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How To Convert Customers During The Free Trial Period

May 7, 2015 | Marketing Strategies

For businesses who offer any type of SaaS product, providing a free trial seems to be the common route businesses take to seal the deal. Tontango mention 44% of businesses provide a free trial while 17% provide freemium pricing models.

What really surprised me was that 66% of businesses who provide a free trial convert less than 25% of all users. That’s quite worrying and leads me to believe that many of don’t implement a well-defined strategy to convert users into paying members during the free trial.

75% of free trial users that don’t purchase, that’s a lot of money you’re leaving on the counter that should be yours. Here’s 6 cool tips to help you better convert your free trial users.

1. Make use of the welcome email

Have you ever signed up to a free trial? I bet you usually expect a welcome email confirming your trial and perhaps some extra information? Well 75% of people do and this makes for the perfect option to immediately convert your customer.

MIT state 90% of leads go cold within the first hour, meaning the welcome email may be your only time to convert. Craft your welcome email to mention the full features of your product, place a buy now call-to-action somewhere and maybe even offer a special 24 hour discount that will guarantee the conversion.

2. Provide a free trial without supplying credit card information

Here’s the signup process to AWeber when registering for their 30 day free trial:

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There’s two schools of thought to this, the first school believe it’s better to have a low free trial percentage as your post sales will be higher by asking for credit card information. While others think it works out better to offer a free trial with no card information and then to convert the prospects later.

What do you think?

Here’s what the statistics say:
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Not asking for a credit card actually doubles the amount of customers your business will convert on average after 90 days. If your SaaS is of value, let it speak for itself and go ahead and remove your credit card signup process.

3.  Send them a reminder

A high percentage of people will signup to your free trial, play with your product for a few minutes, leave and never return. This is why sending a reminder email is important to re-engage your prospect. Ideally you should be sending several emails reminding them at each milestone (15 days left, 7 days left, 24 hours left) to encourage them to use your SaaS.

The only way they will buy your SaaS is if they use it – so remind them.

4. Make them an offer they can’t refuse

Yes, go Godfather on them.

Here’s what I mean: let’s say your SaaS trial is for 15 days, after the first 8 days have passed (7 days remaining), pitch them an email stating if they purchase in the next five days they will receive 25% off the cost price.

Make it clear the special offer is only valid for five days and expires thereafter, giving a sense of urgency for them to take action now. This is one of the few ways to get them to buy before the free trial is up.

5. Give them more time

This tip is not for all your prospects, only those who actually spent a decent amount of time using your product. Users who spent 30 minutes using it for only one day won’t require another two weeks of use to make their mind up, but people who used it on a regular basis for the period of the trial will.

Send an email like this:

Hey James,

I saw you was pretty active using [Product name] during the free trial, would you like a few more days to test it out before you make up your mind?

If so, just let me know and I will add a few more days to your free trial.

Users who spend a lot of time using your software are also great resources to gaining insights and feedback on what they liked and why they didn’t buy. This data can be used to improve your efforts to convert future users.

6. Make the buy process simple

A simple yet critical stage in converting the prospect into a happy buyer. When it comes time to buy, all the prospect should be asked is to enter their credit card information and click a single button. Don’t make them jump through hoops, signup again or anything complex.

Have a clear call-to-action on every page of the trial (in the header or footer) which leads to the sales page giving the prospect no confusion on how to purchase.

7. Send a SMS

While SMS messages are being replaced by WhatsApp and Line, they are a great way to engage your prospect. They are a less competitive medium to market and they will always read your SMS compared to emails. A simple reminder mentioning their trial is up or an personalized SMS offering a 48 hour discount is a clever way to increase conversions.

On the other hand, maybe you did make the sale…but their payment failed. Around 13% of all online transactions fail and sometimes sending an email reminder just doesn’t work. In these cases opt to send a SMS message stating how you can help make their checkout process easier.


How optimized is your free-trial funnel? When was the last you put it under the microscope? Hopefully I’ve given you some ideas on how you can better leverage your free trial strategy to drastically increase your conversions.

James Dickerson

Founder of CrushCampaigns

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