Offering trials is a great way to introduce individuals to your community before asking them to commit to a full-priced membership. If your membership program delivers significant value, trials can serve as a powerful tool in converting hesitant prospects into satisfied customers!
With Memberful, you can provide both free and paid trials for any of your membership plans, and our trials metric empowers you to track and assess their effectiveness.
In this help doc:
- How do trials work?
- What counts as a trial?
- How are trials tracked?
- How do I learn more about trials?
- How should I use this metric?
How do trials work?
Memberful offers two types of trials — free and paid. Free trials allow someone to try your membership program for free for a limited time (e.g. 30 days free). Paid trials are similar, but the member does have to pay a price to start the trial, usually a much lower price (e.g. $1 for 30 days).
With free trials, you can choose whether to require a credit card or not. If you don’t require a credit card, the member will be reminded to add a card one week before the trial ends. If you do require a credit card, we won’t need to get them to enter a credit card during the trial, they’ll be reminded that their trial is coming to an end and they will be charged. Learn how to customize these email notifications.
The trials metric shows you valuable data you can use to ensure that your trials are converting as many trial members as possible into paying members.
What counts as a trial?
Here’s how we track trials:
When a member starts a free or paid trial If it's for a recurring plan The number of trials is increased
Trials for one-time payment plans are not included in the trials metric since these are meant to help you assess the long-term health of your business, which comes from recurring subscriptions.
Here’s how we track trial conversions:
When a member on a free or paid trial starts paying for any recurring plan The number of trial conversions is increased And the trial conversion rate is increased
Trial conversions are counted regardless of which plan the member buys. For example, if a member begins a trial for Plan A and at the end of the trial they purchase Plan B instead, this will be counted as a trial conversion.
We calculate the metrics for the day before at midnight UTC. Today's metrics will only be available at midnight UTC.
How are trials tracked?
The activities that impact this metric are the following five segments and indicator:
- Starting: Members with an active trial at the start of the month
- New: Members who started a trial during the month
- Converted: Members who started a recurring payment when their trial ended
- Expired: Members who didn’t start a recurring payment when their trial ended
- Active: Members with an active trial at the end of the month
- Trial conversion rate: Percentage of ended trials that converted
How do I learn more about trials?
Navigate to Analytics → Metrics → Trials in your Memberful dashboard.
The trials graph will show data across previous months (including the current, partially complete month), defaulting to the last 12 months. You can also show the last 3 months or the last 6 months, and advance or rewind the current view of months.
Hover over any column in the chart to see a breakdown of trial activity during that month.
Underneath the graph, we display the same data on a table, showing individual data segments by calendar month.
Click the value in any cell to view a list of the individual data points (i.e. members) that make up that total for that month. Additionally, you have the option to export the list.
This metric counts trial conversions to any paid plan. There is no plan comparison view for trials since trial conversions aren’t attributed to specific plans.
How should I use this metric?
The number of new trials that were started in a given month can be helpful to monitor the performance of your marketing initiatives.
However, the most important indicator for trials is the trial conversion rate. This metric shows how many members are choosing to continue with a recurring subscription after going through one of your trials. You’ll want the trial conversion rate to be as high as possible.
A low trial conversion rate could indicate one of three things:
- Your membership isn’t delivering enough value to justify paying a regular subscription.
- The price for your recurring subscription is deemed too high by your target audience.
- These trial members might not belong to the right target audience for your subscription.
How do I increase my trial conversion rate?
Add valuable benefits to your membership
Make sure your membership is offering benefits that are highly valuable to your target audience (whether they’re paying or on a trial).
Pay special attention to members on a trial
Make sure your trial members are getting a TON of value during the trial. Even if your core membership offering is excellent, it's crucial to pay extra attention to members who are on a trial. This period will define whether they become regular subscribers or not.
Find the right pricing and billing frequency
If your pricing is deemed too high by your trial members, they won’t convert to recurring members even if your membership delivers a ton of value. Billing frequency is another factor that can affect how your pricing is perceived.
Attract the right target audience
When you’re offering a low-barrier-to-entry product like a free trial or a paid trial with a low price, it’s possible to get many registrations from folks that don’t belong to your target audience. In your marketing efforts, fine-tune your targeting to attract the right kinds of people to your trial. Trials should ideally attract the same kind of person that would buy your paid memberships; you’re just giving them an easier way to try out the membership.
Related help docs:
- Set up a free or paid trial.
- Learn about the other metrics that we track.
- Export metrics data from the Memberful dashboard.