Archives for February 2010
Free Trial Success Secret #6: Perfect Free Trial Length
Free Trial Success Secret #5: Credit Cards are a Red Herring
Free Trial Success Secret #4: Measure the Right Things
Free Trial Success Secret #3: Stop Confusing Freemium and Free Trials
Free Trial Success Secret #2: Get Your Product to Sell Itself
Free Trial Success Secret #1: No More Evaluations
When your sales process fails to convert customers, it’s probably doing exactly what it was designed to do.
Which is why even though you offer an amazing SaaS or Web App that meets a real market need, you’re not making sales.
Even though you worked hard, created amazing content, made a bunch of cold calls, and used strategic advertising to get plenty of traffic to your site, you’re not making sales.
Even though you’ve optimized on-site conversions and are able to get people to sign-up to try out your product… you aren’t making sales.
Even though people try your product for 30 days, you aren’t making sales!
But I can help you make more sales.
Look, whether you realize it or not, a low conversion rate almost always points to your Free Trial as the culprit!
And that’s not just my experience talking… I’ve got industry numbers to back me up on that claim.
Softletter – an industry research firm – recently published the results of their Annual SaaS Survey and their numbers jibe with my own experience:
– 66% of SaaS vendors report they convert less than 25% of their Free Trial sign-ups to customers
– 44% of SaaS vendors report they convert less than 10% of their Free Trial sign-ups to customers!
Now, if you believe as I do that a Free Trial has one singular purpose – to create customers – then you’ll agree that those ‘industry’ numbers are not good.
If you have anything near the industry average, I can help you make more sales.
In fact, even if you think you’re doing well compared to those industry numbers, I can still help you make more sales.
That’s because numbers like this can be deceiving as they might cause someone with a conversion rate of more than 25% to think that they’re actually doing good!
They’re not; they’re just doing better than most.
Look, if you have a 29% conversion rate, that still means 71 out of every 100 people that sign-up for your Free Trial – the ONE part of your sales process over which you have the most control – end up NOT becoming your customer!
That is not good no matter how you look at it.
Especially if the majority of your sales go through your Free Trial, which is the case for most SaaS and Web App vendors I’ve worked with.
But I have some great news for you!
You’re actually closer to making more sales than you realize and I can get you there.
I’ve spent the last 6 years working with literally 100’s of SaaS & Web App companies from around the world – many names you know like KISSMetrics, Constant Contact and Zendesk, and names you don’t yet know, but will! – and I can tell you that the bottleneck in the sales process is almost always the Free Trial and it CAN be fixed!
But you have to realize that seemingly small mistakes in your Free Trial process can have a huge impact on sales, causing drag and ‘trial to purchase friction.’
Unfortunately, few vendors are just making small mistakes… most are making MASSIVE mistakes that aren’t just causing friction in the conversion process; these mistakes stop the conversion process dead in its tracks!
Many vendors try to overcome these problems by ‘fixing’ other problems, like trying to get more traffic to their site.
Without fixing your Free Trial process though, it’s like pouring more water down a clogged drain; it still just drips out the other side!
But when you actually fix your Free Trial strategy, you fix the big problems holding you back; you unclog the drain!
Oddly, while Free Trials are hardly new, and every SaaS or Web App vendor offers one, finding out what has worked for others, pulling together industry best practices (that don’t seem to exist), and then – if you actually find something – trying to figure out how to apply that to your situation is not easy.
While you want to increase your Free Trial conversions, the last thing you want to do – or have time to do – is hunt down answers from random sources.
But even if you wanted to, that assumes you know what the right questions to ask are in the first place.
Okay, but if the answer is out there – the idea that the Free Trial is the bottleneck and the ways to fix it – why has it eluded you?
I can give you 6 – possibly controversial – reasons this information is hard to find:
1) The SaaS, web app, startup, cloud, and tech ‘media’ – pundits and analysts included – focus on the unusual successes; and unusual successes are unlikely to take YOU down the right path!
2) The concept of survivor bias in that ‘media’ coverage; you rarely hear how many used the same strategy and crashed and burned!
3) The very real notion of branding and momentum of newly- and heavily-funded, as well as popular companies, or those companies with a massive amount of community support external to their SaaS products (example: 37Signals created the web framework Ruby on Rails) who can make even major mistakes and still get customers; mistakes that you simply cannot make!
4) A focus on tools, metrics, measurement, instrumentation, etc. but no basis for why those metrics matter in the context of engagement & conversion.
5) Causation vs. Correlation and the power of social networks to spread 1 person’s experience as the gospel; if that person is an investor, it will spread even faster (though the fact that it’s an investor is often lost on the bootstrapped startups reading the ‘advice’).
6) The people that really know how Free Trials work and have found success keep it to themselves or within their portfolio companies because they realize that this knowledge is a MASSIVE part of their competitive advantage, the key to long-term growth in Customer Lifetime Value, and the cornerstone of a scalable customer acquisition process; even for those with a higher-touch, human-powered sales process!
Luckily, I’m not going to keep what I know to myself.
I’m going to show you the 7 Secrets to Increasing Conversions with Free Trials during a Live, Free Training session to help you avoid mistakes made other by SaaS and Web App vendors and to move you toward higher conversions… and higher revenue!
But I need to get real with you for a second.
Too often, when you figure out that it IS your Free Trial that’s the bottleneck in your sales process, you’ll search around, not be able to find the answers you need, and just give-up.
You’ll stop trying to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of your Free Trial and revert to their your old ways.
But you aren’t going to do that, right?
You want to actually fix your Free Trial… to unclog the drain, right?
Awesome, then join me for a 100% free training session where I’ll show you exactly how to turn your Free Trial into a Customer-Creating Machine!
Sorry, training is closed right now. Email Lincoln Murphy to get on the list for the next training session…. or check out the Free Trial Dominator and get instant access to the training on-demand!