The free trials we currently see in the email marketing industry are a part of a marketing strategy brands have been executing for years. It is great strategy. Instead of just explaining how useful the product is through a clever advertising pitch, you provide the potential customer with free access and let the product do the selling itself. While a solid offering definitely goes a long way in the case of the free email marketing trial offer, it takes much more than a strong product to convert those users into paid customers. Your email strategy should define the features or treatment that your customers will receive by choosing you. Use your campaigns to highlight these qualities.
Illustrate the Value in Being a Customer
Just as email marketers must give potential subscribers a compelling reason to sign up to their mailing list, the ESP offering a free trial must compel users to sign up for the paid version of their service. How can you do this? That all depends, but you need to put something out there to illustrate that being a customer is the way to go. For your company, it could be restricting certain features from trial users and letting them know they must upgrade to a paid package to enjoy the functionality they require. If that is too drastic, you may want to make it known that your bustling forum where the community shares helpful tips and ideas is only available to paying customers. Whatever you do, you must make it clear that being a customer is ultimately the best option for the user.
Make It Easy to Upgrade
Apart from outlining the difference between the paid and trial version of your service or product, you need to provide an easy path to upgrading so when a user does decide that they are ready to become a customer, they can do so with the utmost convenience. In a nutshell, this process should be a breeze: short and to the point in terms of the information you require. If you already have the user’s information on file, why request it again when this will only lengthen and complicate the process? Think of how often you’ve ditched an online signup form because it requested too much information or required too much of your time.
Nurture Your Trial Users
I could go on for days, but when it comes down to it, no one is going to want to pay for your product or service if they don’t trust that you can fully accommodate their needs. In order to make that crucial investment, they need to feel comfortable that your offering is the solution to their problem. If you want those conversions, you must show them that they are about to make the right decision during the free trial period. You can do this by simply providing excellent support along the way and taking the efforts to show that you will be a great partner from the outset.
Converting from free trial to paid subscription can be difficult, but it is far from impossible. Having a strong offering is half the battle. Knowing how to treat the user like a cherished customer who just hasn’t paid yet is the other.
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