0
Converting Free Trials to Paid Customers:
How the right message at the right time generated
a 68% lift in free trial conve...
#webclinic
JOIN THE CONVERSATION ON TWITTER
#webclinic
#webclinic
#webclinic
4
TODAY’S PRESENTER
Dr. Flint McGlaughlin – Managing Director, MECLABS
Flint McGlaughlin is the Managing Direct...
#webclinic
An Experiment
#webclinic
EXPERIMENT SERIES: BACKGROUND
Background: An online, do-it-yourself website creation and team
management softwa...
#webclinic
EXPERIMENT SERIES: BACKGROUND
Free Trial Timeline
During Free Trial After Free Trial
End of
Free Trial
#webclinic
EXPERIMENT SERIES: BACKGROUND
During Free Trial After Free Trial
End of
Free Trial
Free Trial Timeline
#webclinic
PRE-EXPIRATION: CONTROL
#webclinic
PRE-EXPIRATION: CONTROL
#webclinic
PRE-EXPIRATION: TREATMENT
#webclinic
PRE-EXPIRATION: TREATMENT
#webclinic
PRE-EXPIRATION: TREATMENT
#webclinic
PRE-EXPIRATION: SIDE-BY-SIDE
Version A Version B
#webclinic
PRE-EXPIRATION: RESULTS
Design Conv. Rate Revenue/Visit
Version A 6.37% $2.69
Version B 7.55% $4.51
Relative Di...
#webclinic
EXPERIMENT SERIES: BACKGROUND
During Free Trial After Free Trial
End of
Free Trial
Free Trial Timeline
68%

#webclinic
AT-EXPIRATION: CONTROL
#webclinic
AT-EXPIRATION: TREATMENT
#webclinic
AT-EXPIRATION: TREATMENT
Keep using limited basic
Note: This link only appears when the
checkbox above is selec...
#webclinic
AT-EXPIRATION: SIDE-BY-SIDE
Control Treatment
#webclinic
AT-EXPIRATION: RESULTS
Design Conv. Rate Revenue/Visit
Version A 8.74% $5.65
Version B 12.48% $6.50
Relative Di...
#webclinic
EXPERIMENT SERIES: BACKGROUND
During Free Trial After Free Trial
End of
Free Trial
Free Trial Timeline
68%

43...
#webclinic
AFTER-EXPIRATION: CONTROL
#webclinic
AFTER-EXPIRATION: TREATMENT
#webclinic
AFTER-EXPIRATION: SIDE-BY-SIDE
Control Treatment
#webclinic
AFTER-EXPIRATION: RESULTS
Design Conv. Rate Revenue/Visit
Version A 1.74% $1.06
Version B 3.69% $3.21
Relative ...
#webclinic
EXPERIMENT SERIES: BACKGROUND
During Free Trial After Free Trial
End of
Free Trial
Free Trial Timeline
68%

