4. Revenue  >  Offer Gamified Trial Extension

Offer gamified trial extension to reduce SaaS churn

A perfect way to reduce churn and boost conversions by using gamification for trial extension. Ask users to complete certain tasks (that will make them fell in love with your app) to increase trial duration.



Prodpad did an amazing job at using gamification for trial extension.


Dropbox gives users free GBs for completing tasks that keep them engaged and provides them with awesome rewards.


Autodesk used gamification to increase free trial to paid conversions by 15% and trial usage by 54%.

How to use the technique

  • Develop a strategy on what to gamify. What actions and events need to be gamified should be based on research and audience preferences. Do surveys and interviews. Use buyer personas for more details. Our free churn optimization framework will reveal actionable insights. 
  • Divide trial period into small segments. Link segments to tasks and when a user completes the tasks, extend trial by a couple of days (or so). This works best to keep them engaged and they will be least likely to churn.
  • Shorten trial period. Let users earn trial through gamification. When they will earn it, they will be more likely to engage and stick with your app.
  • Use a checklist or progress bar to show users their progress. This will keep them motivated to do more.
  • Keep it interesting. It shouldn’t be boring. Don’t make it all about your app and its features. Don’t make users feel they're using an app. Track user actions.
  • Emphasize on conversions and engagement. Gamification is all about boosting engagement and developing user’s interest in your app so they eventually convert to paid subscription.
  • Track performance. Remove hurdles. Remove steps that take time for completion. Make it easier for users to extend free trial. Tracking and tweaking will become easier with our free actionable guide.

Mistakes to avoid

  • Hurting UX with gamification is a lethal mistake. Don’t ruin UX with gamification. Keep it simple and intuitive. It should improve UX instead of ruining it.
  • Overdoing with gamification can impact your app’s UVP negatively. Make sure gamification doesn’t become the reason why people use your app. Keep it interesting but don’t let it overcome your app features.


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Research evidence

Lucassen and Jansen published a qualitative article in Elsevier on how gamification is and will be used on consumer marketing. They identified three benefits of gamification for businesses (via literature review): Engagement, brand loyalty, and brand awareness. Use of gamification was expected to increase in the future.


Lucassen and Jansen identified three benefits of gamification for businesses (via literature review): Engagement, brand loyalty, and brand awareness.

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