Update April 2015: My Pinterest WordPress plugins have been acquired, so they’re no longer under my ownership.
Recently there’s been a lot of discussion on how to price your premium WordPress plugin.
Chris Lema started it with WordPress Plugin Prices Are Too Low, and many comments followed.
For one of my own premium plugins, Pinterest “Pin It” Button Pro, I ran two price tests recently and wanted to share the results.
My Standard Plugin Pricing Model
For a little background, I launched Pinterest “Pin It” Button Pro in October 2012, so less than a year ago. Prior to that, in December 2011, I released a free/”lite” version on the WordPress repository. The success and number of downloads of the “lite” plugin is what prompted me to create the Pro version. Since then I’ve basically been following the “freemium” plugin business model and it’s been working pretty well so far. No add-ons or packages (yet).
So far I’m basically charging for how many sites I’ll support, and currently it’s as follows (subject to tests and changes going forward of course):
- 1 Site: $29
- 5 Sites: $49
- Unlimited Sites: $99
Total sales per month has ranged from $2000 to $3500 between October 2012 and May 2013. Not high volume, but it’s a niche social network plugin done in my spare time (I have a software development day job currently). I’m also the only developer and support person on the plugin right now.
I have an annual license renewal rate in place, but when I launched I briefly offered lifetime licenses for my top two plans for a quick cash injection.
Pricing Test #1: Lowering Prices
For the month of February 2013 I lowered my 1-site license to $19 and my 5-site license to $39. Below are the results compared to March 2013. I didn’t have any other major deals, advertising or promotions running at that time that would skew it a bunch in my opinion.
|February 2013||March 2013|
The results speak for themselves. $610 more (about 21%) by raising my prices back to $29/$49 as opposed to $19/$39. If you can’t see the above table that’s $3,542 in March vs $2,932 in February.
I even multiplied the February units sold by 1.11 to account for February being 3 days less than March.
Also important is that there were significantly less support requests and nasty complaints at the higher prices. So even if dollar totals came out the same, less support is always better.
A case could be made that the 5-site plan at $39 is better. But would it work to have only a $10 difference between the two lower plans?
Pricing Test #2: Eliminating the Single Site License
Since I heard “Raise Your Prices!” again and again by successful startup owners at MicroConf a month ago, in mid-May I decided to run a 2-week test that simply eliminated my 1-site license.
Yes, that means the lowest plan was $49 for 2 weeks.
I had only one complaint that there wasn’t a cheaper plan available, and I simply informed that person I’d re-introduce the 1-site license soon.
Since I only ran it 2 weeks, I broke down the weekly average and compared it to the 4 weeks prior.
|Date Range||Total Sales $||Weekly Average $||Weekly Units Sold|
|Apr 10 to May 7 (4 weeks)||$3,227||$807||20|
|May 8 to May 21 (2 weeks)||$1,030||$515||10|
$807 per week (with 1-site license) is about 150% the $515 per week (without 1-site license), so I’ll stick with the more profitable one for now. But I should point out that without the 1-site license I sold half the number of units, so profit per sale was actually higher, which usually means less support.
Like I said before, test your prices. Try raising your plugin prices in increments to see what happens. Split test if you want. Possibly test lowering or adding a new tier if you’re not convinced.
Obviously my Pinterest plugin appeals to many single site owners. Yes, some sales are made on the 5-site plan, but very few purchase the highest plan right now, which causes me to believe I don’t have a ton of consultants buying the plugin. I’m sure other plugins lean more towards the consultant side. It just depends who your audience is.
Any other WordPress plugin shops want to reveal pricing tests that have worked for them? If not dollar amounts, maybe units and percentages?