How to Convert Free Trial App Users to Paid Subscribers

Here are some tips and tricks to convert free trial app users to paid subscribers.

The majority of people don't sign up for free trials to try out your app, which is something you need to grasp before you can turn free users into paying customers. They register to find out what type of results your product can provide them.

Rarely will a customer view your product and exclaim, "Wow, look at that big list of features that FastSpring offers. I wish to use that service and sign up for it. They won't say that; instead, they'll probably remark something like, "Oh wow, they assume all the obligation associated with collecting sales taxes and complying with every local authority across the world. I require such a thing before we incur any penalty.

You must demonstrate the value your app gives and how you can aid them in achieving a crucial goal if you want to convert trial consumers. No matter how beneficial or helpful you believe your product might be for users, most won't subscribe to the premium version without it.

The percentage of people that switched from a free trial to a paid account is known as the free trial conversion rate. Because increasing the number of paying customers is the ultimate aim of utilizing free trials for acquisition, the effectiveness of your program is determined by how frequently consumers switch from a free plan to a paid one.

To put it another way, your free trial conversion rate is a simple and effective technique to determine the proportion of consumers who value your product enough to pay for it.

Types of Free Trials

  • Freemium- Freemium is a two-tiered acquisition strategy in which customers are classified as either free or premium depending on whether they pay for an account. Users on the free tier often get eternal access to a limited version of a product. Companies that follow this strategy are typically attempting to generate quick adoption or challenge an incumbent, however it should be noted that this is easier said than done. It necessitates planning and near-perfect execution.

  • Opt-in Free Trial- It provides the user with a 14-day free trial period without requiring any payment card information in return for their email address. Salesforce is an example.

  • Opt-out Free Trial- It is similar to an opt-in free trial in that it has a limited sample period but requires payment card information. Netflix is an example of a hybrid. A hybrid of the freemium and opt-in/opt-out models. In essence, consumers are granted full access to the product or service for a set period of time. At the completion of the trial period, they are offered unlimited access to the Freemium version. However, if they want to use all the features and capabilities again, they must upgrade to a premium account. This method is extremely effective at HubSpot and Adobe.

You may either upgrade and try out the premium experience, or you can downgrade and stick with the free version. I've discovered that organizations who use this strategy usually have another method to earn money off of you (think data or advertising), or they stand to gain a lot in terms of ROI if you join up.

The model difference also has an effect on the free trial conversion rate. It has been observed that conversion is highest for an opt-out free trial. However, getting additional people to sign up for the same is difficult. Nonetheless, there are methods to convert free trial users to paid subscribers.

Why Don't Free Users Become Paid Customers?

High expectations for users
The user expectation and your app offering could not match up. The consumer may be seeking particular characteristics that are not your product's USP (unique selling proposition).

A Better Choice
The consumer may have a better option that addresses the issue at a cheaper cost or offers superior performance. For instance, Slack is frequently chosen by businesses over Microsoft Teams. Slack has superior integration and usability than Microsoft Teams, despite the latter being a less expensive option.

Five Tested Methods to Increase the Free Trial Conversion Rate

  1. Optimize Your Free Trial Period
  2. Personalize Your User Onboarding Process
  3. Ask for Feedback
  4. Make it Easy to Upgrade or Downgrade
  5. Use Chatbots or Sales Tools to Proactively Handle Objections

1. Optimize Your Free Trial Period 

Bigger isn't necessarily better, at least not when it comes to app free trials, despite what the general consensus may suggest. Your free trial should be lengthy enough for a user to benefit from it, but brief enough that they feel pressured to give you their credit card information and experience all the amazing features of your app. A simple app cannot afford a 30-day free trial period. Instead, choose a 7 or 14-day trial, depending on how sophisticated your app is.

Keep in mind that a shorter trial might boost engagement and possibly cut your sales cycle for each prospective client.

Don't trust us?

In an experiment, they substituted a 7-day self-extension for their 30-day app free trial. Every time a user used a new feature, a few more days would be added to their initial seven-day trial term. As a result, its paid conversion rate quadrupled.

