Converting Trial Users To Paying Customers

Converting Trial Users To Paying Customers

[slideshare id=33555261&doc=mkto14-convertingtrialuserstopayingcustomers-140415100538-phpapp02]

This year at the Marketo Summit 2014, I was speaking about a project we worked on at Acronis, to integrate our trial software product with the Marketo platform. This was by far one of the challenging projects I’ve worked on and rewarding.

Our objective was to simplify our trial download software and streamline our lead to customer process and give better insight to our sales teams. Guys-How_many_trials_installedWe always hear “we need more leads and therefore, we need more trials”. “So how many downloads did we get” and “How many installed?” Marketing could never be able to answer this.

Marketing measures how many forms are filled out for this number and Sales have no visibility if trials were installed. To help further the sales conversation, Sales spend too much time qualifying leads that have not installed and should be spending time with leads that have taken the time to install and monitoring the usage of the product to help further the potential customer throughout the trial experience.

Good-Better-bestOn the road to getting Good to Best: Our initiative brings the following key improvements:

  • Simple trial registration and download process
  • Simple installation that does not require any serial keys
  • Easy in-product account management

Marketo Implementation with Trial Products brings the following key improvements:

  • Informative in-product trial notifications
  • Quick and convenient in-product contact request
  • In-product promotion of application backup
  • SFDC alerts and tasks for Lead/Contact owners

itunes_slantWho does simple downloads better? We looked at, of course Apple – namely iTunes. You can download iTunes for free… But you can’t use it for free! You have to sign in or create an account. We needed to be the same as iTunes, So the project initiative is aimed at improving overall experience with trial product evaluations and accelerating revenue through qualified leads provided via Marketo and in-product mechanisms.  Trial downloads being our biggest marketing asset at Acronis for leads, a large form was needed to assign in SalesForce.Com.

We are simplifying the trial download in Marketo forms on Acronis website for our Enterprise Trials, by reducing it from 17 to 4 fields. (Name, E-Mail, Country, State) Additional information (Phone, Company, Industry) will be gathered after installation within the trial product itself. By eliminating the need for trial keys, leads and customers will be required to log in to the Acronis Account after installation. This will streamline contacting Support, simplify Cloud evaluation and educate customers of Acronis Website account importance.

On the first launch of the trial, after installation, we request the lead to log in to their Account. Once logged in, the lead will be asked to complete an additional 3-fields (Phone, Company, Industry). After required information is submitted, product is ready to use.

In-product banners will appear daily to remind Leads/Customers of the days left till their trial expires. Banners will also offer to activate trial if Customer has already got a full license or get in touch with Acronis to obtain one.

Any time during evaluation period and when trial expires, Leads will be able to request to get in touch with them by clicking ‘request license’ button. Upon pressing that button, leads will be asked to check if their contact information is correct (pre-populated registration forms) and clarify the reason of contact:  Purchase Request or Trial Extension.


Connecting the Dots, we built an API service to connect the systems – Marketo, Acronis-MyAccount DB and the trial product. Leads, who install trial product, must login or create an account to use trial. An account is created in Acronis-MyAccount DB. Using the email address as the ID (AcronisID). The API Service push the collected data from the trial back to Marketo to update lead records collected from the Marketo form. The API service bridges the Trial product with Acronis Account database

  • Find existing lead record in Marketo that came from website
  • Marketo then triggers tasks & interesting moments

By directional API Service would update leads from the trial product, push lead information back to MyAccount database then push lead information to Marketo. SalesForce can update records back to Marketo and API service will update MyAccount DB.


The special sauce was to create custom fields in our SalesForce. These custom fields are mapped for the lead, contact object and product and behavior specific. We used Boolean fields (true or false) to capture lead behavior. They become available for filters after the next sync to Marketo. Program progression steps, we grouped the numbers for progression steps (installed tags are same number 40) The program is laid out so that we can keep our folders clean.

Keeping assets in folders with naming conventions help catalog items. Emails LPs etc. Progression steps in another folder including interesting moments flags. Mandatory tags can be based on Business units, program builders, region etc. We use iFrames for our trial downloads. This allows us to pass hidden information from the previous product page through hidden fields on the form. Email progression is triggered when the form is filled out. Form is X, AND on web page is X, send email, wait 2 mins, change progression status. The trigger is campaign is requested. In the flow, we are looking for empty lead source and lead detail if it was missed.

  • Wait steps between steps
  • Sync to SFDC
  • Create tasks
  • And then remove from flow

For the Installed flag, we are listening for the API to append the record with the check box equals TRUE. Our API service is constantly looking to update demographic and behavior information within the product trial. Using Marketo’s Trigger Installed_Process‘Change Data Value’ and adding a constraint of ‘Reason’ is ‘SOAP API’. This will only append from the API service. We prevented SFDC users from every checking this box. Flow: Update the progression step, add an interesting moment to the record, then add a task for lead owner for immediate follow up! This will trigger this Smart Campaign to send an Interesting Moment back to SFDC. You can also add a task here for important behaviors.

Reporting: We created another custom field to ‘Time’ stamp form activity so that we can group by day using the Lead Performance report. Also adding several Smart lists with our other custom fields as a filter to cross check other installed add-ons. SalesForce admin help is needed here, if you need this information in SalesForce. This case we just kept this in Marketo and used Marketo’s System date token. So now that we have a flow to stamp the lead when they fill out the form, we crossed reference that with the behavior coming from the product trial.


The Program Performance report is difficult to see progression in the standard report. With the new feature added in March, to add progression status as columns to program performance reporting (Only as a local program report). Create new program local asset report, drag n’ drop channel tag, Select channel in the pick list, and check the progression status columns.


Using SFDC campaign report, we are able to add the one custom field that was missing key ingredient for our sales reps – DID THEY INSTALL? All members in the campaign cross-referenced by Installed custom field. Please check out the full slide deck available to download from SlideShare

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