The Anatomy of a High Converting Pricing Page for WordPress Plugins & Themes — Freemius

We’ve reviewed hundreds of pricing pages to help developers perfect their content, layout, and design. Throughout this process, we’ve seen the common mistakes and mixed messages that many product makers — both inside and outside the Freemius community — are unknowingly repeating, as well as the opportunities they’re missing out on.

We want the odds to work in your favor and for your awesome product to get the sales it deserves, which is why we’ve created this hyper-detailed guide on the anatomy of a high-converting pricing page. We intend this text (supported by the supplementary blueprint and Elementor template) to be a checklist that you can return to and reference every time you’re creating, tweaking, or fine-tuning a pricing page.

Pricing Page Best Practices for WordPress Products

The buyer’s journey begins the moment a visitor lands on your pricing page. You need to confidently guide them through the journey of explaining your unique value proposition, building credibility and trust, and leading them to the package and price-point that addresses their pain points.

All of that with as few distractions from your primary goal of getting them to purchase the product.

In the end, there needs to be a balance between simplicity of design, length of content, and the topics you want to address while the user is browsing your page.

It’s this fine balance that we want to help you strike with the below blueprint of a high converting pricing page. Every critical section is annotated with information that will guide and inform your own pricing page layout. You can click the image to view it in another tab or receive it with our free, editable Elementor pricing page template to use as a reference (we’ll get into the template in a bit 😉).

Download Pricing Page Blueprint

Because we get how difficult managing and running a WordPress business can be, we’ve done the heavy lifting for you. If you’re running Elementor on your website, you can download, import, and customize this pricing page template, using the annotated blueprint for reference as you do. The layout and the elements have been placed in accordance with the points we mention in the article below. Download the template for free here:

While we shoot that email through to you, let’s dive into the granular details so that you can hit the ground running when creating your own pricing page!

1. Create Urgency

So it makes sense that creating urgency to boost conversions is one of the oldest tricks in the marketing handbook. An effective way of creating ‘pressure to purchase’ is with FOMO, otherwise known as Fear of Missing Out.

Humans are hardwired to act in urgent situations & an effective way of creating pressure on your pricing page is using tactics that create FOMO.

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You can trigger FOMO by:

While creating urgency can reap the sales rewards, you need to be subtle about it. At no time should the customer feel as if you’re overly pushing your product and manipulating their decisions.

An example of urgency done right is ThemeGrill’s countdown timer, which displays a discount of up to 20%. Although this offer is always available, it creates a sense of urgency for new visitors and could drive them to make a purchase.

2. Reduce Exit Points

Here’s how to reduce unnecessary exit points:

  • Create a unique pricing page header and navigation menu with fewer options than your standard website header. Do the same for your footer.
  • Avoid adding links to individual features in the plans comparison section.
  • Avoid adding popups; they can be pretty distracting and even irritating enough to drive visitors away from your page.

It’s a fine balance between making sure visitors don’t feel restricted when navigating or overwhelmed by an abundance of badly placed links.

A balance that WP Full Stripe’s pricing page strikes well.

The page has a trim, no-frills structure (I count only one link that isn’t related to pricing or bundles) and focuses the visitor’s attention on the pricing plan CTAs. Even the ‘Select Your Package’ link at the bottom of the page leads right back to the pricing table. Not many exit points here!

3. Keep the Design and Copy Simple

This is called cognitive overload, which happens when the amount of information supplied exceeds a person’s information processing capacity. For example:

Avoid the above and let your pricing page breathe by strategically placing areas of “white” space between elements, taking care to include only the necessary copy:

With regards to the value proposition, it’s not a given that your pricing page visitors are sold on your product and you should assume that they need more convincing. Your value proposition needs to succinctly explain what your product does, why it’s superior to alternatives, and how it solves a specific pain point or enriches a person’s life. I recommend including this in the header section just below your ‘power copy heading’ or just after the pricing plans. Supplementary information — such as common user queries — can be included in the FAQ section or after the above information.

It’s your choice how lean you want your pricing page to be, and a good example of this ‘less is more’ strategy is Project Huddle’s pricing page:

4. Clarify the Value Proposition

This is where your value proposition comes in. A value proposition explains the need your product fills, the benefits a person can expect from using it, and why it’s better than the alternatives. It’s a concise piece of copy that should tap into and influence a person’s decision-making process.

While you don’t need to create a standalone section that compares your solution to competitors, you do need to motivate why your product is superior. This can be achieved by highlighting your number of active customers or by specifically mentioning why other customers are using your product and what they’re gaining from it.

