OK, we’re just going to say it: all SaaS companies should offer a free trial or demo to their prospects.
A free trial or book a demo should be your primary call to action across your website.
There are so many tech websites where the main CTA is to ‘contact us’. Contact us is at the bottom of the lead generation pyramid because it’s both unenticing and boring.
Your free trial or demo should be a clear CTA in the header and footer of all your pages. It should also be promoted throughout the main content.
Powerful call to actions for a free demo can dramatically affect the number of leads your website generates – seriously, try a few A/B tests and see what works for you.
Today we’re going to take a look at why SaaS businesses should offer a free trial or a demo to potential new customers, and how you can start setting yours up.
A free trial is a fantastic way to showcase what your software has to offer. It’s the equivalent of getting a free ice cream sample. You get a taste of what the flavour is before you have to commit to a whole cone – and when it’s good, you can’t not buy the whole thing.
With a free trial, prospects can use your software in their day-to-day work lives and see just how much it helps them.
By giving them this opportunity, they can decide if they need your software or not, which has two benefits: if it’s not for them, they won’t buy it (goodbye negative reviews online), if it is for them, they’ll happily pay whatever you’re charging for the full service.
Free trials also give you the chance to capture emails for your email marketing campaigns. So not only do you have a selection of interested potential clients, but you also have their emails to send out promotional newsletters, information about updates, and new software releases that might spark their interest even more.
There are many benefits to offering a free trial or demo to your potential clients, and here are the five most important ones:
Giving potential customers first-hand experience on what your software does is invaluable.
A free trial or demo will let them see how it actually functions and explore all those goodies you’ve been trying to describe to them.
A good product will sell itself, and if your software is good enough for your audience, then by giving them a trial, you’re going to be giving them the final push into purchasing your software.
Some marketing tactics are tough to set up and run, but you can quickly implement a free demo into your marketing strategy without having to do any heavy lifting.
Free trials are the most straightforward marketing strategy to implement for SaaS companies because you’ve already got everything you need. Your software already exists, so you don’t have to develop anything.
Sure, you might have to do a quick landing page and make sure the trial period runs successfully, but you won’t have to spend hours doing extra research putting together a complex lead magnet.
The uncertainty of whether a product will work or not, or be suitable for their needs, can cause friction with potential buyers.
Think about it from their point of view. If a new expensive piece of software came out that could help cut your work time in half, you’d probably be intrigued but a bit sceptical of whether it would work or not.
If the software you’re interested in doesn’t have a demo or a free trial (or any reviews), then how are you going to find out if it works? You can’t, and you might not be ready to spend cash on a product you’re unsure about, so you look for something similar at a more affordable price, or one that has a demo.
Friction stops people from buying your software because, unlike in the real world, you can’t touch or hold the software you’re about to purchase but offering a free trial can provide a similar result.
A free trial lets consumers personally experience your product, and it allows them to make a more informed purchase decision.
Many consumers are constantly worrying about having to commit to a product or service, and your software is no different. They’re not sure if they want to pay for a subscription, whether it’s a monthly or yearly fee.
With a free trial, they’ll be able to try out your software without the fear that they’ll be locked into your software.
This way, they can get a taste of what you’re selling and decide later on whether they want to commit to regular billing.
Feedback and reviews are crucial to selling software to interested prospects, and by offering free trials, you can find out exactly what your customers are thinking.
If your customer tries out your software and decides it doesn’t meet their needs, then they can tell you what’s wrong or missing. This will help you adjust what you’re offering to suit the goals of your target audience better.
Positive feedback and reviews are also essential proof points in SaaS. When you get positive comments about how good your product is, then display them on your website or your landing page to encourage people to buy or try out the free trial for themselves.
For opt-in free trials, a good conversion rate should be around 25% and for opt-out free trials, a good conversion rate would be around 60%.
One of the best ways to get customers to convert after trying out a free trial or demo is to follow up quickly.
You should have an email set up to automatically send out to everybody who finishes their demo or free trial.
Don’t be afraid of being seen as coming on too strong. Your prospect might even be eager to get in contact with you about turning their free trial into a paying subscription – and this just gives them an easy opt-in.
The quicker you send the email after the trial has ended, the sooner they’ll convert. If they liked your software, then they’ll be actively looking to continue working with you, and if they’re unsure, a quick email might be the push they need to convert.
The end of trial email is there to:
Another great way to convince your customers to convert is to create urgency or fear of missing out (FOMO).
For example, when advertising your free trial or demo, include deadlines like:
Putting a time limit on your trial and making people aware of it will push them to take immediate action. It’ll also let them know that they only have a limited time to try it out to see if they like it, encouraging them to engage with your software and get to know everything that it does, rather than put it on the ‘try later’ pile.
If you’re launching a new piece of software, consider offering a free trial to get your target audience interested in what you’re selling.
Show your audience how your software can help improve their lives by giving them a short demo. They’re more likely to believe your software can help them if you show them rather than just tell them about its benefits.
If you want some help figuring out how you can create the perfect trial for your SaaS software then get in contact with our team today, we’d love to help you out.
SaaS marketing support for fast-growing, ambitious tech companies.
Address: 164-180 Union St, London, SE1 0LH
Tel: 0203 283 8613