Do you have too many free trial or freemium users to have your inside sales team focus on each one? In one sense, its a nice problem to have... better than the alternative.  But having many free users is of little benefit if you are unable to convert them to paying customers.   How best to do that?

Focus on those who are most engaged with your web service

You need to focus on the best prospects.  

This means free users or free trialists who:

  1. Represent the highest dollar value
  2. Are the most engaged with your service.  

Who represents the highest dollar value?

Sometimes this is easy to tell by the company name, level of plan that they are trialing (a good reason to have users come into a free trial at the level they are considering purchasing), or other direct information you are able to capture.

But even if these direct indications are lacking, you can predict the customer value.  Look at their behavior as free users.   Are they working with a large number of the key items managed by your service?   For example, a large number of users, machines, books, documents, traffic.  If you are able to design into the product additional features or modules that handle higher volumes, then you can segment freemium or free trial users by their use of these modules.

The better you can get a mapping future LTV (lifetime value) to current free trial and freemium users, the better job you can do converting the most lucrative customers.  

Who is the most engaged?

Unlike a mutual fund, when dealing with people and organizations, past behavior is the best indicator of future performance.  

So focus on free customers who are:

  • Using your service  (frequently, for a longer period of time)
  • Using your key features
  • Using more advanced features
  • Making your service a part of their life and workflow
  • Adopting it across the organization (if its B2B)

The best prospects are also those whose behavior pattern matches that of previous free  users who ended up converting to paying customers.  Analyze your successes and use that insight to 

  • Prioritize your efforts to convert your current free uses
  • Encourage similar behavior from current users.  

Architect your service to encourage the ideal engaged behavior

Here is how Facebook rearchitected their product to encourage the right engaged behavior from their users.

“One of the key parts of operations is a ‘growth team,’ which is a centralized team Facebook set up to help its users stay connected an engaged. For example, Zuck said that through this team, the company found that members need to have at least ten friends to have enough content in the news feed to come back to the site. So Facebook reengineered the whole flow of the site when someone signs in to focus on having people find other people to connect with, so that people can get connected with friends (and meet that minimum) right away.”

To do this, Facebook needed to have collected the data, done the analysis, and gained the insight about engagement to understand that 10 friends was the key.  

Tools to understand customer engagement and act on it

Apptegic is a web service that enables you to understand, in detail, your customers’ engagement with your web service. You can use Apptegic to better convert your free users to paid customers.