For most businesses, it is not a big task to get freemium subscribers (free users). However, the task of converting free subscribers into paying ones can be a mountain to climb.

Most Software As A Service (SaaS) providers are unable to convert more than 20% of their free users to paying customers. On average, most companies only convert 20 to 30 percent of the free users to paying ones. However, with the right strategies, you can get a SaaS conversion rate of up to 80% of all the free users. See this list of typical SaaS conversion benchmarks and compare your SaaS conversion rate against industry standards.

When thinking of how to convert SaaS free trials into customers, you should have the main problems at the back of your mind. For most customers, the problem is usually starting to pay for something they are used to having free of charge. It is, therefore, important to think of ways of making it seem less of a burden.

How To Convert SaaS Free Trial Users Into Paying Customers

Here are the top 5 ways used to convert free trial users into paying customers.

1. Offer premium promotions

While you may not be able to provide a free trial for a long period, you can give your customers promotional offers that will attract them to paying for the product.

For example, Spotify offers its customers up to 90% off on the first three months subscription. For most customers, paying $0.99 per month is not a big deal as compared to paying $9.99. Such offers work in two ways; first, they help you know the customers who are truly interested in your product.

After the promotional months, you can follow up on such customers with retargeting email campaigns to get them to keep on using the product. Secondly, it is a strategy that is used to get your customers used to your product. Once the customer is used to your product, they will be unable to continue doing their work without your software. In the end, they are forced to subscribe to premium options at the set price.

Download our done-for-you flash sale email sequence which you can plug into your autoresponder to boost your next sales campaign fast.

2. Use impact messaging

Free trial to paid

There is a difference between optimizing your message and creating an impact message. It is important for your customers to know exactly what they are getting into before they start their journey.

The mistake most marketers do is to market the software as “free”. In this case, you will get enough traffic but no conversion. Your message should be displayed clearly on your landing page. Let the potential customer know how long the free trial period is and how much the cost will be after the trial.

There are many companies that have been forced to remove the words “free” from their website. For example, SumoMe changed its marketing message from “Free tools to grow your business” to “Tools to grow your business-Try for free”. This clearly indicates that the free option is a trial version and not the full product.

3. Collect payment information upfront

This may seem unorthodox to some people but is the best way of separating the chaff from the grains. There is no need to get very many people to sign up yet they are not interested in buying the product.

Collecting payment information upfront lets those who wish to continue paying for the product to sign up. This does not mean that they do not get to enjoy the free trial period. The customers simply set the payment information and billing dates in place when they start the free trial. Once the free trial period is done, they can either cancel their subscription or move on to the premium version.

4. Make the transition process easy

Sales funnel bottlenecks

It is a fact that getting people to pay for a service they are used to for free is a big task. Therefore, you need to make the process easier by removing any obstacles in the way. You need to ask yourself what would be the biggest problem that anyone would face when they want to upgrade to premium. Get rid of such obstacles that the process can be seamless.

One of the ways of ensuring the process is simple is providing multiple checkout options. Ensure that those who wish to pay can pay in as many ways as possible. Other options include providing offers that make the package too attractive. Provide effective support systems and different payment packages so that the customer can choose the best-suited option.

5. Implement email drip campaigns

Drip email marketing

Most people forget that they will need to start paying for the service at the end of the trial period. As we all know, ambushing anyone to give you money for any reason does not work.

To ensure that your customers keep the need to pay for the service at the back of their mind, you need to find ways of reminding them. One of the best ways is to use drip email campaigns. Such emails are constant reminders to the customer that the trial period is running out.

You need to start with a welcome or a thank you message as soon as the customer signs up for the trial period. Throughout the course of time, keep them engaged with follow up emails. You can use this opportunity to showcase your brand as a leader in service delivery.

You can also use the follow-up emails to give the users some tips. Send them the deadline reminder just a few days to the end of the free trial period.

Grab this free re-engagement email sequence and start re-activating your idle subscribers fast.

Keep converting more

It is always an uphill task to convert SaaS trial users into customers. However, with a few tricks here and there, you can convert up to 80 percent of all trial customers.

The key factors to consider in SaaS onboarding include…

  • the messaging,
  • follow up,
  • payment methods and
  • purchase obstacles among others.

You need to entice your potential customers to want to purchase your services.

Whichever way you chose to go, make sure you make your product very attractive. Trial periods are meant to showcase the benefits of your product.

Make sure the customer is at the point when he/she needs your product the most before you start asking for money. You should also divide payment into options that are easily payable. Create offers for first-time subscribers to motivate them.


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