Looking for case studies on trial extension emails

Hi folks,

I’m currently writing an ebook on email marketing for SaaS businesses.

I’m pretty happy with the results so far, but am looking for someone who implemented trial extension emails into their app and can tell me about the results.
What I mean by “trial extension emails” is that during the trial you check whether a trial user is successful in adopting your app (e.g. created and got paid on 2 invoices, logged in 4 times, etc). If the user is NOT successful, you send them an email offering to extend their trial. This doesn’t have to be automated at all.

What is in it for you?

  • Mention of your app in the book
  • Video interview with you talking about your approach (optional)
  • (guest) post on the book’s website about your case study (optional)

I did that with Sifter. Depending on the amount of issues they had created I sent a modified message. For instance, with zero issues, I offered help or more time to try it, with only a couple of issues, I’d ask if there was something I could help with. You could really go pretty far with this and based it on when they last logged in, how much activity they had, etc.

I also had an automated plain text email from me personally that would auto-adjust the message based on their level of activity. It was automated, but it was sincere. Anytime someone replied to these, I would usually reply in about 10 minutes or less. In my experience, that’s the key with these kind of messages. If the email purports to be from the founder but then a customer service rep replies, it seems incredibly disingenuous.

I sold Sifter earlier this year, but I’d say that it definitely helped to tailor the messages to their level of engagement. Unfortunately, I don’t have any specific numbers because it was something I did several years ago, but I can objectively say that it helped on several levels. I received more questions and had more requests for trial extensions.

Based on my experience, I can anecdotally say that the more narrowly the messages are focused, the better the response rate. For example, with zero engagement, keep it simple. “Was something wrong? Do you need more time to try it out?” or if really active, “It looks like you’ve got the hang of it, so I just wanted to say hi and let you know I’m here if you ever need anything.”

Tangentially related, I just created this best practices guide for trial expiration emails. Not sure if it can help inspire some ideas, but it’s essentially a collection of ideas and lessons I learned over the years running Sifter.


@garrettdimon thanks for the link to your piece on trial expiration emails. We’re diving into this at Codetree right now and this is super helpful.

@itengelhardt We do the baby version at Codetree right now. We send a single email if they haven’t added a credit card during their trial (regardless of engagement). We haven’t collected data on it but anecdotally we do get a handful of people asking to extend their trials who end up converting after the longer trial.