Here are few actionable items to help manage user engagement during trial period.
Your trial users may choose a competitor over your app for a variety of reasons. Though some of them may be technical, majority can be overcome by clear communication, less hoops to jump to see value in app and how we utilize trial period to establish trust.
1. Help trial user “see” the value in your app faster.
- The goal is to help your trial users see the value while exploring your app. The faster we get to it, the better the chances of conversion.
- Having more hoops to jump for setup is a prime cause for most trial drop offs.
- Do you have enough information about customer data? Identify a minimum data set as trial to help them view base setup, so they get to the core of your app quickly.
2. Use trial end notifications as a critical touch point.
- Use the opportunity to include information about certain features you want to highlight to them.
- Initially it is those one or two features that would really stand out in your app. Make a note the most useful features and share.
- Always notify BEFORE end of trial and not towards the very end.
3. Extend trial requests.
- A good way to convert trial users is to ask if they need more time to decide and that you can extend trial as a special case. Making user customers feel special helps conversions better.
- It is a way to side step a bottleneck in the conversion process and make your users feel special.
- Balsamiq did this really nicely. I received a mail asking if I would like to extend trial and I felt good about the company while I was evaluating 3 different products and converted into their paying customer.
4. Identify qualified leads among trial users.
- Realistically there is always a mix of users who check on a new product that they stumble upon via various channels.
- With correct touch points to manage trial users, sales team can determine the qualified vs. unqualified leads and focus better.
5. Incentivize and help customers spread the word.
- Use referral credits as a way to spread the word.
- You can provide referral credits to customers who help spread the word. Having a way to track how much credit you have added to customers also helps in billing later.
And there is another one. Always track the custom discounts offered and credits accumulated by customer.
- Wrong billing ticks off most customers as they may be more forgiving about a broken feature.
- Stay disciplined from initial days to track everything manually to avoid billing errors.
Here is a great video and deck by Dave McClure to help you measure and improve conversions. Start-up Metrics for Pirates: AARRR!