Whop’s free trial data has shown that the optimal free trial length is 30 days, yielding the highest conversion rate of 56% when compared to 7-day and 14-day trials.

In 2023, more than a quarter of ecommerce sellers used free trials in an attempt to gain new customers. A free trial is a limited period of time in which a customer can try out your product at no cost. Then, once the trial period has ended, customers decide whether they want to pay to continue using your product. When that happens, the transition from free trial to paid is entirely automatic, not requiring any further action from the customer.

You have likely engaged in a free trial yourself - with companies like Spotify, Hulu, and Amazon Prime all offering up free trial periods to new users. The free trial approach is hugely popular with SaaS businesses, as it allows potential customers to experience what your product offers and understand the value that it can bring to them. In most cases, when someone tries a product or service through a free trial then they are much more likely to make a purchase. However, the key to running a free trial is understanding the conversion rate. 

Jump to:

  1. 3 Key Takeaways
  2. Why Providing a Free Trial Can Help Your Business
  3. Why Conversion Rate Matters
  4. 30-Day Trials Outrank All Other Free Trial Lengths
  5. Why 30-Day is the Optimal Free Trial Length

3 Key Takeaways

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of the study, let’s take a look at some of the key takeaways from our research into the relationship between free trial length and customer conversion rate.

1. 30-Day Free Trials Perform Best

The research reveals that a free trial of 30 days is the most effective when it comes to customer acquisition and conversion rate, outperforming 3-day, 7-day, and 14-day trials.

2. Free Trials are More Effective than Free Products

Offering a free product does not necessarily lead to gaining a paying customer, with less than 2% of free product adopters becoming paid users.

3. Extended Access Equals Extended Value

A 30-day free trial period gives the user enough time to realize and appreciate the value of a product, making them more likely to convert into a paying user.

Conversion rates Whop

Why Providing a Free Trial Can Help Your Business

As mentioned, more than a quarter of ecommerce sellers used free trials in 2023. But why is the free trial method so popular?

  • Free trials can lead to more sales/profit
    As our data has shown, free trials can lead to increased sales by converting users who simply may not have signed up for your product in the first place!
  • Free trials encourage users to make a purchase
    Providing a free sample is known to kick in the psychological aspect of reciprocation. After receiving something for free, people feel obliged to reciprocate, as they want to give back to you after you have given something to them.
  • It's a free marketing exercise!
    Unlike physical goods that do have a cost, with digital products - especially when you aren't even paying for hosting costs - a free trial actually has zero cost! Whop doesn't charge hosting costs, you only pay a fee when a user buys the product.

Why Conversion Rate Matters

So we have established that offering a free trial can be beneficial for your business. But why is the conversion rate so important? Let’s take a look at why you need to be monitoring how many of your free trial users are becoming paid customers.

  • You’re giving away something for nothing
    With a free trial, you are essentially giving away your product for free. The hope is that this free user will convert into a paying customer, but that does not always happen. 
  • Users may play the system
    There are some people who may sign up for multiple free trials using multiple email addresses and pseudonyms. There are also users who will sign up for a trial, knowing that they intend to cancel before the payment period kicks in. 
  • Increased conversion = increased success
    The higher your conversion rate, the more successful the free trial. Are customers signing up for the paid version of your product, or are they ditching it before it is time to pay?

So the question remains - how do you improve your free trial conversion rate? The key lies in the length of the trial.

30-Day Trials Outrank All Other Free Trial Lengths

optimum free trial

We looked at the conversion rate for a range of free trials and measured how they stack up against one another, looking at free trials of 3 days, 7 days, 14 days, and 30 days. Here’s what we found. 

What the Data Tells Us

30-day free trial outranked all other trial lengths in terms of customer acquisition and free-trial conversion rate.

  • The 3-day trial had a conversion rate of 35%. However, within our case study, not many users had opted for the 3-day trial, so although the conversion rate is good, the actual number of customers that a free trial brings in is minimal. 
  • The 7-day free trial had a higher percentage of free trial users at 22%. So more people are signing up for a 7-day free trial than a 3-day trial. However, the conversion rate is lower - at only 20%. 
  • The 14-day trial period engaged fewer users than a 7-day trial, with 9% of users opting for a 14-day trial. The conversion rate was also lower again, with only 15% of free trial users becoming paying customers. 
  • The 30-day free trial had the highest percentage of users, at 32%. It also had the highest conversion rate by far - 56%.

The research also revealed that free product adoption from buyers rarely converted into paying users. When looking at a company offering up a free product, less than 2% of those free product adopters went on to purchase a paid product from that seller.

Free Trial Length Total Signups % Conversion Rate %
3 Day 2% 35%
7 Day 22% 20%
14 Day 9% 15%
30 Day 32% 56%

Why 30-Day is the Optimal Free Trial Length

Sellers may shy away from offering a 30-day free trial as they essentially give free access to their product for one whole month. But, it is clear to see that the more you give, the more customers you convert. 

One key reason for this is that the customers have had extended access to your product, so they have had more time to see how your product can create value for them. The longer you use the product, the more you rely on it, and the more likely you are to convert. 

Creating Your Free Trial with Whop

The data is clear - the best free trial length is 30 days, in terms of both engaging and converting customers. Based on this research, we recommend that you should opt for a 30-day free trial over all other trial periods. 

Plus, if you are offering a free product to entice users to purchase an upgrade or a paid service, think about how you could offer a free trial period instead. People are much more likely (28 times more likely!) to make a purchase after a 30-day free trial vs after a free product.

👉 To put your product in front of a growing market, list it on Whop. We can help you to sell, market, and grow your business - including its free trial offering. Sign up to Whop today!