How to Convert Free Trial and Free Plan Users into Paying Customers

How to Convert Free Trial and Free Plan Users into Paying Customers

Some of you may even offer free plans for certain services. But you can’t assume every free trial or free plan user will become a paying customer. Businesses don’t have a problem getting people to sign up for free plans and free trials, but when it comes to getting paid, their conversions are lower than expected. Give users a reason to end their free trials early Here’s something else I see all too often with subscription businesses. For example, let’s say you offer a 14-day free trial. They like the product and are thinking about upgrading when the trial expires. Run personalized promotions for the lowest tier plan users Depending on the type of business you have, you may offer a free version of your product. If you learn how to create an actionable drip campaign, you can target free trial users and entice them to convert. If you follow the tips I’ve outlined in this guide, you’ll have a much easier time getting free trial and free plan users to convert. How are you encouraging free trial and free plan users to upgrade to paid memberships?

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If your business relies on subscriptions to generate revenue, you probably offer a free trial to test your product before you ask your subscribers to pay.

This is a great strategy. People may be hesitant to pay for your subscription initially, but if they can try it first, it gives you an opportunity to win them over and turn them into paying customers.

Some of you may even offer free plans for certain services. The idea behind this strategy is that these people will eventually upgrade to paid plans.

But you can’t assume every free trial or free plan user will become a paying customer.

I see this problem all the time in my consulting work.

Businesses don’t have a problem getting people to sign up for free plans and free trials, but when it comes to getting paid, their conversions are lower than expected.

Even you don’t use this business model yet but plan to generate recurring sales by implementing subscriptions, it’s important for you to get this strategy right from the start.

Certain tactics will help you increase the chances of getting these free trial and free plan users to convert.

I’ll explain what you need to know so you can apply these strategies in your business.

Make the transition as easy as possible

The first thing you need to do is analyze your current process. Go through the steps a user needs to take to become a paying customer.

If you’ve got too much friction, unnecessary form fields to fill out, and anything else that slows down the process, it’ll hurt your conversions.

Everything needs to be as smooth and easy as possible for the user.

For example, let’s say the free trial period is over. Now what? Do they need to pick up the phone and call a customer service representative to give their credit card information over the phone?

That’s way too complex.

If you run subscriptions through a mobile app, you can have the user scan their credit card with their camera. This is even easier than typing the numbers.

To make this transition easy for your users, don’t force them to commit to a long-term plan.

In fact, monthly subscriptions have higher conversion rates from free trials than annual plans do:

conversions

If you’re forcing someone to commit to a year, they’ll think much longer and harder about the decision. You don’t want that.

But if they need to pay only for one month at a time with the option to cancel at any moment, it will definitely be an easier decision for them.

I get your thinking behind trying to drive annual plans. But realistically, if your product is good enough, customers will stick with you for long periods even on a monthly plan.

Plus, you’ll likely make more money this way.

You can generate more profits by focusing on your pricing strategy. Customers who commit to a yearly membership or subscription will probably be paying less during that period than those who get billed monthly.

Give users a reason to end their free trials early

Here’s something else I see all too often with subscription businesses. They wait until the trial ends before trying to get users to convert.

By that point, it’s too late.

For example, let’s say you offer a 14-day free trial. Once the trial expires, you give the user some buffer time to decide whether they want to become a paying customer.

A week later, you send an email with a CTA to a paid subscription link.

If this sounds like a strategy you’re currently using, it’s probably why your conversions are so low. Waiting this long is not a good idea. By this point, your service is no longer on the minds of the consumers.

They’ve already gone a week without using it and realized it’s not something they need in their lives.

Instead of waiting until the trial is over, you can give the user an incentive to sign up while their trial is still going on.

But why would anyone want to end their free trial early? You need to make them an offer that’s worth it.

Discounts and other promotions will usually get the job done. Here’s a great example from 500px:

500px

This email uses FOMO—the fear of missing out. You can guide people’s emotions to drive sales with this strategy.

500px is offering 15% off its membership, plus additional account upgrades. However, this promotion won’t last long. As you can see from the highlighted bit, this offer lasted for only 24 hours.

Put yourself in the shoes of the consumer for a minute here. Let’s say they are on day 22 of a 30-day trial.

They like the product and are thinking about upgrading when the trial expires.

But why would they wait and pay the full price when they can get 15% off today? This type of offer gives them a reason to end their trial early and convert.

You want to target these users while they’re still hooked and your brand is fresh in their minds. If you give them an incentive to end the trial early, you’ll increase the chances of them becoming a paying customer.

Offer trial extensions

What happens if a user doesn’t take the bait of the incentive to end their trial early?

Does that mean you should give up on trying to get them to convert? Absolutely not.

Some people may need a bit more time to determine whether they…

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