The success of your SaaS business lies in acquiring paid customers. Your ideal paid customer is already among your free trial users. You just need to identify them and get them on board. That’s where the SaaS free trial email sequence comes into the picture. It’s the foundation of your SaaS email marketing.
What is a SaaS Free Trial Email sequence, and why is it important?
SaaS free trial email sequence is a sequence of strategic emails sent to your free trial users over a certain period. With these emails, you persuade your free trial users to upgrade to a paid subscription. Free trial emails are also crucial in lead nurturing.
Your email is not the only one in your user’s mailbox. They might have hundreds of emails, or more. In that situation, your email can go unnoticed. There are a variety of strategies you can use to grab your user’s attention with your email.
According to Mailchimp, the average SaaS open rate for software emails is 19.81% and the click-through rate is 2.05%. These are the numbers to beat in order to create the paid conversions you are aiming for.
Let’s look at the 8 types of emails to use for your free trials funnel. They will keep the user engaged, give them value, build a connection, and get you the most paid conversions.
8 Types Of Free Trial Emails That Convert – Examples Included
1 – Welcome Emails
A SaaS welcome email has a 75% open rate, the highest return of the emails in the SaaS free trial email sequence. They make a strong first impression on trial users and entice them to investigate your services right away. They also confirm the success of the free trial subscription.
Top strategies to make your welcome emails work include:
- Make these emails quick, warm, and concise.
- Send them ASAP, preferably within an hour, after the user signs up for the free trial. You can automate this process by sending trigger-based emails using platforms like MailChimp. They implement customer lifecycle emails by sending emails at the right time.
- Appreciate your user’s interest in your services with a quick thank you note.
- Inform the user about the services that will be available during the free trial period. Place a CTA to teach them how to use your services right away.
- Be transparent with the user on whether they will be receiving more relevant emails. Give them an option to unsubscribe from emails if they want to.
- Give the user a personal communication address they can reach you at.
Here’s one of the best SaaS onboarding emails by Glance
2 – Educational Emails
Give your trial users the clarity and confidence to use your services with an education email. Link to relevant written and audio/video tutorials, guides, monthly webinars, and presentations.
A user who experiences your product’s value will most likely upgrade to paid services.
Top strategies to make your education emails work include:
- If you offer a large set of services, opt for a series of education emails where each email targets a unique topic.
- Keep your educational content concise and engaging.
Here’s an education email example by AISEO
3 – Check-in Emails
At this stage, you need to know if your trial users have used your product and if they have come across any obstacles. You take the lead by empathizing with them and making them comfortable with your product.
If your user has not opened any of your previous emails, this is a great chance to remind them that you exist and care about them. This email can push partially active users back to your product.
Make the user feel connected to you, so they will be more likely to check out what you offer.
Top strategies to make your check-in emails work include:
- Talk to the user to build a positive connection.
- Do not push a sale. Convince the user that you are always here to help.
- Give them clear directions to reach out to you or your support team for any questions.
Here’s a quick check-in email by Grammarly.
4 – Pitch Emails
You have made the effort to make your users comfortable. Now it’s time to make a direct and polite ask. Pitch your trial users to convert from a free trial to a paid subscription. Support your pitch with relevant facts, figures, and benefits. Highlight the previous user’s experience with your product.
Once the user converts into a paid customer, you can send them a transactional email to build authority.
Top strategies to make your pitch emails work:
- Go a step beyond highlighting the features and benefits the user misses if they don’t upgrade to a paid plan. Instead, talk about the loss their business would suffer if they didn’t upgrade to a paid plan. For example, “you missed 23 potential clients for your business” is more powerful than saying
,“you missed 23 free email templates that will get you potential clients.”
- Focus on achieving the user’s intended results with your product.
- Keep the content on point. Your pitch must demonstrate that the user needs your services and not that you need another user.
- Pitch this free trial email before the trial expires.
Here’s a pitch email by Grammarly again.
5 – Free trial expiration emails
The purpose of this email is to keep most users from the free trial and convert them into paying customers.
Near the end of the free trial period, remind the user of it with a free trial expiration email. Depending on the length of your free trial, send this mail at a point where the user has ample time to think and upgrade to paid services.
So, for a 5-day free trial, sending a reminder a day before it ends will work. For a month-long free trial, send an email a week before and two days before the trial ends.
Send this email again to notify your user that their free trial has expired on the day the trial expires.
Top strategies to make your free trial expiration emails work include:
- Make them sound urgent.
- If you have collected any user data, warn the user that they will lose the data if they don’t upgrade to a paid subscription. Also, highlight how relevant the saved data is to the user’s business.
- Place a clear CTA for the user to upgrade to the paid version.
- Ask the user to reach out to you if they have any questions. A clearly visible contact gateway will help.
- Appreciate the user’s time spent with your product.
Here’s an example by Glance to notify the user that their free trial expiration is near.
