Software Pricing Strategies


Source:  Kevin Leary, OpenView Partners

If you’re selling a product online, your website should be a major source of sales. Many companies with well designed websites have a clear product pricing strategy that is openly displayed on a Pricing page. It may initially seem scary or even reckless to publish your company’s pricing structure openly like this, but you might be surprised to find it’s more beneficial than you think, of course you also need to use the right hosting for it.

Pricing & Transparency

Being transparent about the cost of your software will help weed out leads that don’t quite fit into your target segments. You can’t be everything to everyone, so define your segment and create a pricing structure that aligns with their budgets and expectations.

Keep It Simple

A good Pricing page explains the cost of a product in a simple, easy to understand way. A transparent pricing page will also help your team focus on a product from a customer’s perspective.

Have you ever purchased a cell phone plan? Well, that’s opposite of what you want on a successful pricing page. Unless you have a telecommunications monopoly, you need to focus on having the simplest pricing structure possible.

Over the past few years, web product pricing strategy has led to standard design patterns in pricing page tables. Creating your own should be a no brainer. Let’s examine a few great examples of companies that have clearly defined their product pricing strategy.

1. Basecamp

Basecamp has one of the simplest pricing pages you’ll find. There are no hidden fees, just straight forward billing. They’re fully transparent with pricing, which is why they don’t have a single sales employee on staff. Their website controls the entire sales intake and on-boarding process. Instead of an outbound sales team, they focus their efforts on great customer service, conversion optimization (landing pages), and product experience improvements.

2. Campaign Monitor

Campaign Monitor has a consumption based pricing strategy, and their pricing page makes it damn simple to understand.

3. Wufoo

Wufoo doesn’t mess around when it comes to pricing page design. They put their product packages at the top of their pricing page, and I mean the very top. They do a great job of explaining the simple differences between each plan they offer, and have a total of five to choose from, which successfully targets various audiences.

4. Beanstalk

Beanstalk has a very nice pricing page that offers a 15-day money back guarantee. They brag about their 60 second setup time, which is debatable but does help sell, nonetheless. From a customer’s viewpoint: If it only takes a minute, and I can cancel without paying, why not try it out?

5. Apple

What if you have a complex product that doesn’t fit nicely into one of these slick-looking pricing tables? Don’t make excuses, you can always simplify a product’s pricing strategy into a comparison table. Apple does a great job of simplifying a complex product down to it’s core selling points. They provide technical details below the basic features for nerds to obsess over.

6. MediaTemple

Web host pricing can get complex, but MediaTemple does a wonderful job of simplifying its offerings into three tiers of service. If you don’t quite fit into one of these buckets then you can contact them for special pricing and custom setups online.

7. Github

Github has a multi-tiered pricing strategy that they clearly explain on their pricing page with a crafty bit of customer segmentation. The result? A simple, easy to understand pricing table that’s a no-brainer.

8. BigCartel

This is one of my favorites, probably because I’ve always liked the work that their web design team pumps out on a regular basis. Regardless, this is a simple, standard, and easy to understand pricing table you can find online.

9. Pulse

Pulse is a small business accounting tool, and it has nice data table setup for its pricing page. Is it standard? Yes. Does it drive sales? You bet.

10. SEOMoz

SEOMoz is a hosted SEO service that we use here at OpenView. Its pricing setup is very simple, and it has the nice benefit of a catch-all link at the bottom for big fish prospects that don’t quite fit into one of the pre-packaged plans.

Need more PRO? We’ve got larger plans made specifically for agency and enterprise use.

11. Ballpark

Ballpark has a super clean design that I love. Its pricing page and product pricing strategy is painstakingly simple. Below their pricing table they’ve included a handy Question & Answer section to address common questions that come up during the sales process.

12. Your Website (that’s right)

Do you have a noteworthy pricing page you’re using to sell your product online? Post a comment below with a link and I’ll let you know my thoughts on what you could possibly do to improve it.

Additional Resources

  1. 25 Beautiful Examples of Pricing Tables
  2. Pricing Tables: Examples And Best Practices
  3. Conversion Rate 101: Effective Pricing Tables

About Scale Finance

Scale Finance LLC (www.scalefinance.com) provides contract CFO services, Controller solutions, and support in raising capital, or executing M&A transactions, to entrepreneurial companies. The firm specializes in cost-effective financial reporting, budgeting & forecasting, implementing controls, complex modeling, business valuations, and other financial management, and provides strategic help for companies raising growth capital or considering M&A/recapitalization opportunities. Most of the firm’s clients are growing technology, healthcare, business services, consumer, and industrial companies at various stages of development from start-up to tens of millions in annual revenue. Scale Finance LLC has offices throughout the southeast including Charlotte, Raleigh/Durham, Greensboro, Wilmington, Washington D.C. and South Florida with a team of more than 30 professionals serving more than 100 companies throughout the region.