by anthony on 10/16/10 at 6:12 pm
One of the most important and difficult pages to design for web applications is the pricing table. When users get to your pricing table, they likely have a basic understanding of your web application and what you offer. Now, they want to know how much they have to pay to use your application. If your pricing table isn’t effectively designed for conversions, you are probably losing potential customers. However, these seven design strategies can prevent that from happening, and convert interested users into paying customers.
1. Soften the Pricing
Users who look at your pricing table want to know the price to each of your plans. However, don’t make it glaringly obvious that they are spending money by emphasizing the pricing. The more they feel like they’re spending their hard-earned money, the less they’ll spend. Instead, soften the pricing and put more focus on the benefits and features of each plan.
When users are deciding which plan to sign up for, do you want them to focus on the pricing, or do you want them to focus on the great benefits and features you offer? If users focus on pricing, they’ll try to spend the least amount possible. But if they focus on benefits and features, they’re more likely to pick a pricing plan that attracts them.
To soften the pricing even more, avoid adding cents to your prices. Adding in cents makes it look and feel more like a high price that users are paying, instead of the benefits they are gaining when they sign up for your web application.
2. Add a Higher Pricing Plan as a Decoy
Despite softening the pricing, pricing is still a deciding factor for some people. Many people just won’t pay for your highest pricing plan simply because it’s the most expensive. However, add a higher pricing plan into the mix and all of that changes. This pricing plan serves as a decoy to deflect focus off your highest pricing plan. Now, your highest pricing plan isn’t the most expensive, the decoy one is. When users compare plans, your high pricing plans won’t look so expensive next to the decoy. They’ll likely ignore the decoy and consider your other pricing plans.
3. Place Them in Descending Order
It’s a lot easier for users to move down on pricing than it is for them to move up. Start them off at the high-end and they won’t be able to ignore your high pricing plans. Start them off at the low-end and they’ll likely ignore the higher pricing plans and consider only the cheaper ones. Order your pricing plans from left to right by most expensive to least expensive, so that you’ll immediately expose users to the high pricing plans that they would otherwise ignore. Instead of only paying attention to the cheaper pricing plans, they’re now forced to look at all of them without bias.
4. Highlight the Middle Plan
Most users will often end up choosing a plan that’s not too expensive or cheap. Make it easy for users to decide which pricing plan they should choose by highlighting one in the middle. By doing this, users will focus on the one you highlight and consider it more. Show users that it’s the most popular plan by making it standout head and shoulders above the rest and it will look like the most attractive choice.
5. Use Strikethroughs for Absent Features
You might not offer all of your features on every plan. For plans you don’t offer a feature on, use strikethrough text to show users what they’re missing. Most plans show users what they get, but it’s important to show users what they don’t get with each plan. This allows users to clearly see the differences between each plan. Some users might choose a plan based on the fact that it has a feature the other plans don’t have. Use text strikethroughs to your advantage.
6. Downplay the Free Plan
Almost every web application will offer a free plan for users to try. However, not every pricing plan will make this glaringly visible. Downplay the free plan and you might find more users choosing between your paid plans. However, you should never downplay your 30-day free trials. Users want to try your application before they buy it. Because of that, all pricing plans should come with 30-day free trials. The benefit of deflecting users from your free plan is that when the free trial period ends, users have to decide with their credit card whether they want to cancel or continue using your service.
7. Quantify Feature Power with Numbers and Unlimited
When users compare pricing plans, seeing a plan that’s limited in feature power next to a plan with unlimited feature power is quite compelling, especially if the price difference isn’t much. Unlimited is a word that conveys freedom, power and flexibility. To give users no limits to what they can do with your features is a selling point you can take advantage of. Give your higher pricing plans unlimited feature power, while limiting the feature power of your lower pricing plans, and you’ll make your higher pricing plans that much more attractive.
These design strategies should help you make more money from users who have an interest in your product. If your web application sparks no interest, there is no design strategy out there that can save you. Give users a web application that’s useful and beneficial to them, and they’ll give you the return you’re looking for.
8. Include Your FAQ at the Bottom
Don’t leave any of your user’s questions unanswered. A simple and concise FAQ at the bottom of your pricing table that covers the most common questions can make users feel comfortable signing up for a plan. For uncommon questions, send them to your contact page.