IconicWP hosts multiple plugins that help boost conversion for WooCommerce websites. On the bundles pricing page, the heading and subheading explain why the bundle is worth the price tag and exactly what users can expect from it:

5. Include a Monthly Payment Option

It then makes sense to also show the annual prices in monthly increments as a way to help a potential buyer compare the billing cycles. For example, instead of displaying $100 / year, you can show $7.99 / month that’s billed annually (which works out to ~$96).

Psychologically, committing to $7.99 is much easier than $100 per year because it feels like you’re opting for a single-digit price instead of a three-digit price.

Here’s how ThemeKraft uses this pricing psychology technique for its Professional and Business packages:

An additional, effective anchoring technique is making the monthly price significantly higher to intentionally nudge users to the annual plan. In parallel, this technique also makes your offer more compelling to buyers who only require your product for the short term. So, even if the monthly price is $19.99 / month, it will be more affordable to buy your product than your competitor’s product.

Check out this pricing experiment, where the removal of a monthly payment option immediately reduced 50% of the annual plan sales. This showcases the power of selling monthly along with annual.

For a monthly payment option to work, a subscription-based service should be in place to automatically charge those customers every month. If your customers have to renew the same subscription every month themselves, offering monthly payments won’t work as effectively because many of them may forget to pay and some will cancel the service because the manual process is irritating.

While automatic monthly payments are great for customer retention and helping you predict your revenue, you do need to protect yourself from people with ill-intent. Make sure you’re able to limit some functionality on the server-side so that your product is safe from being exploited and you are not giving away the entire product in the first month.

If you are not sure whether monthly subscriptions can work for your product or not, download our cheat sheet to help you decide:

6. Allow Payments in Multiple Currencies

Admittedly, the technological side of things can be somewhat challenging if you are self-managing your store. That said, the pros of implementing payments in multiple currencies definitely outweigh the cons in terms of conversion rate and customer satisfaction.

One solution is to integrate the functionality by installing an add-on if you are selling with WooCommerce or EDD. Another is to use Freemius, where you get this multi-currency functionality built-in.

A good example of a simple, intuitive multi-currency option can be seen on WPRocket’s pricing page. Below the table, there is a toggle option to switch the price from US Dollars to Euros, making it easier for European customers to purchase the product (presumably because the team has observed growth there or would like to tap into that market). Once the switch is toggled, all of the observable prices change, right down to the sticky footer.

7. Make It Easy to Find Prices

For example, if you only reveal your prices at checkout (after the visitor has clicked the buy button) there’s a higher chance of them abandoning the purchase. Why? Because people don’t like being blindsided.

A checkout page is perceived as being purely transactional, and surfacing a number on a standalone screen for the first time can make that price look more expensive. Avoid this friction by being upfront with your pricing and placing the tables near the top of the page, as clearly visible as possible. It’s psychologically more appealing for potential customers to see your product, value proposition, and pricing as part of a cohesive package.

Focus on “what customers will get for the price” rather than “what customers need to pay”.

Password Policy Manager for WordPress follows a standard pricing table structure. When a visitor opens the pricing page, they are presented with a three-tier pricing plan that clearly explains the prices for different durations (monthly or yearly billing). Nothing hidden here!

8. Highlight a Recommended Plan

To ensure a potential customer isn’t struck by analysis paralysis, it’s good practice to recommend the plan that you want to be the best seller (your target plan), regardless of whether it is or isn’t. Simply highlighting the plan by making it slightly larger or adding a ‘most popular’ badge does the job. It’s worth mentioning that highlighting a specific plan also directs the customer’s attention to the plan you want to push.

Here are some of the common practices:

  • Highlight your preferred plan’s border.
  • Add a badge or label with ‘Most Popular’ or ‘Best Value’ text.
  • Place it next to the most expensive plan to make your preferred plan’s pricing more enticing.

Stackable employs these techniques well:

9. Help Visitors Choose the Plan That’s Best For Them

While you can’t identify which category your visitor falls into, you can create pricing slabs that cater to each user category. Buttonizer makes it clear which plan is suited to who with the number of licenses (which is the main differentiator) and a simple line of copy above the price:

10. Consider Price Anchoring

Even big brands use it to make the price of a product more appealing. Remember the iPad launch event? During his speech, Steve Jobs cleverly displayed a large $999 price tag on the screen. When it was time to reveal the price point, he declared that the iPad was priced at $499 (to an enthusiastic audience).

Would the attendees have had the same reaction if the $499 price tag was on the screen all along? I don’t think so.