43...
#webclinic
Why do free trials work?
When are they most effective?
KEY QUESTION
#webclinic
FKey Principles
1. As we have said elsewhere1, our goal as marketers is to “build” cognitive
momentum. We are n...
#webclinic
Velocity Needed for Conversion
Marketing Channels Website
Product Trial Call-to-Action
Conversion Experience Pr...
#webclinic
WHY DO FREE TRIALS WORK
• However, as we saw in the previous
case study, simply adding a product
trial will not...
#webclinic
Today, we are going to walk through 4 key principles we
learned from this series of tests about the messaging
s...
#webclinic
PRINCIPLE #1:
Sustain Value
#webclinic
In the control…
• Expired features
are only given
single-line text
descriptions
• A text call to
action link is...
#webclinic
PRINCIPLE 1: SUSTAIN VALUE
In the treatment…
• An interstitial with
more space to sell
is created
• Existing te...
#webclinic
PRINCIPLE 1: SUSTAIN VALUE
The treatments also
increase value force by
three types of content
adjustments…
1. E...
#webclinic
PRINCIPLE #2:
Leverage Urgency
#webclinic
In the control…
• The copy does not clearly
communicate an immediate
loss
• The call to action position
and cop...
#webclinic
In the treatment…
• Copy emphasizes the loss
in a point-first written
style
• The call to action setup
and copy...
#webclinic
PRINCIPLE #3:
Anticipate Concerns
#webclinic
• In the control, visitors discover that they can’t access their data and there is no
copy addressing what has ...
#webclinic
• In the treatment, anxiety reducing copy is inserted in close proximity to the call to
action to reassure expi...
#webclinic
PRINCIPLE #4:
Layer Incentive
#webclinic
• In the control, there is additional reason to upgrade at the time of expiration
PRINCIPLE 4: LAYER INCENTIVE
#webclinic
• In the treatment, a special one-time incentive is presented as a thank you at the time
of expiration
PRINCIPL...
#webclinic
PRINCPLE #1: Sustain value
PRINCPLE #2: Leverage urgency
PRINCIPLE #3: Anticipate concerns
PRINCIPLE #4: Layer ...
#webclinic
Live Optimization
#webclinic
Joe Pulizzi
Founder
Content Marketing Institute
KEYNOTE SPEAKERS
Flint McGlaughlin
Managing Director and CEO
ME...
#webclinic
MECLABS conducts rigorous experiments in the new science of optimization.
We apply our discoveries to help lead...
#webclinic
Live Optimization
Primary objective(s):
Trial conversion and sales
conversion
Primary audience:
People interest...
#webclinic
Arbor Day Foundation
Live Optimization
Primary objective(s):
Convert to free trial
Primary audience:
Businesses...
#webclinic
Live Optimization
Primary objective(s):
Convert viewers to sign up
for a free account
Primary audience:
Job see...
#webclinic
Log My Calls
Live Optimization
Primary objective(s):
Lead Generation
Primary audience:
Businesses searching for...
#webclinic
Live Optimization
Cisco – WebEx
Primary objective(s):
Customer enrollment
Primary audience:
Businesses hosting ...
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Converting Free Trials to Paid Customers: How the right message at the right time generated a 68% lift in free trial conversion

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Recent experiments reveal 2 common design mistakes can kill microsite conversion rates

Many marketers agree microsites, in general, are an effective approach to connect prospects with a specific offer or product line. However, the process of designing a microsite uncovers many questions as it relates to ensuring an ROI:

• How many different audiences can I really serve?
• What is the optimal number of products/offers I can show?
• Is it possible to have too much design or copy?
• How should the microsite connect to the overall sales funnel?

In this Web clinic, Flint McGlaughlin, Managing Director, MECLABS, will uncover recent research revealing two often overlooked design decisions that have a significant impact on a microsite’s conversion rate potential.

**PLUS: Live Optimization**

To help you apply the research covered during the Web clinic, time will be reserved for live

Published in: Business, Technology, Design
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Transcript of "Converting Free Trials to Paid Customers: How the right message at the right time generated a 68% lift in free trial conversion"

