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How to Use Pricing Tables to Grow Sales

July 7th, 2011

Mini Sprout Web Apps Pricing Table How To
You’ll find plenty of blogs that give examples of CSS and table-based pricing tables. But if the pricing table doesn’t convert, it won’t matter how you built it.

The purpose of a pricing table is to upsell potential customers. It’s set up for customers to pick the most appropriate plan for them, but web app entrepreneurs should design it so it leads to more revenue.

By the time your visitors reach the pricing table, they likely understand the value of your product and are considering making a purchase. From here, you have the opportunity to grow that final transaction cost as high as possible. It’s called “upselling,” and many established web apps do it well. Let’s take a look at some examples.

1: Pricing tables should upsell interested customers

37signals pricing table
37signals offers five plan options for Basecamp, but it pushes for the second most expensive plan, even if the cheapest paid option will work best for most customers. In this case, they’re upselling a customer that is already interested in purchasing.

2: Encourage customers to upgrade by offering free plans with few features

Wufoo pricing table
Wufoo actually calls attention to their free plan because it serves a role in their larger acquisition strategy. There’s quite a range of difference between their free and lowest-level paid plan. In fact, anyone who uses Wufoo on the free plan will quickly run out of fields or entries; they’ll have to upgrade. In this case, Wufoo uses their free plan as a teaser trial.

3: Users should see a value for every level of upgrade

The lowest level paid plan should offer the least value, and the highest level paid plan should offer the best value. Stepping up levels should not be as simple as doubling storage and doubling the price. Instead, users should feel an incentive to upgrade.

Incremental Value for pricing tables web apps
PlanHQ offers plans for $9, $24 and $49 per month. But the more expensive options are not offered simply by doubling or tripling costs and features. Users see an incremental value for sliding up to the next tier level, which encourages upsells for existing customers.

4: Less isn’t just more; it’s everything

It’s too common for new web app developers to build a pricing table that compares every feature. Keep it simple. Restrain the features for the Tour pages. And if you have multiple features that change with each level, consider simplifying the price points. You don’t need ten different components to highlight plan levels. Usually, one feature alone (like storage space, number of projects, or number of credits) will do just fine.

5: Once you build it, optimize

Your first attempt at a pricing table is really your personal opinion about what you think will convert a customer. Every hundred sales or so, make a change and see what boosts conversions. For high-performance sites, look into using Google’s free Website Optimizer tool for dynamic page changes that will tell you what combination works best.

The job of building and refining a pricing table really never ends. Customer needs change, as do your web apps’ features. Schedule time to regularly review the pricing table. It could end up being the most significant sales tool for your business.

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