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The Good, Bad and Ugly of Pricing On Your Inbound Agency Website

Posted by Mike Lieberman on Feb 28, 2015 1:14:00 PM

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Good-Bad-UglyIf you’re running an inbound marketing agency or transitioning from a more traditional agency into an inbound agency, then you’re getting a lot of advice from a lot of different people. You job is to sift through the advice and adopt what works for you and your agency.

One of those questions is, “Do we publish pricing on our website?” Once you start looking some of the more popular and successful inbound marketing agencies you see that a majority of them DO publish pricing on their site. However, before you make that decisions, you should be aware of the pluses and minuses of putting pricing on your site.

The Good

There are some very positive benefits from publishing pricing on your website. First, it does an excellent job prequalifying prospects. If you’re pricing starts at $5,000 a month and someone only has $1,000 budget planned then you probably won’t have to waste much time talking to them about your services.

Published pricing and packages also clearly outlines what you’re be providing to your prospects. Most of the sites that do this have a variety of packages, Silver, Gold, Platinum or Fast, Faster, Fastest. I’ve seen a lot of creative naming conventions around packages. This approach actually aligns with how people think about purchasing work like this and how they’ve historically bought services like this.

The Bad

Some of the good reasons are actually related to the reasons why you might not want to publish pricing. First, by publishing pricing, you’re asking uneducated buyers to make their own value decisions without the benefit of your guidance. Someone coming to the table with a preconceived notion around budget might change that notion if you’re able to speak with them about the value and long-term benefits of inbound marketing.

Next, the packages actually commoditize what we do and how we do it. Inbound marketing is NOT about the stuff you get, it’s about building a Marketing Machine that is replicable, scalable, trackable and predictable. It facilitates a prospect ability to compare packages with companies without the benefit of really understanding what they do and how they do it. You want your inbound marketing to move them to a conversation, not a decision based on a review of your website.

The Ugly

First, you’re goal throughout the buyer experience is to make them feel safe. One way to do that is to make them feel like your recommendations, pricing and ideas are personalized—just for them. How could you give them any pricing or investment levels until you really understand their business, their goals, their current situation, their personas and market? It just makes good sense to NOT publish standard pricing and work with them to co-create the perfect set of recommendations and investment that align with their goals.

Next, you're not selling software. You’re not selling a commodity. You’re a professional services firm. You’re a consulting company. Would KPMG or Deloitte put pricing on their website? The more you move to shorten your sales cycle, to make your services look like a menu, the tougher it’s going to be to charge clients what you need to charge them to ensure you get them the results they expect. Publishing pricing on your site is actually counter to everything else you should be trying to achieve with your agency.

So think hard before you put standard pricing on your website and make sure it aligns perfectly with your agency, you’re agency goals and the perspective you want prospective clients to have about your agency.

Start Today Tip - If you have pricing on your website, consider removing it. Giving prospects the idea that what you do is a comodity or even has standard pricing means you're engagement is going to get off on the wrong foot. Then work on your sales process so those same prospects feel like the pricing you give them is "just for them." This ensures you can charge what you need to make enough profit to grow your company and staff the team appropriately. 

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Topics: Pricing,, marketing

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