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SaaS Q&A: How do you engage mid-trial customers?

Introducing SaaS Q&A, a weekly series answering some of the top questions posed by the SaaS community on Quora.
This week: “What’s the best way to go about ensuring my trial users fully try out our SaaS offering?”

Instead of adding some more guidance here around “aha moments”, etc. (all of which you should definitely pay attention to) I thought I’d put forward a couple of common UX patterns you can implement to get trial customers to engage more with your product.

Drip emails

This is probably the most common (and easy to implement) strategy for re-engaging users once they’ve actually created a trial account. Drip campaigns can vary in how complex – or smart – they are.

On a basic level, you have a set of emails which are delivered to everyone, at pre-defined intervals after signup. This can be good for walking users through your feature set, bypassing the need to overwhelm with information in one go.

If you want to get more advanced, segment these emails based on feature usage (only tell them about the features they haven’t used yet) or engagement (only send to users who become inactive).

zapier-welcome-2
Zapier’s first welcome email is a great entry point for easing customers into using the feature of the product.

Notifications

On the surface this might seem the same as drip emails, but there’s a subtle difference. Notifications can actually be more successful at re-engaging users, because they’re often related to something that’s happened in the product, or in other words, their business.

In the consumer world this is often something like:

Hey Ed, your friend just posted an update! See what they said…

But in B2B SaaS, it’s more likely to look something like this:

Hey Ed, we’ve noticed your latest campaign is taking off. Take a look at the performance…

There’s no better way for getting people to re-engage with your solution than giving them a reason that they actually care about.

Gamification

This is one of the higher-cost methods to implement, because it requires you to build these features into your product. But, if implemented well, you can really create a feedback loop for engagement.

LinkedIn had the classic ‘Complete your profile’ checklist:

linkedin profile completion

Call your trial customers!

Don’t forget this one. In today’s world, with so many tools and indirect communication, it’s easy to forget sometimes that you can just pick up the phone. Ask your customers about their trial experience, which features they’ve used, and why. This will almost certainly be the most valuable feedback when it comes to improving the product. So start dialing!


This answer was originally published on Quora. View the original thread here:

What’s the best way to go about ensuring my trial users fully try out our SaaS offering?

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