  1. 1. Converting Free Trials to Paid Customers: How the right message at the right time generated a 68% lift in free trial conversion #webclinic
  2. 2. #webclinic JOIN THE CONVERSATION ON TWITTER #webclinic
  3. 3. #webclinic
  4. 4. #webclinic 4 TODAY’S PRESENTER Dr. Flint McGlaughlin – Managing Director, MECLABS Flint McGlaughlin is the Managing Director of MECLABS Group. The organization has partnered with key market leaders including The New York Times, Microsoft Corporation, and Reuters Group. Dr. McGlaughlin also serves as the Director of Enterprise Research at the Transforming Business Institute, University of Cambridge (UK), as the Chairman of the Board of Governors for St. Stephen’s University, and as a Trustee for Westminster Theological Centre. Dr. McGlaughlin originally studied Philosophy and Theology at the University of London’s Specialist Jesuit College. Today, his primary research is focused on enterprise as transformative agent. His work has won multiple awards and has been quoted in more than 13,000 online and offline sources.
  5. 5. #webclinic An Experiment
  6. 6. #webclinic EXPERIMENT SERIES: BACKGROUND Background: An online, do-it-yourself website creation and team management software for sports coaches, parents, and league administrators Goal: To increase free-trial conversions and post free-trial upgrades Common Research Question: Which page will yield the greatest revenue per visitor? Common Test Design: A/B Variable Cluster test Experiment ID: TP1420, TP1508-9, TP1512 Record Location: MECLABS Research Library Research Partner: [Protected] Research Notes:
  7. 7. #webclinic EXPERIMENT SERIES: BACKGROUND Free Trial Timeline During Free Trial After Free Trial End of Free Trial
  8. 8. #webclinic EXPERIMENT SERIES: BACKGROUND During Free Trial After Free Trial End of Free Trial Free Trial Timeline
  9. 9. #webclinic PRE-EXPIRATION: CONTROL
  10. 10. #webclinic PRE-EXPIRATION: CONTROL
  11. 11. #webclinic PRE-EXPIRATION: TREATMENT
  12. 12. #webclinic PRE-EXPIRATION: TREATMENT
  13. 13. #webclinic PRE-EXPIRATION: TREATMENT
  14. 14. #webclinic PRE-EXPIRATION: SIDE-BY-SIDE Version A Version B
  15. 15. #webclinic PRE-EXPIRATION: RESULTS Design Conv. Rate Revenue/Visit Version A 6.37% $2.69 Version B 7.55% $4.51 Relative Difference 18.43% 67.6% 68% Increase in Trial Conversion Revenue/Visit The treatment page increased free trial conversion revenue per visit by 67.6%
  16. 16. #webclinic EXPERIMENT SERIES: BACKGROUND During Free Trial After Free Trial End of Free Trial Free Trial Timeline 68% 
  17. 17. #webclinic AT-EXPIRATION: CONTROL
  18. 18. #webclinic AT-EXPIRATION: TREATMENT
  19. 19. #webclinic AT-EXPIRATION: TREATMENT Keep using limited basic Note: This link only appears when the checkbox above is selected by the user
  20. 20. #webclinic AT-EXPIRATION: SIDE-BY-SIDE Control Treatment
  21. 21. #webclinic AT-EXPIRATION: RESULTS Design Conv. Rate Revenue/Visit Version A 8.74% $5.65 Version B 12.48% $6.50 Relative Difference 42.77% 15.13% 43% Increase in Trial Conversions The treatment page increased free trial conversions by 42.77%
  22. 22. #webclinic EXPERIMENT SERIES: BACKGROUND During Free Trial After Free Trial End of Free Trial Free Trial Timeline 68%  43% 
  23. 23. #webclinic AFTER-EXPIRATION: CONTROL
  24. 24. #webclinic AFTER-EXPIRATION: TREATMENT
  25. 25. #webclinic AFTER-EXPIRATION: SIDE-BY-SIDE Control Treatment
  26. 26. #webclinic AFTER-EXPIRATION: RESULTS Design Conv. Rate Revenue/Visit Version A 1.74% $1.06 Version B 3.69% $3.21 Relative Difference 112.1% 202.6% 203% Increase in upgrade revenue per visit The treatment page increased upgrade revenue per visit by 202.6%
  27. 27. #webclinic EXPERIMENT SERIES: BACKGROUND During Free Trial After Free Trial End of Free Trial Free Trial Timeline 68%  43%  203% In sum, the complete test series increased total free-trial conversion revenue by 63% and average order value by 27% 
  28. 28. #webclinic Why do free trials work? When are they most effective? KEY QUESTION
  29. 29. #webclinic FKey Principles 1. As we have said elsewhere1, our goal as marketers is to “build” cognitive momentum. We are not simply building marketing campaigns, but rather mental velocity. 2. However, there are certain offers in which the potential cognitive momentum built in the marketing channels and/or website is limited. In these cases, it takes an experience of the product to clearly understand the value of the product enough to overcome the inherent resistance. WHY DO FREE TRIALS WORK 1. Reducing Cart Abandonment (Web Clinic), MarketingExperiments, June 20, 2013 Page Templates that Work (Web Clinic), MarketingExperiments, July 5, 2013
