2. Activation  >  Use A Self-Service Demo

Use a self-service product demo to reduce SaaS churn

A product demo lets users explore your software without having to pay for it. This increases engagement, conversions, and reduces churn. It gets convenient for users to find how they can derive value from it.



CoSchedule offers both a demo and a free trial. It gets easier for users to choose the option that’s right for them.


Bynder uses a self-service product demo that helps them increase the speed of sales.

How to use the technique

  • Personalize the product demo. Not all users need your software for the same reason. Personalize demo based on persona. It doesn’t hurt to ask a few preliminary questions for optimization. Our free churn optimization framework has all the information you need to do research.
  • Identify key features. Prioritize core features of your app that deliver extreme value and start the demo with them. Ensure users don’t go without exploring core features. This will increase conversions and lower churn rate.
  • Add dummy data to make it easier for users to explore all the features. Don’t expect users that they will add their own data in a demo account rather make it a ready-to-use app.
  • Focus on benefits. Clearly show them how core features benefit them. A benefit-driven demo is more likely to activate users.
  • Offer in-app help. Self-service doesn’t mean you should leave them all alone. Offer all the support and help they need to stop them from churning.
  • Give access to the full version of your software. Let users explore every bit of your app. Don’t restrict them. That’s how you'll deliver value.
  • Track activation. Monitor success by tracking events including activation. Use this data for tweaks and for sending reminders. Tracking will become easier with our free churn optimization framework.

Mistakes to avoid

  • Not offering support during the demo. It’s a big mistake that SaaS companies make. Users still need help. Self-service product demo doesn’t mean you don’t have to give support. Be available to offer help and guidance.
  • Not focusing on conversions. The purpose of the product demo is to persuade users to convert to a customer. If they don’t convert, follow up, get in touch, and try to address issues they're having.


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Research evidence

According to SaaS Metric Report by Totango free trials are a common practice in the SaaS industry but they don’t always do well in terms of conversions. Only half of SaaS businesses that use free trials or freemium generate 25% of conversions. The product demo is an alternative that you might test if your application depends heavily on the entred data and free trials don't convert well.


The self-service product demo is a great alternative that you might test if free trials don't convert well for you.

Related techniques SEE ALL THE TECHNIQUES >


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