(2 min read)
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 optimising trial performance is a key subscription business objective.
Key Insights from the Trial Step
These are some key insights you can gain from the Trial step of the Retention Journey.
- How enticing is the free trial? Is it generating enough sign-ups?
- What is the conversion rate? Are enough trial users becoming paying subscribers? If not, why are they cancelling?
- What value are free trials generating over time? Is the return on setup effort high enough?
- What is the impact of changes to the trial offer (messaging, pricing, accessible content)?
Using Trial Analytics
An optimized free trial should generate a high volume of new sign-ups every month, convert at high levels, and be robust in the face of seasonal dynamics. Achieving this, and correctly understanding how customers are evaluating your service in this period, requires clear insights about the overall trial experience.
A common mistake is to focus too heavily on one metric, for example new trials started or your conversion rate. The problem with focusing only on new trials and not on conversions is obvious. However, it’s also a mistake to take your conversion rate as your primary focus.
Would you rather convert 20% of 5,000 trials, or 50% of 1,000 trials?
The SRM dashboard is designed to ensure that you always see the complete picture at any point in the subscriber journey. Cleeng’s trial analytics are designed to help you test your own intuitions of what is influencing your trial performance.
Testing variations in the frequency and style of in-trial messaging, the trial length, or the usage/ access limitations is the key to building a hyper-efficient trial. You can also filter by other fixed factors such as location, or distribution channel, to further refine your understanding of how user segments differ.
We also recommend that you use Cleeng’s Experience data to see the levels of engagement that predict conversion, and how trial engagement levels change as you experiment with different trial offers.
Read our blog article on what free trials mean for OTT services.
You can find definitions, calculation logic, and analytical uses for each Trial metric on their respective pages.