Converting “Free” users to “Paid” users.

Just before Christmas one of my favorite service in the web crowdbooster.com announced they will discontinue their freemium model and will introduce paid only service. This is a tendency these days. I can notice couple of services abandoning their users for more money. Maybe this is a good approach, maybe not, the time will show.

Right now I am working with more than 1 mln free users on our freemium model and the challenge is of course to keep this model forever and we will. So how we can get some more money from this user?

Converting “Free” users to “Paid” users.

 

There are a lot of methodologies to use here, but I am not a fan of any of those. Ha ha, this is so me.

As you know I really like to mix things and I am using a 3-component campaign:

 

E-mail drilling + behavior recognition

 

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  • One e-mail every week during the campaign with the main campaign message  and a clear call for action: I am using Order now instead of Buy one, exception is of course a BOGO campaign, but now it stands for Buy One, Gift One.
  • Three days after the first wave I analyzed the user behavior and sent a different message to those that opened the campaign but didn’t click and for those that clicked on the link but didn’t buy the product.
  • Repeat the action for couple of weeks, but try to not duplicate the messages.
  • Use a different, but smart subject. I am using Wingdings  Unicode character coded into the subject. It makes miracles. Open rate was +1% just because of this.
  • I am using my own e-mail as a sender instead of “no-reply@” or “somethingboring@” The users prefer a real person, instead of Mr. No Reply Jr

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If it’s possible do not send the same message to all users. Try to separate them to different segments according to their activity on your website/service, location, habits or even culture.

Give them a reason to buy.

 

Internal website support

 

It’s not a secret that the e-mail marketing is not an effective way to make business these days. Most of the people are not reading their e-mails in the time when they have to or some of the messages go directly to the spam folder or are blocked because of the content.

I combine e-mail marketing with internal website messages, because we run a SAAS and we can do that. Some of the messages say “Go read your e-mail inbox”, some of them are linked directly to the landing page of the promotion.

I am changing the messages almost every day and this works very well.

 

Social media support

 

I know our community spends a lot of time in Social networks and that’s why оne of my components is social networks like Twitter, Edmodo and Facebook. No direct buy is requested, just informative campaign.

The campaign is focused on our current free users, I am not looking for new users with this campaign, that’s why I choose informative campaign in social media instead of pure “Order now” campaign.

 

Nice deals

 

Obviously our “free” users are happy with the product and do not want to buy, the question is that we want them to buy, so we have to offer them something really attractive:
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  • A discount deal, for those that don’t buy because of the price of the product
  • BOGO deal for those that want to buy more for their money
  • “What you are missing” – for those that do not understand the product and don’t know how to use it

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Anyway I am including “share the deal” functionality everywhere, because if a user is not interested in the deal, they can pass the ball to a colleague.

 

Metrics’n Tracking

 

I am measuring everything starting from user’s sentiment via online tools + customer satisfaction via RATER model, open rates, click rates, purchases, different channel behavior and many more. When you have the data, using a tool like geckoboard.com for example will show you in REAL TIME what is going with your campaign and if something went wrong, you can modify it in the fly. Priceless!

 

What’s next….

 

Do not discontinue the free service, most of the people count on it, try to monetize it instead, that’s the second part of this article, that will be published anytime soon.

2 thoughts on “Converting “Free” users to “Paid” users.

  1. Q.
    “Right now I am working with more than 1 mln free users on our freemium model and the challenge is of course to keep this model forever and we will. So how we can get some more money from this user?
    A. You give some “value” to this user.. isnt’it? So you can ask your user: “What is the fair price for the value you get from my site?” Copy the strategy of http://zootool.com/go-pro but, please, start from “0” $ price. So that, you get : 1) $; 2) A very interesting metrics about “value” = outcome, from your site user; 3) you don’t “brake” your community between paying and non-paying users. Then, Open a Bogo-Community-Project to http://www.kickstarter.com/ reserved to $ users. Maybe an ebook? Perhaps you can write it with them … you and them “togheter”? Site —> “You-Bogo” —> $ user —-> Ebooks written together —-> BogoCommunity :) One website, More Personas, One Community: togheter. :)

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