If you offer a free version of of your product or service - whether it’s for 14 days, 30 days or forever - you can use this template to set up your first Smart Campaign and start converting more free users into paying customers.

This article will help you to:

  1. Choose the data and user actions you should track.

  2. Set up the right rules, filters and goals.

  3. Define what messages you should send and when.

1. Identify the data you should track

What actions do your free users who become paid users usually take during the course of their trial? Do they mainly use a specific feature, or a combination of features? Do they visit certain pages? You can track your users’ actions to understand their behaviour using the Intercom Platform.

The actions you’ve identified as important to a trial user paying will help you understand what data you should track, and when you should send the messages in your Smart Campaign.

You can ensure that your messages send at the right time, by triggering them when your users complete certain actions. To do this, you'll need to make sure you're tracking the the data that shows your users are engaged.

For this smart campaign, you should track the following events: free users, paid users and if they use your key features.

2. Set up your campaign's rules

For this template, we'll use a cloud storage app called Example App as our example. However, you can apply this template to any company that offers both a free and paid version of a product or service.

To set up a campaign to convert free users to paying customers , choose these options:

Campaign goal: '
Paid is true'
Who enters the campaign:
Free users, signed up over 30 days ago.
How they'll exit: If they hit your goal, if they cancel or if they've received every message.

Here's how they'll appear when you're setting up your campaign:

3. Create a sequence of nurture messages

Now it's time to set up your auto messages. To avoid sending too many messages in a short time, we recommend that you space your messages by at least two days apart.

As a cloud storage app, Example App would like users to successfully use two key features that are associated with users who eventually pay:

  • Feature 1: Upload a file to Example App

  • Feature 2: Bulk upload files to Examples app

Here's a sequence of six nurture messages, including the rules that ensure your users only receive the most relevant messages:

Message 1 - Welcome / Upload your first file

Message type: In-app
Rules: 'Uploaded a file' is false
Message goal: 'Uploaded a file' is true

When a new user signs up to your product or service, it's important to welcome them and help them get started while they're still exploring your app.

For your first message, welcome your new user and help them get started by encouraging by them to use the first core feature in your app:

Hey [firstname] 👋 

Welcome to ExampleApp - the app that lets you safely store all of your files.

Looking to get started quickly? Just upload a file by clicking on 'Upload'. Or you can check out our best practices for uploading your files here.

If you've got any questions, feel free to ping me and we can chat further.


Message 2a - Successfully uploaded a file, now try Bulk upload

Message type: in-app
Rules: 'Uploaded a file' is true, and 'Bulk upload' is false
Message goal: 'Bulk upload' is true

If your user tried your primary feature after you sent them your first message, show them more benefits of your product by encouraging them to use a complementary feature.

In this example, if a user has uploaded a file, we'll send them a message to encourage them to bulk upload files:

Hey [firstname], 

I'm delighted you've started storing your files in a safe place 🔒 

Did you know you can upload entire photo albums in one go? Just hit bulk upload, select an album, and we'll take care of the rest.

Let me know if you need any help 😄 


Message 2b: Uploaded a file, send them influential content

Message type: Email
Rules: 'Uploaded a file' is false, 'received Message 1' is true
Message Goal: 'Uploaded a file' is true

If your user hasn't uploaded a file since you sent them your first message, they may be losing interest in your product. To keep them engaged, send them content by email that will convince them to try your key features. Also, include a customer success story or a guide to help them get started:

Hi [firstname],

Why worry about phone storage? Easily access all of their your photos and videos straight from our app, without taking up valuable phone GBs! 

Here’s how our 5k+ customers do it

Let me know if you'd like any help getting started! 😄 


Message 3 - Message 2b recipients who uploaded a file

Message type: In-app
Rules: 'Received Message 2b' is true, and 'Bulk upload' is false
Message goal: 'Bulk upload' is true 

This message's goal is similar to message to 2a, except it targets users who received Message 2b because they didn't initially upload a file.

We want these users to try bulk uploading files, as the majority of Example App paying users tried this feature before they paid:

Hey [firstname], 

I'm delighted you've started storing your files in a safe place 🔒 

Did you know you can upload entire photo albums in one go? Just hit bulk upload, select an album, and we'll take care of the rest.

Let me know if you need any help 😄 


Message 4 - Try our Pro plan

Message type: In-app
Rules: 'Uploaded a file' is true
Message goal: 'Paid' is true

Now, it's time to introduce your paid plan to any user who has used your primary feature. If they pay after receiving this message, they'll hit your overall goal and exit your campaign:

Hi [firstname],

Do you want to keep every file on your phone safe and sound? 🔒 

Our Pro plan gives you 200GB of storage for just $9 per month. Simply upgrade now, and secure all of your phone's files. 

As always, let me know if you have any questions. 😄 


Message 5 - reminder of paid plan + request for feedback

Message type: email
Rules: 'Received Message 4', and 'Uploaded a file' is true

If your users have received your message about your pro plan but still haven't paid, give them a final email reminder that their current plan is limited so they'll know they'll need to consider buying more storage space:


I just wanted to remind you that your current plan has a limit of 5GBs.

But, you can keep every file on your phone safe by upgrading to our our Pro plan 💪 

You'll get you 200GB of storage for just $9 per month. Upgrade now to get access. 

If you've got any feedback for me on your experience with Example App, I'd love to hear it 😊 


Once you've got your Smart Campaign set up, your sequence of messages will look like this:

Extra resources

While your campaign's messages will help you get your users' attention at the right time, your best content shouldn't live inside the message. The most effective messages guide users to more helpful content outside of the message.

Here are some resources you should think about creating to enrich your messages:

  1. A ‘get started’ guide (like this one).

  2. A customer success story that relates to your target users (here's an example).

  3. Best practices for using an important feature, or a feature specific to the paid plan.

  4. Sign up for a calendar booking app for your sales team to use within messages.

  5. A trial experience survey.

Here are some best practices on Smart Campaigns to help you get started.

💡 Tip

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