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4 Lessons Learned converting trial users with a drip campaign


The challenge

Our company offers a one-month free trial, and for us, this is one of the single most critical times in our relationship with our trial users. The challenge is that we have four weeks during the trial to get them to use our tool, know and understand our tool and value it enough to buy it. Before we used Eloqua, we didn’t have the means to do just that. We saw a lot of users never actually using the tool. The initial feedback we got back was that they were overwhelmed when they first used it. With Eloqua, we turned that around by using the inbox of the potential leads -- empowering them to use, know and eventually buy our tool.  This post describes the benchmark, flow, and the lessons we learned during the campaign and how to increase customer activation by keeping new users engaged during our trial.



Because this was one of our first campaigns in Eloqua, we didn’t have a benchmark



The Goal was to increase the conversion rate from 2-5 % to 5-10%.


The campaign

To engage the users during the 4-week trial. we built a welcome drip campaign consisting of two main flows. One for existing customers and one for new customers.


Campaign flow steps:

  1. Inbound channels, online campaigns
  2. Form
  3. Inbound segment
  4. Welcome email (personalized based on product data and known CI data)
  5. Filter check (customer – non-customer)
  6. Non- customer: email flow based on engagement with the tool
  7. 4-5 Custom emails based on low, medium, high usage
  8. Customer: 3 emails based on time spend in trial (weekly mail)



flow steps.jpg


Technique/lessons learned


1. Send the first Email to users immediately

This is obvious, but at first, we couldn’t send the first email straight away because of technical issues. We immediately noticed that the open rate decreased. After we shortened the period between form filled and email sent, to less than two hours, we saw that the open rates increased again.


2. Provide clear by step  instructions how to use the product

The primary goal of the trial is to convince the customer to start using the product as soon they can access it. Our current product is unfortunately not as intuitive as we want it to be.  So for us, it was essential to give clear instructions how to help the customer get started with using the product. In the first email we send, we take the chance to welcome and thank our users for signing up and show the first steps they must take to get started as quickly as possible. We also included a list of helpful resources, including a link to customer support, and additional support documentation.


3. Personalize your email

We personalized all the emails in the flow. In our emails, we address the trial users by name and use a personal signature. Besides that, we use a dynamic link to fill the product details in the subject line, header and the closing paragraph.




4. Interaction based on actual customer behavior with behavior-triggered emails

We use behavioral e-mails based on usage to deliver relevant content directly related to the way our trial users interact with our tool. We have built three paths in our campaign flow (see image below for details) :


  1. No usage: When a user doesn’t log in or interacts with our tool. We send a mail where we ask them If there are any issues with logging in and reminding them of the trial with tips for beginners.
  2. Medium usage: We send a mail with triggers, tool, and tips to stimulate usage.
  3. High usage: We send a mail with a link to our e-commerce shop. With the anchor text: “You are a frequent user of our tool, maybe you want to buy…..”


Campaign flow step details in Eloqua


flowsteps eloqua.jpg



The Results

For now we don’t have conclusive results from the campaign as a whole.  This is because we just started with the campaign and the lead time is about 8 weeks.


Future Results/Business impact in 2018


  • 3000 leads (uptake of 25% in 2018 compared to 2017)
  • 500 MQL's  (uptake of 25% in 2018 compared to 2017)
  • 300 SQL's (uptake of 20% in 2018 compared to 2017)
  • 87 opportunities (uptake of 20% in 2018 compared to 2017)
  • 40 customers  (uptake of 10% in 2018 compared to 2017)



Marketing automation with Oracle helps us, to nurture prospects with highly personalized, useful content that helps convert leads into MQL's and turn MQL's  in SQL's, opportunities and finally customers. We suspect that the applied techniques in combination with this type of marketing automation will generate significantly more new revenue and will increase our return on the investment with at least 10 – 20 % within the first year.



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