Rethink Commerce Blog

4 Ways Email Marketing Can Help Convert Your SaaS Trial Users

Posted on April 30th, 2015 by

You’ve done the legwork and made smart investments in online marketing and advertising and now your hard work is starting to pay off. Your pipeline is stocked with quality leads and free-trial users primed for conversion. But now you face what is actually one of the most difficult challenges for those in the SaaS industry: converting the free trial users into paying customers.

There are many strategies for converting trials into revenue producing subscriptions, but Email marketing is one of the most effective. A multi-touch Email campaign, when done correctly, can drive deeper engagement and help guide the trial user toward activation. Here are our top four email marketing tips to help convert free trial users into paying customers.

1. Email users as soon as they sign up.

Engage your users from the beginning by sending a thank you email once they have signed up. In this first email it’s important to provide clear and basic instructions to help them get started, as well as links to FAQs and help pages on your site.

Now that your user has signed up for communication with you, be sure to send follow-up emails. During the first week, you will want to focus on helping your users discover the value that your product brings, and ensure that you are answering their problems and addressing their pain points. There are no hard and fast rules about how many emails to send, but be sure that it’s all about the user’s needs, and not about you. This is the time to gain your user’s trust and prove the value and benefits of your products or services.

When the free trial is ending send another reminder. Let your users know exactly when the free trial ends, and remind them of the key benefits and features of your service. It’s at this point that you can ask your users for their feedback. Link to an online survey to gain valuable feedback from your trial users. Gaining access to your users’ feedback will help you better define both your emailing marketing strategies and will help you uncover new ideas and features for your products and services.

2. Extend free trial periods for engaged users.

It’s good practice to allow users who have been active to extend their free trial period if they aren’t yet ready to purchase. Leverage your usage statistics to capture the best candidates. And send an email letting them know you’ve extended their trial, so that they have more time to use the software and realize its features. The goal of this email is to keep your trial users’ interest and to show how confident you are in your product’s benefits. In this email, share new features that the user might not have been utilizing, or provide data for how others have benefited from your service.

Look into your trial analytics before you send the email. This tells you how active the users have been during the free trial period. Target the users who have used the product consistently, rather than those users who have only logged in once or twice.

3. Build a relationship by sending personalized emails.

Use your email marketing campaign to build a relationship with your users and engage with them on a more personal level. Every email you send should be personalized. Address the user by their name or sign-up handle and end each email with your name and contact information.

Talking to users directly is a much better way to build a relationship than sending template emails that merely include a link to activate their account. Above all, stay engaged with your users at every level during their trial, without overwhelming your user with too many emails.

4. Include a compelling CTA.

Each time you send out an email, make sure to include a CTA that stands out and instantly grabs your users attention. Focus on one main CTA that is clear, compelling, and encourages the reader to perform a desired action. In this case, your goal is to lead the user into the next stage of the buyer’s lifecycle. Here are some examples of CTA’s to include with your trial email campaign.

  • Download eBook (e.g. offer related information)
  • Extend My Trial
  • Learn More (e.g. Links to resources – video tutorial and FAQ)
  • Get Started
  • Sign Up

A strong email marketing campaign can be one of the most effective tools in converting your SaaS trial subscribers. Start early, build a relationship, maintain that connection by being personal, and make it easy to get started by providing clear instructions and compelling CTAs. The increased user engagement and communication in your email marketing will lead to higher conversion rates and a better overall customer experience.

Avangate powers modern Digital Commerce, solving the complexity of online commerce, subscription billing, and global payments for Software, SaaS and Online Services companies. Backed by a proven cloud platform, unmatched expertise and a depth of digital commerce services, Avangate helps digital business leaders drive the fastest path to revenue, maximize the value of every customer, and expand global reach. Contact us for more information about how our digital commerce services can help you grow your business.

 

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Raj Badarinath

VP, WW Product Marketing and Alliances

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