Converting free trial users to paying customer with effective email strategies

Let's face it - the free trial is one of the greatest sales inventions since sliced bread... for the customer. It gives them all the benefits of a premium product without loosening the purse strings.

However, turning these "freeloaders" (we mean that lovingly) into paying customers can feel as easy as fitting a square peg into a round hole.

That's where email steps in! Your proven superpower. So buckle up as we delve into the art of converting free-trial users to paying customers using cunning email strategies.

1. Start with a Welcome

Your free trial user has just signed up. They're interested, but not yet committed. Your first email? It's like the first date, only there's no awkward silence, and your only weapon is your words. Make it count.

Keep it friendly, informative, and personal. Let them know what they can expect during their trial period, and how to use your service to its full potential. Make them feel like they've just joined an exclusive club, not a generic email list.

If you’re feeling naughty, experiment with an automation that provides direct discounts or some kind of offer when they decide to convert right away. It’s worth testing out at least.

2. Regular Check-ins

Regularly check in with your users, updating them on the features they may have missed or not utilized. You're not being clingy; you're showing you care about their experience.

Share a new use case, blog post, or milestone. As long as it brings value or entertainment, you’re good.

3. Reveal What They're Missing

Your emails should tease the premium features that are just out of reach. Show them the greener pastures on the other side of the trial fence. Share the value and benefits of those features. Don't go overboard, though. You don't want to come across as that annoying salesperson.

4. Personalize

Personalization extends beyond just using their first name. Remember the user behavior data you've been collecting? Use it. Send emails related to how they've been using your product. Use your transactional email tools (like Plunk) to remind them of their activity and potential upgrades. People love it when you 'get' them.

5. Testimonials

People trust people. Use that to your advantage. Include testimonials from satisfied customers who upgraded from the free trial. If Joe from accounting loves your premium product, chances are, your trial user might too.

He’s not called Joe Schmoe for no reason.

6. Offer an Incentive

Everyone loves a good deal. Offering incentives like discounts, bonus features, or extended validity can nudge free trial users toward becoming paying customers.

Annoying things like time-gated discounts actually work. Just make sure you’re crafty enough to make it still sound like a good deal instead of an aggravating sales technique.

7. Don't Be Afraid to Remind Them

If you have a time-limited trial, don't be afraid to send a couple of reminder emails. Emphasize the benefits they'll continue to enjoy if they become a paying customer. But remember, there's a fine line between a gentle reminder and becoming an email stalker.

8. Ask for Feedback

Finally, ask for feedback, whether they convert or not. Use this feedback to improve your product, and your conversion strategy. After all, who better to tell you how to get more customers than the customers themselves? Or, who better to tell you that your product isn’t worth it in the end…?

Though love baby.

9. Add Value

The goal is to convert, don't make every email about making the sale. Sometimes, offer pure, unadulterated value. Provide industry insights, how-to guides, tips, and hacks related to your product.

Our favorite hustler Gary Vaynerchuk wrote a book called Jab Jab Jab, Right Hook. Give, Give Give, then ask. He was on to something there.

10. Keep it Simple and Clear

Your email layout matters. Keep it clean, simple, and easy to navigate. Be clear about what you're offering, what they're missing, and how they can upgrade. Playing hide and seek might be fun at family picnics, but in business emails? Not so much.

In Plunk you can set templates are reuse them again and again. Stick to consistent branding and win time in the process. What’s not to like?

11. Send a Breakup Email

If they decide not to continue after the trial, it's okay to feel a little heartbroken. But don't just ghost them. Send a breakup email. Thank them for trying out your product, ask for feedback, and leave the door open for a possible return. They might not be ready now, but who knows what the future holds?

Converting free trial users to paying customers is part art, part science, and a whole lot of persistence. With the right email strategies, your product won't just be another free trial they tried. It'll be the service they can't do without. Remember, every free trial user is a potential paying customer. It's up to you to nudge them along that journey. So get out there, start emailing, and watch those conversions roll in. After all, the only thing better than a free trial user is a satisfied, paying customer.

Carlo D'Agnolo
CarloFounder & Head of Growth at Plunk