We're ready to launch. I was thinking of initially launching with a simple 15-day trial and a single paid plan that's around the average price point our competitors charge. This is fast to do and will only take a few days of dev effort. On the other hand, ALL of our competitors offer a free plan (restricted features, etc) and 4 paid plans on average. Each paid plan has feature restrictions, limits on other stuff, etc. That will probably take us an extra 2-4 weeks of dev effort to add the restrictions into the app on a per-plan basis, make sure it all works, let people upgrade between plans, etc. My question is this - should we just launch fast with sub-optimal pricing and fix it later, or should we invest the time to build out the plans with feature restrictions and a free plan, etc?
I think at this stage there are a couple things to research 1) your audience and their behavior in trying new things 2) Test it out... it's really hard to tell unless you try it and see what works. Most companies are using the freemium approach only cuz it makes sense with their product/service but also it makes sense with their business model.
The question itself suggests that to some extent you're thinking about your product as generic, which I'm sure it's not. If your product can meet some of your customer's needs better than competitor products, that's what matters.
Based on my experience, if you position your product accordingly, you could very well acquire subscribers without free trials or freemium plans. Why not get paid up front and offer a satisfaction guarantee?
I would start with one plan. It's easier to add plans than to drop them.
Please call and we'll brainstorm together.
Great question, and pretty common in a new product launch. There are a lot of factors at play which may affect your go to market strategy. In line with Lean methodologies, the simplest approach is the best. You can launch with what you have already and iterate later once you have some feedback and analytics to guide you in what your customers like. It also depends on how you plan to launch. If you are going to run a national marketing campaign and pump lots of money into it, then I would advise doing more research first. Maybe first launch in a small focus group and experiment with various pricing models until you see which one works best.
On the other hand, if you have existing competitors which are not significantly differentiated from your product in feature set, and target the same customer groups, then you can trust they may have already figured out what works, so replicating their model may be the best choice. Happy to discuss more.
While some experts have already share their thoughts, I am excited to share this excellent post by Price Intelligently, at: http://www.priceintelligently.com/blog/value-based-pricing
In general, their blog is GOLD for SaaS pricing. I am sure you will make the right decision!