Creating a persuasive pricing page 2

8 Tips for Creating a Persuasive Pricing Page on Your Directory Website

Published on May 12, 2021. Updated on November 21, 2022.

If you run a local business directory website, you’ll need a dedicated pricing page that outlines the different plans and advertising options available. This is the page where local businesses can see how much it costs to be listed on your website, and will likely influence their decision to sign up. The pricing page is often one of the most visited pages on your site, so it’s important that it’s set up correctly, easy to understand and optimized for success. After all, a pricing page shouldn’t just be informative, it should be designed to convert visitors into buyers (or advertisers in this case).

If you are currently running a local business directory and coupon website with Ideal Directories, or thinking about starting one, here are 8 tips for creating a persuasive pricing page on your site.

1. Keep Your Prices Affordable 

Let’s face it - you’re the new kid on the block and chances are most businesses haven’t heard of your directory website yet. It’s your job to give them confidence in advertising with you and to minimize their risk. Nobody wants to feel like they're overpaying or getting ripped off. Your goal is to make advertising on your directory so valuable, most logical business owners will end up feeling foolish if they don't advertise on your directory website.

Do some research to see what other advertising options in your area cost, and make sure your prices align so you don’t price yourself out of your market. Look at what businesses are spending on traditional print advertising like newspaper ads, direct mail, coupon booklets and other digital advertising in your area, then position yourself as a more logical and economical solution. Set your sights on selling more listings at an affordable price rather than selling fewer listings at a higher price. Incorporating this “less is more” mind sight, especially when you're just getting started, will help you land your first clients sooner, keep your income stable and grow at a steady pace. Remember, you can always raise your prices in the future when the time is right.

Most new directory website owners will start their prices around $20 - $30 per month. At this price point, it's hard for any business owner to resist.

2. Offer Multiple Plans

When you offer multiple plans or payment options, you’ll find that most people don't want to choose the cheapest, or the most expensive option. This is especially true with business listings on a local directory website. When business owners are presented with multiple options, they will often gravitate to "the one in the middle."

With Ideal Directories, you can create up to 3 different plans to feature on your pricing page, so you can offer advertisers a good, better and best option. Three plans is often the ideal number because we are all comfortable selecting from three options without feeling overwhelmed. Three also makes it easy for buyers to identify and choose the middle plan, which is commonly associated as the “most popular” option or the “best value.” Each plan should include different features and benefits, which increase (along with prices) as you go from "good," to "better," to “best.” The “good” plan should be the cheapest option offering advertisers the fewest features and limited exposure on your site. The “best” option should be your most expensive option and offer the most features and maximum exposure, while the “better” plan falls somewhere in the middle. 

3. Give Each Plan a Name

Assigning a name to each plan not only makes it easier for you when discussing the different advertising options available on your site, but it can help increase perceived value. Imagine talking with a local business owner and referring to plans 1, 2 and 3 and expecting them to remember what features are included with each plan or which one is the best fit. Now imagine using names that actually reflect the good, better, best logic and how much easier it would be for advertisers to understand the difference between the three plans.

A simple naming convention like Basic, Featured or Premium, or even Bronze, Silver and Gold can help an advertiser easily understand and identify which plan is good, which is better and which is best without even comparing the features. You can also get creative with your plan names and choose terms that resonate with your audience and further increase perceived value. Terms like Startup, Growing Business, and Fortune 500 or even Budget Friendly, Most Popular and Cream of the Crop are playful ways to help advertisers connect the dots and choose the plan best suited for their needs or marketing goals

4. Use Non-Rounded Numbers 

Rather than using even numbers like $50, $100, and $150 for example, try using non-rounded numbers and set the prices at $49, $99, and $147 instead. Even though we all know the actual dollar difference is negligible, the difference our brains perceive has proven to be significant thanks to what is essentially a psychology trick. $49 feels less expensive than $50, even though the difference is just one dollar.

Non-rounded numbers don’t all have to end in “9” either. Experiment with different non-rounded numbers when creating your pricing page to see what produces the most sales for you.

5. Experiment with Discounts & Coupons

So you launched your business directory website and set up the perfect pricing page… but nobody signs up. Don't be discouraged if you're not seeing immediate results or selling a lot of listings. You might just need to experiment with different pricing options - even if that means lowering them. This is common and expected...especially if you're just starting out.

If you’re just getting your directory website off the ground, consider offering lower introductory prices. As you gain popularity, you can gradually increase pricing over time until you find the threshold in your marketplace. Consider making up for any perceived loss you might feel when lowering prices by selling banner ads on your site.

Use the Coupon Code feature included in your Ideal Directories software to create limited time coupons and offers. This is a great way to see how much impact price has on your clients’ decision to sign up and an effective way to test price discounts. Get creative with coupon codes and experiment with your offers. “20% Off New Listings” or a “Half Off Black Friday Sale” are just a couple examples of the catchy promotions you can offer using coupon codes.

6. Offer a Yearly Discount

Almost all subscription-based businesses and advertising options will offer a yearly discount for anyone who pays for the year in full. Even newspapers will offer their advertisers a substantial discount if the client commits to running ads long-term. Collecting annual payments instead of monthly payments not only increases your immediate cash flow, but it can also help with retention because you now have an entire year to prove your value to a business owner.

With Ideal Directories, each plan you create is automatically set so you can offer 2 payment options. The first option is to pay monthly, and the 2nd option is to pay for the year in full. We recommend  discounting the yearly price by at least 20% to make it an attractive option. One easy way to offer an incentive to businesses so they choose the yearly plan is to massage the figures to make it look attractive. If one of your plans is $49/month, then make the yearly option $499 which roughly equals "2 months of free advertising." Don't be afraid to add benefits or an extra perk to the yearly plan. You could throw in a free banner ad or social media mention for any business who pays for the year in full. 

7. Add a Free Option

It might seem counterintuitive at first, but including a free plan as one of the 3 options is a fast way to fill your site with listings. More importantly, think of a free plan as a lead generator and interest gauge. When a business signs up for a free plan, they're obviously interested in being featured on your directory. Now you have their contact information and a reason to reach out to offer an upgrade to a paid plan so they can enjoy the benefits of the additional features and added exposure.

Make the free plan bare bones basic by just including their company information. As time passes, you'll be able to point out the fact that their competitors have a paid listing and thus are getting more exposure and traffic to their page and business. If you can prove the cost to upgrade to a paid plan is minimal in relation to the value they'll receive, then everyone wins!

8. Increase Value with Added Benefits

One benefit of using Ideal Directories to host your directory website is the ability to customize the plans you offer on your website, which includes utilizing the ability to easily feature listings on the homepage and on category pages. You can also easily add banner ads, as well as offer advertisers the benefit of adding more images, coupons, events, or any of the other options Ideal Directories empowers you with.

But, you can also add custom "off-site" benefits to entice businesses to advertise. Here's a short list of ideas to get your creative juices flowing:

  • Mention a business on your social media page
  • Offer a complimentary ad space in an email newsletter
  • Spotlight their business in an article or blog
  • Create a custom window decal or plaque highlighting their listing so they can proudly display it in their store

Put these pricing page tips to work for you

With Ideal Directories, it’s easy to put together an attractive and convincing pricing page with absolutely no coding or technical experience required. This makes it easy to experiment with and test different pricing strategies to see what works best for your market. Use the tips mentioned above, and a little creativity to create a persuasive pricing page that engages business owners and converts them to paying advertisers on your directory website.
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