February 10, 2016
Case Study

B2B Marketing: How Citrix used an automated guidance system to double conversions of free trial users

SUMMARY: Free trials are an important tool to convince people to move forward with the products in the Mobility Apps division of Citrix. Its marketing team optimized the free trial experience by installing an automated platform that essentially walked customers through the product experience.

It highlighted key points, pointed out competitive advantages and provided step-by-step guidance. As a result, customers who had access to the platform converted at twice the rate of those who didn’t.
by Andrea Johnson, Copywriter


The Citrix Enterprise Mobility Solutions division is a global leader in software solutions that power business mobility through secure, mobile workspaces that provide instant access to apps, desktops, data and communications on any device, over any network and cloud.

"We want our customers to let us know how our product works for them," Jay Hall, Marketing Conversion Manager, Citrix, said.


Hall wanted to optimize conversion rates with people who were using the company's free trials.

"We provide 30-day trials to customers to give them a hands-on feel for our product, to see if they like it, to see if it will suit their needs," Hall said. "Research consistently shows customers who take advantage of a free trial and use the product in the first couple of days are the ones most likely to find the true value."

The team decided to integrate a software platform into their free trial that guides users through every step of their introduction to the service. The platform anticipates user needs and provides help exactly when and where they need it.


Citrix conducted an A/B test to see if customers with a trial that leveraged the platform would engage more than customers without. But it took months of research to ensure that the platform would provide the information customers wanted most.

Step #1. Get customer insight first

Hall made phone calls to 60 trial customers a day to find out their thoughts about the product, answer questions and give demonstrations. This research enabled him to fully grasp their needs and where they were having issues that might prevent them from moving forward with a purchase. He then incorporated what he learned into the platform.

The platform addressed issues and challenges by:

View the Creative Sample

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A toolbar allowed customers to easily and quickly monitor their progress.

View the Creative Sample

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Pointing out competitive differentiation, Hall said, "A lot of our competitors charge for their audio, and audio is included in our solutions. So letting customers know where they could set up audio was a selling point."

Step #2. Incorporate the platform into the first free-trial email

Customers are sent an email welcoming them to the free trial and inviting them to a complimentary public training. The email includes links to favorite product features, and when customers click on the link to learn more, the platform automatically walks them through that feature.

This way, customers don’t have to search for help pages or click on link after link to get more information. Instead, they’re sent directly to what they want to know.

Step #3. Implement to enhance customer experience

Use A/B tests to understand where customers may be able to use additional information, and leverage the platform to provide that. Hall provided an example:

"We want to bring resources to our customers rather than make them find them," he said. "For GoToWebinar, one of the tools we’re going to be using here shortly is a launcher letting customers know what an organizer, attendee and a panel is."

The information appears like a pop-up infographic on the page so the customer doesn’t have to leave the page they’re on to get the basic information. A click can make the pop-up disappear.

Each page has to be specially coded to support the platform; consequently, the pages have to be tested to ensure the platform and the page are working together seamlessly.


Citrix has implemented the platform on all of its GoToWebinar post-login pages, is continually testing to optimize and is now moving forward with using it with other products.

Hall and his team saw the following results with this campaign:
  • A 100% increase in conversion rates

  • Overall 40% increased usage of the Treatment as opposed to the Control group

The A/B test also showed that customers using the platform:
  • Reached the "manage audio" page 61% more

  • Clicked on "save audio" 41% more

  • Reached the poll creation page 39% more

  • Saved a poll 28% more

"Our main objective in using [the platform] was to see if assisting these customers, keeping them engaged and showing them how to use our product would increase conversion," he said. "If we’re not assisting and helping our customers, we can’t guarantee that they’re going to convert or they’re going to love our product."



WalkMe — The platform used by Citrix to provide automated free-trial guidance

Creative Samples

  1. Screenshot of instructional pop-up

  2. Screenshot of progress toolbar

Related Resources

MarketingSherpa Summit 2016

Personalization Marketing: In-trial messages increased online registrations by 15% for a B2B SaaS

B2B Gamification: How Autodesk used game mechanics for in-trial marketing

How to Harness the Power of New Technology to Personalize to Your Audience [From the MarketingSherpa blog]

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