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The Most Effective Trial Expiration Email Templates You Can Steal Today

A trial expiration email is a message (or series of messages) a SaaS business sends to inform users that their free trial period is about to expire or has already expired. These emails are typically sent to customers who have signed up for a trial version of a product, service, or subscription.

The goal of a trial expiration email is to:

  • Remind the user about the expiration date of the trial period.
  • Offer them the opportunity to upgrade to a paid plan or subscription.
  • Inform them about the benefits of upgrading, such as additional features, ongoing access, or customer support.
  • Provide clear instructions on how to upgrade or renew their subscription.

A well-crafted trial expiration email is crucial for any SaaS company, as it can help convert trial users into paying customers and retain them as long-term clients. The email should be timely, relevant, and persuasive while respecting the user’s preferences and privacy.

In our previous article, we covered why most trial expiration emails fail. Not all trial users are equal, so sending the same type of expiration email to everyone will not work as effectively. 

Instead, trial expiration emails should be personalized based on the activation pace and time-to-value of your trial users.

  • If the user has experienced (has become activated) value before the trial ends → Send an upgrade email before the trial ends
  • If the user has experienced value and the trial ends soon → Send a trial expiration email with a prompt to upgrade to a paid plan. 
  • If the user hasn’t experienced value and the trial ends soon → Send a trial expiration email with the option to extend the trial period.
  • If the trial has ended, and the user hasn’t converted → Send a feedback email

Understanding the activation pace and requirements of your trial users would allow you to devise a complete strategy for your trial expiration emails. (We recommend you check the article if you want to learn more.)

With your plan ready, you can roll up your sleeves and start writing your trial expiration emails. In this post, we will share 9 fill-in-the-blanks trial expiration email templates you can steal for your SaaS to increase your free trial to paid conversions. 

Let’s dive in right away!

1. General trial over template

This is a general trial expiration email that you can send as a reminder at a specific time before the user trial expires or as a notice on the day of the trial expiration. We recommend sending this email only to users that have experienced at least some value in your product.

Asana keeps it simple with this trial reminder notice 7 days before the end of the trial period:

2. Trial limit reached — upgrade email template

You want to use this email if you have a metered pricing model — you charge per credit, team member added, storage space reached, etc. This upgrade email should be sent as soon as the limit is reached (i.e., when the user experiences value), instead of waiting until the end of the trial period. 

A great example from Process Street that uses a clear call to action to upgrade.

3. Value experienced — upgrade email template

The goal of this email is to quantify the value that the user has experienced. For example, if you run a sales prospecting platform where a user saves 20 minutes per prospect, you might use something like:

“Since you started using [Product], you have found 50 prospects. This means you have managed to save at least 10 hours of manual prospecting time.”

This email is a bit more complex to execute since you need to populate dynamic data in your emails. But do not worry. 

The easiest approach to achieve this would be for your development team to send that data to a marketing automation tool like Encharge using the API. 

For example, if you want to track how many tasks the user has completed, you can create a person field in Encharge called “Tasks”. 

Then, the development team will send the number of tasks for each user as a data value to that field. E.g., user John has “Tasks” field with a value of 34 (meaning John has completed 34 tasks).

We can now use this field data to personalize our trial expiration emails. To do that, we’ll use liquid merge tags to dynamically populate data in emails in Encharge.

Entering the following line: 

Since you started using Asana, you’ve created {{person.tasks}} tasks. 

Will generate the following string of text for our user John:

Since you started using Asana, you’ve created 34 tasks. 

The number of tasks completed is a proxy metric for the value the user has gained through your tool. For example, if we know that the average user saves at least 2 minutes per task, we can represent that value in Encharge.

To do that, we will use another merge tag to multiply the number of tasks by minutes saved:

This means you have saved {{person.tasks | times 2}} minutes of tedious work.

This string will show us follows for John:

You have saved 68 minutes of tedious work since you started your trial.

That’s it! 

4. Trial expiration template with a benefits list

In this template, you list the key features the user will miss if they fail to upgrade. The best part is that each feature is tied to a specific product benefit. 

5. Critical premium feature upgrade template

This is not necessarily a trial expiration email; however, this reward email can certainly convert a few more trials for you. 

This email is triggered when a trial user activates a crucial feature within your app, indicating that some significant value has been unlocked. The purpose is to showcase to the user how they can derive even more benefits from the feature and offer an opportunity to upgrade.

