4. Revenue  >  Address Motivation On Paywall

Address motivation on trial paywall to reduce SaaS churn

A soft paywall puts restrictions to some features of your app after free trial expiration. This is a perfect approach to reduce churn and motivate users to convert to get access to features that they don’t have access to.



Typeform is free but it has several features walled that need upgradation.


Appcues reduced its free trial from 30 to 14 days and added a soft paywall allowing users to extend the free trial for 5 more days by entering credit card details.


Slack smartly notifies users to get access to more features (which they're missing now) with an upgrade.

How to use the technique

  • Create a soft paywall strategy. What features to restrict? When to add the restriction? Do you need to target your entire audience? Have a complete strategy for your paywall that ensures the right context and timing. Read our free churn optimization framework for more details. 
  • Restrict some features of users who don’t upgrade after the expiration of free trial. Let them use your app. Remind them about the Aha! moment in a paywall to get them to upgrade.
  • Use in-app notifications to tell users what features are walled. Let users know why a specific feature is walled and how they can unlock it.
  • Use clear CTAs in the notifications and emails. Describe how to get access to the full app. Prominent CTAs with the right placement get attention and reduce churn.
  • Measure performance of soft paywall. Is it really helping you improve conversions and reduce churn? If users aren’t upgrading, consider restricting a few more features. Track user actions. Use our free actionable guide on testing and measuring performance.

Mistakes to avoid

  • Not highlighting the benefits of unlocking walled features. Show users what they're missing and how upgrading to premium will benefit them.
  • Not engaging with users who don’t upgrade and continue using your app with walled features. Don’t ignore them. Connect with them. Engage with them. Persuade them to convert with promotions and rewards.


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Research evidence

Sjøvaag conducted a longitudinal comparative study to analyze how three Norwegian online newspapers are using the paywall. Findings revealed that premium content is used for paywall while news and syndicated content (not premium) is available for free. Users don’t hesitate to pay for the most valuable content. However, the free content keeps being a major contributor to traffic generation for the three newspapers.


Use paywalls to increase profit, use free trials and demos to drive traffic.

Related techniques SEE ALL THE TECHNIQUES >

Implement with our proven SaaS Churn Optimization Framework

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