Want 50% more Customers per month? Master your Free Trial

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You are building a SaaS Software? Chances are that you lose 80% of your prospects during your Free Trial.

What if you could get 50% more customers every month? You could have massive impact on your bottom line…

One way to achieve this goal is to improve your Free Trial. By better driving users through your trial, you can have big impact on the outcomes.

This article is all about giving you the key to improve your conversion rate from free to paid customers and growing your business.

Does it even matter?

People often overlook Traffic Acquisition as the only way to grow their business. Fortunately for us, acquiring traffic isn’t the only way to grow.

Actually, if you increase your Conversion Rate by 50% (from 10% to 15%), you’ll make even more money out of each visitor.

In other words, you won’t have to spend more on Traffic Acquisition, and you’ll grow your customer base.

Your Conversion Rate is an important driver of your CAC (Cost of Acquiring a Customer). The more leads will drop off your funnel, the more you’ll pay to acquire a customer. Simple, but powerful formula…

If we want to take an example (I didn’t include Churn or Traffic Growth to keep things simple):

Screenshot 2015-10-31 18.05.32

After 12 months, you’ll have generated $30k more than if you didn’t optimize your free trial. If you invest $1,000 more on Marketing, you’ll be able to make an extra $5,000 per month…

Screenshot 2015-10-31 18.07.40

These numbers grow as your business grow. If you had 100,000 visitors, you would make an extra $300k at the end of the year…

If your leads are leaking through your Free Trial, you’re limiting your growth. It’s sad to say but most of your leads never go through the whole trial…

Besides harming your profitability, your free trial is also a huge burden for your users. You’re trying to solve their problem, but you fail to show value…

They therefore just leave your product without taking any action because you failed to engage them properly…

How to Improve my Conversion Rate?

The simple answer to this question is: by experimenting. The whole goal is to experiment various different things in order to discover what works.

Even if you believe that adding in-app messages will influence your conversion rate, you need to know by how much (because maybe it’s harming your business).

To experiment safely, you need a process that will enable you to regularly launch tests and measure your results.

High-Tempo Testing is one of these process. The process is as follows:

Screenshot 2015-10-27 15.57.41

The whole idea is to:

  • Generate as many ideas as possible
  • Prioritize these ideas by: Impact, Confidence and Ease (ICE score)
  • Run these experiments and measure your results
  • Capture learnings after each experiment

By following this process, you’ll be able to improve your conversion rate and avoid to harm your business with false positives.

Idea List

“Ideas are the fuel for growth” once said Morgan Brown. I’m about to give you a few ideas that you could use to improve your process.

This is a non-exhaustive list of ideas which you could use in order to improve your free trial conversion rate.

Transactional Emails

You probably know that email is one of the most effective channel to keep in touch with your customer base.

Tools like Customer.io or Vero can allow you to send transactional email and to target your users with an incredible precision.

Sending emails about how many days are left into a trial may create scarcity but it doesn’t communicate value at all…


One way to communicate value to your users is to present them with features that they didn’t use in the past. You could therefore present your product and make sure they can take the full advantage out of it.

The CEO’s Email

People like to know that they’re in good hands. You need to show them that you care. One way to do so is through personal and direct message.

Sending an email and clearly showing that you’re the CEO can have a wonderful impact on the discussion that you can generate.

Feel free to use the template below:

Hi {First Name},

I saw that you recently subscribed for a trial on [Software Name]. Thanks for that!

I’m [Your Name], the CEO of [Company] and I’d love to hear more about you.

If you don’t mind me asking: What are you trying to achieve with [Software Name]? What would make you successful with [Software Name]?

Hope you have some time to reply

Thank you
[Your Name]
CEO of [Company]

Empty States

You go to a dinner. Would you rather have the table set up with wine? Or seating on the floor in an empty house?

Same goes with your software. You shouldn’t show an empty house the first time people get in because they’ll be scared.


Show them data or use CTAs in order to entice them to input their own data. Don’t just show the software empty because it’s not very engaging.

Remove your demo?

It’s not because most of SaaS Software provide a free trial that you should provide one. Having a trial doesn’t always make sense. Sometimes, it makes more sense not to have one.



Make sure you experiment a funnel where you remove the Free Trial and onboard people manually.

Calling Prospects

Although we all love self-service software, some people like to get on the phone.

Experiment with 1 or 2 cohorts and call your prospects to measure the impact on Engagement / Retention.

You may see that the time you spend on the phone with your prospect is well spent.

Mastering your Trial?

Most people think that growing their customer base goes hand in hand with Traffic Acquisition. I hope you’re not part of that society anymore…

If you want more information about how to improve your free trial hop on my Free Trial Optimization Course.

Since ideas are the fuel for growth, you’ll need to generate more ideas as you go along the process to keep the growth coming.

Experiment these ideas and you’ll be able to quickly grow your business without killing yourself on acquiring more traffic.

It’s your turn now: What have you done in order to improve your free trial? Did you try some of the ideas above? With what result?


Pierre Lechelle is a SaaS Marketer & Growth Hacker, he helps startups to grow through Customer Acquisition & Growth Hacking. Follow him on Twitter

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