The difference between a good and great free trial landing page can be the difference between getting one hundred vs a thousand signups a week.
In this article, we're going to break down everything you need to know in order to build a word-class free trial landing page.
First Off, Why Have a Free Trial Landing Page?
Now this may sound like a silly question but hear me out. Your free trial landing page serves two purposes.
Most people get the first purpose but miss the second purpose.
The first purpose of your free trial landing page is to get someone to sign up.
Now, most people stop here.
The second purpose of your free trial landing page is to get people excited to use your product.
This can't be missed.
Your product likely has some hoops that they have to do before they can experience the value of your product so it's up to us to make sure that we're motivating and reminding users why it's worth sticking around to figure out the product.
Now, that we know the two main purposes of a free trial landing page, let's dig into what elements go into a successful free trial landing page that converts.
Elements of a Great Free Trial Landing Page
Must Have Elements:
- The minimum number of fields required to setup an account (aka email & password)
- A good call-to-action button
- Terms of service agreement
- A compelling value proposition
- Social proof (logos of customers, number of customers, text or video testimonials, etc)
- Single sign in options (i.e. login with Google)
- Handles common objections (i.e. no credit card required)
- 3 or 4 bullet points reminding people of what they're going to get from signing up
- Chat button
- A link to login (i.e. Already using appcues? Log in here →)
- Demo overview video
- Fun micro copy (i.e. what you say when someone gets an error)
- Question (i.e. What are you hoping to accomplish with Clearbit? or How did you hear about us?)
- The number of steps left in the signup process
- Progress bar
- Form field checkmarks when people put in the right kind of information
- Password tips (i.e. password must be at least 8 characters and contain at least one capital letter, one lower case letter, and one number.)
Now, there's a big gap between what you must have and what is nice-to-have. As much as it'd be nice to give you a cookie cutter template that has everything you need to succeed, I might be doing you more of a disservice than a help.
Let's say you're a startup and not many people know about your brand, having social proof on your landing page might be the difference between people signing up or taking a hike.
Or if you're a Gmail plugin, having a Single Sign In option that allows you to easily create an account with your Google account might be a must-have.
Every business has it's own unique requirements, so before I share some examples of great free trial landing pages, keep in mind that every "shiny object" that looks cool might not be a required for you to build a kickass free trial landing page.
Let's dig into some great examples!
27+ Incredible Free Trial Page Examples
Zendesk's Free Trial
Loom's Free Trial
Vidyard's Free Trial
Intercom's Free Trial
Slack's Free Trial
Klipfolio's Free Trial
Appcues's Free Trial
Netlify's Free Trial
Smartlook's Free Trial
Userleap's Free Trial
Wistia's Free Trial
Soapbox's Free Trial
Notion's Free Trial
Buffer's Free Trial
Heap's Free Trial
Wave's Free Trial
ConvertKit's Free Trial
Lucidchart's Free Trial
Drift's Free Trial
Close's Free Trial
Chargebee's Free Trial
Litmus's Free Trial
Clearbit's Free Trial
Chargify's Free Trial
ProductPlan's Free Trial
Userlist's Free Trial
Two Typical User Journeys
After going through dozens of free trial experiences, I started to notice a pattern.
The majority looked something like Smartlook's free trial page. It was short, to the point, and was solely focused on getting you into the product.
However, there were a few others that took you directly to the pricing page once you clicked "Get Started." LucidCharts, Intercom, Litmus and Sproutsocial all did this.
Hard to say without talking to them but I imagine they are trying to use the price to disqualify users who might not be able to afford a $99+ plan.
With that said, I can understand why Intercom, Litmus & Sprout Social would do this with that line of reasoning. Yet, LucidCharts does it with a product that sells for about $7 a month so maybe there's another reason they do it beyond that. I'll ask them, but until then I'll keep you wondering in suspense. 😈
Now, to recap everything we've covered so far I want to challenge you to optimize for a particular game.
3 Games To Optimize For On Your Free Trial Landing Page
Although the primary purpose of a free trial landing page is to get people to sign up for our product, knowing which game you're optimizing for will help you make certain tradeoffs that will benefit your business in the long term while potentially making no sense in the short term.
The Three Games
Game 1: Conversion
If this is the game you're trying to play, you must strip out everything on your free trial landing page that doesn't help people convert as easily as possible. This might mean you stop asking for your user's phone number, mailing address, or even their Social Security Number. You get the point.
Typically you'll play the game of conversion when you're in hypergrowh and trying to scale as fast as possible.
Game 2: Understanding
When you're playing the game of understanding you care more about understanding what makes your users "tick" than driving as many of these users through your funnel as possible.
It's a great tradeoff to make if you're pre-product market fit or don't have a good handle on who your Ideal Customer Profiles are as a business. By taking this approach you may decide that you need to introduce additional friction in order to support and understand your users in the long run.
Yet, this additional friction doesn't necessarily have to be a bad thing for the user. If you've signed up for Notion.so, they ask you all kinds of questions, but once you finally get into the product it's customized to you as a user so it doesn't feel like a waste of time.
For a good example of this in action, check out ConvertKit's free trial and the questions they ask you before you can even sign up.
Game 3: Quality
If you're dealing with a high noise to signal ratio when it comes to users signing up for your product, you may proactively add more friction or steps in an effort to reduce the flow of leads.
Typically most product-led companies will do this when they don't yet have a good Product Qualified Lead metric to score users and accounts. Or maybe they want to make sure that users who sign up for their free trial know that at the end of the trial they have to pay them a good chunk of change. You can see that Intercom, Litmus, and Sprout Social all took this path.
Never Stop Testing
As we wrap up, I challenge you to never stop testing. Your free trial landing page is one of the most valuable pages on your entire website. Treat it as such and you're going to see the benefits!
Also, if you'd like to dig deeper on what to do once someone has signed up for your free trial, make sure to check out our Definitive Guide to User Onboarding Blog Post.
Now, I'm curious. What is your favorite free trial landing page? Feel free to drop in the comments below.