SaaS Companies: Getting and Converting Free Trials into Sales

 In Demand Generation
Time to read: 3 Minutes


In October’s DC MarTech Talk – a B2B SaaS app – talked about free service trials.  Many SaaS apps use, and rightly so, free trial periods.  The trick, which is today’s topic inspired by October’s talk – is getting prospects into trials and then converting free trials into sales.

Usually 30 days, free trials give the customer a chance to learn, use, and benefit from the cloud app.  Of course, after you get a prospect to try the app, the next hurdle is conversion to paying customer.  If you can get a customer to trial, there’s about a 30% chance they’ll become customers.

So, getting trial subscribers is the first mission.  Obviously, market that free trial everywhere. Make it prominent on the website, emails, events, contests, and everywhere else you can think to build its awareness.  As you probably already know, it always also helps to remind prospects that it’s special, easy, and free.

After all, who doesn’t like free?

Work Immediately on Converting Free Trials

After you’ve snagged a trial user, it’s time to track them like a hawk stalking its prey. You do this, like you do everything else, by setting goals.  Ideally, goals are proven behavior metrics that lead to subscriptions.

Keep in mind, though, that this is definitely different for every SaaS app.  For example, for an endpoint security app, if a customer sets up a certain number of endpoints during a trial, they likely sign up. For this company, this is the metric to track during trials.

Of course, SaaS apps need to make sure the trial is an easy, beneficial experience.  This is where Customer Success better be on the ball.  Some prospects may need a guided tour at the start. Others might not.

Regardless, customer success managers need to start early to make sure trial are a smash success.

Nurturing Trial Users is a Must

Meanwhile, demand gen nurtures trial users with email campaigns.

There are obviously different approaches.  One common idea is to trigger emails based on time intervals to remind them that the trial is running out and it is time to subscribe.   Another idea – although it’s more complicated – is to couple email reminders with actual trial functionality they’ve used.

Regardless of how you track the user, remember it’s crucial to nurture the trial user just as closely as you did to get them to trial in the first place.  It’s the trick to converting free trials.


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