Your business is out in the world. You’ve put years of hard work into it. Congratulations!
Now make all that hard work pay off. Make sure you are offering your services to the right customers. We mean lots of right customers. This will build your brand’s reputation, and, even better, it will boost your net revenue.
How do you expand your customer base? What you don’t want is to have many visitors to your website but only a few converting into customers.
Ask yourself, is your SaaS brand trustworthy? Is your landing page optimized? Are there any loopholes in your SaaS conversion cycle? Is your customer acquisition cost, your
We are going to talk about the most useful metric, the visitor to trial conversion rate, and 7 effective strategies to win new customers. Let’s get right to it, shall we?
What is a visitor-to-trial conversion rate in SaaS?
Before we talk about the visitor-to-trial conversion rate, let’s clarify the basics. What is a conversion?
Visitors who land on your home page or landing page decide whether to engage with your site. Conversion happens when the user engages with your content and performs your desired action. This might be installing an application, signing up for a newsletter, or making a purchase.
For SaaS businesses, a conversion is usually the point where they sign up for your services.
To calculate the conversion rate, calculate the total number of visitors to your site and the total number of conversions. Then you can use the following formula:
Conversion rate = Total number of conversions/ Total number of visitors
For example, if your SaaS brand has 1000 conversions and 3000 visitors a month, then:
Conversion rate = 1000/3000 = 33%
What is a visitor-to-trial Conversion rate?
It is the percentage of visitors who showed trust in your SaaS brand and signed up for a free trial of your services.
Why is a visitor-to-trial conversion rate in SaaS important?
The visitor-to-trial conversion rate is a key performance indicator for SaaS conversions. It shows how exciting and valuable your business is to potential customers.
Although the ideal visitor-to-trial conversion rate varies from business to business, a higher rate equals a higher likelihood of a user interested in your services. These users can further become your paying customers, adding up to your profits.
Businesses can always keep the industry benchmark in mind for progress. An industry benchmark is a standard value of performance in that particular industry. For a visitor-to-trial conversion, B2C brands have an industry benchmark higher than the B2B industry.
The top three metrics to know about your visitor to trial conversion rate
1 – Website conversion rate to free trial or demo
After the visitor lands on your website’s homepage or landing page, your services should get their attention. Highlight the user’s pain points, use engaging taglines, and offer a clear value proposition.
Whether you offer a free demo or a free trial, you want them to click your sign-up or start the free trial button. This converts the visitor into a lead.
Make sure your user’s problems are addressed through your SaaS product and that they are satisfied with the solution offered to them.
2 – Free trial to activation stage conversion rate
When your user activates the free trial, they come face to face with your SaaS product and get a chance to explore its features.
But sometimes, your user doesn’t engage with your product even after signing up for a free trial. This could be because they got busy, found another alternative to solve their problem, or are still unsure about your services.
This is a good time to remind your user of your product’s benefits. Or even better, emphasize what they will miss if they don’t use the free trial. Signup abandonment emails are a proven way to do this.
An activation stage is where the user uses your product and experiences value through your services. This is also when they will become a SaaS conversion, the conversion from a trial user to a paid user.
3 – Free trial or freemium to paid conversion rate
In this final metric, you want to aim for a higher lead conversion rate.
The percentage of leads who convert into paid customers equals the lead conversion rate.
As reported by Databox, the lead conversion rate benchmark is between 2 and 5 percent. A higher-than-average lead conversion rate is between 6 and 9 percent. The ideal benchmark indicates a good lead conversion rate is above 10 percent.
If your services make the user’s life easier, they are likely to explore the paid plans and invest in them. If not, they will simply turn to your competitor’s product.
Make sure your product stands out as the best when it comes to customer satisfaction and quality.
When should SaaS companies offer a free trial to achieve maximum visitor-to-trial conversions?
Free trials are an important part of the SaaS business model and achieving customer success. It gives your prospective user a chance to experience the value of your product.
Be sure your free trial delivers high-performing services. Otherwise, your efforts behind the user onboarding process will be in vain. And if your free trials don’t ask for user activation, setting them up is useless.
