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Most SaaS businesses offer free trials and hope that the free users convert to paying customers. Mixed opinions have been expressed on the viability of free trials. While most businesses offer free trials, it may not necessarily work for you. On the other hand, an increasing trend among subscription based companies is to offer a paid trial.
Whether you are offering a free or paid trial, your goal should be to convert the free users to paying customers. SaaS revenues are driven by contract renewals and if your trial users are not becoming paid customers, your subscription business is in trouble.
It is not easy to know how to increase the conversion rate of your trial users. You have to study your customers’ behavior and assess their needs to know how to make them convert. Below are five ways you can pursue to increase your paid user signups.
1. Keep Track of Metrics
To know the health of your subscription business, you need to watch metrics and data carefully. The metrics include that of trial users. You have to measure how users are engaging with your service, which features they use and how many users upgrade to paid customers.
Be careful of vanity metrics. For instance, having a high number of trial users does not mean a business will generate revenues. Instead, revenues depend on paid users. If a large percentage of trial users are not converting, something is wrong somewhere. Perhaps it’s your product, support or you are targeting the wrong users. Kissmetrics and Intercom.io are great tools that will come in handy.
2. Nurture Your Leads
One of the busiest departments of a subscription business is the sales team. Following up on every trial user can be an overwhelming task for your sales team, not to mention expensive. However, you also do not want to ignore these trial users who are potential paying customers.
You therefore need to reach them through a cost-effective way that will generate positive ROI. This means you have to nurture them to become paying customers. One easy way of nurturing leads is through inbound marketing. Providing great content that is educative and compelling will help to nurture the leads and warm them up to become paying customers. Again Intercom.io does are great job in running auto messages based on criteria.
3. Monitor Your Contact Rates
Having many trial users is great if you can follow them up. However, with the lean nature of most SaaS businesses, making contact with all users can be difficult without automation. You can use a good emailing software like Aweber or MailChimp to make automatic follow-ups. MailChimp has integration with popular CRM’s and makes automated campaigns easier.
Check the follow-up rate and follow-up conversion percentage of your users. A low follow-up rate may mean your sales team is understaffed and a poor conversion percentage may mean you are using the wrong tactics when trying to get trial users to upgrade to paid customers.
4. Make it Easy to Subscribe
Oner thing you definitely don’t want to do for your subscription business is make it difficult for users to subscribe. For eCommerce businesses, this may mean reducing the number of fields during the checkout process. However, for SaaS businesses, subscription is more than creating a trial account. Ensure users can automatically create trial accounts by e.g. by not requiring them to use their credit cards. Also, check that there are no bottlenecks in upgrading of your service from trial to paid.
5. Understand Your Market’s Needs
Know what your market is looking to solve. Successful SaaS companies research and provide a solution that solves the problems faced by their markets. Also, understand the perceived value users will get from your service. There are many tools available in the market to measure user engagement during trials. TourMyApp is a great example which allows you to increase user activation and engagement.
Which other ways can help to convert trial users to paid customers? Share your thoughts below.
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