Starting users with Premium trials can increase conversion

Using a reverse testing strategy, Elena Verna outperformed other common sales tactics.

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  • TL;DR
  • What is the quick marketing tactic?
  • What was the result?
  • Why does it work?
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  • The author: Elena Verna, Partner of 20VC.
  • The target: Maximize sales for SaaS companies.
  • The tactic: Use the reverse test method.
  • The result: More conversions from freemium to premium.

What is the quick marketing tactic?

Elena Verna specializes in B2B product-driven growth and sales and has an alternative proposition for your SaaS operations.

While some SaaS organizations are only accessible through a paid subscription, many offer a free trial to attract users. An alternative configuration has two levels of usage, a limited free tier and an unlimited premium tier.

Elena is an advocate of a fourth tactic. Users are offered a free trial of the full premium service as their first point of contact with the company. Once the trial period has passed, they will automatically be downgraded to the free, limited service.

If the user then wishes to return to the premium tier, allowing them to access all the features and usage they previously had access to, they will need to register and start a paid subscription.

A final element of this system is the concept of trial restart. In this case, after switching to freemium, if the user has not signed up for premium after a certain period of time, he can participate in another free trial of that higher level.

What was the result?

Over the course of her work, Elena has seen the reverse proofing tactic increase conversion from freemium to premium by 10 to 40%.

Why does it work?

The reverse rehearsal is effective because it creates a sense of loss. If the user is prevented from using the SaaS program because he is not willing to pay, he will quickly forget about it: you can’t lose what you never had. Even with freemium, a user can enjoy the benefits of freemium and although they have never tried the premium features, they will see freemium as better than nothing and a happy medium between not having access to the SaaS and paying a fee for it.

Leading the user down a path where they have experienced the full functionality of premium and then relegating them to the free tier means their feeling towards freemium will more likely be frustrating due to its limitations. This will make them psychologically more likely to convert to a paid subscription.

Reverse trial is also distinct from systems where a free trial is offered on a SaaS that has only one level of usage. In that case, the user who does not convert to a subscription after the free trial will stop using the service and over time will forget about it. The user who simply dropped down a level rather than disappearing from the service is still kept within striking distance of conversion through continued use.

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