Two of the most popular revenue models among web services are freemium and free trial. In the freemium model, there is a free version of the product that users can use for an unlimited amount of time. The catch with freemium is that there are limited features available in the free version as opposed to the premium version, which has all the features the product has to offer.
On the other hand, the free trial model usually offers all the features from the start. The catch is that there is a limited amount of time to use the product. After the free trial period, users must purchase or subscribe to be able to continue using the product.
A customer who just started using a product as a free version or in free trial must be guided in their use of the product. In addition, users must be informed of the benefits of going for the paid version.
Customer lifecycle emails are an important strategy to help free trial and freemium users get through the stage of trying out your product by empowering them with tutorials, free trial extensions, or even in some cases, discounts.
Here are four reasons why you should incorporate lifecycle emails into your free trial and freemium revenue models:
1. Lifecycle Emails are Great Onboarding Tools
The first and topmost priority of lifecycle emails is to help a user navigate through all the essential features your product or service has to offer (i.e. to understand the product in context). This can be done by sending new customers “Getting Started” tutorials, tips in using the product, use cases, and industry information.
One important goal that many lifecycle emails overlook is to help free users understand whether the product fits their needs or not. It is always a good business ethic to let people know whether their needs are misaligned with your solution instead of forcing on users that your product is aligned with their needs.
2. Lifecycle Emails Encourage Customer Retention
A product with good customer retention (i.e. a satisfactory percentage of active users using the product for a considerable amount of time) usually leads to a good conversion rate of free users to paid users.
Use lifecycle emails to encourage inactive users to become active again, to keep active users continuously using the product, and to offer a free trial extension for users who are near the end of the free trial period or are still in the process of learning about your product.