Wednesday, August 5, 2015

How to drive freemium and trial-based SaaS sales with SignupLab

SaaS sales, especially in B2B services, are typically managed with the two most common pricing strategies: Freemium or Free Trial. This is a short introduction how to setup the tools and signup processes in SignupLab for these two different approaches. Before getting into actual process, let’s define what data we need to manage. This is the built-in data model in SignupLab.

  • Signup is an individual person who signed up to your SaaS service. Signup record can posses also company details, and it can connect multiple users together if needed (multiuser environments). Signups can be contacted with Activity Rules and many other features of SignupLab.
  • Customer is an account record, typically a company. Customer account can consist of multiple users and subscriptions. Also customers can have Activity Rules and many other features for contacting and driving your SaaS sales.
  • Subscription is a recurring sale, typically paid with credit card. Subscription can have monthly charge and one-time fees, defined by Plan. Subscription consists of payment periods (for example monthly or annual). Subscriptions are always connected to customer accounts.

SignupLab can have many different sources to pull this data. Signup and user details can be tracked directly from website forms or updated with user tracking code inside your SaaS app (SignupLab API, JavaScript or Customers, Subscriptions and Plans can be synced directly from billing systems, such as Stripe or Recurly. You may also connect help desk tickets or MailChimp email lists to this process. SignupLab connects the dots between all of these data sources and provides simple dashboards where you can focus on optimising the sales.


For freemium strategy we recommend our users to manage free users as Signups and convert them into Customers when the first subscription is paid. This way the split is very clear: Customer pays, Signup doesn’t. Also the targets are clear - your aim is to convert Signups into Customers. All dashboards and metrics in SignupLab are built to support this.Signups can be listed on Current and Past lists - for free plans this mean that if your user is active, it’s seen on Current list. If free user has not returned to use your service for a while, it’s expired and moved into past Signups automatically. For this you can define a trigger: Every time when user is seen, expiration date is postponed (for example 30 days from current). This keeps your Signups listing always up-to-date.

Paying customers can be managed without hassle; sync directly from billing and just enjoy the SaaS metrics! Integrations and SignupLab API updates can automatically check that all Signups that ended to a paid subscription are converted from Signups to Customers.

Free trial

Free trial has typically specified amount of days until expired. Signup and user tracking tools provide one simple parameter called “expires” which is defined as days. Set example expires to 21 in JavaScript or API call if you provide a three week free trial. This way your trial users appear on Current Signups list over the first three weeks. If user is not converted within 21 days into Customer, it’s moved under Past Signups.

Customer listing work similar way as in other models as well: Define or sync your plans & subscriptions and roll on.

Non-free trial

Well, this is a rare one, but exists sometimes. In case of non-free trial you probably want to track all your users only under Customers list. The same applies here as in other models as well: Sync your customers from billing into SignupLab’s Plans and Subscriptions, and that’s it. Customers with active subscriptions are shown under current customers and ended under past customers. No rocket science.

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