Educator Resources

Five reasons to try out free trials

Spring is in the air and families are ready to try something new. For children’s activity businesses, this is prime time to put activities front and center for potential customers to discover what your programming is all about. If you haven’t offered trials before or have concerns about offering something for free, we’re here to help! 

Sawyer’s free trial feature allows you to offer trials for scheduled activities and give parents a low risk way of finding the right fit for their child. By offering free trials, you’re one step closer to turning new customers into lifelong fans. 

Here are the top 5 reasons to give free trials a try:

1. Boost activities with lower enrollment

Usually at the start of a session, activities that are scheduled for certain days and times may need a little more time to generate interest. Toggle the trial feature on during the first few weeks of an activity to generate enrollment where you need it most. Turn trials off once your enrollment is closer to your overall capacity to prevent overcrowding or overbooking with time. 

2. Test interest in new offerings

Thinking of trying something new but not sure how customers will respond? Gauge demand in new offerings by leveraging trial spots for new customers or by extending trials for your existing customer base as an incentive to try something new and give you feedback. Learn more about how to extend trials to existing customers

3. Increase customer acquisition

The stats don’t lie! Having a clear call to action (CTA) for both purchasing and booking a free trial on your website, helps your business grow. In 2020, the top search on the Sawyer Marketplace was ‘free’ and led to high order conversions. Almost half of marketplace users take a free activity at participating provider locations. Keep in mind, if you’re not offering free trials, you may run the risk of being left out of the options for parents to consider. 

4. Grow your customer list over time

Remember, families are often in transition — relocating, having new children, embarking on new careers, managing changing schedules, and changing interests over time. If your customer list isn’t growing, you may need to consider ways to increase sign up rates! Offering trials gives you a low cost and efficient way to acquire new customers. With Sawyer, you can track customer growth over time with the customer insights dashboard allows you to track customer growth over time. 

5. Incentive purchases

Be thoughtful about your business’s trial experience and the ways you follow up with free trial customers. Even if your program is a great fit for a family, they may need a little nudge to convert to a paying customer. Once you’ve configured trials for your business, make sure to use our trial reports, automated follow up email, or our newest Zapier integration to create a conversion strategy and goals for your business. Learn how to increase your trial class conversion rate with these helpful tips and tricks.

Are free trials right for my business? 

Have you ever received a free trial offer for a streaming service? What about a free sample from a beauty brand? At the gym, have you ever taken advantage of a free first visit or personal training session? Trials are standard practice across many service industries and the reality is that customers like to try a product or experience before they buy. When considering new enrichment education options for their children, parents look to businesses that offer a way for them to try something new without the risk of purchasing a full session or series that their little one may not find appealing over time. 

Will offering something for free discourage paying customers?

You may not be offering free options out of concern for impacting your paid customer sign up rates. In a study done by GetResponse, they found that adding a ‘Free Trial’ button on a website will increase sign up rates by up to 158%, and boosted click rates by almost 47% without having a negative impact on overall purchase rates. Additionally, adding trial options to websites helps businesses increase user data by giving a lower barrier to collect key customer information such as email addresses, child name, and birthday. This info can be used for a variety of targeted marketing outreach in the future. 

Do free trials really convert to paying customers?

Yes! We recently analyzed 2.3 million bookings across Sawyer partners and found that at least 30% of trial customers converted to a paid booking. On average, it can take 30-40 days to successfully convert trials. Don’t be discouraged if it takes a bit of time to woo customers  into making a purchase. With a thoughtful communication strategy and incentives to test for this audience, they’ll be more likely to say yes to coming back to your business. 

We hope you’re ready to give trials a try! With a few easy steps, you’ll be on your way to acquiring new customers, increasing enrollment, and growing your business and customer list over time. 

For the top 2020 trends and insights on free trial conversion, download your copy of Sawyer’s Children’s Activity Business Report today! 

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