Free trials are a catalyst of growth for many software companies. In fact, six in ten free trials convert to paid subscriptions, which makes them an extremely effective nurturing tool. But to achieve this growth, it’s important to utilize the right channels to publicize your free trial offer.

One of the first pieces of information companies will request from a website visitor is their email address. This makes sense - 91% of people use email, making it an effective form of communication between brand and consumer. In fact, 79% of B2B marketers credit email as the most effective distribution channel for demand generation efforts.

Here’s how you can use email to convert more recipients into free trial users:

Segment Your List

With such a wide range of users in the tech industry, it’s crucial to separate your users based on their needs. Your emails need to resonate with your recipients, sparking their interest and driving them to take the next step. For example, you can set up lists based on user engagement. For active users, you can craft a longer email, filled with advanced information about your product. On the other hand, inactive users may react better to incentives, such as a free eBook that correlates with their trial offer.

By segmenting your lists, you’ll influence users and boost clicks through highly relevant content. In fact, click-through rates are 65% higher with segmented lists. Therefore, segmenting is the first step toward an effective email offer.


Optimize Your Subject Lines

If your email goes unopened, you miss the chance to persuade your audience to try your software. To boost open rates, start with creative subject lines.

For example, including the word “free” can be a great way to pique a reader’s interest. Also, making the email sound excusive to the individual will boost open rates. In fact, using a personal name attached with an enticing message can increase open rates by 35%. For instance, “Free Offer Just for You, (Name)!” sounds more appealing than one that says, “Our New Marketing Software is Here!”

Keep in mind that subject lines that are successful for one company may fall flat for another. Your audience is specific to your brand, so it’s crucial to figure out what appeals to them. This is where A/B testing comes into play. Testing your subject lines and optimizing the language over time can help you to get to know your audience better and achieve more opens.

Enhance Emails with Videos


You can also enhance your emails with videos. Not only will this become an educational, interactive experience for your viewers, you’ll see some major results. In fact, adding video to your email can increase click through rates by 300%.

You can take advantage of video by adding product demos in your emails that give a brief, high-level overview of what a consumer would be getting with their free trial. If you just released a new security system, show your recipients the ins and outs of how it’s used in an office space. By showing your viewers what to expect from the product, they’ll be more likely to sign up to try it out for themselves.

Use Clear CTAs

Calls-to-action are critical to successful emails; they compel users to take the actions that are most valuable to your brand.

In order to establish an effective call-to-action, be sure to use clear language that defines exactly what users can expect once they click the button. For example, “Start Your Free Trial” tells users precisely what they can expect upon clicking the button. “See for Yourself,” on the other hand, may leave users feeling confused about where the button will lead them. Will it start the trial or lead them to more information?

By keeping CTA verbiage clear and concise, you’ll effectively communicate your offer and drive more free trial sign-ups.

Set an Email Cadence

Be sure to set an optimized cadence for your email campaign. The day and time your emails are sent can greatly affect open rates. In fact, Tuesday is the best day of the week to send an email with 20% more opens than other days. In addition, the best times to send an email are 10AM and from 8PM to midnight. By following the recommended days and times, you’ll set an effective cadence that will boost your chances of another trial user.    


In the saturated software market, it can be difficult to separate your products from the rest and entice loyal software users to try something new. Just because a sign-up is “free,” doesn’t mean it’ll persuade your users to give your company a chance.

By sending targeted emails to the right users at the right time, you can increase free trial sign ups and seize the opportunity to show consumers why your software is superior. By utilizing email as your go-to channel, you’ll be one step closer to another paying customer. 

How have you been utilizing your email? Let us know on LinkedIn! 

The Ultimate Guide for Best Practices in High-Tech Web Design