About a week ago I was asked a simple but excellent question by a customer:
“Why do you charge a monthly price for your websites [rather than an up-front cost]?”
Here’s the response I gave:
We used to sell our template sites for $500-$1200 up front before switching to the pay-as-you-go monthly fee. For years the old model was mildly successful but we came to the realization that the industry we operate in unfortunately has a lot of dodgy characters, this made asking you to trust us and lay out a large sum of money up front troublesome. To be honest I think it was just the quality of our designs that enticed anyone to order with the old model, sending a faceless company $1000 was a huge leap of faith.
Trust and industry-related issues aside I think the number of small businesses that can afford to drop $1000 on a website for no guarantee of return is significantly less than those able to spend $33 or $66. Even if they could afford it, was it really the best way they could spend that sum of money? The old pricing model meant that you had to spend time to make a decent return from your website whereas now – especially with the free trial – you are profiting from their sites much quicker.
The switch has really helped to change the dynamics of our relationship with clients. We now have a financial (in addition to the moral) incentive to give you the greatest chance of success. Previously we received 100% of our payment once the design was finished but now we don’t see a cent unless you are completely satisfied with the product month to month. This means that our success relies on your success. Not only this, we had created what we believed to be the best combination of high quality escort templates and a simple-to-use website manager – to have worked so hard and only see a small number of people enjoy it was heart breaking.
So far the switch we’ve made from the old up front pricing that favored us, to the client-focused approach of free trials and low monthly fee have seen us grow our user base by an amount we never thought possible. From now on the first questions we’ll be asking before making updates to our product or pricing is ‘are we focusing on what’s best for us in the short term? Or what’s best for clients in the long term?’ It’s easy to forget that without clients you don’t have a business!
More important than any financial success is hearing words like these without even asking for testimonials:
“I’m really pleased with how the system works and fully intend to keep my business with you once the trial period is over. You’ve been very helpful all round and I’ve recommended you to other ladies in the business.” – Alex
“Just wanted to thank you for making your service SO accessible and simple to use for the novice user! I can’t thank you enough, I look forward to many years of working with you, and will DEFINITELY be recommending your service to all my friends!” – Chrissy
“My girlfriend runs an agency in the New York area. She says your company is one of a kind and worth every penny. I would have to agree.” – Diamonds & Pearls Agency
For us this is the real measure of how successful the new pricing has been, the fact that clients appreciate that we are focusing our product on what’s best for them – because by definition it’s what’s also best for us!
Next time you’re brain-storming ways to make more money for your business, why not try focusing on what will benefit your clients and giving gifts. You might just get pleasantly surprised…