data (X)" field, enter the number of days by which the trial should be extended. For example, to extend the trial by 15 days, enter a value of 15 in this field.
- Now click the Generate Code button, and provide the user with the "Activation Code 1" and "Activation Code 2" values. The user should enter these into the corresponding fields in your application (on the same screen where he or she read the "User Code 1" and "User Code 2" values) and click the "Continue" button.
The customer should be activated and should have an extended trial!