The Free Trial is Over, Now What?
Offering a free trial is a common Software as a Service (SaaS) marketing strategy. Most SaaS companies offer some type of free trial while others don’t. The strategy is only as good as how far it gets you with prospective customers. Unfortunately, you can’t rely on your free trial alone to convert your site visitors into customers. If you are going to offer a free trial, you must have a strategy for retaining customers once it is over. The tips below are a few techniques to utilize so those potential customers don’t get away.
Email is Your Number One Tool to Stay in Touch with Users
The best way to communicate with your free trial users is through email during and at the end of their trial period. This may seem like an obvious point to some but you would be surprised at the small number of companies that are actually using automated emails to keep in touch with customers.
Offer an Early Discount Before The Trial Expires
By offering an early discount to your free trial users, you have the ability to earn more active signups during the usage phase instead of at the end. Make it clear the special offer is only valid for a certain amount of days and expires thereafter. This will create a sense of urgency for them to take action now and buy before their trial is up.
Remind Users When The Free Trial is Going to Expire
There is a high percentage of people that will sign-up for your free trial, play around with your software for a few minutes, leave and then never return. This is why sending a reminder email is important to re-engage those users and prepare them for the cutoff date.
Offer Users the Ability to Extend Their Trial Period
This tip is not for all your users, only those who have spent a decent amount of time using your software during their trial period. By offering an extension, you are giving users time to effectively engage with your product and validate their interest in purchasing it.
Make it Easy For Users to Buy Once Their Trial is Over
Don’t assume your trial users know how to purchase and activate the full version of your software. Your users need to be told step-by-step how to buy the product at the end of their trial and it should not be a complicated process.
Remember, just having a free trial does not guarantee anything. If you are looking for higher conversion rates, you cannot just “go through the motions” when offering a free trial. An effective free trial strategy needs to move prospective customers from where they perceive value to where they realize the value in your software. Once you have accomplished that, the conversion from free-to-paid is no sweat.