Mailbag Monday Pricing on your website

Mailbag Monday: What is your take on putting pricing on your website?

Katie and Chris answer your marketing, data, and AI questions every Monday.


This week, Andre asked, “What is your take on putting pricing on your website?”


Mailbag Monday: What is your take on putting pricing on your website?

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AI-generated transcript:

Katie Robbert 0:00
Welcome back to another episode of mailbag Monday where Chris and I are answering your, all of your marketing data and AI questions, sometimes questions not related to any of those things. This week, Andre asks, What is your take on putting pricing on your website? We’ve got, you know, we’ve gone back and forth. And I feel like there’s no, it’s, it really depends on what the thing is that you’re selling. So if you’re selling like, you know, we work with some clients who are e commerce, and they sell physical products, like, you know, you know, books and toys, and, you know, gadgets, whatever, those things, they’re going to be one price and one price only, sometimes they’ll go on sale, sometimes you’ll have discount codes, but that is one price. And so I think if the thing that you’re selling is static, like a course, like a book, it’s much easier to put pricing because the time, the effort, it’s fixed, it’s a fixed cost. So we have courses, you know, we have our Google Analytics 4 course, which you can find at AI slash GA four course, we put the price for the course, on the website, because it’s a fixed cost, the course is built, you get what you get, you get the course, you get the workbook, you get the trainings, you get certificate. So I think in that sense, it absolutely makes sense. If you’re doing services where you have to think about the level of effort, you know, it’s going to be a custom project, you know, you can say this is my hourly rate. I think that’s okay. But I think there’s a lot of variables that go into it. So that’s harder. So Chris, I’ve been sort of taking over What’s your thought on putting pricing on your website?

Christopher Penn 1:48
Part of it also is your your qualification strategy, pricing is a qualifier, right? So if there’s certain customers you just don’t want to deal with, or you just don’t want your price, it can be a speed bump to reduce that if you say, for example, our consulting service start at $10,000. And you have somebody else, I was like, Oh, what if they can do this for 50? bucks? Nope. Right. And so that does help provide that, that that speed bump for unqualified customers to not burn up everyone’s time. So you know, that’s part of it is strategically how overworked is your sales team, right? If your sales teams got a decent lead flow, but they’re not overworked and overwhelmed, then maybe you want to accept more leads rather than fewer. And in those cases, having your pricing not be on the website might be an opportunity that we have, because there might be people who also will see that pricing and they’re still qualified. But maybe they’re not ready to make that commitment yet without understanding oh, gosh, what am I getting for? $10,000? Right? You know, why is it so expensive compared to this kid I found on Fiverr, who says you can do it for $5? I mean, the price. Price is a filter, but it is also a relatively poor indicator of quality. I’ll give a real simple example. I requested a quote. So three different vendors have my front porch fixed, and they have the word replacement composite. Three different people came out three different people gave me estimates, the same exact work, same materials to replace the decking or stuff 6000 9020 $1,000 for the exact same work. I’m like, What’s the difference between these three vendors that, you know, particularly Atlassian? Why is it so much more expensive? For the exact same thing? Is their quality of work better? And when I look at the photos, that of your finished products, each of these things these companies have, they all look the same? They all look like the exact same work. And so that’s consideration is if you’re putting pricing on your website, are you weeding out prospects who the sticker shock might scare them away? Even if they’re fully qualified? And that’s, that’s a tough strategy decision I do a lot of has to be done with your sales team to say, Okay, well, how is the lead quality? Like if the leak was just terrible, and you just getting junk? Like okay, then yeah, maybe it’s time to put some pricing up, just to really weed out even the, you know, the window shoppers?

Katie Robbert 4:19
I think that that absolutely makes sense. I think about it in terms of how complex is the thing that you’re selling. And so, you know, sort of back to the so you have you know, you want to weed out lead quality? Well, if you’re just selling something static like a bunch of books, then you don’t really have to worry about the quality of the leads, because they’re just buying the thing and moving on and going about their day. But if you start to get into a complex thing, where it’s a static product, plus a consultation, plus reporting, plus some unknown level of effort, then yeah, you may want to have a better system of you know, qualifying your leads, but also that’s going to be harder to price because it might look different for everybody, depending on what the thing is. And so you run the risk of either. A lot of times what happens is you undersell yourself and end up spending more of your own money to satisfy the deliverable. And so that’s also where you get into trouble by putting pricing on your website. You know, so in the example that you gave, of the three contractors, you know, do you think that it comes down to their own years of experience, and therefore they feel justified in charging a higher labor cost, because the materials or the materials, I mean, that’s, that’s the fixed cost, but it’s really comes down to the labor,

Christopher Penn 5:41
it comes down to labor. And there’s also just audience pricing, right? You know, if you are doing work in a specific zip code, you know, what the average household income is, or you walk up to the house and you see a certain kind of car parked in the driveway, you might make assumptions about, like how much money that customer has to spend, you know, you walk up to the driveway, and you see a banged up 2011 Corolla, like, maybe they don’t have a ton of money, you want them to see two brand new shiny Tesla Model y’s that are, you know, $90,000 Each, like, you know what, I can add an extra 10 on this quote, cuz they got money. You know, it’s kind of like a carnival barker, you know, the expression they called peeking the Poke where, you know, at the beginning of a carnival, the ticket gate agent will, as you pull out your wallet, we’ll take a look and mark you and say like, there’s this guy got like 150 bucks and cash as well. In fact, the old carnivals you’ll see some people walking around a little bit of chalk dust on their shoulder because someone else has tapped them on the shoulder with with chocolate has to mark them as a sucker, they’ve got a lot of money, make sure that you, you hit these people as hard as you can. So there’s, there’s there’s aspects with that. But to your point, there’s a lot of things particularly in complex tests, where you just don’t know the price. If someone came to us today and said, We want a custom fine tune your stable lacuna machine learning model. The tuning process, sure that’s that’s relatively fixed, we know what that’s going to cost, the collecting the data part, and writing the several 1000 prompts, you need to go with that data. And making sure the data is clean and extracting from good sources. That could take weeks or months depending on how messy a company’s data is. So to say that would cost $10,000 or $100,000, it could be anywhere within that range. And we just don’t know until after we get, you know, look under the hood and go wow, look, it’s all hamsters in here. That’s so that’s that’s a big part of the consideration is sometimes the more complex a project is, the more the answer is, we don’t know, until we get in there.

Katie Robbert 7:44
I think if you are being pressured to put pricing on your website, I think it’s all about how you position it, you could say things like, you know, projects start at and go up from there. And so you’re, you know, you’re saying, you know, we have a baseline cost. And this is the qualifications of what goes into you getting that baseline costs. However, as you start adding things on, we clearly state on our website, the cost goes up as you add more things. And so you can put pricing, but it’s all about how you position the pricing. If you say this project always cost this much you are stuck in that price point, you will have a hard time saying well you’ve just added on six things so it’s you know, you add six zeros customer is going to push back and be like, that’s not what that says. And so Exactly, yes, put pricing if you need to, but make sure you are doing a cya so that you can alter the price if and when needed.

Christopher Penn 8:44
I love that pricing begins at right it’s like begins out right? Like you’re there. You know this vehicle starts at $37,000. And then as we’re we’re used to that language when you’re buying a car. We’re absolutely used to that language. I think that’s the way to go. If you’ve got thoughts about pricing that you want to share, pop on over to our free slack group which starts at $0 and remains at $0 to be a member. Go to trust for marketers and what if you would prefer to catch up on old episodes of the show. You can go catch them in our newsletter go to trust where we release the previous week’s episodes every week.

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