Your Free Trial is a Conversation with Me – Don’t Ignore Me.

Say I sign-up for the 14 day free trial of your web app, get halfway through installation, get frustrated, and then never return.  Will I hear from you? What will you say to me? Do you have a plan for converting me from a free trial user to a full-on paying customer?

This should be a high point – you’ve convinced me to try out what you’ve built, and all you need to do is turn me loose on your excellent product and it’ll immediately start improving my life and I’ll convert to a paying customer right away. Awesome for both of us right?

The reality is that it isn’t that simple. I get distracted. I can’t figure things out. I set something up wrong.  I don’t get the value of your product.

Whatever the reason, the question is how you treat me during this process – I mean, we just met after all, and if I like you, I’ll give you money and introduce you to my friends.  If you ignore me, I’ll think you are a jerk.

Tangibly, here’s how I’d love to be treated during a free trial:

  • Welcome me to your product in a way that’s personal yet useful.
  • If I get stuck completing the basic setup, send me resources or offers to help.
  • If I get up and running but I’m not using some of your best features, email me to show me the way – but don’t email me to tell me to use things I’m already using.
  • If I have a bad experience (poor analysis results, I lose every game, I hit lots of bugs, etc), then explain to me why this won’t always be the case in an email that encourages me to come back.
  • Don’t make all of your emails one-sided.  If every email you send me is titled “Your trial is ending in x days” and the content tells me nothing other than how to pay, I’m not particularly likely to start using your product.

My interactions with you tell you a lot about me and how I currently perceive your product, and it doesn’t make any sense that you’d ignore them. Listen to me, make me happy, and I’ll gladly give you my money when you are adding value to my day.


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1 comment

  • Very good thoughts for companies how to handle free trial promotions. Since our blog nature we constantly sign-up for free trials and make reports on them in more aspect. I can tell you real life trials, and software providers with huge user base already handle trials an acceptable level… The average is above average in our experience. I don’t know what is up with companies starting with trials but in my opinion you can always get inspiration how big guys doing their stuff. Take the time and sign-up for trials in you niche and add what you have already learnt. … Just my two cents

    Wising you success on you venture!

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