Embrace the Controversial: Why You Should Publish Pricing on Your Website

One of the most controversial decisions for almost any business owner is whether to post pricing information on their website. Invariably, business owners are inclined to keep this information off the website (this is not true for pure commodity driven sites, such as car rentals or hotels, of course, but for B2B services such as consultants, accountants, translators, and high end B2C items).

But why is this the case even though it’s perhaps one of the most important pieces of data in the buying cycle?

We’re here to say and show (in detail) that this is a huge mistake! If there is one thing that every buyer wants to know, it’s “What is this going to cost me?”

 

So, why won’t people put price on their website?

When I suggest placing price on a client’s site typically I get some version of these responses:

1) “It’s not done in our industry”

2) “What happens if my competition sees it?”

3) “All our pricing is custom, nothing is standard”

And then simply:

4) “We would never do that”

It takes some negotiation, to be sure, but there are some very compelling reasons to rethink those lines of thought.

 

Own the Price Conversation

Here are some compelling reasons that reticent business and site owners should start including price.

Here’s my logic: any buyer is trained to search for price as part of any purchase decision. They will continue to search until they find a price. And if it’s not on your site, you are not part of the price dialog. If there’s a price conversation going on anyway, don’t you want to be a part of it? It’s up to you to own the price conversation.

Not having price on your site cedes the opportunity to your competition — or worse, someone not even affiliated with your industry — to control this crucial aspect of the buying decision. In fact, in keeping with a true inbound strategy, you should even blog about price. Openly share results and what your service costs with the people who are looking for that information. The goal is to own the price and value dialog of your product or service, so you can provide researchers with the context they need to understand your pricing model.

 

What About Sticker Shock?

There are several tactics you can employ to offset the fear that a visitor arrives at your pricing page and experiences sticker shock — another common concern among the reticent.

First, use testimonials right on the page that speaks to the value of your product or service. Quotes from satisfied clients or buyers who shopped around and decided to purchase your product or service is a powerful strategy. There is an innate sense from buyers that the low cost provider is never the best, and there is more assumed value in a higher priced product.

I also recommend listing the prices of other providers alongside yours — you can name them “Competitor 1” and “Competitor 2” if you’d rather not call them out by name — and use this chart to detail what is provided in your pricing versus the competition. Call out the features you and your competitors provide in the rubric, and accompany those with actual consumer benefits, too. Tying product or service features to things that matter to buyers, like support or quality, are what make buyers recognize the value behind additional cost.

Finally, show actual results. Nothing is more powerful than, say, a before and after example. Instead of simply listing price on your site, use it as an opportunity to address anticipated buyer reactions like sticker shock, turning those research experiences into sales opportunities.

 

And Don’t Forget the SEO Opportunity

Here’s something else we’ve discovered: Ranking for pricing related keywords is easy. Why is that?

No one wants to put price on their site!

This is SEO gold. Highly searched terms with little to no competition means we should all set out to do some keyword research. Check out the terms and phrases in your industry related to “cost” and “price,” and invariably you’ll uncover some huge content opportunities. You can garner easy SEO wins by creating a pricing page and optimizing for these terms, and even including free offers to capture that qualified traffic and engage them in a sales conversation. This strategy works alongside another viable strategy for the really price-averse out there — putting detailed pricing information behind a landing page to make the exchange of this valuable information more controlled.

Just to show you this strategy is grounded in experience (I have, indeed, employed this strategy on several occasions with profound results which you can see in our Inbound Marketing Strategy Case Study: The Priceless Download), here’s one example of a client of ours with decent traffic, but very few conversions. We conceived and launched a price chart behind a landing page and received 223 submissions over 4 months:

pricing-page-sources

We’ve employed this strategy on several occasions and the results have been profound. If you’re looking for more details on how to create, market, and distribute pricing downloads, please feel free to read our latest guide that explains how to turn pricing information into many, many (many!) leads.

Doug Kirk is the President of Optimize 3.0, an inbound marketing agency located in New York that specializes in delivering online marketing strategies for websites seeking more return on their inbound marketing expenditure.

