There are a number of ways to do this, keep in mind this just happens to be my take on it.
1. Get on the phone and start getting more details of who got the trial memberships. More data makes it easier to tell whether you're gonna get them to convert or not.
2. How are the free trial memberships being given out and when does the actual trial start?
When you give out a trial membership, you need to make sure you can get as much detail as possible about your lead. A lead is all it is until you convert that person to a paying customer or client.
Does the client travel to your area often? Are accommodations in your area viable and affordable so the client can come and use your program to benefit them, and know they're getting value on everything going on?
You should start putting packages together for a return trip so your customers come back and realize that your program saves them the most continually, and therefor brings value to their minds with regards to your product.
Find out all you can about their experiences so you can address them when it's time to convert. Did you get to use our discounts? What do you or do you not like about our program? Do you have any suggestions or feedback? Find the reasons for the non-conversion so you can take another run at it from a different angle to get them to buy in.
The second part of this is when you give out the trials, who is giving it out and under what circumstances?
Is it just a, "Hey, try this if you ever get out get the chance"? Or is it a, "We have a free trial to a program that we believe you'd truly find value in. Would you like us to sign you up? We will call you, or you can call us at the 800 number and we will explain more of what we're offering?"
The posture is different and can mean the world when it comes time to "convert" customers. Some customers may say, "Let me think about it." While others might say, "I'd like to know more." Which potential customer do you think will be more susceptible to buying-in?
Conversion is a continual battle of data gathering and strategic implementation for sales. The more information you have, the easier it is to combat the objection. If it's a condition you know, you can let it go. Don't risk the loss over poor data gathering. Pull them in, get to know them, then ask for the business!
Question added to topic Marketing • November 11, 2009
How do we convert trial clients into full-paying members?
We are a small golf membership program that provides discounts on green fees to a network of courses across North America. Over the past couple of years, we have provided a large number of free trial memberships to increase our exposure within the industry. Trial members receive all the same benefits as full-paying ones (discounts, newsletters, tournament invitations, etc.).