How to convert your trial users into happy customers?

Hundreds of companies use freebies in their marketing strategy- not only it’s a fantastic way to show to future customers your products and its benefits, getting people interested in free samples or a trial version of a product is very easy.

People love all kinds of freebies – whether it is a product sample, book preview or a trial version of the software. Whatever your company has to offer, you can bet that dozens of people will show up at the place where you are handing freebies – whether it is a store or a company website. This kind of product-led approach allows you to easily acquire new customers. With trials or freebies, all customers need to do is to give their contact information and they can use the product straight away – no costs or risk involved.

Getting the same people to purchase a full product is a bit complicated thing though, especially when it comes to trial versions. Only about 20% of trial users upgrade to paying customers, with the rest moving onto another tool or forgetting about the product as soon as the trial ends. Having the same problem?

Here are some things to help with you increasing the number of paid customers:

Look closely at your trial users

Not all of our trial users are the same – some are using the tool but have no real intention of paying for your software but wanted to get something “for free”. Some used your product once because “it was free” and then forgot all about the trial. Others are using your tool daily, reading plenty of things about it and commenting on your board/social media account. Which of those users are more likely to become paying customers?

By finding and focusing on users belonging to the second group, you are spending time and effort on people who are most likely to convert and can increase your revenue this way. How can you do that though?

One method is to ask your trial users for feedback – what do they like in your software, with what they have trouble, what do they dislike and want you to improve? It would be a good idea also to score your trial users based on how often they use your software – people who use it daily are more likely to convert than those who used your tool only once or twice.

Help your new users with getting the best of your product

To get users to pay for your product after finishing their trial, they have to see the tool benefits themselves. How? By finding out what they can do with the tool and how can it help them – if the tool is exactly what they need, they will keep using it.  

Sadly, plenty of companies expects the users will find out how the tool works and how many fantastic features it has by themselves – and that would be difficult for tech-savvy people, not to mention typical users.

That’s what onboarding is for – meaning getting the users familiar with the system and showing them how to use the tool for maximum benefit. It helps you deal with two most likely cases of why users are not converting – one, that the users don’t understand how to use the various features in the tool and second that think they are not getting any value out of it.   

What could you use for customers onboarding? There’s plenty of options:

  • An interactive tutorial (with an option to skip it)
  • Knowledge base available on your website (with frequently asked questions)
  • Video tutorial on how to use a specific feature or how to achieve a specific goal
  • Banners with tips (also with an option to skip them)
  • An email newsletter with tips and tricks
  • A customer milestone system

The faster and easier users will learn how to use the tool for maximum benefit to them,  the more likely they will decide to purchase a full version.

Make it easy for them to contact you

As in every other software, unexpected error or a sudden issue might occur and your trial users don’t know what to do. Or maybe they have a question on how to use a particular feature. How can they do contact you to get the answer they need? And how long will they have to wait for it?

User’s patience is not as high as it was just a few years ago so getting them to wait days for replying to their email or hanging on a phone line is out of the question. That’s why it’s crucial you give your trial users multiple ways to contact you – besides phone and email, it’s also important to offer live chat or social media contact. Live chat is especially liked by customers – it’s fast, convenient to use and they can continue to do other things as they are talking with a customer service rep.  

The quicker the users get an answer to their question or a solution to their problem, the more likely are they to reach out to you later and to continue using your software.

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Remove obstacles to conversion

Your trial version user is happy with the software and wishes to upgrade to full version. But how easy is it for your users to convert? Since the whole aim of the trial version is to make users reach the “aha!” moment and purchase a full version.

Plenty of websites instead of encouraging trial users to convert are putting them off – there’s only one payment option, only one subscription option, there’s not enough about the benefits of full version or the subscription forms asks for far too many personal informations.   

Even if the user was happy with the trial version and had every intention to convert, poorly designed or too complicated website can give them second thoughts. Meanwhile, making the process as smooth for the users as possible can visibly improve your conversion rates.

What can you do to make the conversion go seamlessly?

  • Offer variety of payment options
  • Give a few subscription options for user to pick
  • Allow users to easily transfer data from the trial version into the paid tool.
  • Remove unnecessary form fields – you can ask for those informations later
  • Be crystal clear about the subscription price, length and possible opt-out options.

Getting trial version users isn’t as easy as it was a few years ago. Their expectations are much higher now so you have to step up your game. By using the tips above and most importantly by listening closely to your trial users, you will surely notice a slow but steady increase in your conversion rate.

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