  30. 30. #webclinic Velocity Needed for Conversion Marketing Channels Website Product Trial Call-to-Action Conversion Experience Progression CognitiveVelocity Marketing Channels Website Call-to-Action PATH 2: PATH 1: PATH 1 does not include a free trial PATH 2 integrates a free trial THE POTENTIAL OF PRODUCT TRIALS Conversion Gap
  31. 31. #webclinic WHY DO FREE TRIALS WORK • However, as we saw in the previous case study, simply adding a product trial will not produce the cognitive momentum required for conversion without a proper messaging strategy. 40% 30% 67% Original Free Trial Messaging vs. optimized
  32. 32. #webclinic Today, we are going to walk through 4 key principles we learned from this series of tests about the messaging surrounding a free product trial TODAY’S FOCUS
  33. 33. #webclinic PRINCIPLE #1: Sustain Value
  34. 34. #webclinic In the control… • Expired features are only given single-line text descriptions • A text call to action link is used PRINCIPLE 1: SUSTAIN VALUE
  35. 35. #webclinic PRINCIPLE 1: SUSTAIN VALUE In the treatment… • An interstitial with more space to sell is created • Existing text is inserted and additional bullets are added to clarify value • Images are added to also clarify value • The call to action is larger, sequenced
  36. 36. #webclinic PRINCIPLE 1: SUSTAIN VALUE The treatments also increase value force by three types of content adjustments… 1. Evidence 2. Explanation 3. Inspiration
  37. 37. #webclinic PRINCIPLE #2: Leverage Urgency
  38. 38. #webclinic In the control… • The copy does not clearly communicate an immediate loss • The call to action position and copy encourages someone to choose Basic PRINCIPLE 2: LEVERAGE URGENCY
  39. 39. #webclinic In the treatment… • Copy emphasizes the loss in a point-first written style • The call to action setup and copy communicate a clear expectation for a non-upgrade decision PRINCIPLE 2: LEVERAGE URGENCY Keep using limited basic
  40. 40. #webclinic PRINCIPLE #3: Anticipate Concerns
  41. 41. #webclinic • In the control, visitors discover that they can’t access their data and there is no copy addressing what has happened to it PRINCIPLE 3: ANTICIPATE CONCERNS They expect this…And get this instead…
  42. 42. #webclinic • In the treatment, anxiety reducing copy is inserted in close proximity to the call to action to reassure expired users that data and functionality will come back immediately PRINCIPLE 3: ANTICIPATE CONCERNS
  43. 43. #webclinic PRINCIPLE #4: Layer Incentive
  44. 44. #webclinic • In the control, there is additional reason to upgrade at the time of expiration PRINCIPLE 4: LAYER INCENTIVE
  45. 45. #webclinic • In the treatment, a special one-time incentive is presented as a thank you at the time of expiration PRINCIPLE 4: LAYER INCENTIVE
  46. 46. #webclinic PRINCPLE #1: Sustain value PRINCPLE #2: Leverage urgency PRINCIPLE #3: Anticipate concerns PRINCIPLE #4: Layer incentive SUMMARY: 4 KEY PRINCIPLES FOR CONVERTING TRIALS
  47. 47. #webclinic Live Optimization
  48. 48. #webclinic Joe Pulizzi Founder Content Marketing Institute KEYNOTE SPEAKERS Flint McGlaughlin Managing Director and CEO MECLABS Visit MECLABS.com/LGKeynote Ninan Chacko CEO PR Newswire
  49. 49. #webclinic MECLABS conducts rigorous experiments in the new science of optimization. We apply our discoveries to help leaders optimize the financial performance of their sales and marketing programs. Learn more about how you may be a fit for a MECLABS research partnership: • Select Research Partnership Opportunities on the post- webinar survey • Contact us directly info@MECLABS.com 1-877-635-0565 How To Apply for a Research Partnership x
  50. 50. #webclinic Live Optimization Primary objective(s): Trial conversion and sales conversion Primary audience: People interested in learning a new language URL: http://bit.ly/14dXRpZ Memolife
  51. 51. #webclinic Arbor Day Foundation Live Optimization Primary objective(s): Convert to free trial Primary audience: Businesses shopping for wholesale coffee URL: http://bit.ly/13vz6hO
  52. 52. #webclinic Live Optimization Primary objective(s): Convert viewers to sign up for a free account Primary audience: Job seekers and recruiters URL: http://bit.ly/1aT2EMC Joberator.com
  53. 53. #webclinic Log My Calls Live Optimization Primary objective(s): Lead Generation Primary audience: Businesses searching for call tracking software URL: http://bit.ly/12BTS5p
  54. 54. #webclinic Live Optimization Cisco – WebEx Primary objective(s): Customer enrollment Primary audience: Businesses hosting virtual meetings URL: http://bit.ly/17bBQ63
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