Your free users don’t want to move to the paid tier— why?

Possible reasons behind a low free-to-paid conversion rate

Ana Bibikova
4 min readJun 9, 2022

You’ve built a product but honestly, customers are not lining up. You posted about it on Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit, in a couple of Facebook groups. Got yourself some traffic, dozens of sign-ups for a free trial (yay!). But when the trial is over you still have almost no conversions.

That sucks! No worries, you tell yourself. It’s just a numbers game, right? You just did not have enough free trials to convert.

What do they say? An average conversion rate should be around 5%, and you had just 12 trials — no wonder you did not convert even 1 person.So you set out to get more traffic to your landing.

You launch on Product Hunt. You invest in SEO to be found more often organically. You spend $1K on Google Ads.

Trials are piling up. But the conversion rate still sucks. It’s far lower than 5% and you’re not sure when your $1K invested in paid acquisition is about to be paid off.

So, why the hell this is happening to you? Why are you getting free trial sign ups but no or very few conversions to paid users? Here are the possible reasons.

1. Expected value vs received value