Converting Trial Users with Onboarding Tools

My most extensive onboarding strategy to date has involved sending an automated welcome email upon trial signup. From there, I pretty much let customers sink or swim.

I would reply to any contact form submission, and I have occasionally looked at error logs to see if I could help a new user get past a bug. But I never put in the effort to automate an onboarding flow or emails beyond the initial signup to keep users engaged.

With a modest, but steady flow of signups to, I thought it would be a good experiment to try some of these things, because conversions from trial to paid are pretty low.

I've seen heavy use of Intercom, and praise for their offerings, but also the hight cost. I wanted to find some options with a free tier that I would currently fit in, but if it works, I will certainly pay justifiable costs.

###Product Tour

I found for product tours. I wanted a tool that would highlight and explain the important features of getting started with TimelineTool successfully. Their drag-and-drop editor and Chrome extension for identifying page elements and testing was super easy. I got everything set up within a couple hours.

Now, each new user will be present with an option to start a tour on their first visit. After that, they won't be bothered by it.

###Trial Email Sequence

Second, I wanted to send more than just a welcome email. TimelineTool has a two-week free trial. If a user continued to use the app through the trial, they would be suddenly be directed to a trial-expired page and unable to use the app without subscribing. So I wanted to offer some nudges to subscribe to the discounted yearly plan throughout the trial, offer some tips, and encourage feedback. And, lastly, let them know their trial has expired after the last day.

I found for this onboarding email campaign. Setup was pretty straightforward. Once I created each email and established the flow and timing in their app, I dropped their API into my code to trigger the email sequence for new registrations.

Both of these services have generous free plans that I can likely use for a while. I should be able to fairly easily see if this impacts conversions. If it does, both offerings have reasonable paid plans that would certainly be worth it if I begin seeing results that would bump up against the free plan limitations or to get some additional features if I wanted to expand their use.

I would recommend and out of the gate. Register for TimelineTool if you want to see how I implemented these tools.

I'll report back with some findings later.