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This metric tells you what percentage of free trials started in a selected time period successfully convert to paid subscriptions. Whereas the number of new free trials started tells you how attractive your trial offers are, the trial conversion rate gives you insight into the trial experience itself.
Measurement: The percentage of free trials started in a selected time period that successfully convert to paid subscriptions.
Calculation: (Free trials converted in selected period / Free trials started in selected period) * 100.
For example, if 500 free trials convert in the selected period and 1000 free trials were started, then your conversion rate is 50%.
Analysing your trial conversion rate
There are some important principles to bear in mind when focusing on your trial conversion rate, including the conversion window, conversion factors, and conversion performance:
1. Engaging a potential customer in a free trial is an important step towards winning a new paying subscriber. Depending on your trial setup, you now have a window of some weeks to make the impression required.
Each week within this window should have a simple but clear strategy for converting the trial user.
2. There are a number of factors that you need to test in order to find your optimal trial setup. These include the frequency and style of in-trial messaging, the trial length, or the usage or access limitations included.
There is no magic formula for trials, and only through experimentation will you find the right approach for your business.
3. Similarly there is no universal benchmark for conversion rates. However, a recent study conducted by Parks Associates found that 58% of US broadband households who trial an OTT video subscription service convert to paying subscribers.
So if you find that you are performing below that average, you have a clear opportunity to boost your revenues by testing trial variations.
What if I see 0 conversions or 0% conversion rate?
The dashboard could potentially show 0 conversions with shorter time filters. For example, “last week” could show 100 free trial users who signed up but reflect 0 conversions. This may mean that none of these 100 free trial users converted to paying subscribers.
This is usually because the free trial is longer than the period you have focused on. For example, if the free trial is 14 days long, then it is probably that any free trials started in the last 7 days will not yet have converted.