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How to Increase Free Trial Reactivations? Zendesk Uses a T-Shirt Call to Action

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July 28, 2010

A lot of SaaS (software as a service) companies have 30 day free trials. In the subscription business, one of the primary ways to sign up new customers without breaking the marketing budget is increasing the conversion rate from trials to paying customers. But how?

Increasingly, companies are using sophisticated email marketing techniques like autoresponders and drip campaigns. When a trial expires, a specific email message can be triggered. But what’s an effective call-to-action likely to get readers to reactivate their trial and become a paying customer?

Helpdesk software company Zendesk sent me a email a few months after my trial expired. Not one, but two compelling offers! (1) reactivate for free and try our new plan, and (2) the first 25 reactivations receive a free zendesk T-shirt.

Zendesk Tshirt Call to Action

The double call-to-action is smart. Both CTA’s revolve around the free theme, but with different goals. Reactivate for free is their main goal. But the free t-shirt offer supports the main call to action in numerous ways:

  • It creates a sense of urgency. Only the first 25 reactivations get the shirt.
  • It helps shows the fun and playful side of Zendesk, a key ingredient in their Love Your Helpdesk message. Even if you’re not one of the first 25, or you don’t reactivate, you can’t help but think Zendesk is cool and fun based on their shirts!
  • If you’re on the fence about reactivating, a free shirt might push you over the edge.
  • When your free shirt arrives during your trial, you’re going to subliminally think good things about ZenDesk. When you wear the shirt, your coworkers/ friends will probably ask what’s Zendesk, at which you’ll have to explain their service and how they just sent you a cool new t-shirt. Perfect word-of-mouth marketing!

Next time you’re optimizing a conversion funnel, think outside the box like Zendesk. There’s a lot of creative calls to action underutilized by most marketers.

Here’s the full email screenshot:

Zendesk Trial Reactivation Email Screenshot