I am developing an online video instruction web site with several membership levels - Free (for a limited time period), a Basic and a Premium offering level. I am questioning how much to charge for the latter two, and how long and how much content to "show" to the Free members. I understand the concept that the less the fee, the greater the potential # of members. How do I determine the right balance between cost and maximizing membership? A variation on the question is the monthly price versus a discount for annual membership.
In my experience, and based on the way I coach my clients, creating a pricing model without first creating a business model is an indication of a poor strategy.
That said, here are my thoughts based on the information you've provided:
1. You are incorrect about your assumption of "the less the fee, the greater the potential # of clients". What you will very likely discover in practice is that there is a "sweet spot" in pricing such that any price above or below you'll see a drop off in members. In other words - any price LESS THAN or GREATER THAN your "sweet spot" price will result in FEWER members. This is one of those "non-intuitive" components you'll run into as an entrepreneur.
2. If you choose to price based on "competition" you are all but announcing that you are a commodity. Once again I'd suggest that this is a poor strategy. Instead consider your USP (or if you haven't yet done so...create one). Once you are properly differentiated YOU control and set pricing based on the VALUE you provide to the marketplace that they can't get anywhere else (i.e. Ferrari and Harley Davidson and Starbucks, etc).
3. Even with a solid strategy, a strong USP, a great product and a well-thought-out business model - you will likely still need to do some market testing (i.e. A/B testing) to find that "sweet spot" price I mentioned earlier. (I have yet to personally see anyone hit the mark right out of the gate.)
4. The last piece of info you provided - regarding monthly vs discounted annual membership pricing - would be a part of your OFFER. This is NOT the same as a pricing strategy - which should ideally be developed FIRST (at least conceptually). This is not to say you couldn't launch with the offer, but I'd suggest you figure out pricing FIRST and then develop offers based upon your deep understanding of your market.
For assistance with any / all of the components I mentioned - give me a call. And be prepared that (in my opinion) whomever you decide to enlist this is going to take several calls to work out unless you have much of the groundwork already figured out. I apologize for this assumption - but I'm basing it on the information you provided and with hopes that this response will be helpful to others.
I wish you great success!
Do you have competitors? How much are they charging, charge something close to them. Don't undercut majorly or you're indicating your services can be cheap.
Have a look at out pricing page. Free model, al e'cart , free trial on paid plans. add-on's to paid plans. http://www.simplyappointments.com
IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT YOU CHARGE -- as long as you deliver more value than people expect.
Figure out how to pack $300 of value in a $30 monthly subscription and it won't matter what your competitors are charging -- or what anyone else, anywhere else is doing.
Forget about "maximizing membership" and "cost balance" and focus on delivering outrageous amounts of value for consumers. Even if you launch slowly your community will be loyal, passionate marketers for your cause.
To charge subscription keep the following points in mind:
1. Your business model: If your product is an essential service with a monthly subscription price, you can expect to have hundreds or even thousands of customers at any one time. A large market involves more players which means your pricing will need to stay in line with the competition. If you are serving a niche market, you will have fewer customers and can command a higher subscription price. This type of customer-base will likely require greater attention and more of your operations will be dedicated to managing customer relationships.
2. Your business costs: A standard method of pricing is to determine the cost of delivering the service to your market. What you need to keep in mind is that this must include both fixed costs and variable costs. The fixed costs should be spread out over the number of customers you're looking to attract and manage in your subscription business. All your business's operating costs and overhead should be included in this calculation.
3. Your competition: As a business in the race to win over customers, it is wise to educate yourself on your competition. Find out what strengths and weaknesses are in their product. What do they look like from a consumer perspective? All this information will help you position yourself within the industry—and help you to define your pricing sweet spot. Assess what your competitor’s customers are saying about them by scanning online reviews and Better Business Bureau rankings.
a. What did the customer say was positive about your competitor?
b. What did the customer not like about your competitor?
c. How often are reviews being left? For everyone customer review, there are at least 26 customers who have not left a review.
What's your competitor's reputation in the industry? In terms of pricing, are they considered expensive or affordable?
What's your competitor's marketing position? Look at who they are marketing their product to. Large businesses? High-income professionals? Small firms? Budget conscious individuals? Also, look at how they market their services. Are they a luxury brand or an essential tool for the user? How does this compare to your target market?
A good pricing table is a perfect way for a subscription business to enable potential customers to easily compare the packages it offers. How do you create a good one?
a. Limit the information: If your customers cannot scan the information easily, they aren’t going to be able to compare subscription options.
b. Demonstrate differences: Communicate how each plan is different to the others. If there are similar elements to your various pricing points, include those at the bottom of the pricing table while leaving distinctly different elements toward the top.
c. Ensure your pricing stands out: You should place the price at the top of the table, so the customer knows what it is prior to reading the product descriptions.
d. Limit visual aids and colour: The most common mistake is placing red crosses and green ticks upon the page. Although this design makes the product elements stick out, they also make the pricing table too crowded and distract from the main message.
e. Use illustrations to demonstrate differences: Some of the best pricing tables have images to demonstrate the differences between plans. For instance, different size boxes to represent the various levels of service offered.
f. Consistent design: Your entire website should have a consistent overall design. The same should apply for your pricing tables.
g. Highlighting: You want to highlight your best plan for your customers. The highlighted plan could be in a different colour, bolded or ‘pop out’ when the cursor hovers over the plan.
You should also analyse your competitor's offerings. How does their product differ from yours? How have they differentiated themselves in the industry? What features do you have that they don't have? What are those features worth to your customer? If you estimate how much it would cost you to provide the same service as they do, how far off is your pricing? What are your competitor's terms of service? How do your terms differ? If your terms are flexible, they will be more appealing to customers and they may be willing to pay more. However, you should not base your prices solely on your competitor’s price points. Your product may have a greater value, or you could have different costs.
4. Your value to the customer: Your customers are not going to pay for a service they don’t think is worth their money. Therefore, you should ask your customers what they believe is the value for your subscription service. It is likely they will slightly underestimate what you could charge, but it can be a good starting point.
An alternative way of achieving this is to A/B test several price points and see which has the higher conversion rate. At the same time, you should look at the customer lifespan. If you find that a higher price has a lower customer conversion rate but higher customer lifetime value, it is obviously the better choice.
Besides if you do have any questions give me a call: https://clarity.fm/joy-brotonath