The Trial step refers to customers who have created a subscription, but who are still in the free trial period for that offer.
Free trials are a proven and effective method of acquiring new paying subscribers. They have 3 main strengths as an engine of your growth strategy:
- They give potential customers a first-hand look at your service.
- They are relatively simple to set up.
- They greatly reduce the friction of converting a curious customer into a paying subscriber.
Small changes in your trial conversion rate have a major impact on growth. So optimizing trial performance is a key subscription business objective.
Multiple studies have shown that a trial conversion rate of 70% is perhaps the surest indicator of consistent growth for an OTT service. This is also the point in the subscriber lifecycle where communication is most powerful, and has the strongest effect on the customer relationship.
Key Performance Goals
Keep trial subscribers engaged
These are habit-forming days for potential long-term customers. Like the end of the free trial, the 1 or 2 days following the start are also critical. Watch out for channel-specific UX problems, and be ready to act when >2 or more days of inactivity are observed (depending on your content schedule).
Convert at higher rates
Your key measure here is movement in the rate of conversion. Use ‘Trial Daily’ to monitor this closely. Create a clear goal of a 5% uplift in your conversion rate. And evaluate your actions accordingly.
Recover early cancellers
It is not unusual for as much as 50% of non-converters to have canceled by the midway point of the trial. Recovering just a fraction of these will make a big difference to your conversion rate.
Days to trial expiry
The free trial cycle is a ticking clock, and the expiry date is the point your whole strategy should revolve around. Think of customers as early, mid, & late trial - and target them with this mindset.
Days inactive (last login)
Inactivity - post-trial start in particular - is a key risk indicator for trial conversion.
Channel-specific UX issues are often a driver of low conversion rates. Distinguishing between channels in your campaigns can help you to focus on the channels that are problematic.
Segment Actions To Use
Subscribers in the final 3 days of their trial
This group is often making a final evaluation of the subscription at this point, making this a crucial period for swaying them toward conversion.
Action: Contrast the free/premium divide. Highlight content that will be unavailable if the customer no longer has a subscription.
Trials inactive for 3 consecutive days
This can be a major red flag, especially for shorter trials. You may not need everyday use, but long lapses point to low conversion likelihood.
Action: Tease with new & upcoming content. Remind them that they are in trial, and the time to explore your platform is slipping away. If you want to take stronger action, experiment with discount coupons.
Trials with your lowest-performing channel
Pay special attention to channels that are the biggest drag on your overall conversion rate, where is the user experience at its weakest.
Action: Create distinct onboarding flows for subscribers to problematic channels. Highlight help resources and preempt known problems.