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Perfect for users who need access to basic well level data. If you're only interested in a few wells and currently use state sites, this plan is for you.

 

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If you need data in the US & Canada, we've got you covered.

The industry didn't start with unconventionals and neither does our data. We cover the full historical dataset across every producing state and province. Don't settle for inferior data, check out our coverage for any state or province you're interested in.

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4 min read

Why WellDatabase Continues to Champion Month-to-Month Plans

Why WellDatabase Continues to Champion Month-to-Month Plans

From the beginning of our journey with WellDatabase, we received a mix of advice, some valuable and some not so much. Today, we will focus on one particular piece of advice we received: "Get rid of your month-to-month plans and only accept annual subscribers." But before we delve into that discussion, let's take a step back and reflect on our early days. 

WellDatabase - Day 1 

When we embarked on the journey to create WellDatabase, we were motivated by the numerous frustrations we encountered in the oil & gas data industry. One particularly significant issue was the presence of toxic contracts that our competitors are notorious for. I experienced the negative effects of these contracts, and this experience continues to fuel my passion for WellDatabase today. 

The company I worked for had a contract with another company that shall remain nameless (although I'm guessing you can figure it out). The contract had an auto-renewal clause, and we were aware of it. We were relatively satisfied with what we received and had budgeted for the renewal. However, ninety-three days before the contract was set to renew, we received a quote for the renewal with a 50% increase (from 60k to 90k, if you're wondering). It was shocking, and we believed discussing it in our management meeting was necessary. This notice arrived on a Wednesday, and our management meeting was scheduled for Monday. After discussing it on Monday, we decided we were not interested in renewing at that price. We promptly informed our sales representative, only to be told it was too late to cancel. According to the contract terms, we had to notify them 90 days or more in advance. Unfortunately, we were already on day 88. Yes, it was our responsibility to understand the terms of the contract, but seriously? The entire sequence of events infuriated me and served as one of the catalysts for starting WellDatabase. 

That Advice 

Skipping forward a few years to the moment we received the suggestion to eliminate month-to-month agreements, and it was presented with a few supporting points: 

  • If the customer can't dedicate themselves to using our systems for a year, I don't have time for them
  • It costs money to onboard a new customer, so we must ensure we get that value
  • Someone might sign up for a month, take the data they need, and cancel 
  • Revenue becomes harder to forecast 

These statements have some truth but aren't good enough reasons to stop month-to-month agreements. Here is how we handle those issues: 

  • If the customer can't dedicate themselves to using our systems for a year, I don't have time for them
    • I believe the person meant that the user wouldn't have enough "skin in the game" and could jump ship more easily. I remember the quote because they said they didn't have time for users. Regardless, we combat this by ensuring our customers get the value they need from our system from day 1. This is done with an intuitive user interface, a rich library of support articles, and a first-class customer success team.  
  • It costs money to onboard a new customer, so we must ensure we get that value 
    • We've automated many processes to onboard a customer and worked hard to help ensure new users get value from our platform. It costs us less to onboard than other companies.  
  • Someone might sign up for a month, take what they need, and cancel 
    • This is especially problematic for data exports and something we have had to deal with. After 10+ years of experience with this, the concern is overstated. Yes, it happens, but it remains rare. 
  • Revenue becomes harder to forecast 
    • Yes, it does. It is up to us to keep customers, and given enough time, we've found that the numbers become more predictable by way of volume.  

Fast-Forward to Today 

We are committed to offering month-to-month plans and have no intention of changing that. While some contract levels require annual agreements and offer discounts, we recognize the benefits of having monthly users. A significant portion of our user base consists of month-to-month subscribers.

Here are a few reasons why we strongly believe in providing month-to-month plans. 

  • Holds us accountable
    • If our data isn't up-to-date, we risk losing customers. If our site experiences frequent downtime, we risk losing customers. If we lack essential features, we risk losing customers. Having month-to-month users keeps us on our toes and ensures that we prioritize their needs. 
  • Allows users to test the waters before making a significant commitment
    • We offer trials, but using our service for just 3 days may not provide the same experience as using it for a month or two. 
  • Enables us to cater to individuals
    • Contractors, small companies, and analysts can easily subscribe to our service without being burdened by exorbitant annual fees or having to sign unfavorable contracts. 
  • Enables companies to utilize our services as needed and pause them during phases of their growth that don't require our services
    • Many management teams have relied on our software to secure funding for projects. These groups often need more financial resources for an expensive annual agreement, making our service instrumental in getting their projects off the ground. 

I could keep going on this, but at the end of the day, month-to-month plans are just good for the industry.  

Cancellation Reasons 

Another important aspect regarding month-to-month plans is our approach to customer cancellations. We always make it a point to ask our users why they cancel, as we constantly strive to improve our services. Losing customers does affect me personally, and each cancellation stings a little. However, there are instances where we lose customers, which makes me smile. Here are a few reasons that don't hurt so bad:Ill be back 

  • "Will renew in April of 2024 for summer tax season. Thank you!"
  • "Your service is excellent, but I do not need continuous data access. I will purchase additional months later this year as needed. Keep up the good work!" 
  • "My data needs are project-specific. Right now, I don't need data for my current projects. I will renew my subscription once again when I need this type of data." 
  • "Your website is awesome, and I loved looking through the various areas/basins and seeing production trends and historical information in such a clean, easy-to-use interface with such a rapid processing time of data queries. It is far and above better than some other services I have used previously at other companies. The only reason I am cancelling my subscription at this time is that I have found over the month or so I have signed up for the service that, with other current work obligations and time commitments, I was not utilizing it as much as I would like. I am hoping to re-sign up in a couple of months when I can better dedicate my time to prospecting and more completely utilize this database. I will definitely be recommending your system to other independent geologists and prospectors that I know, as this is truly a tremendous resource. Thank you." 
  • "I'm pausing for a few months as I shift assignments. Love the service though!!" 

I could keep going for a while, but you get the picture. These comments are proof that month-to-month plans are needed for the industry. 

Moving Forward 

When we first launched our company, we were the pioneers in offering a month-to-month plan for oil & gas software. Although this option is still relatively uncommon, we have noticed a growing number of start-ups adopting it. This is a positive development for the industry, and we take great pride in being at the forefront of this change. While I cannot accurately predict the future, I can confidently say that month-to-month plans will always remain a fundamental aspect of WellDatabase.

 

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