Discover Wow content to nurture your free trial users

How do you decide which content to send to your free trial users?

For most apps like consumer apps it’s pretty simple. Focus on features that highlight the true benefits of your app. You also have the option of notifications if you have some social connect.

For complicated systems you need to get a little creative. Using the GROW model you can discover which content will be valuable to your most promising users; those with the highest probability of converting.

Three broad user segments

You can break down free trial users into three broad categories:

  • Serious users are shopping actively for a solution. Most valuable.
  • Curious users have a problem but aren’t decided on how to fix it. These are window shoppers.
  • Casual users are just casual browsers. They are strolling through the mall.

How to segment users?

Depending on your app, you can segment users based on their in-app actions and behaviours. Need to figure out which actions and events are important? I would recommend the AARRR Pirate Metrics. Here’s a great post from Trak.io on how you can use the AARRR framework to segment users according to the actions they take in your app.

Let’s take an example to see how this works.

Popcorn Metrics is a fantastic tool for setting up events easily through a WYSIWYG editor and pushing them to other services like Google Analytics, Intercom, Segment etc.

Their broad user segments could be something like this:

Casual users

  • Signed up for free trial
  • Navigated a few pages
  • Didn’t create an event or created just one event
  • Didn’t log back in

Curious users

  • Created several events
  • Selected integrations to turn on
  • Haven’t installed tracking code

Serious users

  • Installed tracking code
  • Published several events
  • Turned on specific integrations

Enter, GROW model for coaching

I was introduced to the GROW model through Kevin Dewalt’s excellent drip campaign for their concierge onboarding app All Aboard.

The GROW model is an excellent coaching model. It’s a great way to understand what obstacles can stop you from achieving your goals and helps you map out solutions.

By looking at each user segment with the GROW lens you can decide which content would be most useful and motivating. This exercise helps you to focus on the most valuable users in each segment who have the best probability of moving ahead in the customer journey.

Breakdown of grow:

G — The goals of the user — a firm objective.

R — Their current reality — what is the problem they are looking to solve with your app

O — What could be the obstacles that are stopping them from achieving their goals

W — Wow content which would help them and motivate them

GROW and broad user segments

Let’s analyse Popcorn’s broad segments with GROW:

Casual Cody

Goal of trying out Popcorn:

Came across the tool as he wanders merrily through the netosphere. Wanted to check out how it works and what the hoopla was all about.

Cody’s current Reality:

Currently Cody doesn’t have a strong need for Popcorn. Could be a future customer. Since he actively tries out different services, Cody could help spread word-of-mouth buzz about Popcorn.

  • Obstacles stopping Cody from purchasing Popcorn:
  • Doesn’t have a need.
  • Doesn’t fully understand what Popcorn does or can do.

Wow content which will convince Cody:

Engage Cody with lightweight content. Educate him about how Popcorn works and how customers use it. Hit him with a nice infographic of your customer list. Impress him with easy-to-digest success stories.

You should invest time and resources to create a course on event analytics. Cody will be thrilled to sign-up and learn. Create your future customers!

Curious Curly

Goal of trying out Popcorn:

Curly is trying to figure out how he could better target and communicate with different users. His scattershot approach isn’t really moving top-level metrics. He wants to track different events in his app.

Curly’s current Reality:

Curly isn’t an expert at marketing and analytics. He’s probably multi-tasking roles and new to SaaS. He has a bunch of different systems for email, web analytics and so on. They don’t talk to each other. Someone pointed him to Popcorn or he found it while researching behavioral emails or event analytics.

Obstacles stopping Curly from purchasing Popcorn:

  • Not clear on what events need to be tracked
  • Isn’t sure of the depth and capabilities of Popcorn
  • Has to still figure out where to send events and how to action them

Wow content which will convince Curly:

Curly will value general coaching and education about behavioral marketing. He would benefit from content which explains how to use frameworks like AARRR. Anything that helps him better understand how to segment his users and how to action events.

Content can cover popular integrations and how people use them. This need not be completely internal content. Products like Segment and Intercom put out fantastic blogs and eBooks. You should piggyback. Send this quality content in your emails as well. Curly will thank you for it.

Send content on best-practices on event analytics, segmentation and behavioral emails for Curly’s industry. Let Curly know how others like him are tackling problems with Popcorn.

Serious Sue

Goal of trying out Popcorn:

Sue wants to send automated emails and has discovered Intercom. For Intercom to work she needs to define events in her app. She’s evaluating a few event tracking solutions to figure out if they are easy, cost-effective and will integrate with Intercom properly.

Sue’s current Reality:

Sue is excellent at other marketing tools like email, analytics and CMSs. She’s convinced that automated emails will improve her metrics. Sue’s devs have a lot to do and spending time defining events isn’t their top priority. Sue needs a simple system she could manage on her own. Sue doesn’t understand the tech in detail so needs a code-free solution.

Obstacles stopping Sue from purchasing Popcorn:

  • Sue isn’t sure if it’s possible for her to manage it on her own.
  • She hasn’t explored the depth of certain features so some ‘wow’ benefits are still hidden.
  • Sue needs to understand clearly how the event tracking solution will enable her marketing stack so that she can sell it internally with confidence.

Wow content which will convince Sue:

More than general education, Sue needs specific content which is highly relevant to her situation. This could be a case study or success story in her industry or for her preferred integration. The case study or story should showcase how a user like Sue managed to setup their event tracking and then use a email service like Intercom to action their cor metrics.

Content should inspire confidence that other people like her are using Popcorn successfully.

She also needs more information on key features and benefits. Look for advanced usage of popular features. Spin it into a eBook or a deck.

Content need not be longform. Short emails which highlight specific use-cases of features also help.

Focus your education on your product. Content should be focused on doing more and getting more success with your product.

If you have an Inside Sales team then this segment is very valuable. Weave ‘ask for demo’ style emails to drive leads for the Sales team. This segment is also gold for your Outbound Sales team since they are actively trying out your product.


Originally published at snehalsamant.com on August 15, 2015.