Price of your SaaS product or service = Money you will receive from your paying customers

Your pricing strategy is the magic formula that turns your customers' interest into revenue. Consider this your compass through the complexities of SaaS pricing, a journey where every insight is valuable.

From types of SaaS pricing strategies to best practices to follow while creating one, join us on this know-the-art of Pricing Done Right in the dynamic world of SaaS. Let's uncover the secrets that will elevate your SaaS pricing game!

Types of SaaS Pricing Strategies

1. Competitor Based Pricing

Competitor-Based Pricing is when a SaaS company decides how much to charge for its product by looking at and comparing the prices of similar products from other companies.

The main idea is to stay competitive and match other companies' prices. This helps make sure that the product is appealing to customers and fits with what others in the industry are doing. This strategy is often used in industries where the products are similar, like in the SaaS sector.

Benefits

This popular pricing strategy provides several benefits.

  • It simplifies the pricing decision-making process by offering a clear benchmark based on industry standards.
  • It can help gain price-sensitive customers and compare offerings from different providers.

Challenges

  • If the prices set by other companies don't make sense for the new business, it could hurt how much money the business makes and how long it can keep going.
  • If the business copies what others are doing without thinking about what makes it special, it might not be able to develop new and unique ideas. This can limit how creative and different the business can be.

2. Penetration Pricing  

Penetration Pricing strategy is a strategic approach in which a SaaS company sets a relatively low initial price for its product or service to gain substantial market share swiftly.

The strategy relies on the notion that by offering an attractive entry price, the company can attract a large customer base quickly.

The ultimate aim is to establish a solid foothold in the market, potentially allowing the company to increase prices once a substantial customer base is secured.

Benefits

  • It accelerates the process of customer acquisition by leveraging the appeal of lower prices.
  • Rapid market share acquisition can also create barriers for potential competitors. Moreover, the strategy can generate buzz and curiosity around the new entrant in the market.

Challenges

  • Operating at a lower initial price may impact short-term profitability, and the strategy's success relies on the company's ability to retain customers when prices increase.
  • If the initial low price indicates lower quality, it may pose challenges in building a premium brand image.

3. Skimming Pricing

Skimming Pricing approach is where a SaaS company sets a high initial price for its product or service with the intention of maximizing revenue from early adopters and customers who place a premium on innovation.

This business model of pricing strategy is the reverse of Penetration Pricing, aiming to extract maximum value from those willing to pay a premium for cutting-edge features. The company then gradually lowers prices to attract a broader customer base.

Benefits

  • A high price makes people feel like your product is extra special and not for everyone. It's like having something not everyone can have, which makes it more desirable.
  • The money you make at the start can help you make your product even better. You can invest in making improvements or creating new things.

Challenges

  • The initial high prices may limit the initial customer base, and the company must carefully manage the price reduction phase to avoid alienating early adopters or devaluing the product in the eyes of existing customers.

4. Cost Based Pricing

Cost-Based or Cost-Plus Pricing is like setting the price of something by figuring out how much it cost to make it. It's a straightforward strategy where a company looks at all the money spent on creating and keeping up a software, and then they add a bit more to set the selling price.

With cost plus pricing, companies add a certain profit margin (like 20%) to cover their costs and make some extra money. This profit margin becomes the price they set for their product.

Benefits

  • By setting prices based on production and operational costs, businesses can ensure they cover their expenses and generate enough revenue to recover costs. This can provide a sense of financial stability and sustainability.
  • Cost-based pricing provides a certain level of risk reduction, especially for businesses operating in volatile or uncertain markets. Knowing that prices are based on costs provides a level of predictability in terms of covering expenses.

Challenges

  • It doesn't consider what other similar things in the market are priced at. Sometimes, customers might think it's too expensive compared to similar options.

5. Value-Based Pricing

This common SaaS pricing strategy is like setting a price based on how much people think it's worth.

Instead of just looking at how much it costs to make, Value-Based SaaS pricing strategy focuses on the benefits and value the product brings to customers. It's about pricing according to how much people value what they get from using the software.

Benefits

  • When customers see a clear connection between the value they receive and the price they pay, it can lead to stronger and more enduring customer relationships. Customers are more likely to remain loyal when they feel they are getting significant value for their investment.
  • By setting prices based on the perceived value to the customer, businesses can often capture a higher share of that value. This can lead to increased revenue and improved profit margins compared to cost-based or competitor-based pricing models.