5 tips to save time each day by making your website more efficient

14123799_xxsYour website is where most of your customers find out about your business.  You are pleased to have a great website that attracts people to your business, but is this website helping you in your day to day work? Did you know that a good website can save you numerous hours of unnecessary work? Time is running out! Follow these 5 tips below to help save time for both you and your customers.

 

Make your website straightforward

When it comes to designing your website, the old adage KISS is a good advice: “Keep It Simple, Sweetie”.

If you think your customers call you because they want to talk to you, think again! Customers want to find the important information as quickly as possible without the hassle of calling or sending an email. If it is difficult to find the key information on your website, then often people will get frustrated and call you and waste some of your precious time.

Think about what information is important for someone to buy your service or product, and organize it in an easy structure, such as a simple main menu. Make sure the vital information is available from the main page and that it is not necessary to scroll down to access it.  Also, do not overload the page with unrelated information.

Ensure that your key content is easy to find and understand. The most important information is normally about your services, features, pictures, prices and location.  This should be the first thing your visitors see.

 

Use automatic emails to keep your clients informed

Picture this scenario: You take your car to the garage because it is making a funny noise.  The mechanic tells you it probably is a ball-bearing and will cost around 50$. When they call you back few days later and give you the invoice, the bill is 1000$!  The mechanic argues that he had to change the whole direction in order to fix your car. We all have experienced a similar situation.  It’s a hard hit for you, and you are frustrated because you feel like you were taken advantage of.  The reason for that is that you couldn’t control the process.

You surely don’t want your customers to feel that way.  Let them know what is happening with your business in order to provide them the best experience from the first contact to the last.

A good way to keep your customers informed is to use automatic email notifications for most of your interactions. Sending the right information at the right time will reduce the number of calls and emails. The best part is that your customers will be more satisfied with your service.

Your customers will be happy to receive emails that inform them of the following:

–          “You subscribed successfully to our newsletter.”

–          “You successfully purchased one of your products/services.”

–          “We received your email and we will answer as soon as possible.”

–          “This is what you need to know before you visit us.”

These brief but effective notifications will give your customers piece of mind and let them know that they are important to you.  Be mindful, however, of how many of these emails you send to your customers.  Keeping them informed is important, but too many emails could be considered SPAM.

 

Get an online booking system

Consider how much time you spend on the phone selling your service/products to potential customers. When someone contacts to purchase your service or product, then it is likely you will spend between 5 and 15 minutes with each customer on the phone or sending emails.   Sometimes it may take longer with several calls or emails before the sale is completed.

A booking system is a great time saver and it avoids manual errors that could create problems and take up even more of your time. Moreover, a good booking system, in most cases, has an automated email feature and will resolve part issue as described in tip #2 above.  A booking system will help you take back some of your time and focus on other aspects of your business.

 

Use the Email as the main point of contact for your business

The great thing about the email is that you decide when you answer it. Have your contact email listed more prominently on your website than you phone number.  This will reduce the number of calls you receive, and will allow you to be able to organize your tasks more efficiently with fewer interruptions. Be sure to organize your email management, so you aren’t checking your emails all the time.  Set aside specific times throughout your day dedicated to responding to emails.  This will be a great time saver.

Another great thing about email is that you can keep track of your communications with your customers. If your customers make reservations a few weeks or months in advance, then keeping email communications will be a great reminder for you.  An email leaves a footprint whereas calls do not.  Use those footprints to save time now and in the future.

 

Anticipate common questions from customers

It is better to be proactive than reactive. That’s easy to say, but how can you be proactive with your customers using your website? First, you need to identify the most frequently asked questions from customers.  Once you’ve identified these questions, review your website to see if the information is there.  If not, add the content.  A great way to achieve this is to create a page on your site for Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) or a user guide.   By listening to your customers, you will save time and improve the content of your website. This will ensure that potential customers find all the information they need from your site easily.

 

About WebReserv

WebReserv offers the most flexible and easy-to-use cloud-based booking system available today. The WebReserv Embedded Booking Calendar enables you receive online reservations directly from your webpage. If you would like more information about WebReserv.com, please go to http://www.webreserv.com