You can also use this technique to steer your customer in the right direction. Simply placing a higher-priced plan before your preferred plan will make its price seem more reasonable. Take a look at how WP Full Stripe anchors the prices by displaying their expensive plans first and their recommended plan after them.

11. Charm Up the Prices

Charm pricing is a technique that taps into our subconscious drivers to make a price tag more appealing or nudge a person in the direction of a particular plan or product you want them to buy.

Simply put, by reducing round numbers by one cent so that they end in ‘9’ or’ ‘99’, you make the price tag look far more enticing to potential consumers. For example, dropping a listed price of $100 down to $99.9 or $99.

Not convinced? In an experiment by MIT and the University of Chicago, women’s clothing was used to test this effect with prices set at $34, $39, and $44. Proving the power of ‘9’, sales were higher for the $39 price tag.

Here’s how Divi Kingdom uses the number ‘9’ to charm its potential customers:

12. Avoid Selling Unlimited Lifetime Licenses

As mentioned earlier, offering unlimited lifetime licenses caps the amount you can charge potential clients, which is especially important if you’re catering to bigger businesses that can afford to pay more. If an enterprise-level agency can buy an unlimited lifetime license when they purchase one of your plans, why would they contact you to discuss your tailored offerings? Likewise, if a ‘real’ enterprise client lands on your pricing page and sees that your ‘normal’ plans offer unlimited lifetime licenses, what would be the point of them opening discussions (and paying more) if smaller clients have lifetime access and there’s nothing to negotiate?

Ultimately, offering unlimited licenses is bad practice. The only cases I can think of where it makes sense is if your product is targeting agencies or all of your competitors are doing it and you don’t want to be left behind.

So, a good rule of thumb is to offer lifetime licenses (but not unlimited lifetime licenses!) when pricing correctly. Further to that, if you’ve been in the market for a few years and know the average CLV of your product is, let’s say, two years, then you can consider offering a lifetime plan which is somewhere in the region of three times your annual subscription.

If you wish to learn more about offering lifetime licenses, check out Lifetime license for WordPress plugins — the right way!

13. Make Each Plan Distinct With Clear Feature Differentiation

It follows then that if the only differentiation between your plans is the number of license activations, you automatically make the higher plans irrelevant to a huge — huge — majority of your audience. There’s just no reason in the world for someone with a single website to go for a higher-priced plan, regardless of how appealing the discounted prices are.

This simple restriction makes the lower pricing tiers the most popular by default, limiting room for pricing psychology — the buyer essentially becomes blind to anything else because the higher-priced plans are simply irrelevant to them.

Prospects will have more reason to choose one plan over the other if you clearly differentiate your plans by adding (and subtracting) features. More options mean more reasons to purchase which can potentially equal a higher rate of conversions and higher ASP (Average Selling Price).

To make one plan look more appealing than the other, consider stripping features from lower-priced plans and adding your attractive, killer features to the plan you want users to gravitate towards — the previously mentioned ‘target plan’. This way, your users will have several unique, financially sound reasons to choose the higher-priced plan.

Take a look at Project Huddle’s pricing page. The regular, lower-priced plan does not include appealing features like file uploads, PDF support, and future addons. The only way to get these features is to go for either the Professional or Ultimate plan.

14. Be Specific About the Value Your Bundles or Memberships Offer

For example, many theme shops will plug an upsell bundle when users decide to buy a single theme. Showing the buyer that they can get an additional 30 themes for an extra $50 may sound like a compelling financial offer, but it has no value-based meaning if you don’t clarify what those 30 themes are or what specific value they offer. It would be the equivalent of selling a blackbox with the message: “Pay us an extra $50 for more! Trust us, it’s worth it”. You need to provide some insights into why the bundle is worth purchasing apart from getting X number of themes for a better price.

You don’t need to put down every single product that’s included in the bundle, but you should make mention of your most appealing and popular ones in the form of bullet points or short, digestible chunks of information. It’s also a good practice to highlight the verticals/niches that the packages cater to — this will focus the relevant buyer persona’s attention on the bundle intended for them.

ThemeGrill uses this technique well. When a user lands on their single theme pricing page, they are presented with an option for the ‘All Themes Plan’. The tier highlights ThemeGrill’s three most popular themes as well as which verticals the themes are designed for. The bundle is made even more appealing by extra benefits such as ‘Access to Future Themes’.

