It's increasingly common for SaaS companies to offer a free trial. This isn't surprising—free trials are a compelling acquisition model that let potential customers try before they buy, and let companies really wow their users and show them how they can deliver value.
However, simply providing a free trial is not enough. In order to keep users engaged and ensure they get the most out of their trial period, brands need a strong onboarding flow with resources, best practices, and tips to unleash the power of your product.
This flow provides a blueprint for onboarding trial users during a 14-day trial period:
The first email in your sequence should be sent immediately after a user signs up for a trial. It should welcome them to your community and include any time-sensitive elements to using your product (e.g. data that needs to be imported, invite teammates, etc.). If you offer 1:1 meetings with customer success, include a CTA for booking.
The next email in your series should focus on product education. Here, you’ll introduce key features or USPs (reference your product's "a-ha" moment). If you have video content, blog posts, whitepapers, or other collateral that would be helpful for new users, this is where you would include them. Send this 2 days after Email 1.
Your third email should demonstrate social proof. For B2B companies, you might include a case study or interview with a prominent customer. For B2C, you might highlight UGC or a testimonial from one of your VIPs. The purpose of this email is to show prospective customers that you can be trusted (as is evident by your customer list) and earn yourself credibility. Send this 3 days after Email 2.
This email is sent half way through the trial. Here, you should check in with your users, ask if they have questions or feedback, and let them know you’re here to help them get the most out of their trial experience.
Your fifth email is a reminder that the trial is coming to an end. It should create a sense of urgency and encourage users to hurry and upgrade. If you want to sweeten the deal, consider including a discount. This email is sent 2-3 days before the trial end date.
This email notifies your customer that their trial has ended. Thank them for trying your product and remind them what they’re missing by failing to upgrade. Include a clear CTA to join now before it’s too late.
And that’s it! By providing valuable content and helpful information throughout the trial, you’ll set your users up for success and give them the best chance of experiencing the full value of your product.