When it comes to B2B marketing, it’s not cold business. It’s still about the human factor.
For example, once upon a cable TV plan, my dad was paying over $100 per month to glare at more commercials than programming.
We stopped the madness.
I bought him Google Chromecast and a 3-month trial subscription to Netflix. He can sit on the sofa, push one button on the remote, and watch commercial-free movies all night long.
But here’s the problem with most trial offers.
If I just said, “Pops, here’s your Netflix username and password. Enjoy!” Then left him to it… do you think he’d try setting it up and using it?
He’s 86-years old. World War II hadn’t even started until he was four years old.
He’s figured out how to take a pic and send it to me in a text on his iPhone. He’s not a tech dummy. But he doesn’t have the patience to figure out more complicated tech toys.
Even so, he’s bingeing on Netflix today.
What does my dad’s Netflix have to do with your free trial offer?
Everything. Businesses struggle converting trial accounts to active accounts. We can tell by the articles littering the web with proposed solutions.
A quick search pulls up questions like:
How do I change my free trials to paying customers?
How do you increase trial conversion?
How do I engage my free trial users?
Even the experts are missing it.
For instance, pro suggestions I’ve seen were:
- Don’t ask for payment credentials with the trial.
- Offer discounts as they near the deadline.
- Remind them time is running out.
- Send marketing e-mails.
- Sprinkle in the sense of urgency.
- Extend the trial.
These are okay. They make sense. But there is one glaring problem.
As marketers, we ought to spot it.
Is what we’re proposing benefiting the customer?
Take another look at the above suggestions, whose interest are they representing?
At the root, it’s not the buyer’s interest.
Most solutions I found online pushed the sale, focusing on the seller’s best interest, not the consumer.
Such as these trial offer conversion ideas.
- Explain the benefits of paid features.
- Make the buying process easy.
- Share positive stories and accounts from paying users.
- Make Pricing Clear.
These are closer to the mark. But we still forgot marketing is about providing solutions to the customer’s problem, not about pushing the product.
But the trial is supposed to be the solution, right?
No, it’s not. Not if the prospect doesn’t know how to consume it.
Suppose you’re shopping for a vehicle. A good salesperson will hand you the keys to a car. But before they let you take a test drive, they show you where to adjust the seat. How you can tilt the steering wheel. Where the start button is without using a key.
They don’t toss you the keys. Go back to their office. Squint through the window blinds with one hand over their mouth, giggling while you struggle to get the thing started.
What’s the solution?
Back to my dad and his Netflix.
He didn’t know how to use it, but now watches movies every night.
It’s so simple. It’s absurd.
I showed him how to get to Netflix on his Google Chrome, play a movie, add a movie to his playlist, and access his playlist with movies he’s saved.
His 3-month trial would have come and gone without cracking it open if I hadn’t shown him how to use it.
What can you do to help convert your trial offer?
Send e-mail tips showing how to use your product.
Outline specific problems your product solves, and give them step-by-step instructions on making it happen using your product.
If they are interested in solving a problem… if the solution is essential, they’ll respond to your engagement.
It’s not rocket science here.
E-mailing instructional tips does several things.
- Reminds a prospect the trial is still waiting, without appearing desperate or pushy.
- Keeps prospects engaged with your brand.
- Provides customer-based communications.
- Shows how to solve the original problem or challenge quicker.
- Prevents embarrassment: asking questions prospects may feel are too simple to ask.
- Allows a potential customer to go deeper in your product, invest more time, and increasing your chances of a purchase.
All you need is a five- or seven-part e-mail series to walk them through the more beneficial features of your product which solves their problem.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a forklift out in the warehouse or software in the front office.
You gain their trust as a company who is there to help relieve a pain point, not sell them your product.