The big secret to convert trial users to paid users

Wanna know the big secret to convert trial users to paid users?

Stop trying to sell your product.

One of the biggest revelations I’ve had while helping companies convert trial users to paid is that folks don’t REALLY want your product.

They care about THEIR problem.

See, there’s a gap in your user’s mind…

The gap exists between where they are now, and where they want to end up.

Imagine that your customer is stranded on a deserted island…

This island has NO trees to protect them from the heat of the fierce sun…no clean, fresh source of water…no food…

And every night they hear the howl of hungry wolves and the rustling of who-knows-what outside their tent.


Across the inlet they can see this OTHER island…

It’s overflowing with mango trees so packed with fruit that it just falls off the trees…

They can see 5 pound fish jumping out of the water and flopping onto the shoreline, ready to be picked up and cooked.

But the only way they can get from their “hell” island to this “heaven” island is to build a boat and sail across.

Your product is the boat that will get them from the deserted island to this lush, beautiful paradise.

The mistake I see is that folks focus too much on selling the “boat” than on what life will be like once they get to the island…

Ya’ following me?

Imagine two boat salesman on the first island… selling the exact same boat…

The first salesman says: “Boats for sale! Check out this amazing boat you can get! It’s got 2 sails, 2 oars, it’s built out of high density bamboo so you’ll have a nice smooth comfortable ride…AND did I mention it’s got a built in cooler to keep your stuff frosty cold even in the hot sun?!”

And the second salesman says:

“In 30 minutes, this boat can get you to Paradise Island where you’ll be eating those fresh, ripe mangoes…cooking up those delicious fish next to your warm, cozy fire…and finally get some cool shade from this hot sun. Plus, you won’t get sore arms rowing because this boat has 2 sails that are designed to take most of the work out for you…just sit down right here and let the wind carry you to paradise.”

(Boat builders out there, please keep in mind I know absolutely NOTHING about boats lol).

See the difference between these hypothetical (and somewhat ridiculous) scenarios?

The first focuses on the “product” while the second focuses much more on what will happen once they buy the boat.

(Keep in mind, you can’t just IGNORE your product or its features…but you should always tie a feature back into the value your user will get)

Would it help to show you a real life example?

One of the best I’ve seen of this principle in action is the Nest Cam site. (link below)

There are SO many good examples of Nest showing how their product will “close the gap” and bring the user closer to “heaven island”.

For instance Instead of saying: “Records the last three hours of activity.”they say:

“See what you missed.”

Their customer doesn’t lay awake at night thinking: “I wish the last three hours of activity in my house was being recorded…”

They are thinking: “What am I missing at my house right now? What’s happening?”

They do eventually talk about the 3 hour recording time, but they always tie it back to the idea that they won’t be missing out on what’s going on at their home.

Nest even allows you to interact with a “fake” nest cam to show you what life will be like once you have one installed:

(See it here:’ve done a brilliant job selling “heaven island” instead of a “home web cam”.

Nest REALLY understands their customer.

Here’s a little challenge for ya’ (if you’re up for it).

Go through your onboarding emails, follow up emails and web copy…

And see where you can change from selling the “product’ to the “life after the product”.


1) PLEASE (x10) split test! Don’t take my word for it…try it against what you already have and see what happens.

2) PLEASE (this is a big one) don’t make up or assume what heaven island is for your user. This vivid paradise should come from the mouth of the interviews you have with your users (if you struggle getting customers to talk with you, or need some guidance for what to ask them once you get them on the phone, download the same templates I use here:

If you have a headline or some copy you’re proud of (or you want some feedback on something you’re working) share it in the comments below!

Dare greatly,

Aaron Krall

Check out Nest here:, make sure to check out the home page – the headline there is also fantastic.