Attracting interest in your SaaS product and having a number of trial sign-ups is a huge accomplishment. But if you don’t get new users engaged quickly, chances are you won’t be able to convert them into paid subscribers by the end of your trial and all your efforts to attract them in the first place are effectively wasted.

 

Many are often surprised at how little time you have to get users engaged. But research shows that for trial users to sign up for your paid service, you have to leverage their initial interest as quickly as possible. If a user logs in once and doesn’t log in again within seven days, there’s a 60% chance they will never use your service again. However, if you can keep a customer actively using your SaaS product for at least three days, they are four times more likely to convert into a paying user. Conversely, if you don’t get users hooked within the first 90 minutes following trial signup, you’ve likely lost your chance for them to engage with your product at all.

 

The key to quick engagement is a good onboarding process. Here’s some tips to help users get the most out of their free trial experience and help them convert to a paying customer.

 

  1. Provide Immediate Access. If possible, give users instant access while their interest is at its highest. They should be able to immediately access your trial through the signup page. Failing that, automatically send an email upon signup and encourage them to get started. And everyone likes to be welcomed: approximately 75% of users expect a welcome email after sign up.

 

  1. Make It Easy to Start. Once users have signed up and logged on, provide a clear path on how to get started. Have a large, hard-to-miss call-to-action that shows users how they can start to get value out of your service. To best ensure success, keep it simple at first so users don’t get frustrated and bounce. Reduce steps (like registration) and avoid overloading the user with information upfront and you will significantly increase the number of users that onboard successfully.

 

  1. Provide Plenty of Value. Value is essential to customer retention. It should be a short distance from using your product to getting value from it and that value should increase quickly as users get more familiar with your service. Be sure to keep reiterating the value you’re offering in the first few hours and days.

 

  1. Be Responsive. Encourage users to reach out with any questions they may have. Ensure your support lines are clearly communicated and easy to use, whether they are help buttons, online chat, an email address or a toll-free phone line. Customer service should be ready to engage with the customer to answer questions at any time.

 

Although trials are a great way to attract potential customers for subscription services, too many SaaS companies continue to focus almost exclusively on getting customers signed up rather than also nurturing them towards conversion. Nurturing your leads is crucial to ensure that a significant number of trial users convert to paid subscribers and getting them engaged quickly is the first step to seeing recurring revenue streams.

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