Facebook Retargeting For SaaS Free Trials Vs Demos

Facebook retargeting for SaaS businesses can be one of the most profitable ways to scale.

It can also be tough if you don’t have a well thought out retargeting strategy.

In this article we’ll look at Facebook retargeting strategies that will explode the number of trials, demos and leads for your SaaS business.

As part of your SaaS advertising strategy you’ll need to decide whether to offer a free trial or a product demo. You may want to test a free trial against a product demo and see which works best. 

*Before we get started*

If you’re thinking about running Facebook ads, be sure to install a Facebook pixel on your website ASAP. The pixel will track which Facebook users visit your website’s pages. It will keep that data for up to 180 days. 

You’ll be able to create custom audiences of people who have visited specific pages of your website but not other pages. This is essential for implementing the strategies we’ll explore in this post. 

If you install the pixel now, you’ll have up to 180 days of website traffic data from which to create custom audiences for retargeting when you get started.  

Facebook Retargeting For SaaS - Facebook Pixel

AdEspresso.com – Image Source


First, let’s explore when to consider product demos over free trials as a customer acquisition method.


When to Use Product Demos:

The more complex and higher priced your SaaS product is, the more potential objections may arise.

One-to-one product demos are great for SaaS products that are more complex. Such products require more education and on-boarding for the customer to understand how to use the product.

Demos are great for selling higher ticket products. Examples include:

  • enterprise SaaS
  • SaaS for small businesses with a price point higher than $100 per month

Keap (formerly InfusionSoft) and Ontraport are good examples of SaaS that utilize demos.

Group webinars can also be classed as product demos. Webinars offer less opportunities for you to uncover and overcome your prospect’s objections. This can make it harder to close the sale but webinars may be an effective strategy to explore. 

These demo retargeting strategies can be applied to one-to-one demos and group webinars. 


When to Use Free Trials:

Offering a free trial can be a highly effective way to grow your customer base. The free trial can be used instead of a demo when the product is easy to use and has a small learning curve. 

Free trials are also useful when your SaaS product’s pricing is relatively low and therefore requires less consideration to result in a sale.


Facebook Retargeting For SaaS: The Argument For Free Trials

Facebook retargeting for SaaS is some of the lowest hanging fruit in your garden. If you’re not yet doing it, these tips and tricks will get your head flowing with ideas quickly. 

Facebook retargeting for SaaS ideas

leveragegrowth.com – Image Source


Many SaaS are so innovative that people are not even searching online for them. 

Low search volume makes it hard to depend on SEO and Google Search Ads to generate customers. 

That’s why Facebook ads can be a great way to reach new customers. The problem is that people don’t go on Facebook to search for things to buy. That’s why free trials can work well when running Facebook ads.


Facebook Retargeting For SaaS Using Free Trials

When offering a free trial you have two options. I highly recommend that you split test these two customer acquisition methods:


Option 1: No credit card required

A lot of Facebook retargeting for SaaS campaigns focus on offering free trials without asking for a credit card. And there’s a good reason for that…

If you don’t ask for credit card information on your free trial landing page, you should get more free trial registrants. 

You may want to ask for nothing more than an email address on your free trial page. This will reduce friction and obstacles to let more users experience your trial. 

But your SaaS needs to amaze free trial users and your on boarding process needs to be rock solid. This option may enable you to acquire more customers than asking for the credit card up front.

It may also reduce your cost per free trial sign up and could even reduce your cost per acquisition (CPA) of a new paying customer. 

However, if your on boarding process isn’t absolutely rock solid, you may get better results by collecting credit card info on the free trial page. 


Option 2: Asking for credit card info upfront

payment info on free trial checkout page

Freemius.com – Image Source


Asking for the user’s credit card info upfront will result in less free trial users. 

It may also result in a higher cost per free trial sign up and a higher CPA of a paying customer (but this should be tested).

