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Remember the nice girls that share cheese samples in a supermarket? Their purpose is to get you to try their samples and buy the product after you’ve tasted it. Your free trial has the same purpose. But before you get users to buy it, you need to make your SaaS free trial attractive enough for people to want to try it out.

Think about the supermarket promoters again: they are dressed nice, they smile and they usually stay near a banner ad that summarizes the benefits of the product they’re selling. The people who employ them know that they only have a few seconds to convince you to try the cheese, so they pull out all the big guns.

Afterwards, it falls to the product to convince you to buy it. Sure, the promoters may let you know they’re having a sale on it or remind you some of its benefits. But if you didn’t like the cheese, you wouldn’t buy it irrespective of the discount they’re offering on it.

I’ve written about the benefits of offering a SaaS free trial in a previous post. But simply offering isn’t enough. Let’s take a look at what you can do to get people to try it out.

3 Ways to Make Your SaaS Free Trial Attractive

The mere fact that someone tries out your SaaS doesn’t mean that they will buy it. There are countless reasons why people won’t buy your SaaS and sometimes there’s nothing you can do about it. But the more people you get to try it, the better your chances of increasing your number of paying customers.

  1. Get to Know Your SaaS’ Buyer Persona in Detail

You want to make your free trial attractive – -we’ve already established that –, but not to anyone. In other words, you want people who might actually buy your solution to try it.

For instance, if you were sharing cheese samples in a supermarket, you wouldn’t insist that someone with lactose intolerance try them, would you? First of all, because they would definitely didn’t enjoy them. Secondly, you would waste cheese on someone who’s definitely never going to buy it.

According to a study, only 15% to 20% of free trial users upgrade to a paid plan. Of course, among the 80%+ of those who don’t upgrade, you also get people who simply don’t want to give you their money, but want to enjoy your solution for a limited time.

But there are also those who tried it just because it popped in their Facebook feed and were feeling a touch of boredom.

How do you avoid such free trial users?

First of all, whenever you post SaaS lead generation ads, you work on a very specific targeting. For instance, if you were selling a social media management solution like Buffer or Sendible, your ideal client would be a digital marketer. If they worked in an agency, even better – when the agency’s business grows, so will their plan.

That being said, you should never try to make your SaaS free trial attractive to a “novice” social media user. Perhaps even the average Twitter user would enjoy the opportunity to schedule posts, but this doesn’t make them your ideal client.

  1. Choose the Trial Length Wisely

According to a study, 41% of SaaS companies offer a 30-day free trial and 18% offer a 14-day one. Some marketers are advocating for the 14-day trial, but this doesn’t mean it works for everyone.

I recently tried out a Twitter-related SaaS. Unlike Social Quant, for instance, that offer a 14-day free trial, this one (that I won’t name because I’m about to criticize them heavily) only offer a 5-day one. This was my fourth Twitter SaaS solution tried. As a digital marketer, I’d try (almost) anything. I may not buy them for myself, but I can (and I did) definitely recommend the best to our clients.

The latest SaaS I tried did literally nothing for me in the five days I was permitted to test it. Plus, it was the first time that I wasn’t able to set up a SaaS solution on my own and had to ask for help.

After my five days were up, I received the following email:

SaaS free trial attractive

I’m an understanding person and I’ve worked with enough SaaS and tech companies to know better than to hold a grudge when such glitches happen. But even after the extra trial days, the SaaS solution did nothing for me.

First off, for such a SaaS solution, five days is way too little for a free trial. You want to give your users the opportunity to feel like they can’t live without you anymore. And such love story cannot happen within five days (especially if said SaaS solution malfunctions).

If you want to make your SaaS free trial attractive, you need to find the sweet spot that allows the user enough time to fall in love with your solution AND still need it in the long run. In this case, I think Social Quant got it right. 14 days is enough to see that it works. But you need more if you want a significant change in your follower count. So you’ll upgrade to a paid plan.

  1. Choose the Features You Offer Wisely

Again, this is a crucial aspect of your SaaS marketing strategy that has to do with finding a sweet, but elusive spot. As a marketer with vast SaaS experience, I can honestly tell you that it’s a matter of trial and error.

However, there are a few rules of thumb you can follow.

Just like in the case of the trial length, you need to give the user the opportunity to see what your tool can do. But you want to prevent them from getting the whole job done within the trial period.

To make your SaaS free trial attractive and encourage conversions when it’s done, offering the “medium” package is usually the way to go. For instance, if you have a SaaS solution for social media management, it makes no sense to offer white label reporting to your free trial users.

You want them to test out your reporting capabilities, but the white label feature should be reserved for paying customers alone.

Why?

You may think that such premium features are what makes your SaaS free trial attractive. And you’d be right! But an agency trying out your white label services for free can simply use the trial period to land a client and then move on to another solution altogether.

Plus, you want to have something in store for when you upsell the client. Even if said agency doesn’t get more clients, they might want to improve their services for the ones they already have and upgrade to a more expensive plan just to try out the white label feature.

 

Need help making your SaaS free trial attractive to the right customers? You’ve come to the right place! We’ve helped countless startups evolve with custom marketing strategy and savvy implementation. Just drop us a line and we’ll take it from there.

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