Chances are, like most SaaS, you have a free trial. And chances are, like most SaaS, you’re struggling to convert your trial users to paid customers. That’s why you’re here. Right?

Trials are great, especially if you’re offering an opt-in free trial. You get more users, they get to try-out your software, while you get some insight about user behavior. While that’s all great and important for the future development of your tool – it doesn’t pay the bills, doesn’t it?

Now, surely you can’t expect everyone to convert from free to paid customer. Some users will find your SaaS product is lacking a feature they need, some will think it isn’t worth the money you ask, some will sign up just to “look around”. So, what is the conversion rate you should be aiming for?

You should choose your targets depending on your free trial model. Lincoln Murphy explained that thoroughly

  • Opt-in free trials should aim for a 25% conversion rate
  • Opt-out free trials should aim for a 60% conversion rate 

These are the “ideal” conversion rates in SaaS industry, but rarely anyone reaches those numbers. 

Keep in mind that every SaaS product is different. For one product 5% is a great conversion rate, for others it’s devastating. 

For starters, you should focus on getting your conversion rate up for any number of procents. 

Here are 8 SaaS conversion rate optimization tried-out tactics that work:.

Tip 1 : Personal demo walkthrough  

Even though we live in the digital era, all SaaS products are made by people, for people. So, stop hiding behind the screen and show your face to your potential customers. A little bit of personal touch shows you care about your users and their experience.

Here are a few tips on how to carry out a perfect personal demo walkthrough:

  • Do a good pre-demo with each user – identify their pain points. That will help you show them the value of your product. 
  • Keep in mind – demo is not a tutorial. 
  • Once you know their paint points, show them how to solve them. Don’t just show around your software, they can do that themselves. 
  • People buy solutions – not products. So, provide them with a solution. 
  • It’s okay to say that you don’t know something at the moment. But, make sure you send the answer in the follow-up email.
  • Send a follow-up email, but include next actionable steps in it. Don’t just say thank you and leave it all up to them. 

Last, but not the least: 

  • Make it conversational! You’re talking to a person. Don’t just talk on and on about your product. Let your users ask you questions, tell you what they might be missing. Listen to them, so you know what they need. 

Tip 2 : Turn your onboarding email sequences into activation emails

Don’t spend two weeks of onboarding just showing around your users how to use your tool. Use the trial period to show them how to solve their pain points with your tool. 

They’ve probably done some research even before creating a trial and decided that your tool has all the features they might need. You just need to give them a little push into actually trying out those features. That little push might steer them right to becoming a paying customer. 

If your trial period is 14 days, you can start with activation sequences after week one. Each email should bring them back to your tool, where they will take some kind of action eg. create a task. 

💡 Pro tip: Emails that create a sense of urgency, such as “Trial expires soon”, showed to be a great trigger that turns trial users to paid customers. 

Tip 3 : Launch feature adoption onboarding 

You’re the one that has to lead your users to the “Aha!” moment for your software. It is the moment when your users see the true potential of your solution and perceive its value. To see the true value of your app, users have to actually use the key features that will help them solve their pain points. 

There are a few key tips to follow: 

  • Use in-app messaging to make the value of the feature clear 
  • Show your users how your features can enhance their processes 
  • Segment your users, not every feature will be relevant to all of them. Then target in-app messages to each group 

When done right, feature adoption can be the thing that will make (not break) your app. In such a competitive environment with many daily distractions, getting the attention of your users to teach them how to use your features is crucial. You are the one that has to show them the value of it and how it solves their pain points. 

Tip 4 : Get in touch personally with the most active users 

Filter out the users that show high levels of activity in the trial period, or pick an account that has several team members. Reach out to them personally via email or a phone call. 

Don’t be too pushy and try to sell your product right away. Give them an incentive that will steer them towards buying your product. Based on their increased activity or higher number of team members, they surely see the value of your product. Make use of that information and show them an additional value that will surely convert them into paying customers. 

Tip 5 : Show different website content to trial users 

Your website isn’t only the starting point for your users. They will often come back to find out more information about your app – whether it’s to check out some blog posts that they read previously and found useful, or to check the use cases for your app. Whatever the reason might be, you should leverage that.  

One of the ways to do that is customizing your homepage, so it’s different for your trial users. You could add sections that could interest users with a trial account. It could be anything, a use case that solves their pain points or a tutorial that might help them understand your app better. 

Apart from the regular content that shows your tools’ functionalities and features, make sure you point out these sections, too: 

  • Client testimonials (great for social proof)
  • What they could get with a paid plan and annual discounts 
  • Customer support and help section
  • Usable templates 

Tip 6 : Post-trial engagement 

Don’t give up on your free trial users when the trial ends. Those are warm leads that should be nurtured. Sometimes, users just aren’t ready to start paying for your app right away, or they need to discuss it further with the rest of their team. That’s why you shouldn’t give up on them right away. There are a few ways you can stay in touch with them: 

  • Send them a simple survey at the end of the trial asking them why they didn’t opt for a paid version – this will help you get some quality answers about your product, what could be improved, whether there’s a problem with the pricing. 
  • Send them valuable content that will provide them with additional value beyond your product
  • Target users that were highly active in your app and send them an email that they can easily respond to, so you can see if there’s a possibility to reopen the sales conversation

Tip 7 : Focus on regular members not just account owners 

Most of the time, people think that account owners are the ones calling the shots about how the tool will be used and whether the team will be using it after the trial. On the contrary, most decisions about the app are made by the account admins or even just some of the members in the team. Figure out who they are and reach out to them. You’ll gather some useful information such as: 

  • Are they happy with the tool itself 
  • How often they use it and what benefits they gain from using it 
  • To they see lifetime value in it 
  • What could be improved 
  • Do they recommend the tool to their friends and colleagues 

Tip 8 : Write Effective Dunning Emails

Sometimes, it’s not that your users didn’t want to convert to a paying customer, it’s just they didn’t realize that their credit card has expired or something went wrong in the paying process. 

To fix this and stop losing your (possibly) paying customers, you should start sending out dunning emails when this happens. It’s basically a nice way to tell them that something went wrong with their payment and if they don’t fix it,  their account will be downgraded or canceled. 

Things to keep an eye on: 

  • Make sure your email lands in the Primary tab, otherwise your users will think it’s just another promo email 
  • Write a clear, yet attention-grabbing subject line and make sure you include your brand name 
  • Craft an email that’s right to the point, but empathetic – you’re not here to blame anyone, just to give them a heads-up
  • Make sure you end the email in a friendly way, pointing out they can reach to you if they have any questions 

Keep in mind no matter what tactic you use – the best way to increase conversion rate is actually solving your users pain points. If your SaaS product solves their problems in a quick and easy way and at a reasonable price – your conversion rates will go up easily with just a few tweaks. 

If you find figuring out what tweaks need to be done to improve your conversion rate a bit hard to grasp, jump on a quick call with our team, we’d love to help. 

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