Isaac Newton’s first law of motion famously states that an object in motion will stay in motion. Similarly, you can think of the subscription model like a force that is always in motion, sustained by the subscriber lifecycle and recurring revenue. At critical points during the subscriber lifecycle, businesses are reliant on these elements to keep their business moving forward.

As many of us remember from Physics class, adding friction to a force in motion slows down its momentum. That same concept applies to the subscription model: adding friction during the subscriber lifecycle at critical points can slow down revenue growth.

Subscription businesses want to eliminate points of friction that might limit conversion by potential subscribers or cause existing subscribers to downgrade or churn.

One of the most common points of friction is at initial sign up:

How do you demonstrate the value of your product or service to prospects without them shying away because of the price?

One way to reduce friction at sign up is to offer a free trial subscription. The prospective customer is then able to realize the value of your product first-hand before committing to recurring payment.

Free trial subscription graphic

As with all subscription best practices we discuss, when offering a free trial, it’s crucial to utilize data to measure the success of your strategy, iterate on that strategy, and measure again.

To provide better visibility into subscription trial success, Recurly is happy to announce the new addition of a Trial Performance report to Recurly Analytics.

With the addition of this new report, Recurly customers on our Professional and Enterprise plans will be able to track trial conversion rates over time and dig into the reasons why customers did not convert, for example because they cancelled the subscription before the trial ended or because their payment failed.

Users will also be able to segment these metrics by subscription plan, allowing them to test the effectiveness of free trials on different plans, along with the effectiveness of different trial lengths, and card-required vs. cardless trials.

Businesses using Recurly can also confidently test different engagement and personalization strategies, knowing they can track conversion rates for each test scenario.

Trial Performance screen on Recurly software

Eliminating friction whenever possible in the customer lifecycle is key for subscription growth. Using the Trial Performance report, Recurly businesses can now feel more confident in their ability to develop and measure strategies to help reduce that friction.