Peter Peter - Founder, UserActive

How to Create a SaaS Upgrade Flow that Converts

One of the best ways to increase MRR is through account expansion and upgrades. A great way to achieve this is by designing an engaging upgrade flow. In this article, we’re going to share an example of an upgrade flow and explain how you can create one that converts.

What’s an Upgrade Flow?

An upgrade flow is an in-app experience that makes it easy for your users to purchase the right plan for them. It might be a new user whose free trial is about to expire and they need to consider upgrading. Or, you may have an existing user who needs more usage, features or purchase more seats.

For the purpose of this article we’re going to reference an upgrade flow we recently designed for Adeptly, a learning and development games software. So, let’s take a look at 5 things you need to consider to create an upgrade flow that converts.

1. Paywalls

First of all, you might want to consider using Paywalls. Paywalls alert your users to any usage restrictions on their current plan. The best paywalls are contextual, so in this example, for Adeptly we’re showing a paywall when the user wishes to invite more players to one of their games. Since there’s a limit on players, this paywall serves to notify them and introduce the upgrade journey where the user can extend their player limit.

Paywall created for Adeptly

2. Provide Context

Now, if the user decides to engage with this upgrade flow, you’ll want to provide context around their current plan. We do this by showing the user what plan they are currently on and the included allocations for usage. This helps them to compare and contrast in relation to what’s included on the premium plans.

On this Adeptly screen we clearly show the user what his current plan is.

3. Communicate Features and Benefits

Now that the user has a sense of context, the third thing you’ll want to do is to clearly communicate the features and benefits involved in an upgrade. Here’s where we share a breakdown of the features included in each plan and we present a comparison so that the user can identify which plan best suits their needs. Pricing is an important factor in the comparison too and you may also want to consider that pricing can vary within a plan. For that reason, we often share controls or options that update the price as the user interacts with them.

Pricing screen created for Adeptly.

4. Make Payment Easy

This brings us to the fourth point which is to make payment easy. The last thing you want at this stage is to lose the upgrade because payment is difficult or convoluted. To do this, you can provide a simple payment overlay, indicating the price and what the customer is purchasing. We recommend using a renowned payment provider for SaaS such as Stripe, Chargebee or Paddle.

Payment summary screen.

5. Celebrate the Upgrade

Once your user makes their purchase, it’s a great opportunity for step 5, to celebrate the upgrade. Thank the customer for their purchase and celebrate this transaction which should be a win for both parties. You’ll also want to provide your new customer with an orientation for their upgraded account. Show them what’s new, what additional benefits they now have and help them to begin making good use of them. We recommend using notifications, tooltips and walkthroughs for this. This celebration is important because it reinforces with your customer that they’ve made the right decision with this purchase.

Celebration moments after upgrading should always give a feeling of reward to the customer.

So, that’s how to create an effective upgrade flow. If you need help increasing upgrades with your SaaS feel free to reach out to us at In the meantime, we hope this article helps you to improve your product, get more users and grow.

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