In this example, Clearbit acknowledges the user’s successful implementation of their script and showcases the benefits by using dynamic information on identified companies within the email content. The email effectively congratulates the user while also demonstrating the value of Clearbit’s service.

6. Trial expiration email with options

This template demonstrates how to offer choices to your trial users. As investing in new software can be a challenging decision, and most trials may not convert, it’s crucial to engage with them in the most effective way possible by giving them various options. 

You want to start with the biggest ask and introduce smaller ones as you go down the email copy, similarly to how Basecamp does in their trial expiration email.

7. Trial extension email template

Offering a trial extension will give passive trial users more time to reach the desired value moments or Aha moments and will provide you with more time to qualify them. This email aims to start a conversation with that segment of trial users.

The email example from 3dcart emphasizes the potential loss a user may face if they don’t take action to upgrade or extend their trial while also presenting the opportunity for them to request an extension. This approach can serve as a helpful conversation starter for customer success members to further investigate and assist the user.

8. Experienced value but didn’t upgrade — feedback email template

You want to send this email to people that have experienced value within the trial window but still haven’t upgraded their account. Usually, you will send this email 1 to 3 days after trial expiration.

9. Experienced value but didn’t upgrade — post-trial survey email template

This email is similar to the previous one, but instead of asking an open-ended question, you provide a list of possible answers. These types of surveys tend to get a much higher response rate as the user is only required to click on a link to complete the questionnaire. With a marketing automation tool like Encharge, you can even automate this further based on the response. 

Bonus: Opt-out trial expiration emailThere are two types of trials:

There are two types of trials:

  • Opt-in – the user is required to upgrade to get access to premium plan features
  • Opt-out – the user enters their credit card details during the signup and is not required to do anything further — they will be automatically upgraded to the premium tier once their trial expires (unless they opt out)

Of course, if you have an opt-out trial you want to take a different approach — you should not ask people to upgrade. 

Some startups find it useful to notify their trial users about the upcoming trial end in order to reduce refunds. Here’s a simple template for this:

Here’s a great example from Jasper:

Encharge — The easiest way to send trial expiration emails

There you go! 9 proven trial expiration email templates to help you convert more free users to paying customers.

Now you have to set them up, otherwise, it means reading this whole post was pointless 🙂

The challenge with sending trial expiration emails

In order to send a trial expiration email, you have to do one of these things:

A) Send an email X days after a user signs up. This works fine if the trial-end date never changes, but that’s rarely the case.

With that method, when you extend someone’s trial period, they would receive the trial expiration email at the wrong time. That’s because the automation doesn’t take into consideration the dynamic change of the trial-end date.

B) Alternatively, you could turn to hacky workarounds like Send email -7 days after a trial end date.

At Encharge, we fixed this and made sending trial expiration emails as easy as saying “jinx!”

Step 1: Connect Encharge to your payment provider

Encharge integrates natively with Stripe, Chargebee, Chargify, Recurly, and Paddle. That’s right, all of the major payment providers for SaaS companies.

Once your billing provider is connected to Encharge, all of your billing data like MRR, plan ID, trial start date, and trial end date will automatically sync with Encharge enriching your user profiles with valuable information.

Step 2: Use the “Trial Ends” step in our Flow Builder.

Then, all you have to do is create a flow that is triggered with the “Trial Ends” step.

With the “Trial Ends” trigger step you can send an email to your trial users When / Before or After their trial ends. The best part is that the step uses relative dates that change dynamically. This means that your trial expiration emails will always be sent at the right time — even when the user’s trial-end date changes.

We are adding the Check Field filter step between the Trial Ends and the Send Email step to ensure we filter out any people that have converted to customers during the trial period.

We also have built a native Trial Ends step in Encharge that works with trial data directly from your product — in case you don’t use your payment provider for trials.

Screenshot 2020-11-23 at 11.41.27 AM.png

Step 3: Go grab a coffee

Indeed, that’s it. There’s no step 3.

Start with our trial expiration template

At Encharge, we have prepared a few trial expiration flow templates for you. If you are using Chargebee as your payment service provider, you can use the flow template below — it contains a set of emails pre-populated with effective copy, that you can use in your Encharge account. Simply copy the template to your account and get going:

Set up your trial expiration emails today with Encharge

Sign up for a 14-day free trial or book a quick call with us and let us show you how easy is to send trial expiration emails with Encharge.

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“Encharge helped us visually redesign our onboarding flow resulting in a 10% increase in our trial activation rate."

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Camille Richon
Founder Payfacile
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