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5 Email Marketing Examples to Nurture Free Plan Users and Lead Them Down the Funnel

Everybody loves free trials, right?

Who wouldn’t like trying out a tool that they think could improve their lives even slightly?

Free trials are an amazing opportunity to check the features and easiness of use of products or services and see for ourselves if they serve our personal needs or business objectives.

The problem is that we all have signed up for a free trial but never used it, or used it a few times and later let the free plan expire. With so many options at their disposal, it’s only natural for users to become overwhelmed when they sign up for various free trials.

5 Email Marketing Examples to Nurture Free Plan Users and Lead Them Down the Funnel


They’re usually impatient, too.

So, if they can’t figure out the full potential of your solution or how its usage solves their pain points, chances are they won’t give it a second thought.

What many marketers seem to forget is that acquiring, nurturing, and retaining customers is an ongoing process. To succeed in it, you need email marketing; one of the most direct, personal, and consistent channels to acquire and stay in touch with leads.

It’s also an effective way to understand your user journey, gather personal information about them, and understand what makes them tick. From that perspective, you’ll have several opportunities to develop strong connections and trusting relationships with your prospects.

Nurturing your free trial users through certain email types should form an integral part of your content marketing plan. That’s why we gathered the most solid email marketing examples that will lead your free plan users down your marketing funnel and get them to convert to paying and loyal customers.

5 Email Marketing Examples to Increase Your Free Plan Conversion  Rates

The objective of sending email marketing material to your free plan users is to give them the motivation to upgrade to a paid plan.

In this article, we are breaking down how to create effective email campaigns dedicated to those users and improve your free trial conversion rates.

Before everything else, you should determine your overall conversion goal beforehand and then build a free trial email strategy to get those customers in. The number and type of emails you’ll have to use may vary depending on your overall marketing objective and your free trial period.

If you’re worried that creating free trial email sequences requires too much effort, let us say you have reason to. Most email marketing platforms provide you with built-in email marketing templates that can be customized to your business objectives and used to send targeted messages to your free plan users.

Let’s move on to the top email marketing examples you can benefit from to boost your free trial conversion rates.

1. The Welcome Email

This is the first email a user gets when signing up for a free trial. Think of it as your 1:1 contact with them, a chance to thank them for becoming part of the community.

For your email to better serve its purpose, it needs to be personal, eye-catching, and friendly. You should also keep it brief and precise. No one wants to be overwhelmed with information before even getting to test the software they signed up for.

As welcome emails go, content shared should be informative, letting leads know exactly what’s in it for them and getting them oriented.

Now is a good time to offer an overview of what they should expect during the free trial period, or even give away some kind of lead magnet such as relevant blog posts or webinars.

5 Email Marketing Examples to Nurture Free Plan Users and Lead Them Down the Funnel


Make sure to include your brand story and values, as well as what’s to come in future email communications. Also, provide all the information required as to how they can reach your support team – and make the process easy and frictionless. Being there for them during the free trial period is the first step toward building a trusting relationship.

2. The Educational Email

Welcome emails are the starting point for sharing basic onboarding information. However, most companies choose to invest in an educational email to guide users through their product or service.

Some even go as far as dispatching an email sequence, especially enterprises offering a 30-day free plan. If you invest in this tactic, ensure each email is focused on one thing to learn to avoid frustrating leads instead of helping them.

Your educational emails could include valuable tips or free resources like tutorials or e-books. One of the most effective ways to engage free plan users is to host a webinar and invite them to join.

That way, you show them you are serious about your audience and care to continue to offer them useful content once they sign up for real.

In case they missed the live event, don’t forget to send a follow-up email to inform them as to when and how to gain access to your webinar recording. Hosting a webinar is made an easy and simple process through the wide variety of webinar software offered to you.

Whatever the content you opt for including in your educational email, remember to highlight the value your solution provides to users and show them how to make the most out of it.

Identify theIr pain points through their usage data and create a step-by-step guide on how your product or service can address them. The easier you make it for users to learn how your tool works, the more likely it is they’ll subscribe to a paid plan.

3. The Free Plan Expiration Email

Free plan expiration emails are used to notify users their plan is about to expire so that they consider selecting a paid package if they wish to continue taking advantage of your offering. It goes without saying you should schedule this type of email based on your free trial length.

If you have a 14-day free trial, you could send a first warning one week before and a second one 1-2 days before it expires.

This is the perfect moment for you to show your free plan users what they will be missing out on if they don’t subscribe to one of your paid plans.

Leverage the user activity data gathered throughout the trial period to highlight the features they have shown a preference for.

Don’t neglect to entice them with additional capabilities that are only available in paid plans.

In case your solution offers data storage, use loss aversion to convince them to convert and keep all their data and history.

Since the goal of such an email is to finally get the desired conversion, you should include call-to-actions that lead users down that road. So, design CTAs that only direct them to upgrade their account or contact your customer service team in case of questions.

4. The Offer or Discount Email

An offer or discount email is considered your last resort in converting a free trial user that hasn’t moved forward with signing up for a paid package. Therefore, dispatching it after the free plan has expired is a reasonable choice. After all, you wouldn’t want to offer a discounted rate to a user who would eventually pay full price.

There are leads willing to commit to a paid subscription if you get them a discount, though. In case you opt for offering a discount, make sure you start small, let’s say 10% for the first couple of months. Don’t limit yourself to that, but think about any special offer that resonates with your business and your target audience.

This type of email should be as straightforward as it gets. Provide recipients with a crystal clear explanation of how your product or service works.

Make sure you give them full disclosure regarding the purchasing process. Listing all the benefits your solution offers and letting them know what they’ll be missing out on will remove their doubts about moving down the funnel.

5. The Free Trial Feedback Email

So, you haven’t convinced free trial users to become customers. It’s perfectly normal for brands to lose some of their free plan users. What you should never do is think of it as a failure. Quite the contrary, it provides valuable data for you to monitor and pave the way for future success.

Free trial drop-outs are an amazing source of insight. How is that? You can send a carefully-crafted follow-up email that will contain a short survey for users to answer and you to gain access to important information. Ask things like:

  • Was the product/service easy to grasp and use?
  • What stopped you from becoming a customer?
  • Were the features included everything you needed or did you feel like some were missing?
  • Have you tried out a similar tool that you plan to use to solve your pain points?

We recommend that you send your feedback email to users immediately after their trial period ends in order to keep them engaged. Not only that but if the reason behind not subscribing is something you can address, chances are you have one last chance to close them.

When clarifying things, use a conversational tone and try to help them understand the full potential of your solution without sounding pushy.

But even if that doesn’t work, you’ll have information on how to improve your product and the entire free trial experience. Such emails enable you to learn from the experiences of every drop-out user and retain customers with similar needs next time around.

Final Words
Every free plan user should be treated as a potential customer. However, getting them to trust your brand enough to add their credit card information and take it one step further is a challenging task.

By sending free trial users relevant content throughout the trial period, you offer them a step-by-step onboarding experience, while demonstrating the value they get out of using your tool. Optimize your free trial user experience and nurture your users by leveraging the email marketing examples shared above.

After that, all you have to do is sit back and wait for your free trial email marketing strategy to bear fruits and your brand to reach its growth objectives.

Email FunnelFree Plan

Mari Fintanidou

Maria Fintanidou works as a Copywriter for email marketing automation software Moosend, having created the Help Articles (FAQs) and overseen the platform’s translations in Greek and Spanish. She loves exploring new cultures and ways of thinking through traveling, reading, and language learning.