Nowadays, everyone expects a free trial – no matter what product or service is being offered to them by a business. But when it comes to subscription services, this expectation is even more prevalent. As the subscription economy continues to grow, so will the requirement for effective free trials.
You don’t want to miss out because you aren’t offering a free trial. So it’s important to consider the benefits that come with implementing this marketing strategy within your business – alongside the practices that you should follow and the potential risks of them.
Free trials are a great way of increasing sales – everyone within the industry is aware of that fact. Drawing customers in from the get-go, they will take intrigue into what you’re offering them. Putting them in the driving seat, it begins the relationship that you have with them off on the right foot.
If they like the service and product, they will then be more likely to continue to invest in it after the free trial comes to an end. In order for this to become a reality, you need to persuade them by offering them something in return – access to your product or service for a set amount of time.
If you want to turn prospective customers into lifelong customers and receive recurring payments, there are certain practices that you follow. Including:
1. Limiting the duration of your free trial
In order to increase sales, you need to make sure that you’ve set an end date to the free trial. And although there is no precise duration that it should last, you need to consider the specific timeframe in which your business can cope with it.
During this trial, you will obviously not be getting much revenue in – but the long term goal of finance will become more likely – especially if you use a high-quality subscription billing software that automatically charges the customer once the trial comes to an end.
2. Limits on free accounts
If you offer the opportunity for customers to have free accounts, you need to limit the access that they can have to any trials that you’re offering. Instead of allowing them to have a free account throughout the lifetime of their access to your platform, instead, consider offering them a limited version that will expire within a certain amount of time.
Numerous subscription services offer things like this, from disabling certain features within free accounts to limiting the amount of information that they can store. When their free version is up to expire, you can then convert the customers by showcasing the features that they can unlock by paying the weekly/monthly/yearly fee.
3. Design your free trial so that it converts successfully
For your free trial to be successful, it needs to be designed so that it introduces customers to what you have to offer in an innovative and enticing way. Getting them to a point where they will want to pay for the services, it’s a smart tool for your business to utilize that shouldn’t be taken for granted.
Think about it. This is the first time that they are using your platform – so you want to guarantee that you are showcasing your brand in the best possible way.
You want to take them down an exciting path – that’s interesting enough for them to invest at the end of it. So it’s key that you consider how they will interact with the onboarding process that you have in place. For example, during the free trial, consider making emails/posts schedulable by them. This will give them the freedom to adjust them how they please without feeling that you are overbearing them with information.
When it comes time for them to pay for the services, you could consider friendly personalized reminders via emails or notifications. Also offering the chance for them to contact you with any queries that they might have, you can show why they should opt for your services over your competitors.
Free trials – what to consider
It’s evident that many subscription companies encounter a large amount of success by offering free trial subscriptions, but before you dive headfirst into implementing the strategy yourself, it’s essential that you realize that some companies do face low conversion rates – resulting in them feeling as though it was a waste of time.
There’s no denying that free trials can attract users. But sometimes, these users only have a passing interest in what SaaS platforms have to offer – resulting in them canceling their subscription at the end of the trial. Due to this significant percentage, it’s important to thoroughly consider the ways in which you offer free trials and how you can demonstrate the value of your products or services.
Showing users that it’s indispensable, you want your platform to stand out amongst your competitors if you want a chance of higher conversion rates when the trial ends.
Is it right for your business?
Unfortunately, free trials aren’t right for every SaaS platform. If you’ve utilized a free trial and you’ve noticed that there aren’t great results in the first week or so, you might need to consider whether or not a free trial is suitable for you.
You need to get a good understanding as to whether or not people are interested in what you have to offer. So after you’ve advertised your free trial and you notice that there hasn’t been a large impact, it’s a good idea to limit the time in which the trial is active. If you can’t show them the value of your product or service within this time, you’re likely to have lower conversions.
A sales strategy that will transform your business
Although free trials carry certain risks (e.g less revenue throughout the process or people creating new email addresses to access the free trial repeatedly), it’s an excellent sales strategy that can hugely benefit your organization. Lowering the overall cost of new-customer acquisition and increasing customer satisfaction levels, the level of transparency that they offer will successfully eliminate the chance of any unrealistic expectations.