Not only will you make your potential customers doubt your brand, but you will also leave a bad impression in your market.
As a SaaS business, offering a free trial adds to the cost of delivering services to the user. You are using your platform, computing your data, and providing a software solution.
Free trials are free for the user, not for businesses. So only provide a free trial if it’s necessary.
The time limit you provide for your free trial should make sense in terms of what service you’re offering. If the free trial period only gives a half solution to your user’s problems, they might not even visit your website again.
Two types of free trials SaaS companies can offer to achieve maximum visitor to trial conversions
An opt-in free trial is when the user manually enters personal information (opt-in) to access the free trial subscription.
This might include their name, email address, password, and other information. They are not required to enter any payment details at the initial stage.
The user enters their payment information when they decide to upgrade to the paid subscription.
Example: Grammarly uses opt-in free trials.
According to Useproof, the free trial rate benchmark for opt-in trials across different b2b verticals is 25 percent.
An opt-out free trial is where the user has to manually discontinue (opt-out) using paid services.
While signing up, the user is asked for upfront payment information along with the other sign-up details.
In an opt-out free trial, the user is automatically and recurringly charged for the paid subscription after the free trial ends. This goes on until the user manually cancels the paid subscription,
Example: Amazon Kindle uses opt-out free trials.
According to Kibfolio, the SaaS conversion rate benchmark for opt-out trials across different b2b verticals is 60 percent.
How to decide if your brand needs opt-in free trials or opt-out free trials for trial conversion?
To make an informed choice, you can analyze the following questions.
How well-known is your brand?
If most people already know your brand, or you already have many users, an opt-out free trial is your best option. Users will trust your site with confidential payment details and considering the size of your existing customer base, users will assume that your product provides top-notch quality.
But if you are a SaaS business that’s still in its initial years, your primary goal should be to increase your brand awareness. The opt-in method would be ideal in that case. The user will not feel any risk in getting started with your platform as he’s not asked for any upfront payment information.
Who is your target audience?
Knowing your target audience is crucial if you want to drive customer success.
Understand the behavioral patterns of your target audience and stick to a free trial conversion model that the majority of them would be comfortable with.
For example, if your SaaS product caters to students, they would rather try your services and then pay. For them, an opt-in model would work well.
How large is your audience?
If yours is a new brand, the opt-in trial method is useful to grow your potential customer base and work on retaining the leads.
If you run a large brand, you have already optimized your services for your existing large audience. Opt-out free trials would work better for you.
Look At your results to see if your chosen free trial model works for you. You can always switch to the alternative model if that gives you a higher lead conversion rate.
Since our end goal is to get paid customers, let’s discuss an important metric related to it – trial conversion.
How do you calculate trial conversion?
Trial conversion happens when the user on the free trial upgrades to a paid subscription.
To calculate trial conversions, you need to calculate the number of free trial users and the number of free trial users who upgraded to the paid subscription. Then, you can use the following formula:
Trial conversion = Total Number of free trial users who upgraded to the paid subscription/ Total number of free trial users
For example, if your SaaS brand has 20 trial-to-paid conversions and 100 free trial users a month, then,
Trial conversion = 20/100 = 20%
What is a good visitor-to-trial conversion rate for a B2B SaaS Product?
A newly launched product can aim for a visitor-to-trial conversion rate between 15 and 30 percent.
If you have an established brand, you can aim for an average visitor-to-trial conversion rate of 50 to 75 percent.
Your conversion rate optimization boils down to the user experience on your website. So make sure your SaaS landing page ticks off the following checklist.
The top 7 techniques to improve the visitor to the trial conversion rate for your SaaS business
Optimize your SaaS landing page and home page
Your SaaS landing page makes the first impression on your visitors. It influences their decision whether to engage with your services or not. Make sure you optimize your landing page with the following strategies:
1. Present a clear value proposition and call to action
Give your visitor a clear idea of what your product does. Make sure they understand right away whether your brand can solve their problem or not. To optimize the visitor-to-trial conversion rate, make sure you place your CTA in the spotlight.
Here’s a look at the Glance homepage.