Challenges

  • It's a bit tricky to figure out exactly how much value customers place on different features.
  • It seems valuable to one person might not be as important to another. So, the company needs to really understand its customers to set the right price.

6. Premium Pricing

Premium Pricing is a strategy where a SaaS company sets a higher price for its product to show that it's a top-notch, high-end option.

This pricing is not about the basics; it's about emphasizing that the product is better, with superior quality, special features, or top-notch customer service to justify the higher cost.

Benefits

  • Premium pricing allows businesses to command higher profit margins. Customers willing to pay a premium often associate higher prices with superior quality, exclusivity, or unique features, providing a financial advantage for the company.
  • Premium pricing helps differentiate a brand from competitors. It positions the product or service as a luxury or high-end option, setting it apart from lower-priced alternatives in the market.
  • Premium pricing allows businesses to target niche markets or a specific segment of customers willing to pay extra for unique features, exceptional service, or other premium attributes. This can lead to a more focused and loyal customer base.

Challenges

  • Not everyone might be ready to pay the higher price. Some customers might think it's too expensive, especially if they don't need all the extra fancy features.

7. Captive Pricing 

This type of pricing strategy is like saying is where a SaaS company offers a basic version of its product at a low or no cost. But, here's the catch – if you want extra cool features or premium plans, you'll need to pay a little more.

Benefits

  • Captive Pricing is awesome because it lets people try the product without worrying about money. It's like saying, “Here's a taste, and if you love it, there's more cool stuff waiting for you when you're ready to pay.”

Challenges

  • Not everyone might be interested in paying for the extra features. Some might be happy with the free version and not feel the need to upgrade.

Things to keep in mind while creating a SaaS Pricing Strategy

1. Value Metric

The value metric is like the secret sauce in pricing your SaaS product. It connects the price you set with how much customers value what you offer. This can be anything that's measurable, like how often they use it, the features they love, or how much data they store.

Considerations

Think about what makes your SaaS super valuable to customers. If it's a tool for managing projects, maybe the value comes from how many projects or team members they can handle.

By determining what customers find most valuable, you can set a price that makes sense and matches what they care about. It's like making sure you're charging for exactly what makes your SaaS awesome for them.

Drift tried to incorporate the same. It offers tailored plans for different user needs, whether you're a marketer, sales professional, enterprise, team, or product-focused individual. The flexibility allows companies to select options aligned with their specific requirements, ensuring a suitable fit for every customer without a one-size-fits-all approach.

2. Company Size

When we talk about tailoring pricing to the size of a company, it's like ensuring the cost of using your SaaS tool fits how big or small the company is.

This is important because big companies might have more money to spend, while smaller ones might have a tighter budget.

Considerations

To do this well, you can have different pricing levels. It's like having different packages that suit small and big enterprises. This is called tiered pricing SaaS pricing model.

By doing this, you make sure that the price matches what each type of company can afford and is willing to pay. It's a bit like offering different sizes of ice cream – some people want a small scoop, and some want a big one.

The idea is to make your SaaS reachable for all kinds of businesses, making it more popular and useful for a larger group of people.

You can witness this with the help of Slack's pricing plan. Here, you can find three plans suitable for small teams, businesses, and large-scale enterprises, respectively.

3. Business Goals

When it comes to pricing your SaaS (which is like your special software), it's super important to connect how much you charge with what you want to achieve.

So, if you want lots of people to use your SaaS quickly, that's one goal. If you want to make as much money as possible, that's another goal.

Or maybe you want your SaaS to be the go-to choice for everyone – that's a different goal. Your pricing strategy needs to be like a helper for these big goals.

Considerations

If you want lots of people to use your SaaS fast, you might set a lower price when people are just starting to use it. It's like saying, “Hey, try this out for a bit, and it won't cost you much.”

But, if making a bunch of money is your main goal, you might focus on offering special, fancy features and charge a bit more for them. It's like saying, “If you want the best stuff, you've got to pay a bit more.”

So, the key is to make sure your pricing plan helps you get closer to what you want to achieve with your business. It's like having a roadmap that guides you to your goals.

4. Type of Customers

Picture your customers as a diverse group with different needs and preferences. Your SaaS, like a useful tool or software, might cater to various types of users – some who need the basics, and others who want all the advanced features.

