SaaS Tattler Issue 57

September 16, 2015 Paul Philp

Issue 57 – Converting More Trials

The shortest distance between a trial and a paying customer is creating amazing value for the customer. In this issue of the SaaS Tattler, I’ve collected some great articles on the topic of trial conversion to help you shorten that distance. We’ll take a look at leveraging content to increase conversions, the finesse required to convert a big-ticket item and insight on the science of SaaS pricing.

How To Use Content to Increase SaaS Free-Trial Conversion Rates

Sierra Calabresi of New Breed Marketing prescribes a regimen of content that reaches the right person at the right time with the right message to help move the conversion needle. This concept of Lifecycle Marketing encourages intervention at various stages of the trial: from generating more trail leads, to trial activation, to in-trial and post-trial engagement.

Once a user has been activated, you want to make sure he or she keeps coming back. Autoresponder and calling campaigns within a trial are great tools that can help you continue to engage with your prospects and educate them on both the problem that your product solves and the specific features they can use.

Helpful user tips and easy calls-to-action (CTA) along the customer trial journey can make the difference between a conversion or not.

Shut Up and Take My Money, SaaS

In his own words on SaaScribe, Michael Cullen shares his account of “a well-designed customer journey from referral to paying customer that left a positive impression, and a high likelihood of stickiness and solid LTV at a minimal cost of acquisition.”

Three steps led to this painless conversion from trial to paying customer:

  1. A solid referral from a trusted business associate
  2. Low barrier to entry to sign up for the trial
  3. Quick demonstration of value

The real trick, of course is not to get as many free trial sign-ups as possible, but to convert as many of these free trial sign-ups as possible into paying customers. As Tommy Walker of ConversionXL puts it: “If you just assume that once people sign up, they’ll start using your software, you’re wrong. You have to work for it as hard, or even harder, than you did to get the sign up.

Whether a user converts or bounces often comes down to how quickly and easily they see the value in your solution, and this SaaS company managed to demonstrate their value quickly.

The Science of SaaS Pricing for Higher Conversion Rates

Elizabeth Cagen of Stratabeat teaches us that SaaS pricing, if structured the right way, can help drive higher conversion rates. She outlines nine strategies for maximum effect starting with product positioning. There is solid advice here on how to set pricing for different product segments and keep pricing simple.

This one is my favorite: Pick a fight

If free trials are not readily offered by the competition, introduce and highlight them. If your competitors offer convoluted pricing, consider introducing transparent, fixed pricing. If they base their pricing on seats, consider basing your pricing on functionality or storage instead. The point is, deviate from your competitors.

Effectively pricing your SaaS product can give you an edge in compelling prospects towards trials and conversions.

How to Persuade Customers to Convert on a High-Priced SaaS Product

It’s a fact of life that more expensive products are harder to sell. If you’re a SaaS company with a big-ticket solution, you’re still going to have to convert trials into paying customers. Industry expert, Neil Patel, shares five important points in this KISSmetrics article.

Giving users a free trial is key in the high-end sale. “Trust signals” are crucial as well. Testimonials, satisfied user logos, low barriers to entry are all important in establishing trust for a more expensive product.


Neil concludes with Lincoln Murphy’s CCA – Common Conversion Activities – a metric that tracks the things most customers do during their trial.

Additional Reading

Spend 80% of your time on what’s working and 20% on trying new things. Measuring for growth: what SaaS can learn from mobile gives you a few new things to try in this blog by Robin Campbell from TapStream.

ProfitWell did a survey of 50 SaaS companies and found that the majority were calculating their Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) incorrectly. Learn the right way in this valuable piece: You’re probably calculating your SaaS MRR incorrectly. Here’s why.

From the master of customer success, Salesforce, here are 5 Ways to Drive Subscription Growth By Focusing On Customer Success.

Trust your dashboard for these three Ms of customer success: Monitor, Measure, Manage. Customer Success Intelligence. Don’t fly blind!

The SaaS 2.0 Tattler is a hand-curated newsletter compiled weekly to bring you interesting insights on the SaaS and customer success industry. If you enjoy what you read here, please consider forwarding it to others. New reader? Subscribe.

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SaaS Tattler - Converting More Trials w/ articles by @MichaelCullen87 @Kissmetrics and more!
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