3 Ways To Increase Free-Trial Upgrades

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You’ve done the work getting website visitors to test drive your product by signing up for a free trial.  While users are a good KPI to strive for, the last we checked those free trial users don’t pay the bills.

You may be getting plenty of people upgrading to a premium version now by having an amazing product they can’t live without, but how do you increase free trial upgrades?

In this article, we are going to talk about 3 proven ways to increase the number of upgrades you get…

3 Ways To Increase Free-Trial Upgrades

This particularly works well when selling SaaS or other similar services.

1.  One time offer

A visitor fills out the registration form to claim their free trial.  The traditional strategy is to take the visitor immediately to the access panel to begin using the product, it works but you have an extremely hot prospect on your hands.

Instead of taking them to the login or directly to the dashboard why not give them a chance to upgrade using a special one time offer with a discount to upgrade?  “Special one time only chance to upgrade to premium at a 10% monthly savings.”  List out all the benefits of upgrading and highlight the savings.

You can even take it a step further and offer a “yearly” upgrade option at a savings. A small percentage of people will take the yearly option.

Previous tests have shown that 33% of free trial signups will take advantage of the special offer and upgrade before ever logging in to use the product for the first time. Works extremely well to increase free trial upgrades and bring in a little more immediate revenue.

Things to test:  Discount amount and having a money-back guarantee on the upgrade.

2.  Sweeten the deal

As you approach the end of the free trial there is a good chance you have already given the member a few opportunities to upgrade their account.  A great way to make sure you push the visitors off the fence and get them to upgrade is to position a “mini sale”.  “For the next 4 days only, upgrade at a massive 15% savings.”

But instead of just discounting the price try incentivizing the free trial users by offering bonuses of some kind to make it a no brainer.  This could come in the form of information (special training) or special features not normally part of the premium version.

A tip here to help increase free trial upgrades is to take away a couple of features in your overall marketing message to use them as leverage in your “mini sale” promotions.

People LOVE bonuses.

Things to test:  Discount amount (make it different than the OTO amount).  Test bonuses and the highlighted value of the bonus.

3.  Speed of implementation

What is your sticky factor?  The faster you get your free trial users to login, install, and use the product the better chance you are going to have to get them to upgrade.

Your sticky factor should be so good that they couldn’t imagine living without your product.  It should be more painful for them to cancel than it is for them to upgrade.

A good way to ensure they log in and install is to segment out the users based on actions and then leverage email marketing to remind them and train them on specific areas they need to focus on to use the product.

Hold them by the hand and take them through using the product from the login to the install and even using it. Highlight the best features and the most important parts, the benefits of using each feature.

Some examples of segmentation are…  If they haven’t logged in with 48 hours, they haven’t watched a welcome video, haven’t clicked download or install.

There you have it, 3 ways to increase free trial upgrades.  Of course, the normal testing of the on-site and user engagement factors come into play as well.

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