When setting prices, the goal is to ensure that each type of user feels they're getting good value for what they pay.

Considerations

If your SaaS is designed for both individuals and large companies, it's wise to have different pricing plans. It's a bit like offering different sizes of a product to fit different needs.

For instance, a smaller, more affordable plan for individual users and a more extensive, feature-rich (and pricier) plan for larger enterprises. This way, your SaaS becomes accessible and beneficial to a broader range of users.

Being one of the best pricing models, it allows customers to choose the best tier with their specific requirements. It can be especially useful for businesses with differing needs within their teams.

Squarespace did the same by providing tiered plans to its customers and fulfilling the needs of every category of customers.

5. Competitive Analysis

Think of this like looking at what other players in your game (or competitors in your industry) are doing. The pricing game is about understanding how other companies like yours set their prices.

You want to know what features they offer, how much they charge, and how they position themselves in the market.

Considerations

Now, if your competitors offer almost the same great features but at a lower price, don't worry. You can make your SaaS even better.

Maybe add more useful features, provide excellent support, or offer something unique. This way, even if your SaaS costs a bit more, people will pay because they're getting something awesome others don't have.

It's like being the standout player in the game, offering something extra special in a crowded field. So, always watch your competitors, learn from them, and ensure your SaaS stands out as the best!

6. Customer Feedback

Think of customer feedback, like getting advice from your pals. You want to know what your users think about your SaaS (the cool thing you offer). Customer feedback is like their thoughts and feelings about how much it costs and what they like and don't.

Considerations

Always ask your users what they think. Are they happy with the price? Do they think it's worth it? Listen to what they say.

If lots of them want something special or different features, it's like them telling you, “Hey, it would be awesome if your SaaS did this!”

Here's the cool part: it's like a pattern if you repeatedly hear the same request. That's your cue to think about changing things up a bit.

Maybe adjust the price or add the cool feature everyone wants. It's like being a good listener and improving your SaaS based on what your users really want. So, keep those conversations going and make your SaaS even cooler with every bit of feedback!

Best Practices to create an effective Pricing Strategy for your SaaS Company

1. Focus on being Clear and Transparent

Prioritizing clarity and transparency in your pricing strategy is an important aspect. This involves communicating the costs and terms associated with your services to your customers.

When potential clients understand what they are paying for and how your pricing structure works, it fosters trust and builds a positive relationship.

Why it Matters

  • Trust Building: Clear and transparent pricing builds trust with your customers. When they know exactly what they're getting and at what cost, they are more likely to trust your brand.
  • Avoids Misunderstandings: Ambiguous or confusing pricing can lead to misunderstandings and dissatisfaction. Being transparent helps prevent customer frustration and ensures they know what to expect.
  • Competitive Edge: In a market where many SaaS companies operate, transparent pricing can be a differentiator. It sets you apart from competitors and attracts customers who appreciate straightforwardness.

Implementation Tips

  • Clearly Outline Plans: Detail what each pricing plan includes, whether it's features, usage limits, or support levels.
  • Avoid Hidden Fees: Be upfront about any additional fees or charges. Hidden costs can lead to customer dissatisfaction.
  • Regularly Update Pricing Information: Ensure that your pricing information is always up-to-date. Any changes should be communicated promptly to existing and potential customers.
  • Provide Contact Points: Offer accessible channels for customers to seek clarification or additional information about your pricing. This contributes to a customer-centric approach. 

2. Try to fulfil each Customer's Need

In the realm of SaaS (Software as a Service), tailoring your pricing strategy to meet customers' individual needs is a best practice.

This approach emphasizes understanding the diverse requirements of your customer base and offering flexible pricing options that cater to varying usage scenarios. This also helps to grow your SaaS business and achieve the desired goals.

Why it Matters

  • Customer-Centric Approach: You adopt a customer-centric mindset by addressing the specific needs of individual customers. This fosters a positive relationship and demonstrates that your SaaS company values and accommodates the unique requirements of each user.
  • Enhanced Customer Satisfaction: Providing tailored solutions increases customer satisfaction. When users feel that your SaaS product aligns perfectly with their needs, they are more likely to remain loyal and recommend your services to others.
  • Optimized Resource Usage: Understanding different customer segments allows you to allocate resources efficiently. You can focus on developing features or services that resonate most with your diverse user base, optimizing your product roadmap.

