The Power of Free Trial

The Power of Free Trial

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One of the best ways to sell something is to attach the word “free” to your product or service. This word acts like a magnet and it calls the attention of your prospective market. They need to know what you are selling and the best way to do this is to let the consumer feel what it is like with your product around. How? One of the best ways is to offer a free trial. During this period, you need to create an impression that customers need you MORE than you need them. Many companies today know the importance of this approach – to penetrate the market easily.

But you need to do things right the first time to get the result that you want. Anyone in business who engages in a free trial has one thing in mind –“conversion”. You just don’t give it for free. The people need to pay after the free trial expires and that is where the challenge begins. It’s not about convincing the people to try it out, but rather it’s about convincing them to “buy” your product.

Why Do Free Trials Fail?

Free Trail Convert Experiments ImageFree trials fail because the company has done any of the following mistakes:

  • Too many limitations – Yes, you are letting the customer try what you have, but there are too many restrictions in using the application.
  • There was a failure to optimize – You need to optimize, target specific areas. Focus not only on the trends but on what your target market needs. Make sure that these are all accessible on your free trial offer.
  • No definite plan – there are no set goals or target on how the business will proceed after the free trial ends. How much conversion do you need? What is your measurement for success?
  • There was a failure to manage the customer’s expectation – most of the time the information especially on the price of the product is misleading. This is a big no in marketing. Tell your price upfront and make sure that your product is worth the price the customer will be paying for.

Making the Right Impression through Conversion

It is an interesting fact that high-conversion rate does not happen by pure luck nor by accident. It is a combination of skillful execution which starts in the planning stage – how you want the free trial to run, identifying your target market and setting your goals for your conversion. Monitoring must be performed for every trial run. How many signed up for the free trial, how many are still active after one week of trying the service and how many have actually agreed to purchase the product. It is not the money but the kind of service that the end users are after.

If you want to make a successful free trial campaign, design the one that is meant to convert the prospects to customers because at the end of the day, it is the customers that will define the success of your business. If you want to check out the entire webinar, click here.

Originally published July 22, 2014 - Updated August 06, 2014
Dennis van der Heijden
Co-founder and CEO of, Dennis is a passionate community builder and out of the box thinker. He spends his time innovating to make Convert Experiences better. Learn about his journey as an entrepreneur and leader on the SaaS Club podcast.
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