Here’s an example by Narrato to notify the expiration of a free trial to its user.
6 – Discount/Special Offer Emails – Optional
Make one last try to onboard trial users after the end of the free trial period by making them a privileged offer. The offer can be a discount on your product, or access to extra paid resources for free.
This email works like a charm for the user who might have an interest in your services but finds the paid plan too costly or complex. If your target customer is an early-stage startup, this email holds the most value.
Top strategies to make your pitch emails work include:
- Whatever you’re additionally offering, start with less. For example, offer a 5% discount on your paid plan to see how well it works. If it doesn’t work, increase the offer value as per your comfort. But remember that you are making an offer, not a compromise.
- State that your offer is valid for a certain time. Also, there are fewer chances that this offer will come up again. This creates a FOMO effect and contributes to getting more paid conversions.
- Place a clear CTA to use your offer.
- Use a limited offer countdown to create urgency.
- Highlight relevant statistics of past customers who achieved success with your product.
Here’s an interesting discount email by Tailwind.
7- User Feedback emails
If your users do not upgrade to a paid version by this time, they might not upgrade at all. It’s time to let them go. But, it’s always a wise idea to ask for feedback.
Your product might be difficult to use. Your free trial period was not enough to make them realize the value of your services completely. Their product expectations were not matched. The possibilities are endless.
On the other side, you can send feedback emails to users who converted into paying customers.
User feedbacks point out what works and what doesn’t in your product. It will help you to optimize your services and enhance their quality.
Top strategies to make your feedback emails work:
- Ask your user why they signed up for your free trial. This will give you an understanding of your user’s expectations.
- Ask the users what features they’d like to see in your product for better functioning.
- Offer the user a small gift in exchange for their feedback. If you get constructive feedback and implement it, notify the user about it. This is a small investment that might turn into larger profits in the future.
- Inquire whether they came up with an alternative solution to their problem. This points to what your business might be lacking and gives you an opportunity to upgrade your quality.
- Send feedback emails a couple of days after the free trial ends. This ensures that you are not desperate, and the user receives the mail when they still remember your brand.
- Place a clear CTA for entering the user’s feedback. Highlight the estimated time required for the user to give feedback. If it’s less time, say 60 seconds, the user is more likely to participate. The aim is to show them that this is a quick and easy process.
Here’s a feedback-free trial email example by Ubersuggest.
8 – Post-trial Emails
Send this mail 2-4 weeks after the free trial expires and only if you’ve received valuable feedback from your user. If you make any changes to your product, this email is a great way to notify them and get them on board. Or, if your user was skeptical about investing in your services according to their feedback, follow up with them through a post-trial email.
Post-trial emails hold significant importance in the free trial series. Don’t underestimate their value.
Top strategies to make your post-trial emails work:
- If your product still doesn’t satisfy your user, offer them an alternative. This will make your brand come across as helpful and can get you referrals in the future.
- Ensure your users that you’ll always be there for them if a need arises. This works as a droplet effect in gaining the user’s trust. The user might invest in your product in the future.
- If you have collected any significant user data, remind them that it stays with you for a certain time until you delete it forever. The user might upgrade to a paid subscription for fear of losing their data.
Here’s an example of a post-trial email by Buzzsumo.
Top 4 Practices for Writing a Free Trial Email Sequence
Emails are a crucial aspect of product-led growth. Make your emails 2x more effective by following these practices:
Stir up your user’s curiosity with a great subject line
Spend more time writing the subject line than the email itself. A well-written email serves no purpose if the user doesn’t open it. Use the user’s name, highlight their pain point, give a sneak peek into the corresponding solution, and make it short and specific. A subject line of six to ten words has the highest open rate.
A brilliant subject line example by Tailwind is – I extended your discount coupon…don’t tell my boss.
Create emails with care
Make it sound as if someone’s talking to you. Edit, format, and proofread it to avoid any errors. Your email should only bring the user’s attention to your product. Don’t test your user’s patience by writing unnecessarily long emails.
Communicate with a personal email address
Instead of using some generic email ID, represent yourself as a person in charge and use a personalized email address. This establishes trust in the user. For example, email@example.com is more impactful than firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be honest, and don’t overpromise
However badly you need that customer, don’t make it apparent. Avoid making promises that are too good to be true. Instead, stay transparent about what you can and cannot offer through your services.
End Low Trial Conversions with Glance
The end goal of implementing a free trial email sequence is to:
- Introduce your product to your ideal users,
- Educate them about your services,
- Understand their expectations of your services,
- And convert your users into paying customers.
Your free trial experience plays a key role in paid trial conversions. Keep that as your priority.
Use these proven steps to send compelling emails that convert. You can also refer to Live Agent’s free trial email sequence templates.
Or better, register free with Glance for marketing automation – we help run winning email campaigns and get you high-value customers.