If you ask for credit card info upfront, there are two ways to go about this:

  1. Offer a free trial
  2. Offer a $1 trial (or any minimal amount you like)

The free trial means there’s less objection in the user’s mind. This should result in more sign ups at a lower CPA than the paid trial (in theory).

But with free trials, credit cards have not been validated. A percentage of these cards will fail when the first charge is attempted by your billing system.

You may also get more refund requests. This is because some users intended to cancel their subscription before the free trial expires but forgot to.

The $1 trial validates credit cards. This may also result in a more qualified customer. And that means you’ll get a higher conversion rate from trial to upgrade (in theory). 

The diagram below shows the stages in converting a prospect into a customer using the ‘no credit card required’ option.

Facebook Retargeting For SaaS Free Trial Funnel Diagram

Facebook Retargeting For SaaS – Free Trial Funnel


Pages you’ll need for this process include:

  1. The free trial landing page
  2. The free trial confirmation page
  3. The upgrade checkout page
  4. The upgrade checkout confirmation page


The Free Trial Landing Page

In most cases, the majority of visitors to this page will not sign up for a free trial.

If you don’t have a way to bring them back to this page, 100% of the people who bounce will never come back to your site. That means your chances of converting them into a customer are close to zero. 

But they showed interest in your product to begin with, right? 

That’s why they ended up on your free trial page in the first place. 

If you’re able to retarget these people who don’t convert the first time, you’ll be able to bring some of them back to the page and some of them will sign up. 


The Free Trial Confirmation Page

People who land on this page have signed up for your free trial. The next goal is to get them to upgrade to your SaaS subscription.

In Facebook you can create a custom audience of people who have:

  • landed on your free trial confirmation page but
  • have not landed on your upgrade checkout confirmation page

We can also set an amount of time in which to keep each Facebook user in this custom audience. 

If your free trial is 14 days long, you could set this time to 14 days so that everyone in this custom audience is still within their free trial period. 

This is useful if you want to incentivize users with urgency. This can be extremely effective in converting trial users into paying customers.

Examples of limited time offers include:

  • 20% discount on the first year’s annual subscription
  • Extra bonuses (e-books, courses, SaaS product add-ons, etc.)


The Upgrade Checkout Page

People who land on this page are showing a higher level of intent than people who don’t visit this page.

You could create a custom audience of people who have

  • visited your upgrade checkout page but
  • have not visited your upgrade checkout confirmation page

You could then show ads specifically to this custom audience.

In your retargeting ad, you could give them the chance to message you with questions before upgrading. 


The Upgrade Checkout Confirmation Page

Congratulations! Any users who land on this page have upgraded to a subscription with you. 

But the fun doesn’t stop there… No Sir! 

The first few days and weeks of a new SaaS customer’s experience are essential to their success in using your product. These initial days and weeks are also critical to your customer retention, lifetime value, ROI and ROAS. 

You could utilize retargeting to uncover objections and address any issues. 

Here’s how:

  1. Create a custom audience of people who have visited the upgrade checkout confirmation page in the last 15 days / 30 days.
  2. Create ads inviting them to message you on Facebook.


SaaS Free Demo Retargeting

The diagram below shows the stages involved in converting a lead into a customer via product demos.

Pages required for this process include:

  1. The free demo registration page
  2. The free demo calendar booking page
  3. The SaaS checkout page
  4. The SaaS checkout confirmation page

Let’s imagine that a person finds your website and ends up on your free demo registration page. 

You may run ads to cold traffic advertising this offer of a free demo. 

As with the free trial landing page, the majority of visitors will bounce off this page never to return again…

Unless you are taking advantage of retargeting! 

Facebook Retargeting For SaaS Product Demo Funnel Diagram

Facebook Retargeting For SaaS – Product Demo Funnel


The free demo registration page

In most cases the majority of visitors to your free demo registration page will not complete the registration process. 

Don’t stress – here comes retargeting to the rescue once again!