15. Make Your Buy Buttons ‘Pop’

In addition to placing your CTAs close to the top of the page, these simple techniques will make them more impactful and subtly nudge visitors to click on the plan that you want them to:

Here’s a good example: Rating-Widget offers a 7-day free trial, which is clearly mentioned in the CTA along with the subheader ‘Risk-Free, No Credit Card’. This copy both reassures visitors and highlights a persuasive benefit of going with the free trial.

16. Offer a Free Trial

For example, if it takes time for your product benefits to materialize, then offering 7-day free trials won’t make much sense.

But, if users will see good results from your plugin off the bat, then free trials can significantly boost conversions by making the onboarding process easier and allowing them to explore all of the paid features with no strings attached.

When deciding on the validity and logistics of offering free trials, consider the following:

We answer these questions in our Ultimate Guide to Free Trials for WordPress Plugins and Themes.

17. Avoid Highlighting the Free Version

Regardless of the ratio, a free offer should not be highlighted as it will reduce your conversion rate to paid. Think about it, if there’s no free offer on the site, a visitor will either purchase or abandon. However, if there is an option, it will reduce the number of visitors buying as some will opt to go the free route.

That said, there are benefits to having a free version. One is that it can increase conversions by making onboarding easier and allow users to take the product for a spin before making a paid commitment. If they like it, they’ll buy it. The other obvious benefit is that it is simply better to get a free user than nobody at all!

So, how should you go about offering a free version if you want to avoid highlighting it? A good practice is to save your free version as a ‘last resort’, but only if you don’t offer free trials without a payment method. There are more than enough solid UX mechanics and techniques to visualize this ‘last resort’ offer effectively (such as a pop-up/under that is triggered when a user has spent a certain amount of time on your pricing page).

The Buttonizer Pro plugin uses this technique well. At first, only the paid plans are listed on the pricing page. After 10 seconds or so, a pop-under appears in the lower-right corner informing visitors about the free version. Those straddling the fence may be convinced to give the product a go when there’s no monetary commitment.

There’s also a CTA section at the bottom of the page that presents visitors with free and premium links. This is a clever ‘last effort’ to convince undecided (or day-dreaming) visitors who’ve scrolled down to take action.

In terms of where the free version should be in your pricing page CTA hierarchy, I recommend you order them as such:

However, if you do offer a free trial without a payment method, I advise revealing it in the exit-intent popup instead of your free version — there’s an increased likelihood that users will upgrade if they’ve used the product successfully up until the trial’s end.

Not convinced the above would work for your particular plugin or theme? Another effective method is to add limited-time free trials for your product’s paid version. But more on that later 😉

18. Address Concerns as Much as Possible

While some visitors will be assured by an SSL certificate, others need more convincing before they’re ready to hand over their credit card details. For the more cautious, adding security badges to your pricing page is a good way to go.

To build confidence in their payment gateways, many of our partners use the Freemius security badge to assure prospects that there’s no need to be concerned about their credit card info ending up in the wrong hands.

Here’s how FooGallery allays any concerns potential customers may have about security:

Further to that, you should also make your payment methods super clear so that visitors know they can easily purchase using their tried-and-trusted payment method. Here’s how OceanWP, one of the most popular WordPress themes in the ecosystem, uses badges from trusted payment gateways to build credibility:

There will be instances where the above techniques are not enough to convince a visitor to purchase. For these scenarios, a money-back guarantee and making your refund policy as clear as possible will help give prospects ‘purchase peace of mind’ as they know they’ll be able to recoup costs should the plugin or theme prove unsatisfactory.

Remember, part of a successful buyer’s journey is addressing as many potential customer concerns as possible.

In the below example, FiboSearch sets the tone for a positive business relationship by offering a 30-day money-back guarantee, using impactful words and phrases like “unconditional” and “fully protected”:

19. Cater to Enterprise Clients

For example, not only do you need to tailor a custom plan/price for each enterprise, but you also have to go through multiple steps and management levels to close the deal as bigger companies tend to have longer sales cycles.

You’ll probably get fewer enterprise requests in comparison to other clients, but if you can convert even one or two of them, you’ll be able to increase your overall revenue significantly. I’ve seen plugin and theme developers quote 20 to 30 times more than what an average customer pays and still convert an enterprise client!

To cater to larger companies on your pricing page, consider implementing the following techniques:

  • Add a ‘Contact Us’ option next to the pricing slabs specifically for enterprise businesses.
  • Do not quote a price/price range as there’s no one-size-fits-all solution and packages should be tailored to each client.
  • As mentioned, avoid selling unlimited lifetime licenses as this puts a cap on the amount a business can pay you.
  • Add trust badges and your existing enterprise client logos (if you have any) to the Contact Us page.
  • Be available and prepared for a pre-sales call with potential enterprise clients when needed.
  • You’ll be quoting numbers higher than your normal (clearly visible) pricing tiers, so you need to be able to justify why you’ve increased the cost.

