increase saas free trial conversion rates

4 Ways To Increase Your SaaS Free Trial Conversion Rate

May 12, 2016 - 8 minutes read - B2B

You know you have a good product. Anyone with two eyes could see that. Your software is intuitive and easy to use. There are plenty of customization options and great uptime. Your team is responsive and helpful. If people just had the opportunity to try it out, they’d be instantly sold. 

This line of thinking is all too common in the SaaS world. Nowadays every SaaS competitor offers a free trial. However, not all free trials convert the way SaaS providers imagine. According to Totango, the best SaaS companies are able to convert 25% of their free trial users into paying customers. If you’re falling below that mark, here are four actions you can take to boost your numbers.

4 Ways To Convert More Customers After Your SaaS Free Trial

1. Add content.

You may only need a free trial leadpage to get people to sign up and give your service a try. If you want to convert, you’ll need to invest in more stand-out educational content, though. Create blogs, videos, downloadable guides and internal pages that teach prospects more about your product and show them why you have the solution to their biggest problems.

[clickToTweet tweet=”70% of the people who sign up for an #SaaS trial never end up using the trial at all.” quote=”70% of the people who sign up for an SaaS trial never end up using the trial at all.” theme=”style3″]

Branding, design and SEO can help you garner respect, but it won’t necessarily help you win long-term relationships. After all, Totango found that 70% of the people who sign up for an SaaS trial never end up using the trial at all! We believe that’s a failure in providing effective content marketing that supports the trial. It’s ultimately winning content that persuades prospects to move from “interested” to “ready-to-buy.” Take a page from websites like Workflow Max and Wrike to see how content can build upon your CTA.

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Saas product trial conversion

2. Take the long view.

A common mistake for SaaS companies is to push the free trial at every turn. Signups may be your overriding goal, but keep in mind not every visitor is ready for the hard sell. In fact, coming off as too pushy could scare some people away. There are multiple paths to buying and multiple stages of the buyers journey. Sure, you want the free trial to be easy to find and prominently displayed. But instead of linking to the trial page on every blog, try linking to related posts or your company “about” page where prospects can learn more.

Show readers that you understand their problems, empathize and have a solution. Consider an email drip campaign as a way of nurturing leads before, during and after trial signup. Automate an email to follow up with people who download one of the guides on your site and introduce the free trial CTA within a few days. It’s not overkill to send up to three emails in the first week — as long as the content is useful and geared toward helping people maximize the value of their trial. Send suggestions that encourage them to test specific product features, for instance. Jason James offers 8 specific tips on formulating an effective drip campaign for your SaaS company. Close.io has a few high-converting email drip campaign messages you can steal, too.

saas sales funnel

Image Source: Kissmetrics.com

3. Show users how the product works.

There is always the possibility that your product values and features are not as evident as you think they are. People learn in different ways: some by seeing, others by doing. Providing video demos are a great complement to a free trial offer, as they ensure that prospects fully understand your product’s benefits, features and functions before they give it a whirl themselves.

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Check out how Xero approaches the SaaS demo as a good example and read the suggestions on “how to give a good SaaS web demo” from Sales Loft.

4. Shorten your free trial period.

Thirty days may be the industry standard, but that might be too long for most SaaS companies. Longer trials increase the cost per customer acquisition. They also give prospects time to lose interest.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Longer #SaaS trials increase customer acquisition cost and give prospects time to lose interest.” quote=”Longer SaaS trials increase customer acquisition cost and give prospects time to lose interest.”]

Some SaaS providers (like Salesforce) offer a 7-day trial for entry-level editions and 30-day trials for the more complex high-end editions. According to Close.io, it only benefits you to have a longer (30 day) trial if it’s designed to engage users more and more along the way, as is the case for Dropbox and Evernote users. They say that 99% of SaaS companies should have a 14-day trial at most.

Sometimes if people know they have less time to experience your product, it increases engagement and makes the desire to convert stronger. Keep an eye on trial usage statistics to get a feel for how well the trial period is functioning for you. If people tend to buy sooner, then perhaps the 30 days is too much. If people seem engaged for a few days but then lose interest, it could also be time to ramp up engagement with improved follow-up communications.

A Few Good Articles

If you’re not getting sufficient traffic for your Free Trial, then check out these tips from iSpionage. Also, be sure you have the other 7 elements of a good SaaS website, according to Kissmetrics. They have another article we liked that shows specific examples of how companies like Shopify and Dropbox convert trial users into customers.

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The Last Word

Remember, you can always contact Mod Girl Marketing for any of your SaaS content marketing needs. Our team of marketing professionals specialize in helping SaaS companies increase leads, revenue and conversions.

Learn more about our B2B marketing agency.

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