Converting trial users to paying customers is a science, and while it isn’t a perfect science, it’s one that can (and should) be forever improving. The funnel your trial users enter should be adapting and changing in every possible way as you try to bump that magic conversion number higher and higher.
Here’s 3 quick tips you can follow which should improve your conversion number without too much trouble:
Find a way to walk them through everything automatically.
You probably already do everything you can for trial customers. However if you pour time and effort into doing all you can for a person and they never become a paying customer, then all that time is wasted and you really have nothing to show for it.
Don’t get too down about it though, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Most trial user funnels have a “hey welcome aboard message” and a “oh no your trial is ending!” message, and while these are obviously vital, where you can make real progress is with all the messages in between.
Take what your customers normally need help with (are you receiving heaps of “wait how do I do this thing?!” messages?) and put the answer at the point in your funnel where the question normally comes up. It’s a quick win for the customer, and you never even had to answer the question. Are there two questions you normally get? Well put one in your initial email and put the other in a ‘3 day check-up’ email. Bang. 2 Wins. And you’ve barely done a thing.
Be a person, not a robot.
I know, it’s hard. You probably just want to work on actually growing your business, but the mountain of support requests is weighing you down (hopefully the first tip helped you with that one) and so you start to just pump out answers to questions. Think:
(Whatever the answer is)
Now compare that with.
Hope everything else is going well so far. I’ve looked into your question and it seems that (answer here).
Hope that solves everything, if not let me know!
This small change can make a huge difference, especially with trial customers. They know that an actual person is reading and responding to their messages. All of a sudden you’ve gone from being some corporate database to an actual person in their eyes. This user is now more engaged, and the more engaged a trial user is, the more likely they are to become a paying customer. Which leads me into my next tip…
Don’t be a pushy salesman
I know you want to sign everyone up (don’t worry users know what you’re after too), but don’t try to sell to every trial user who sends you a message. They just want their question answered and if you keep harassing them, ultimately you’ll only drive them away. Let your product do the talking.
If I send through a simple question, I don’t want a whole sales spiel to come back to me. I just want my query answered, and if that’s not what I get then I might not want to send my next question through, and that means I’m more likely to not become a paying customer.
A Little Summary
The first thing you should do is improve and automate your trial user funnel, this will both reduce the amount of support that comes your way AND improve your customer engagement. The added benefit is that you have more time to spend on whatever support from triallers does come through, which you should then deal with in a more personal way and without being a pushy salesman. Follow these tips and you’ll be seeing success in more time.