There’s no doubt that free trials are an effective strategy for companies looking to acquire new customers. According to Totango, 44% of SaaS companies offer a free trial in the hope that once users get a taste of the value offered by a service, they will be willing to sign up for the paid version.
But most of the time, trial users don’t sign up for the paid service. While there are a number of things you can do to convert as many users as possible before your trial ends, it’s important to not give up if that doesn’t work.
Here are four ways to entice your lapsed trial users to take a second look at your service.
Incentives are another tactic to consider when re-engaging expired trial users. These can be non-financial (e.g., buddy sign-ups, increased service level) as a way to get them back on board. Focus on keeping incentives simple and engaging enough so that users actually feel compelled to do what you want them to do: sign up for a paid subscription.
Some may need an extra little push to sign up and upfront discounts can help more price-sensitive users get onboard. When offering a discount, make it for a limited time and remind them of the full value of your service.
If your trial ends and a user still hasn’t converted to a paying client despite your best efforts, consider extending the trial period (the extension should be informed by the initial trial period). This gives users another opportunity to re-engage and better understand the value you provide. Also, providing this ‘extra’ value through more free trial time may create goodwill with some customers who may be more willing to consider paying for your service.
Not converting a trial user to a paid user during a trial is unfortunate but it also provides an opportunity to reach out and ask customers why. You can then address their reservations in a more personalized way, making them more likely to convert to a paid user. If you go the survey route, make sure it’s simple, friendly and leaves participants with a positive view of your company. Even if they didn’t convert during your trial, they may be interested again in the future and you want your company to have a positive lasting impression if they do.
Consider soliciting feedback via email or, even better, text. Text messages are an almost guaranteed read with 99% of all text messages being read including 90% within 3 minutes. Compare that to the 22% average open rate for emails.
Although re-engaging a user after they have finished their free trial can be tricky, it can be worth the effort. Some users that value your service will be eager to sign up when their trial is over. For those that don’t sign up during their trial, they may just need reminding of your value or an added incentive.
But while these methods are good for getting users to pay for your service, they can also lower your perceived value with prospective customers. So be aware that the offering incentives, discounts or an extended trial period is a strategic decision that needs to align with your product and brand.