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How to convert Mac App's trial users to paid customers using email

by Yaroslav Stepanenko on

User Flow

You know your Mac App is great and users love it. You set your key marketing goal on getting the right people to try it out. If the audience is well-selected, the conversion shouldn’t be a problem. Because when you like an app, you buy it, right? Not exactly. Actually, 85% of users drift away after signing up for a free trial. And it has little to do with your Mac App.

Converting trial users to paid customers take more than a good app. It takes a well-balanced combo of emails, remarketing, in-app communication campaigns, cross-sell/upsell campaigns, and quite a few other efforts.

We’ve got a long road of hits and misses, so we’ll share just the hits with you. Keep reading to learn some great, email strategies: 

Keys to converting your trial users to paid (with email)

  • Test it. Seriously, A/B test every email. Define a success metric for each test and master your analytic skills.
  • Segment  your app's users by engagement and app usage as much as you can. Don’t send out the same emails to trial users, paid users, and your blog subscribers.
  • Offer trial extensions. Not all of your users will realize that they want to buy your app during the time-limited trial.
  • Offer discounts to those who open “trial-ending” letters but didn’t convert.
  • Send follow-ups with different subject lines, headlines, and intro paragraphs to users who didn’t open the first email.
  • Don’t be afraid to be active, you’re not selling them cookies. They signed up for the trial and they expect to hear from you. One email won’t give you the conversion rates you want, no matter how well it’s written.
  • But! Don’t bore your app users with emails that give no new or useful information.
  • Collect feedback. Send a letter asking your users to “Tell us how to get better” to those who haven’t converted. If your users have actually considered paying, but didn’t, they might find a few moments to tell you why.

5 keep-in-minds when rereading your email

1. Write clearly, write simply.

Making yourself clear is paramount. Remember those emails from professors who promised to “prioritize evaluative procedures”? Well, don’t do that. Don’t try to sound like a robotic executive of an awfully boring business. Write like you speak. And always make sure you use the simplest, shortest words possible.

2. Headlines and buttons.

Being clear is not just about the copy, it’s also about the form. Remember, your two priorities are subject line and headline (if you have one). It’s 80 cents of your every dollar. If your email is witty and funny, but you choose an unfitting subject line or a confusing headline, your reader will bounce right there.

And use one CTA. Don’t spray around a dozen buttons with “Read more”, “Upgrade now” and “View other apps”. Each email should only have one purpose and one goal.

3. Be of use.

To catch a user you have to think like a user. Is your product complex? Give instructions. Does it have additional app features? Write about them. Tell them you’ll write them some more useful tips in the next emails, it increases open rates. Tell them what’s available in the trial version and what they will get with the full one. Each of your emails should have a clear value to the user.

4. Looks matter.

When it comes to design, you’ve got two options. First, a plain email. Nothing more than just friendly text, signed by an actual human, not #CompanyName. Second is making it look really good. If you have a talented designer on hand who knows exactly how an email should look, go for it. Just remember that a poorly designed email does much more harm than good.

5. Be human.

You probably have plenty of automated emails, such as “Thanks for subscription” and “Your payment has been successful.” Warm them up to create a connection with your user. “We’re glad to have you with us” or “Great, we’ve received your payment.” You’re happy they use your app, so let it show.

These are the basics of effective email marketing. Feel free to contact us  with any questions you may have.


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