Several times we think, do the free trial emails help us to convert the users into the customers? Does the strategy work out for the companies who are working on it? Maybe yes. Maybe no. The complete strategy works on what the service/ product you are selling and how useful it will be during the free trial period?
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Which industry targets free trial customers? Not the fashion but the SaaS i.e. Software as a Service industry makes the most of the free trial email strategy. The reason is, no new customer will purchase the software without the proper understanding of the functions for it, therefore free trial emails are necessary for them.
The real struggle behind the free trial campaigns is to convert the user into the paid and engaging customer. You may think why is it a real struggle? The user has agreed to sign up for the free trial that means the customer is ready to purchase the product as well.
It is definitely a myth to learn such assumptions. The free trial duration is the time for the user to decide and experience the best from your product/ service. There are numerous free trials for them available in the market and it is your job to stand out amongst them.
CUSTOMER ACTIVATION? WHAT IS IT?
This is the most common term among the email marketers who use the free trial strategy. The customer activation means to convert the users into the engaging customers during the costless usage of the product/ service.
The huge struggle behind this strategy is- not all users will become your paid customers. This type of the condition depends on the product/ service experience they had during the free trial campaign offered by your business.
Around 15-20% of the free trial users will become your paid customer and in fact, this number will also drop off after the 90 days. As per the studies in the SaaS industry, the conversion rate from the visitor to the paid customer is 2%.
Allow us to make it simple for you. If there are 1000 web visitors, 20 of them will become your free trial users. Out of these 20 users, you can expect at least 1-2 user to become your paid customer.
So here, that is the reason why you have to attract the free users with the number of features of the product/ service. What can be done to raise the number of the paid customers from the users?
First, we are sharing the important data for how to activate the customers even before they start using the product. For different verticals, there are different ways to activate the customers such as in,
Web Analytics: the user has to install the tracking script to become the customer.
CRM: Here user will have to import customer data.
Project Management Software: A user needs to create the project.
From the above examples of the verticals, customer activation makes the user purchase the product and use them.
The question is, how to convert those free trial users into the potential/ engaging customers?
EMAIL MARKETING IS THE STRATEGY
If lately, you have realized that email marketing is making the wonders in the marketing world, you should be happy. In fact, according to the MarketingSherpa, 26% of the SaaS companies use the emails to convert the free trial users into the customers. Let us understand the details of how does the email marketing can be useful to convert the users into the customers.
TRIGGER THE FIRST EMAIL TO THE CUSTOMERS ASAP AFTER THEY SIGN IN
Once the customer has signed up for the free trial of your product/ service, the first thing as an email marketer you have to do is sent the first email; it can be thank you or welcome email.
You can do this either with the marketing automation software or the autoresponders. Trigger the first email as soon as the user signs in for the free trial of your service/ product. It is the better opportunity for you to convert them into a customer.
SET OF INSTRUCTIONS FOR HOW TO GET STARTED
Once you have succeeded for the user to sign in for your product free trial, the next thing you should do is explaining them for how to access the product/ service. For that, you have to provide the set of instructions to get started with the free trial access.
In the free trial, if the user is not able to access the product/ service, the chances are they might not even continue to use it for more than one day. For example; in the CRM, if the customer is not able to import the data, having the access to the free trial is waste.
Within the duration of the first email is sent to the user after signed in for the free trial, the set of instructions should be sent to them. As a suggestion, once the welcome or thank you email is sent, after two hours of it, send the user set of guidelines for how they can access the free trial offer.
PERSONALIZATION/ CUSTOMIZATION OF THE EMAILS
It does not matter if you are triggering the free trial emails through the email marketing automation software or the autoresponders, you should personalize the emails. How? Include the first name of the user. This will help you to build the strong bond of trust with the customer.
Apart from including the user’s first name, you can conclude the email with your brand’s name, information and the address as well as contact details. The user should feel that they can reach you anytime if they are stuck in between the free trial duration.
CALL TO ACTION (CTA)
Indeed you need the CTA here as well, otherwise, your visitor will be confused about what action to take and why to take. The goal and the focus of the email marketing are to convert the user into the customer. To do so, it is necessary to include the CTA to every prompting emails you send the users within the free trial duration.
Do not just limit yourself by sending one or two emails during such times. You have to be in touch with your users, ensuring they do not get bored/ stuck with the product or the service.
If your business is offering 30 days free trial, you have to make sure that for the first week after the user has signed up, it is ideal to send 2-3 emails and then for the rest of the duration, one email/ week.
You can even send the emails to the user to remind them about the expiration of the free trial offer and also the post-trial email to ask them feedback about the experience they had during the free trial phase.
EXTENSION OF THE FREE TRIAL
Indeed that will be good news for the engaging users. You can offer the user who is constantly engaging with your free trial offer or even for those who has just started to use the product in the free trial package.
Send the user an email informing them of the good news of the extension of the offer. The chances are they might purchase the service/ product after the free trial is over with the better experience.
This kind of email will trigger the interest and curiosity factor among the user and it is also an ideal way to introduce the new feature in the existing product the user is using. Share the new data or the research your brand has done for the user to know well.
Before you hit SEND to this kind of the email, it is important to first verify the login history of the users who are offered the free trial. if the new user has not logged in for the free trial, this kind of email will not fascinate them to act upon.
Once the free trial offer is expired and if the user has chosen to purchase the product/ withdraw from the offer after the experience, ask them for the feedback. Positive or negative, it will help you to understand your service through the lens of the customer.
Furthermore, it will let you make the improvements if the conditions did not match a large number of the audience. Only 15-20% free trial users become the customers which means you have 80% users who are not willing to become the one.
Ask these 80% users the reason for why they do not want to be the customer after using the free trial offer. Conduct the survey among this 80% of the users to know that is there any room for the improvement.
This kind of email should be sent to those who were engaging during the free trial period. Ask them the reasons and how you can improve the experience in the favor of the user. At least if not the user, but it will help you to be careful in future.
The email marketing campaigns are all about the ROI and the conversion rates of the user into the customer. More the ROI means there is an increased number of the engaging customers and sales. The free trial emails will be useful to you and suit it according to the industry you are in. In fact, you can customize such kind of the offers depending on the customer’s conditions and the suggestions.
David is the head of digital marketing for SparkEmail design, one of the most competitive email design and coding company. He likes to share his innovations regarding email designs to the fellow email designers, providing the creative touch to the email campaigns. He is the writer during the day and rigorous reader by night.