As a good example of how to specifically cater to larger businesses, Rating-Widget’s pricing page directs visitors from larger businesses to an enterprise-specific page with an eye-catching ‘Get a Quote’ CTA button beneath a bold header that clearly states who the tailored plans are for.

For more information on increasing sales from bigger businesses, check out this in-depth article.

20. Add Social Proof

Don’t have any at the moment? Not a problem! This video will help you generate and curate glowing reviews and testimonials for your plugin and theme.

Here’s how ThemeGrill showcases theirs:

The first is a glowing review that specifically highlights the team’s stellar customer service, which is critical for theme buyers who want a guarantee that they won’t be left high and dry if they run into problems.

The next example was posted by a ‘novice’ blogger who found that ThemeGrill metamorphosed their blog ‘from a caterpillar into a butterfly within an hour’. This is highly relatable to newcomers who may be intimidated by or unsure of the product specifics, the benefits, and the level of experience required for implementation.

Another way to build trust through social proof is by adding logos of popular brands that use your product. You can handpick the logos and create a full-width banner to showcase your bigshot clients. Here’s how REI Conversion (a product for land investors) uses industry brand logos to boost their social proof.

21. Add an FAQ Section

One of the most common things potential buyers are looking for in an FAQ is information about your refund policy. While there is a wide spectrum of refund policies (such as ‘no questions asked’ guarantees), the main purpose of highlighting the refund policy here is to align expectations on what the buyer can expect — and not necessarily to guarantee money back if they aren’t satisfied with the product. Being transparent about your policies in advance can build credibility/confidence by assuring potential customers there won’t be any surprises down the line.

Additional FAQ best practices include avoiding product technicalities and focusing on areas such as renewals, subscriptions, free trials, product plans, and usability.

But the benefits of an FAQ don’t end there!

Over and above helping to create a streamlined buyer’s journey, an FAQ section can also improve your pricing page’s visibility. You can take advantage of this by implementing an FAQ schema with structured data. This will help your FAQ section pop up in Google’s search results, which can boost your SEO score and even get you featured in the snippets section on Google’s first page.

Here’s what an FAQ schema’s rich results look like:

22. Add an Exit-Intent Popup

For pricing page popups, providing a discount works best. By giving ‘abandoners’ a limited-time discount, you give yourself the best shot of turning visitors into paying customers. At Freemius, you get this functionality built-in. When a potential customer moves their cursor out of the tab, an exit-intent popup is triggered, giving them a chance to activate the discount code before they leave.

This is how WPStackable uses the exit-intent mechanism:

Offering a discount is a great technique to reel visitors back in, but you need to calculate a discount percentage that’s big enough to grab the visitor’s attention and also makes financial sense for you.

23. Be Ready for Pre-Sale Queries

Such as live chat.

Online customer support software can be highly effective because it connects visitors who have queries or complaints to flesh-and-blood humans with answers and solutions (in real-time). There are plenty of reliable options to choose from, such as Drift, LiveChat, ChatBot, and Olark. Find that one that suits your requirements and get chatting!

If your team is small and cannot handle a high live support load, you can add a ‘Contact Us’ option that lets you respond in due time. But don’t take too long! You should strike while a potential customer’s sales intent is hot and reply to presale queries as soon as possible — the longer you take to reply, the more likely it is they’ll search for alternatives.

Here’s how ThemeGrill uses the live chat icon to answer pre-sale queries.

Keep Testing and Improving

Testing out new techniques, analyzing the results, and taking actions based on those analytics is the essence of effective marketing.

If you are thinking of rebuilding your pricing page, take a step back, research, and try to understand your buyer’s journey. Consider the CTA, headline, features, FAQs, and even the actual pricing, and then start building the page for the results you want.

Do keep in mind that multiple, simultaneous tweaks tend to give inaccurate and unactionable data. If you are making major changes, it’s good to implement one change at a time so that you can get accurate results from that specific optimization. One step at a time 🙂

Do let me know in the comments which technique worked best for you or if you discovered a unique method that deserves to be on this list.

Originally published at Freemius Blog on July 14, 2021.

Monetization & Insights platform for #WordPress #plugin #developers.

Monetization & Insights platform for #WordPress #plugin #developers.