Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Tips to Convert Free Users to Premium Users

In the online world, conversion of a customer from a “free” version to a paying one maybe one of the hardest challenges that online businesses face.  Fortunately, it is possible.  And so, the question is:  how can one persuade free users to upgrade into premium users?

Firstly, if you’re providing a free trial - then you have to make sure that you actually have good products.  If not, unfortunately, there is a very small chance of a customer buying it after his trial period ends.

On the other hand, if you have those initial free trial versions and also offer subsequent premium offers - here are some tips that you can use to increase conversion:

Stop promoting free products and services


This is not so hard when you have a set of satisfied clientele.  And this is because customers who are already hooked on your products will tend to avail of your services, regardless if they have to pay some amount of money.

If your website offers both premium and free versions, there is that 50%-50% chance that some will only remain with your free version.  Unfortunately, these clients who are not converted as premium users do not really pay anything – which means that you can continue your business without them.

Remember that your target here is to create a market of paying customers.  Hence, instead of offering endless freebies - you can create some add-ons and features on your products in order to entice customers to avail of your premium versions.

For example, you can have a membership features in your services, where premium customers get to login to check out for updates, promos and discounts – which is an extra edge compared to those using just free versions.  In addition, you can also use a strong “call to action” to entice more customers to sign-up.

Provide multiple options to your customers


To convert a customer into a paying one, you will likewise need to provide multiple options such as payments, diverse products, order options, sign-up options and delivery options.

Imagine this scenario:  even if you already have your own market and clientele who want to avail of your premium version, but you don’t entertain payments with PayPal, or don’t send products outside the USA, or you only allow memberships with Gmail accounts – then this will mean a limited market despite the big potential.  In other words, the more payment options – the bigger chance of sale.

Provide clear and honest pricing


Websites that provide clear pricing with their products tend to have higher conversion rates.  And this is because you can always attach a page in your website or a link which will direct customer to a price list page.  Through this, your customer will be able to compare the value of being a premium member and remaining as a free member.

Another thing: if the information on your page says $4.99 - don’t charge your customer with $5, or with additional hidden charges such as for insurance and security.  Why?  Because this will only give out the wrong signal.

It would also help if check out competing websites and compare prices with them.  And if you find that you can still earn even if you drop a few dollars on your product then go ahead with it. However, if you feel that though your product is a bit expensive - but what you offer is far superior then keep your prices. What matters most is that customers are aware of your prices and the value of your products.  Bear in mind that customers who value quality tend to do business longer.

Provide upgrade options


Well you really can’t win them all. So, if you can’t persuade them to be a premium user - you can at least provide some upgrades that these individual will be paying a small amount of money for, like for example upgraded features, perks, etc.

Create the “want”


Free users don’t know what they are missing unless you tell them.  Hence, create an ad campaign that will attract the attention of your free users.  Afterwards, provide the want, so that they’ll know what they’re missing.

Also, promote your premium versions aggressively.  Don’t pay too much attention on just promoting your free versions.  Create PR campaigns by providing free tours on your premium membership pages, in order to give visitors a view as to what they are getting if they do sign-up.

These are just some of the things to consider when you want to convert your free users into paying ones.  In the long run, what is essential is that you are able to make your clients happy – in order for you to be happy as well.

Image by Flickr

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