I reviewed 200 pricing pages of leading SaaS businesses so you don’t have to. I share the learnings to help you amp up your pricing page.
Your pricing page offers an excellent opportunity to tell a compelling story about your value proposition. It’s your shop window, showing your wares to the world, enticing customers to come in, look around, and hopefully buy. It’s a chance to show that you understand your customers. That you’ve built something for them, something that will help them be successful. It’s a chance to help customers self-select the offer that best meets their needs, and to accelerate sales cycles. Pricing is an exercise in empathy, not a mechanical process, show your customers that you understand that. Alas, less than 3% of SaaS businesses do this really well, based on a review of 200 pricing pages ranging from established unicorns to up-and-coming startups.
Leveraging Kana’s pricing index to quickly identify businesses with public-facing pricing pages, I reviewed 200 SaaS and Cloud businesses against five key principles to determine:
Five principles for telling a compelling story through pricing
What does the data tell us?
The data does not paint a pretty picture. 15% of companies don’t follow any of the best practices, and 45% implement less than three. I only identified 3% who do this really well, although I wouldn’t say any of them executed all five principles flawlessly. Part of what might be driving this is a lack of clarity of what good looks like, I hope the framework I’ve developed here will help change that.
Listing features rather than communicating benefits is a universal weakness of SaaS pricing pages, with only 4% avoiding the trap. Much more attention needs to be paid to how customers might use the features you’ve built, and what outcomes they can expect. Expandable detail was the most common of the five principles implemented, but this also indicates an emphasis on making sure customers can find out the minutiae of your product’s complexity.
Only 18% of companies have a really clear proposition backing up each package; the other 82% felt like a somewhat random collection of stuff without a clear reason backing up what the configuration of features allowed a customer to do and why they went well together.
Who are the industry leaders we can learn from?
Of the 200 businesses reviewed, I only identified five companies that employ all five principles to good effect. Interestingly, all five of the companies leverage product-led growth motions. This may be driven by the fact that PLG businesses don’t have the luxury of a salesperson to ask customers questions and explain which package might be best for them and why. They rely heavily on their website to provide all the information a customer might need to sign-up and convert.
The fab five pricing storytellers:
Given Slack’s success with product-led growth I’m not surprised it made it into the top five. Slack does an excellent job of building for particular personas in mind with a simple clear value proposition backing up each package. It’s also selective of the features it highlights, and effectively communicates the benefits of each package and the key differences between them. If I were hypercritical, the names of the packages are a little uninspiring, and they could tease out benefits more, but it still gets so much right.
Canva shares a lot of similarities with Slack’s approach. Another successful PLG business leveraging its pricing page to great effect. Again, the names are a little uninspiring but it still works, and it doesn’t quite fully manage to transition from talking about features to benefits, nevertheless, Canva is still miles ahead of the pack.
I love what Clockwise has achieved here. It is one of the best examples of communicating benefits rather than features. Every bullet leads with a tangible customer benefit, avoiding the trap of simply stating features without any context.
Similar to Clockwise, Miro does an excellent job of translating features into benefits. It isn’t maybe as evident who should buy each package but still communicates a clear succinct package value proposition to help customers self-select the best package for their needs.
DigitalOcean is the most complex proposition I reviewed, offering a number of functional modules/capabilities rather than packages. Given the high complexity, it does a great job of making things look simple, teasing out benefits, and progressively revealing complexity as customers double-click into each module. It isn’t as successful as the other examples in communicating the value proposition of each module, but it does demonstrate what can be achieved even with complex propositions.
My action plan for your pricing page
Five key takeaways to help you tell a more compelling story.
If you only focus on getting one thing right, concentrate on benefits, not features. It’s an easy way to differentiate yourself from your peers given that only 4% of companies get this right.