Make your pricing clear to increase LTV

I'm currently writing a competitor comparison page for the doopoll site. In doing that, I came across their pricing table and it really wound me up.

Pricing pages are one of the highest leverage pages on B2B SaaS sites.

Our pricing page, for example, is consistently one of the highest value pages – and it only took us 1-2 hours to build and requires maybe 1-2 hours per year of update time.

Here's why I think this is such a frustrating table.

SmartSurvey Pricing Page

Make it easy for customers, not easy for your sales pipeline

I'm very much not against engineering a piece of information to maximise the value of conversion.

But that should never come at the expense of the customer's experience.

Most customers want to pay as little as possible, so they start at the left (where their eye naturally falls in text-RTL societies), and want to disqualify themselves from low-cost packages before they consider the more expensive packages.

Flipping the orientation of that is annoying and confusing to users.

Side note: if you're enjoying this teardown of the pricing table so far, you might enjoy Positive Hüman where I'm sharing more of these and also loads of great B2B SaaS resources. Check it out if that's you.

Most popular for you, or for your customers?

The next thing that jars on me about this table, and it's true of a lot of pricing tables, is the addition of 'Most Popular' to the most expensive, publicly available plan.

Why? Two reasons:

Firstly, I just don't buy it without additional context. I would believe that the most expensive plan is the most popular if you provided data as well. That could be in the form of a quick tooltip that says '51% of customers buy this plan' even. But qualifying it would make this feel less slimy.

Secondly, as a consumer, I have no reason to choose the most popular plan. It doesn't make sense to me. Why would I want the plan that is most popular vs the one that's actually right for me?

An objection that some people will have is: 'But what does it matter if I'm gaining higher value customers because of the most popular label?'

That's fair. But it's a fallacy.

Licence businesses run on lifetime value, not immediate value. We need customers to renew each year or month.

The best option is to help customers find the plan that works for their organisation. Every feature you've sold to them that they don't need is an opportunity for them to say: 'Oh yeh. I'm not using this as much as I thought I would. I'd like to cancel'

And at that point, you've actually churned a customer rather than retaining a 50% value customer for a longer period of time.

What's the takeaway?

  • Frame your pricing in a way that helps a customer choose the best plan for them
  • Make it easy and intuitive for a customer to do this
  1. 1

    Secondly, as a consumer, I have no reason to choose the most popular plan. It doesn't make sense to me. Why would I want the plan that is most popular vs the one that's actually right for me?

    Ahh, but social proof is very important. We all want to belong, to feel accepted, to seek comfort in the fact that everyone else is also doing X or Y, so we're in good company. You'd be surprised how many people make their decisions based on what other people are doing. And I'm talking way beyond SaaS pricing pages.

    1. 1

      That’s totally fine but on the other hand, saying Most Popular without context actually doesn’t prove anything.

      And if it’s not actually ‘most popular’ then it’s just a marketing ploy and it’s dishonest. Which is a bad way to start a customer relationship.

      1. 1

        Hm, as a consumer I immediately assume that "Most Popular" is simply what they want me to buy, not necessarily what's best-selling.

        Is it just me? Maybe I'm cynical.

        I see where you're coming from though.

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