Having an addiction is usually not good, but since I heard that the second most popular page of a web startup was its pricing page I was hooked. I read every post from Lincoln Murphy (16 Ventures) and bought a set of his video’s next was and Chris Hopf (PricingWire) that has some great additions to Lincoln suggestions.
Being hooked mend I was going through all pricing pages of 317 web services and making our own top 31 of important elements that needed to be on our pricing page as soon as we were going out of beta. Now the time has come I think I need to go cold turkey on my pricing page addition. But this is my last shot… this blog post explaining to you why the first pricing page ever online of Convert Insights, looks
like … this.
Here the breakdown of some important elements I tried to get into the page that might help others.
Title and subtitle
The pricing page is a marketing page and we should repeat the value proposition, in our case we repeat the same phrase from the homepage. We did this since we cannot assume every person that comes to our pricing page first sees the homepage. It might be this blog post first. So at least they now have some idea what our service does “Increase conversion and engagement of website visitors”
The subtitle might be even more important and we for sure go and test what happens if we switch the two. Important elements are the “No credit card needed” we give a “30 day trial” since we feel the 30 days are needed to get a general idea of the entire tool. Then we got the ease of sign-up element “sign-up in 60 seconds”. These two phrases are very important and will be tested on extensively (and we might already be doing that, but I cannot tell you since that would ruin the test reliability (haha).
Plan names and size
Naming the plans something like gold, standard, diamond, large or whatever does not really do much for most people. We helped them by directing our target audience to the right plans. Optimizer, for the person that loves improving their own business site. Marketer, Business, Agency and in future probably Enterprise. That way everyone knows right away that this software fits these general groups and we give another hint of what the software could do.
Size does matter and without you seeing even the names of these plans the right one looks bigger and most expensive. Just by using the growing size we give visual support to the plan size and price and also the feeling of growth business. Everyone wants to see a line going to the top left in the business graphs. Might not work at all, but again this is our starting point we will keep testing.
We added the orange background of the suggested plan and decided to create this entire pricing page with CSS over images. The disadvantage that our “growing” plans are not always that nicely smooth cornered, in Internet Explorer and some other browsers. We will accept that now over the ease of testing with background colors. Saving us a lot of time adjusting all images… while now we just edit a color setting.
We did two things with our pricing: one we decided to go with the growing in price from left to right. This to support the visual idea of growth in plans, while at the same time relates to decision makers like to see their business turnover growth. Second thing is: we have a philological jump in pricing with the Agency Pricing. The difference in price is significant higher $499 USD vs. the Business plan of $ 149 USD making the first three plans look like a bargain (which I think they are).
Next we decided to add a second tier in our pricing to offer as much options to everyone inside a budget group. When clicking on Select & Buy a subset of the pricing page shows you three types of plans. Playing again with the names you see we added the S, L and XL to these plans, while using the same name. In features they are alike but in amount of pageviews they differ.
Naming these sub-planes again is not a coincidence. Normally you would grow from Small to Medium to Large. Maybe you would pick Gold, Platinum or Diamond, but you want to make the most out the well know supersize experience at McDonalds. Just after you decided on the menu (Convert Insights plan) you are asked would you like the small or large fries and coke, for just 10 cents extra? So I skipped the whole Medium or Standard on our supersizing your plan, we give Small, Large and Extra large. The hypothesis of us is, that more people will end up getting the Large plan vs. the Small just because we left out the Medium and started with Small. More about that if we proven we are right or wrong.
Plan height and The Fold
We have one button above the fold and a good amount of visual support to show that the plan goes on after the fold for people to scroll down. We used the gray background of each plan to make sure people see that there is more when they scroll down. We did decide to make the plan a short version of the feature list and placed the most differences on top. The “More Features” button/link can be used to get additional information on the details of each plan, while making sure they do not leave the most important page of our site.
We have two options on our plans, you buy them or you try them. I heard Lincoln Murphy saying in one of his video’s “Why only offer trials, if people want to give you their money right now, why prevent that” So the hypothesis here is that maybe 5% of the users are fine with hearing about the references and want to sign-up for a paid account directly. So people that want to pay us directly or instead of in 30 day they are more than welcome to do that.
We selected the “Buy Now” buttons to be green because we do not use green elements in our theme so they will stand out (I hope).The “Free trial” button is supported by a 30 days trial repetition, since that might be a something they forgot while scrolling down. You might want to place “No credit card needed” instead of the 30-day trial and learn more as support. We will again test the effect of that in the future.
Features and Mouseovers
We change the background when users move the mouse over the features. This helps to compare the features while looking to left or right of their mouse. Second we have a feature tiptool that is filled with the information about the feature. This allows the user to stay one the pricing page while learning about your features. That way I hope they do not go to the feature page and I again have to convince them there to sign-up for the trial.
We also decided against placing any icons before the features (like green checkmark or red cancel icon). We did that to avoid the negative association with the red spot or cancel icon on this important conversion page. Just small stripes to signal that that feature is not available in some plans, should be enough.
Since 37 Signals set the trend on placing the Freemium version of their plan under the main plans, I thinks SaaS-buyers tend to looks there for the bargains. So even though we do not have a freemium plan we did place there the typical freemium link, but referring back to our 30-day trial (no credit card needed). In the hope we might catch some of the the freemium followers to give us a try.
We are not completely happy on this section yet. We added the typical partners and client section here. When you do not have to many clients and are a Techcrunched startup you would place here all the media that mentioned you. When you have more clients that you can imagine here go the top 10!
Testimonials are always important. We choose the traditional way to ask some of our happy users to write something. Here you see a lot of tweets on other sites. There is not a lot of tweeting on @reedge at this moment to the old fashioned way should work for now.
Credit card and other security elements are always important. We are working on that part to add some of these. But their investment needs to be proven so I prefer to dedicate an entire test on security elements (like TRUSTe, SSL and Privacy logo’s as well as the use of the BBB accredited logo) before I say they will help us getting more conversion. My guess that some do, but I love statistics and will let you know as soon as we have those.
The pricing page for us was not a one night stand we read and read about it and decided to add all the elements above that fit our view of conversion improvement. Only testing will proof us right or wrong. But the hours spend on getting a good pricing page together is well worth the investment for any web company.
- 23 May, 2011
- Posted by Dennis van der Heijden
- 2 Comments