Quartz.com – Image Source


You can set up a custom audience of people who have visited your demo registration page but did not land on the next page in your funnel. That next page may be a calendar booking page or a registration confirmation page. 


The free demo calendar booking page

If you are sending demo registrants to a 2nd page that has an online booking widget for them to schedule their demo, you’ll want to retarget the people who land on this page but don’t land on the following page. 

Some of the more advanced online scheduling apps such as Acuity Scheduling have the ability to install the Facebook pixel. They also allow you to use some of Facebook’s standard conversion events to track conversions such as ‘scheduled appointment’ (Acuity Scheduling uses the ‘Purchase’ standard event type to track this).

AcuityScheduling.com – Image Source


The advantage of this is that you don’t need to redirect people to a different URL after they schedule a demo in order to trigger a conversion using the Facebook pixel. 

This enables your potential customer to see the ‘add to calendar’ buttons after scheduling an appointment using Acuity Scheduling, which increases the chances that they’ll remember to show up for their demo. 


Facebook Retargeting For SaaS – Boosting Product Demo Show Up Rates

Just because a person has registered for a demo doesn’t mean they’re going to show up.

But you can increase the chances that they’ll show up by implementing ‘indoctrination’.

Indoctrination simply means providing valuable content before the demo to increase awareness, interest and desire for your product. 

Or as Wikipedia puts it:

Indoctrination is the process of inculcating a person with ideas, attitudes, cognitive strategies or professional methodologies.

Marketers use indoctrination to boost webinar attendance rates by sending a couple of valuable videos to registrants before a webinar. 

But if you’re only sending out this content by email, you’re missing out on higher attendance rates and sales. You could get more eyeballs on your indoctrination content with retargeting ads. 

Here’s how:

  1. Set up a custom audience of people who’ve registered for your demo in the last three days (or any time frame).
  2. Set up a retargeting campaign to send them to a landing page featuring a valuable video.

Pro Tip:

Split test campaign objectives to see which brings the most results and the lowest cost per action, for example: 


The SaaS checkout page

There are several groups of website visitors who may land on your checkout page. 

  • Those who visit your checkout page from your pricing page
  • Those who click an email link to your checkout page (after they’ve completed a product demo for example)
  • Those who click on a retargeting ad after registering for a product demo

You could set up retargeting campaigns to different audiences. But the most likely group to convert on your checkout page is going to be the folks that have completed a demo.

I recommend setting up a custom audience of visitors who scheduled a product demo but have not landed on your checkout confirmation page yet. 


The SaaS checkout confirmation page

Once a visitor lands on this page, they’ve become a paying customer. Congratulations! 

These first few weeks will be the most essential time to boost retention and Customer Lifetime Value

It is crucial that your on boarding process is airtight. Your customers should find this initial experience as frictionless as possible.

More complex products (and higher ticket items) will benefit from one or more training calls to help users. 

You can utilize retargeting campaigns to get more new customers to register for training sessions or group webinars. 

Here’s how:

Step 1: Create a custom audience of users who:

  • landed on your checkout confirmation page but
  • didn’t register for your on boarding call within the last 3, 7 or 14 days

Step 2: Set up an ad campaign inviting these people to register for your training session or webinar and link to the registration page from the ad.



I hope this article on Facebook retargeting for SaaS helped you discover some new ideas to boost your revenue.

The key point is this:

No matter where a person is in your customer lifecycle, there’s always a higher level in your value ladder.

That goes for new prospects and seasoned veterans.

You can convert advanced users into certified consultants and affiliates of your product.

These days, depending on email alone won’t cut it.

Retargeting can be a powerful way to boost conversions and retention with a fantastic Return On Ad Spend.

Want to get a custom retargeting strategy for your SaaS or eCommerce business? 

Schedule a no-obligation strategy call today! You’ll get a fully customized blueprint to scale your business to dizzying heights.