How to Motivate Free Trial Signups to Become Paying Customers

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I spend several hours every day talking to software vendors about website best practices. Do you have a compelling call to action? Is there a clear value proposition? Trust elements? I could go on for days. But how often do we focus on the next step in the conversion process? Once you have a website designed to convert traffic into leads at a high rate, how can you improve your process of then converting those leads into paying customers?

motivate free trial signups become customers

This has been a hot topic of conversation at Capterra the last few weeks. In an effort to help our vendors convert more leads into paying customers, I did some research and created a short list of follow-up best practices.

Be Personal

Trial users are not that engaged with your company yet, so they’re less likely to open your emails or return your phone calls. Focus on common pain points for customers in the industry and cater your messaging accordingly.

Reward the Customer for Learning your Product

According to Kissmetrics, the biggest reason people don’t upgrade to paying customers is because they aren’t aware of the features and value your product provides. Reward customers for interacting with your product’s interface, engaging with features and previewing demo videos during their trial.

Identify the parts of your product that users value most, and center your trial/demo around that. If you get users to spend time with your product and they feel comfortable with it, they will have a hard time parting with the system once the trial ends.

Identify the Bottlenecks

Let’s be honest, it’s fairly easy to sell someone on something that’s free. High conversion rates are great, but paying customers are better. Measure user engagement in each stage of your sales cycle. Identify where customers are disengaging and focus your efforts there.

Inactivity is the biggest sign you are about to lose a potential customer. Make sure you measure activity with each step in your sales process and constantly increase interaction.

Follow up Quickly

According to Hubspot, following up with an inbound lead is most effective within 48 hours of the initial request. Also, phone calls are more effective than emails and can increase response rate 4-6 times more than email alone. 4-6 times!

However, after you call and email once, wait a week. Find the balance between persistence and annoyance in order to keep customers interested and engaged.

After your landing pages are optimized to convert web traffic at a high rate, you need to focus on getting the most out of the leads you are generating.

Find a follow up process that works best for your company and track the results. Identify bottlenecks in the sales process and make adjustments accordingly. You can learn a lot by communicating with your prospects and tracking their activity.

Are there any other best practices you would add to this list?

Looking for software? Check out Capterra's list of the best software solutions.

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About the Author


Sara Hartanov

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Sara is a Marketing Adviser at Capterra. She serves as an outside marketing consultant to nearly 300 B2B software vendors, specializing in website optimization and lead generation best practices. In her free time, Sara enjoys traveling, cooking and cheering on the South Carolina Gamecocks!


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