How to convert trial users into customers on your website

Here are some proven techniques to convert trial users into buyers.

While free or discounted online trials are a great way to attract new customers, they don’t always succeed in converting samplers into buyers.

Some of the reasons why businesses don’t convert trial users into paid customers include:

  • Failing to connect with their trial users after they sign up,
  • Communicating with trial users at the wrong time, and
  • Presenting an online product that disappoints the trial user.

Figuring out how to turn more trial users into paid customers can be difficult. Use these techniques to increase your conversion rate.

  • Please note: Make sure your user sign-up process and emails you send are compliant with Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL). For example, you must obtain express consent to communicate electronically with your trial user and the emails you send also need to comply with CASL’s form and content requirements including the ability to unsubscribe from receiving future emails. You can learn more about CASL requirements on the Canadian Radio-television & Telecommunications website at CASL compliance will allow you to try the techniques suggested below.

Send an email to welcome trial users

It’s a natural instinct to expect a welcome message anytime we sign-up. A user who signs up for your free product trial is telling you they are interested in your offering and inviting you to share information with them. So start communicating immediately.

Send an automatic welcome message whenever a user signs up for your product trial. Otherwise the user may sign up for the offer and never check out what your business can do for them. Sending a welcome email establishes your relationship.

  • Be personal in that welcome email. Share some quick tips and links to help the user to start enjoying your online product. Invite the prospect to submit questions to a working email address that a live person will receive.

Engage inactive users

People have the best of intentions. They may sign up for your free product trial but never activate their trial account. So send them a simple reminder message and use that communication opportunity to highlight a couple of features of your product.

For example, you might say “Hi Jane! We want you to enjoy our product during your trial period. Check out this helpful template once you log in.”

Offer a trial extension

Users who have signed up for your trial offer may need more time before they decide to buy. So consider giving them additional free time on your system. During that time be sure to send messages encouraging the user to buy.

Make a discount offer

Sometimes trial users enjoy their freebie but don’t upgrade from trial user to paid user. It’s an opportunity to send these users a special discount offer.

Don’t wait until the trial offer expires

You don’t have to wait until the end of the trial to get the user onboard. Send several messages during the trial period that encourage the user to upgrade to paid user status. Consider a discount offer before the end of their trial period.

However you choose to design your trial user conversion program, be sure to remember that people like to feel special. By communicating with them early and often, you can make them feel like part of your community and avoid losing the precious opportunity to win their business.

Disclaimer: This article is intended to provide general information only and should not be considered as business, legal or financial advice. Consult with a qualified specialist to obtain assistance specific to your particular business. Links to any websites are provided solely for your convenience. Scotiabank is not responsible for the accuracy, reliability or the content of such websites. You can learn more about CASL requirements on the Canadian Radio-television & Telecommunications website at and rules about telemarketing at the National Do Not Call List website at

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