Six ways to convert trial customers to paying users

If you’re successfully encouraging people to sign up for a trial of your subscription service, your marketing efforts are obviously paying off. Persuading trial users to become paying customers is where the profit lies, however.

It’s estimated that only 25% of trial customers go on to pay for a subscription, so how can you increase the number of conversions you’re getting? Try these top tips to convert trial customers to paying users now.

1. Change your free trial model

When you offer a free trial, there are various ways of persuading customers to sign up. As the subscription economy has evolved, these variations have been shown to have a big impact on subsequent conversion rates.

Freemium models, which typically offer a free service combined with premium paid for features, generally obtain single-digit conversion rates. However, the profit generated from paid for add-ons may suit your business model.

When you allow people to sign up for a free trial without inputting their payment details, the average rate of conversions is around 25%. By insisting that users provide their payment details when signing up for their free trial, however, the average conversion rate increases to 60%.

By switching to a different free trial model, you could automatically increase the number of paying users you attract. While the nature of your business will determine which model is right for you, it may be worth implementing a new free trial strategy.

2. Increase payment options

Today’s customers expect a wide range of options when it comes to paying for goods and services. If you’re only offering a limited selection of payment options, this may explain why people are reluctant to convert from a trial to a full-blown subscription.

As well as having a decent selection of payment methods, it’s vital to choose trustworthy and secure payment gateways. Don’t forget – it’s important to promote this aspect of your payment methods too. Customers won’t know that a service is secure unless you tell them, so make this a selling point.

In addition to offering standard payment methods, consider introducing newer forms of payment too. Cryptocurrency is becoming more mainstream, for example, and might be widely used by your target demographic. If so, consider introducing it as a subscription payment method and monitor the effects of your conversion rates.

3. Get the data you need

If you aren’t obtaining the conversion rates you’re aiming for, it’s important to find out why. Instead of allowing customers to simply discontinue their subscription when their free trial ends, use the opportunity to ask them why they’re leaving.

This doesn’t need to be an arduous process. Simply adding a few simple questions to the unsubscribe webpage will be enough to help you get an insight into user behavior. If you have the tools to analyze qualitative data, you may want to give users the option to write open-ended answers too.

Once you know exactly why your free trial users are failing to convert, you can take steps to rectify any issues and make your product or service more attractive. Provided they’ve opted-in to receive marketing contact, you can even showcase your response to user feedback by emailing past subscribers and notifying them of the changes.

4. Make sure users get the most out of your product

To encourage free trial users to become paid subscribers, you’ll need to ensure they’re enjoying using your product. For maximum conversions, it’s even better if your service becomes indispensable to them during the course of the free trial. To achieve this, it’s important to give users the information they need to get the most out of your product.

Online demonstrations and tutorials are a great way to do this. If you have the resources, personalized product demonstrations can be even more effective. Never assume that your users will know how to use your service or that they’ll spend the time navigating complex instructions or crowded dashboards.

In a digital era, consumers expect things instantly and if your product isn’t easy to use straight away, this could put them off. By providing comprehensive tutorials and guidance, you can ensure that free trial users see the benefits of the product and begin using it before they’re asked to become a paid subscriber.

5. Enhance your customer service

Superior customer service can have a dramatic effect on your customer base and market share. Although many companies deliver similar products, their customer service sets them apart. Indeed, many consumers are willing to pay a premium if they receive the level of customer service they expect.

With a multi-channel approach, you can ensure your users are able to contact you in any way they choose. Combined with fast response times and one-time solutions, you’ll find that customer service can make a big difference to your bottom line.

Of course, good customer service isn’t a one-time thing. For maximum results, you’ll want to implement a strategic and coherent customer service strategy. Typically, this works best if it’s a company-wide policy, so management should play an active role in cultivating a positive customer service response strategy.

6. Simplify your subscriptions

How you manage your subscriptions is, perhaps, the most critical element of all. While a small selection of subscription options may enable users to choose a plan that’s right for them, making the process too complicated can lead to people abandoning the sign-up altogether. If you currently offer numerous subscription options, assess whether you can streamline your services and give users a smaller selection.

Similarly, you’ll want to ensure that your users can navigate the sign-up process easily and from any device. If there are barriers to becoming a paid subscriber, it only takes seconds for users to become frustrated, which inevitably results in lost sales.

By implementing a straightforward, secure and simple subscription billing process, you can successfully increase conversions and boost your profits.