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Nurture Marketing Series 4 of 4: Trial Nurture Marketing Campaign Best Practices for B2B Companies

Written by: Barbara Pfeiffer, The Partner Marketing Group

Nurture Marketing CycleThrough this series, you’ve learned what nurture marketing is, how to create a drip nurture campaign to stay top of mind and how to move a prospect through the sales process with trigger based nurture marketing campaigns. Now we will walk through how you can create trial nurture marketing campaigns to convert software trials to sales!

What is trial nurture marketing?

Although there are no hard and fast numbers, studies show that the number one reason for a failed software trial is lack of engagement after sign-up. In fact, you may even be part of those statistics. As a marketer, there are many tools available with a free trial and I personally have downloaded a few but never really checked out the product as I had planned.

Obviously, this type of campaign won’t apply to everyone, but if you do offer a product or software trial, the difference between conversion and failure may very well be a trial nurture marketing campaign.

What are key considerations when creating a trial nurture marketing campaign?

Timeframe. Trial nurture marketing campaigns have a defined timeline equal to the length of your trial (with some potential extra touches we’ll discuss a bit later). How many touches and how often is also driven by the trial length.

A 7 or 15-day trial will likely need a campaign that touches your user once a day or every other day. A longer trial, say 60 days, might have weekly touches. You need to find the balance between providing all the information they need to maximize their trial experience and being annoying.

Value. As with all other nurture marketing campaigns, you need to deliver value. With trials, however, the offers you are making and the information you are sharing has a very specific short-term purpose:

  1. Encourage active engagement
  2. Make it easier for trial participants to see the value of your software
  3. Make it easier for them to make the purchase decision

You can do this with a combination of content and content types, including:

  • Things to try, with step-by-step guidance (or a video snippet)
  • Evidence such as customer quotes and stories

The diagram below is a basic example of steps in a trial nurture campaign over 7 days.

Trial Nurture Marketing Campaign Steps

Trial Nurture Marketing Campaign Steps

Because trial nurture marketing is so condensed and because you run the risk of being irritating by sending too many touches, creativity can really help here. Short, creative, personal and engaging messages work best. Think about what you would do if you were guiding a client through a trial personally and bring as much of that into your messages as possible.

Campaign “Intelligence”

A key piece of delivering value is knowing how your prospect is interacting with your trial. I shared a sample campaign above, but you will probably have multiple versions of this depending on your trial’s level of engagement. For example, if someone has downloaded your trial but has never engaged with it, a note offering help to get them started would be more helpful than a customer story.

A Second Chance

Trial nurture marketing may be the only type of nurture campaign that needs its own nurture campaign!  A best practice with any trial program is a campaign to re-target any inactive trial users (those who, like me, signed up and then didn’t engage) with another opportunity to see your solution in action. This could be a video, a call with a screen share, or a webinar.

If your prospects have engaged but did not ultimately click the Buy Now button, understanding why is extremely valuable data – for product development, sales and marketing. Consider a short campaign to get feedback on why they didn’t purchase with a SHORT survey. You may need to offer something of value (like a small gift card) but the information you receive will be priceless. You will also likely find that some of those participants are still real prospects so you can continue to nurture them in a drip or lead campaign.

Need help building an effective trial nurture marketing campaign?

Trial campaigns are an excellent opportunity for software partners to convert trials to sales. If you need additional expertise to help you define your steps, strategize messaging and/or build out an entire ready-to-execute campaign from sign-up to sale—get in touch and let’s talk through some ideas and options.

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