Plenty of software has terribly confusing pricing—but then some software is fairly priced with clear plans that are easy to figure out.
What software has done the best job at building fair, clear software pricing plans?
I'm not an SAP customer but I love their move to open up pricing to Google and help buyers find their answer directly.
I’m a huge fan of Airtable and how they handle pricing, trials, etc. We found we weren’t using their pro features and they were more than happy to refund us and move us back to their free plan. We we pushed out of our usage from the free plan we got a nice subtle warning banner and the system let us know that there is a grace period to either correct or upgrade. I’ve just never had such a pleasant experience around pricing and freemium before and it was super refreshing.
Basecamp offers perhaps the most clear pricing in the industry, at least aside from consumer software. They have a single plan for $99/month that includes unlimited everything—projects, team members, whatever. That might make it slightly more expensive than other task/project management tools for teams with 10 or less members, but for everyone else it's a bargain, and even for smaller teams they know they can grow without growing their software software spend.
And they now offer a free plan for 3 projects and 20 users, which is quite generous on the user count for a free plan.
Perhaps the best thing about Basecamp is that they ship their software in major versions and let you choose to upgrade if you want. If you'd rather keep using Basecamp 1 or 2, or one of their other now-sunset products, you can continue to do so forever. It's amazing especially from my perspective as someone who loves investigating software history, something you can do with installable software like Microsoft Office with virtual machines but typically can't with online software, so changes get simply lost to time.
I really like the way Sketch has priced its offering. They allow you do "buy" the software for $99 as a one time purchase with no obligation to keep paying every year.
You can choose to never pay again.
But if you want to get access to new updates and features after 1 year (a year of updates is included), then you need to pay $79 to renew access and get the latest updates. And after thay, again you can choose to not renew for another 2 years.
What I like about that is, that it allows me to keep ownership of the product, in the state that I paid for it. And doesn't force me to upgrade just because they have added a whole bunch of new features that I may never need. I have the option of paying, whenever I feel the need for the new shiny features.
This is the best - because it allows me to own the software and pay for upgrades based on my appetite and FOMO, as opposed to forcing me to pay every year and get updates that I don't need.
It's taken a long time but it does seem like companies are beginning to move in the right direction with regard pricing transparency - which is a win for all of us.
I've found that Monday.com has an excellent pricing breakdown/format that companies looking to move in this direction should follow:
1) Digestible Tiers - The ability to differentiate between the different tiers in one window is a must, especially when it's broken down by the features function (ie. essentials, advanced, security, support).
2) Interactive Pricing - Pricing that changes depending on the # of users chosen and the payment plan selected (monthly vs annually). Including % savings on the annual plan is a bonus
3) Feature descriptions - beside each feature is a small pop-up that breifly touches on the feature itself. All too often you see all of these additional features that are included in higher tiered packages but are unsure of what they actually do for you.
4) On-brand format - Colors, fonts, and design itself are all on brand; you get a sense of the platforms UI just by visiting the pricing page
5) FAQ's - You'll likely have questions. It's also likely that others have asked the same ones. A quick rundown of those questions and answers nearby is essential.
And most importantly - a CTA to begin a free trial. Easily accessible. In several places throughout the page.
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