2. Personalize Your User Onboarding Process

Mass-market client onboarding templates are no longer a draw for free trial users. They demand individual consideration. To enhance engagement and expand your consumer base, personalize your content for every user. How do you decide what kind of hyper-personalized material to employ, though? It is straightforward to figure out how each user interacts with your app and how to persuade them to become paying customers. 

To a new user who hasn't made a high-value activity in the previous week, for example, you may send tailored tutorial push notifications. Every new user is personally contacted during concierge onboarding in order to walk them through your app.

3. Ask for Feedback

It's simple to find out whether you're reaching a high customer success rate by polling free trial participants. Send a welcome message to each new user who converted and offer to assist with any issues. Additionally, find out from those paying clients why they made the switch. This aids in the creation and promotion of those unique selling propositions so you can attract even more paying subscribers. What about those users who signed up for a free trial but didn't continue with a premium membership plan?

You cannot disregard someone just because they did not provide you with their payment card information when they signed up! A high rate of customer success may be achieved by gathering feedback from any trial subscriber who left. To address the concerns of your prospects, you'll need to test different messages on social media, blogs, email marketing, and other platforms.

Many app users who signed up for a free trial might not have known what your value proposition was. This can be the result of a confusing client onboarding procedure or a difficult-to-understand product.

You should try to make things better for potential customers if you think your app is to blame for your low user success rate, such as reducing wait times brought on by poorly optimized software. In any case, a few days after the trial has ended, you should send an automatic push to any trial users who have dropped out. Your push should seem personalized and include the leadership team's signature.

4. Make it Easy to Upgrade or Downgrade

Reducing friction wherever that makes it more difficult for a user to switch from a free account to a premium one is another strategy for encouraging users to upgrade.

Prior to discussing how to make an upgrade simple, I must stress that you should also make it simple to downgrade or cancel. Spending time and money on users who will never convert is the last thing you need to do. I previously had a position where the marketing database contained more than 50,000 email subscribers, but only 10,000 of those were suitable customers for our offering. I won't go into details but suffice it to say that spending over $100,000 USD on pursuing down the additional 40,000 emails distorted our results and broke our budgets.

Back to making upgrades simple. To see what the actual procedure entails, try establishing an account from scratch as if you were a stranger. Sometimes things that look simple on paper end up being logistical messes that take days, several emails, and a few support tickets to finish.

Think about it:

  • Can consumers activate their accounts by themselves or speaking with a sales representative?
  • Do they need to submit any personal information that they have already provided and are now entering for the second, third, or fourth time, such as their name or email address?
  • Are they required to fill out extra, time-consuming documents that ask for difficult-to-calculate data (revenue, transaction volume, blended rate for payment fees)?

5. Use Chatbots or Sales Tools to Proactively Handle Objections

Before switching to a premium version, the majority of users ponder the few obvious issues that are keeping them from doing so. Will the effort invested ultimately be worth it? Will I use this product for a long time? Is this a good fit for my team? Will the cost justify the results?

Whatever the objection, you must respond to it, or it will resurface later (either with your sales team, customer success, or on a review board after they churned). When free trial consumers visit the price or upgrade page for more than 30 seconds, just sending an automated message that says something like "have any questions about our pricing?" will help you raise your trial conversion rate. This can increase the conversion rate drastically. 


Free trials are a two-edged sword. If it's too long, prospects won't feel compelled to upgrade. If you remove it totally, you will miss out on prospective free trial clients. Sales calls and presentations cannot always persuade app users.

They must use your app to understand its value proposition. Free trial members get access to practically all features, so they can see how your tool can help them. Without a trial, prospects will be forced to pull out their credit card and commit to a paid trial of a technology they are unfamiliar with – and many will decline.

If your app has lower rates, look into the loopholes and fix them with mentioned strategies or some other solutions. 

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How to Convert Free Trial App Users to Paid Subscribers

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