Free pay-per-click trials are a great way to try out a PPC advertising program, but are they worth it? After all, eventually you will be paying for the service.

Let’s see how free pay-per-click trials stack up against revenue-sharing ad programs, which usually involve no up-front costs, but split the advertising revenue with you.

Pay-Per-Click Trials: Pros and Cons

First, let’s take a quick look at some pay-per-click trials pros and cons.

On the upside…

Free trials are free. Enough said. Free trials don’t cost a penny, and you won’t pay anything if you decide not to continue the membership.

You can see what the premium program is like. Advertising companies know how important it is to provide immediate value to their customers, so that’s what they do. A free trial lets you see what you will be dealing with.

Compare, contrast, save. You can try free trials one after another until you find the one you are satisfied with. Of course, always make sure you are fully cancelled out of any obligations, so you don’t “accidentally” get stuck with a membership fee.

These pros paint free trials in a pretty good light, right?


The free trials don’t give a big picture. You want to know what your marketing ROI will be, how easy your campaigns will be to manage, and so forth. Free trials that are 15 or 30 days won’t give you much information in that regard.

They are designed to give you a taste – and just a taste – of what the programs are made of, but you won’t know how effective they are for your budget. A free trial just doesn’t give you an idea of your potential ROI: you have to stay on board to find that out.

Free trials aren’t really free in the end. A free trial is simply a technique to get you to buy into a subscription. Unlike freemium models, which often allow you to coast along for free as long as you like, free trials are specifically designed for the upsell.

Many free trials require you to sign up for a program, which means you’ve got to force a cancellation in order to opt out.

If you sign up, you often feel locked in and committed. Once you’ve signed up and jumped on board for the paid program, you’re “locked in,” at least to a certain extent. This simple psychological mindset is often enough to prevent you from branching out and testing other programs.

Revenue-Sharing: Pros and Cons

Revenue-sharing programs are usually free. Advertising companies make their money by splitting advertising revenue with you, rather than through monthly or yearly fees.

Here are a few of the upsides to revenue-sharing programs…

Revenue-sharing options are also free. The best revenue-sharing programs are run by industry-leading advertising companies such as CodeFuel, which charge no up-front fees and have no hidden costs. Unlike free trials, you don’t have to worry about upsells or minimum monthly payments.

You can get started quickly with the full tool set. Revenue-sharing programs let you get up and running in no time with the full version of the program – no “premium” features or locked functions. Usually, this simply means copying and pasting some code into your app, software, extension, or website, then checking the analytics software.

More volume makes up for the revenue split. With more tools immediately at your disposal, you’ve got access to more promotion and monetization tools. Why do you get more volume? Simple: more partners, advertisers, and publishers choose to work with programs that don’t have up-front fees. This means more resources are devoted to the network’s development.

The revenue-sharing model doesn’t sound too bad either.


You pay for the advertising tools with shared revenue instead of a membership fee. Rather than paying for a set membership fee, you’re splitting ad revenue with the ad network. Depending on how much money you earn per month, this amount can be higher than other membership fees. If your income is low, then these fees will be low, but if your revenue is higher, then these fees will be higher.

This particular point is one reason many developers hesitate when it comes to revenue-sharing advertising programs. But there is another way of looking at it: higher earners are reinvesting higher amounts into the further research and development of these same advertising tools.

Programs with set fees also have a set revenue stream, based solely on the amount garnered from members. This means that they have more limited funds to invest in their advertising tools. Perhaps this is one reason why certain revenue-sharing programs have such good tools to offer.


Both types of programs have their pros and cons. But in many cases, revenue-sharing PPC programs offer the better end of the deal, in terms of program quality, traffic volume, and monetization potential.