Our services are clear – we convert your contacts into high-value customers. We’ve highlighted our main features with concise copy followed by a clear CTA. If that’s something you are actively looking for, visit our website and click on the “try for free” button.
2. Include social proof
If you have achieved any of the following:
- Many users have enrolled on your site,
- You have a large clientele including well-known brand names,
- You have customer testimonials, or
- You can share success stories,
don’t hesitate to flaunt them on your website.
It persuades the user that other brands have trusted you and have achieved great results. This works as a bandwagon effect (a psychological event where people do something because most other people are doing it). Plus, it increases the user’s trust in your website and boosts the visitor to trial conversion rate.
For example, the Buzzsumo home page highlights clientele, including renowned brands like Hubspot, BuzzFeed, and Ogilvy.
If you are a new brand trying to mark your territory, you can still turn the tables by incorporating the next idea.
3. Include highlights of your SaaS product’s features
Your product features distinguish your brand from the others. They should be put in lists, bold text, or creative text, so they capture the user’s attention.
The features you highlight on your homepage or landing page determine whether your visitor will click on the sign-up button. They want to know whether your services will help them achieve their goals.
For example, Grammarly not only states its features but showcases them through embedded videos.
When you select product features for your home or landing page, make sure you add only the important and unique ones. If you list all your product features at once you will confuse your visitors and lose their attention.
If you think your visitor would be interested in knowing all the features of your product, give them a choice to access them by using an ‘Explore All The Features’ button.
Make signup simple
When your visitor is ready to sign up for the free trial, make sure the sign-up process is simple and quick. Depending on the opt-in or opt-out model you choose, only ask your user for the necessary information.
Don’t rush to personalize your marketing strategies by asking for too much user information at the start. Instead, keep yourself in the user’s shoes.
Once the user trusts your product, you’ll have ample opportunities to collect data from them. You don’t want to exhaust your user’s patience before they activate your product.
Guide the user through your service
Your user has successfully signed up for your service. Your battle is half-won. What next?
You must give users instructions to engage with your product.
How do you want your users to engage? Put the next steps in plain sight. Your user shouldn’t wonder what to do with your product.
Some effective strategies to guide a user through your service are:
- Adding welcome screens to make them feel a part of your product community
- Displaying the different actions they can perform and the steps to take accordingly
- Offering segmentation of your product features followed by a ‘Try Now’ button
- Understanding their objectives through questionnaires
- Directing to a post-click landing page for taking a particular action
Don’t wait for your user to come up with questions about your product. Instead, list potential questions and answer them simply and directly. This builds your user’s confidence in your product and nudges them toward paid conversion.
You can provide FAQs about the pricing page by adding a separate section on the same page, or by linking to a separate page.
Host a chatbot or in-app messenger
If your user still has doubts about your service, an AI chatbot can instantly resolve them. The user can also be directed to the customer support team for complex queries.
Getting quick solutions to their concerns will earn your user’s confidence in your service and they will be more likely to invest in your brand.
Gamify the onboarding process
Gamifying brings gaming attributes, like unlocking a new level and earning points, to your SaaS product website.
You can use this technique to increase engagement from the user and show them your product’s benefits. This improves their chances of upgrading to a paid plan.
Use micro surveys to collect feedback
Sometimes customers cancel their recurring paid subscriptions because the SaaS product does not keep them hooked. This percentage rate of such customers is called the churn rate.
Churns are a red flag for SaaS businesses and must be addressed as soon as possible. Customer feedback will show you what works and what does not work for a broad range of your customers.
Encourage customers to post their feedback and ratings on your website by providing a short form, questionnaire, or other feedback tools.
For example, Userpilot displays a quick survey form to understand why the user hasn’t upgraded to the paid version when the trial period is about to end.
Use this customer feedback to improve your conversion rates by adjusting your services to meet your user’s needs.
Converting visitors to paid users takes time. But building your B2B SaaS funnel will pay off when you hit your conversion benchmarks.
To speed up this process and achieve a higher rate of trial conversions, try Glance for free. Why? Because we are as excited as you are to see your SaaS brand reach new heights.