If you won’t show your pricing, at least do this.
by Joel K

This piece on “Pricing Rage” and how to avoid it was originally sent out to my newsletter. Once or twice a week(ish), I send an email on copywriting, persuasion, business, or… whatever’s compelling and useful to me at the time.

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Have you ever felt the burning sensation known as “Pricing Rage?”
It goes a bit like this…

1. You’re researching a solution and find an option you’re interested in.

2. As you read, your eyes widen. This could be it! The one you’ve been looking for! But there’s one nagging question: can you afford it?

3. You click around the navigation bar looking for pricing, but there’s nothing there except a “request a demo” or “contact us” form.

So you scroll to the footer. Nada.

Or worse: a “pricing” page that’s just a contact form with absolutely nothing to help you conceptualize the price point.

4. But — aha! — there’s chat. So you hop in there and ask about pricing, only for the rep to push you to the “request a demo” or “get a quote” form.

RAAAAAAAAGE.

At this point, you’re either SO interested that you reach out directly, or you give up and move on. So—should you show pricing on your website?

To be fair, there are legitimate reasons NOT to share pricing on your site:

1. You do custom work or quote every job based on set variables

2. You adjust your price point based on who is buying or serve wildly different sized markets with different appetites

3. You close leads at a much higher rate when you have a chance to sell the value of a solution on a call (legitimate, though a bit of a red flag.)

Among others.

But even if you don’t want to (or can’t) show your exact pricing, there are very simple things you can do to help reduce the burn of Pricing Rage™

I’m not suggesting you do ALL of these, but consider which would be most appropriate for you:

Tactics to try when you don’t share pricing onsite:

1. Include copy that explicitly describes who you’re a great fit for

For example:

 

Unioncrate quotes clients based on set variables—so showing exact pricing isn’t possible and even undesirable. We introduced an FAQ: “Is this in reach for small companies/startups” and gave leads a straight answer as well as explaining a bit about how pricing is defined.

Speaking of which…

2. Explain how pricing is defined.
If your pricing depends on variables you can disclose, say so. This helps clients understand that pricing is both flexible and scaled to the size of their business.

3. Use logos to tell the story.
If pricing is absent and all of the logos on your site are from Enterprise customers, your leads are going to assume you’re expensive/for Enterprise.

Use logos and copy together to make it known your pricing can work for different groups.

4. Get specific about your claims and descriptors.
“Pricing suitable for all budgets” is woefully vague. Your leads are STILL likely to assume their budget is too low in this instance.

Instead, use copy like…

“Whether you’re a bootstrapped startup watching your margins or a booming Enterprise with thousands of customers, we have a plan that works for you.”

Pull out specific details of the different audiences you cater to (like watching margins, growing quickly, etc.)

5. Draw sneaky comparisons.
If you KNOW your competitors’ pricing (and that you’re cheaper), you can always try out copy like “Up to 20% less than {Competitor} on average” or “Up to X% less than leading competitors.”

Be careful with this one and consider: if your competitors are making it easier to access pricing information than you are, they’re probably closing more deals.

Convenience is a powerful force during purchase decisions and anxiety over having to talk to sales can be enough to keep some leads from trying.

6. Put a minimum on it.
This doesn’t make sense in all situations, as it invites price anchoring—but one of the best things I ever did in my business was to introduce (and publish) a minimum engagement rate.

It worked well for me because the rate is out of reach for leads I don’t want (tire-kickers) but serious enough to show the leads I do want that my work won’t come cheap.

Regardless of what you choose to do, I’d strongly suggest you do SOMETHING to help leads figure out which pricing bucket you fit into.

After all, nobody likes being left completely in the dark about your price point.

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