7 Must-Do Activities to Convert a SaaS Free Trial Into a Paying Customer

free trial saas

When a free trial SaaS (software as a service) prospect signs up to test out your product, your next steps will determine whether they upgrade to a paid account. Follow these 7 “must do” activities to increase your SaaS free trial conversion rate.

Free Trial SaaS

A SaaS free trial period usually has 4 phases and flows like this:

  1. Free trial period >>> free usage of your product (you can limit access to certain features)
  2. Trial period about to end >>> send upgrade offers and reminders
  3. Free trial ends >>> start charging if you have their payment info
  4. Prospect didn’t upgrade >>> nurture

How to Increase Your SaaS Free Trial Conversion Rate

The good news is that you can greatly influence whether a free trial SaaS prospect upgrades to a paid account. Here’s how to increase your SaaS free trial conversion rate.

  1. When a person signs up for a free trial, be clear on how long that trial is and don’t charge them during that period or you’ll have pretty upset prospects who will tell others. That’s bad press for your business.
  2. If you collect credit card info upon signing up for your free trial, many people will bail and never complete the process. Some are the actual users but don’t have a company card so they physically can’t do your trial without involving someone else. Others find it too risky to give a card first. So, if you can manage without collecting credit card info, you’ll get more SaaS free trial accounts.
  3. During your trial period, nurture them every step of the way. Use videos, onboarding webinars, quick tip emails, case studies, and getting started guides to give them the best experience possible. Send these at a frequent cadence, such as day 1, 2, 4, 7, 14, 21 and 30 during your SaaS free trial period. Many people sign up for free trials and never get passed day 1 because they don’t know how to use the product for their situation. This nurturing process will reduce churn rate.
  4. Provide them with thought leadership insights during the trial period to establish your expertise in their minds.
  5. Remind them to upgrade to a paid account in plenty of time. Don’t just expire an account without notice.
  6. Send post expiration requests to upgrade to a paid account. Continue nurturing them beyond their trial period if they didn’t upgrade – or didn’t unsubscribe to your mailings.
  7. Keep sending them thought leadership info. We consistently got clients 2–3 years (yes, years!) after our first contact with them – all because they loved our educational content and were finally nurtured to the point of being ready to buy.

Tip: use this free SaaS Marketing Plan to grow your multi-million dollar SaaS business.

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