Busted: How to Achieve a Disproportionately High SaaS Free Trial to Paid Conversion Rate?

In this article, we are going to go over some sure-fire methods you can employ to get SaaS Free Trial to Paid Conversion Rate up, way up.

Jeeviya Natarajan
Jul 2, 2020


SaaS Free Trial to Paid Conversion Rate

SaaS businesses rely on customers to renew their subscriptions on either a monthly or annual basis. The free trial is a way to advertise what a product can do for your customers. Consider it your value proposition. What do you do when the SaaS free trial to paid conversion rate is low? In this article, we are going to go over some sure-fire methods you can employ to get those conversions rates up, way up. 

On average, only one in four uses of a free trial will convert over to a paid subscription. This is an optimistic view within the SaaS industry, because many companies see conversion rates far lower than that. It seems that a sizeable segment of users is taking advantage of free trials without intending to convert at any point. Don’t worry, because all hope is not lost. Here is how you boost a SaaS free trial to paid conversion rate. 

Know Your Users 

You have to be prepared for a large segment of users having no intention of ever paying for a subscription. Once you have made peace with that, you can focus your attention on the users who are open to converting to a paid subscription at some point. This is a strategy that will save you from wasting time and money on users who are only there to use the free trial. 

To understand your trial users a little better, send them a survey. In it, prod them with questions that ask what do they like and dislike about your product. The answer to these alone will tell you a lot about who is likely to convert and who won’t. 

Also, look at which users of your free trial are engaging with your product the most. The more someone uses it, the more likely they have found it to be useful. This makes it easier to persuade them to convert from the SaaS free trial to paid conversion rate options. When you know which users are most likely to convert, you can focus your efforts on them. 

Onboard Users Strategically 

Getting people to become users of your free trial is definitely not the end of your work. You need to help your new users get onboarded and feel comfortable using your product. This should involve emails and perhaps direct calls, if you have a small user base. Give your new free trial users tutorials that explain how to use your product and how it can best fulfil their needs. When there is a clear understanding of the benefits of your product, you will see conversion rates rise. 

Communicate Clearly 

Consider the fact that the new users of your product will inevitably run into issues or have questions about a particular feature or function. When they do, where can they go to get a resolution or answer? 

You should have a variety of communication channels available to them. This allows them to select which one they feel is most convenient for them. Some options can include a live chat function, a phone number they can call, or a support ticket system, among others. Make sure these communication channels can lead the users to a resolution as quickly as possible. The longer you wait to provide them with an answer, the less likely they are to stick around. 

Also, you will want to encourage them to reach out to you. This will foster a more personal relationship, developing a positive connection between them and your product. 

Establish a Knowledge Base 

As mentioned earlier, the users of your free trial will undoubtedly have questions regarding the use of your product. They may also encounter issues they need help resolving. Establishing an easy-to-use knowledge base will be the answer to these situations. You want to guarantee that the new users of your product will have a positive experience with the free trial. This can help increase the free trial to paid conversion rate. 

A well-stacked knowledge base will include a plethora of tutorials and various support articles. These will be part of an indexed and readily searchable repository. With a knowledge base, the users of your free trial will have access to support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. What’s more is that this knowledge base can be accessed by your paying customers as well, providing helpful solutions to all users of your product. 

Developing the content for a knowledge base will take considerable time. After all, to ensure you can answer as many questions as possible and address the many situations a user will potentially encounter is a massive undertaking. You want to create a comprehensive knowledge base that is accurate. The best way to move forward is to start off small and go from there. This means writing just a few essential tutorials at first. 

Enable a Seamless Conversion 

If you have followed all the steps above, you will have convinced a large portion of the users of your SaaS free trial to paid conversion rate. To actually achieve that disproportionately high conversion rate, you need to provide the ability for a seamless conversion. If this is difficult in any way, even users who find your product useful will not convert. Instead, they will stay on the free trial. 

All conversion friction must be eliminated. There are a few things you can do to make this possible. 

  • Offer several different payment options
  • Make it clear how long the subscription will be (30 days is the average). 
  • Specify how users can opt-out if they decide to. 
  • Provide the ability for users to transfer data from their free trial account to the subscription account. 
  • Provide access to communication channels for quick resolution of technical issues. 

Wrapping Up 

When you follow the guidelines in this article, you will significantly increase your SaaS free trial to paid conversion rate. Enjoy higher conversion rates than your competitors, who may not be taking all of these things into account. Still, improving conversion rates takes time, so avoid getting dismayed if you do not see immediate results. However, when you persevere and keep improving the user experience for those using the free trial of your product, you will see incredible results. 

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Originally Published July 2nd, 2020, Updated December 28th, 2020

Jeeviya Natarajan

Jeeviya has over 8 years of experience in Customer Success and account management roles in SAAS, Hardware, and service-based companies. She has exposure to driving customer success for Fortune 500 clients globally. Her strength lies in ensuring exceptional customer experience and establishing LTV.

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