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How to set up a perfect software trial and measure its success

2 September, 2019

We hear it all the time - why should I bother doing a free software trial and how can I measure its success? It’s a good question. Too often, businesses sign up to try something and then never actually use it, don’t use correctly, or forget about it completely.

It’s challenging for firms in all industries when deciding whether to invest in software. Everything else we invest in, such as staff, plants, models, or materials, we can see and touch and trust that it will deliver a consistent return, which we can’t with software. In addition to this, most firms have made a decision they’ve later regretted when it comes to implementing a new system.

Here’s a few common fears a trial solves:

  • I’m worried it’ll be a waste of money.
  • What if staff don’t use it?
  • It looks great in a sales demo, but I can’t imagine it in my business.
  • How much time do we have to commit to implementing this?
  • How can a piece of software actually pay for itself?


We believe that for your big decisions you should be able to try before you buy. The traditional way of investing in software, spending hours upon hours in meeting rooms with salespeople being drowned in PowerPoint, is changing. We’ve designed Mail Manager so you can set it up and have staff using it in minutes.

The Mail Manager pilot experience

A good pilot programme needs to get the software into the hands of the end-user as quickly as possible so they can see if they can actually adopt it or not. Basically, start at the end-user level and work upwards.

With Mail Manager, we encourage our free triallers to break the trial/proof of concept down into the following steps:

  1. Focus on the end-users/choose your pilot person/team carefully.
  2. Get staff using it quickly.
  3. Give it at least a two-week time frame.

Below, we will guide you on getting the most out of your free Mail Manager trial. Just remember, before fully committing to running our trial program, you must understand the impact on your organisation. If issues arise, help will be on hand so you can move forward with your trial. We don’t bite!  

Who should be part of the pilot?

  1. Don’t ask for volunteers. It can skew results.
  2. Consider the workflow you’re trying to improve or replace and include everyone included in that workflow.
  3. Find the least tech-savvy person in the business. If they can pick it up, then you’re on to a winner. Fortunately, Mail Manager is super easy to adopt and use.


How much training is needed for an accurate pilot? Well, a well-designed pilot will involve little or no training. Even a slow adopter should be able to learn how to use Mail Manager just by interacting with it. At the end of the day, the aim of the pilot is to show what the software can do, not take up X amount of hours as employees try to get to grips with it.

Introduce a Champion

A trial Champion is a person who is tasked with making sure the pilot runs smoothly. It’s their duty to ‘own’ the pilot. This person is typically a decision-maker and is tech-savvy enough to assist with any questions the rest of the team has. They should also be aware of the challenges and pain points you are trying to address in the first place. For Mail Manager, that means the pilot Champion should be well-versed with the issues around email management.

Scaling the pilot

We always see the best results achieved when the pilot is implemented either project by project, or department by department. As a basic requirement, your goal should be to get smaller teams or departments using the software as it should be.

Don’t be afraid to ask us for support

At Mail Manager, we want to help you navigate through your trial period to optimise your use of the solution. We are confident that our Outlook add-in is best of breed, so don’t be afraid to ask for support if needed. We can help you discover and learn more about the features that will help you to solve your business needs.

How to measure the success of your free trial?

The key is defining the key metrics before you begin. You’ll know what your pain points are (why you wanted the trial in the first place), so consider these questions to ask your team before the end of your trial:

Have you noticed spending less time searching for information in email? If so, how much?

Would you be happy if we removed it and you went back to your old way of working?
How long has it taken you to learn to use it?

  • Still learning the ropes?
  • Fairly easily?
  • Really quickly and easily?

How consistently would your team use Mail Manager to file and search emails?

  • Daily?
  • Weekly
  • Rarely?
  • Never?
How would your team respond if this was rolled out company-wide?

See the value of Mail Manager yourself with a free 15-day trial here.


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