Implementation Tips

  • Segmentation: Identify and categorize your customer base into segments based on their usage patterns, industry, or specific needs. This segmentation forms the foundation for creating customized pricing plans.
  • Flexible Pricing Tiers: Offer a range of pricing tiers with varying features and levels of service. This enables customers to choose a plan that best aligns with their requirements and budget constraints.
  • Customization Options: Provide customization options within your pricing plans. This can include add-on features, scalability options, or the ability for users to tailor their subscription based on usage.
  • Regular Feedback: Actively seek feedback from customers to understand their evolving needs. Use this feedback loop to adjust and enhance your pricing strategy, ensuring it remains aligned with the changing demands of your user base.

3. Continuously update and optimize your SaaS pricing

Pricing strategies must evolve alongside market changes and customer preferences. Adopting a continuous update and optimization approach ensures that your pricing remains relevant, competitive, and aligned with the value your SaaS product delivers.

Why it Matters

  • Adaptability to Market Changes: Markets are dynamic, and influenced by technological advancements, economic shifts, and industry trends. Regularly updating your pricing allows your SaaS company to adapt swiftly to these changes, staying ahead of the competition.
  • Optimized Value Proposition: As your SaaS product evolves with new features or improvements, your pricing should reflect the enhanced value you offer. Regular updates ensure customers perceive the correlation between the value delivered and the cost incurred.
  • Competitive Edge: Keeping an eye on competitors and market benchmarks enables you to position your pricing in a strategic way. Continuous optimization ensures that your SaaS pricing remains competitive, providing an edge in attracting and retaining customers.

Implementation Tips

  • Market Research: Stay informed about industry trends, competitor pricing models, and customer expectations. Conduct regular market research to identify shifts that may impact your pricing strategy.
  • Giving Less Value-Metric Options: If you say there are fewer amazing features in each package, people might want to upgrade faster. 
  • Reducing Discounts: Saying you're getting rid of all discounts sounds cool, but in the software world, some discounts can be helpful. Keep talking about cutting them all, but keep a few in your back pocket for special cases.
  • Mix and Match Features: Switching around what each subscription plan offers is like a secret trick. Move things like special access or not-so-important features to different plans. It's a sneaky way to make folks want to upgrade.
  • Agile Pricing Models: Embrace agile pricing models that allow for quick adjustments. This flexibility is crucial in responding to market dynamics, customer feedback, or changes in your product offering.
  • Regular Reviews: Schedule regular reviews of your pricing strategy, considering factors such as customer acquisition costs, customer lifetime value, and overall market positioning. Adjust pricing tiers or introduce new plans as needed.

4. Increased Prices should be Favorable for your Customers

When contemplating price adjustments for your SaaS product, it's essential to focus on strategies that are favourable to your customers. Considering price increases and customer benefits can contribute to long-term satisfaction and loyalty.

Why it Matters

  • Customer Retention: Price hikes perceived as fair and justified are more likely to be accepted by customers. Balancing increased value with pricing adjustments helps retain existing customers, preventing churn.
  • Perceived Value: Customers are willing to pay more when they perceive an increase in the value they receive. Aligning price increases with enhanced features, improved performance, or additional benefits ensures customers see the value in the updated pricing.
  • Transparent Communication: Communicating the reasons behind a price increase fosters trust. Customers are more likely to view the change positively. When they understand the factors driving the adjustment and recognize the added value.

Implementation Tips

  • Gradual Adjustments: Consider gradual price adjustments rather than sudden, significant increases if possible. Incremental changes are generally more palatable to customers and allow them to adjust gradually.
  • Bundle Offerings: Introduce new features, services, or bundled offerings alongside price increases. This way, customers can see tangible benefits of the adjusted pricing, making it more appealing.
  • Communication Strategy: Craft a transparent communication strategy that explains the reasons behind the price increase. Emphasize the added value, improvements, or expanded services customers will receive in return.
  • Customer Feedback Integration: Gather feedback from customers before implementing price changes. Understand their expectations and concerns. Use this feedback to shape your pricing strategy to align with customer needs.
  • Grandfathering: Consider grandfathering existing customers at their current pricing for a certain period. This approach acknowledges loyalty and provides a transition period for customers to adapt to the new pricing structure.

5. Try to test your Updated Prices on New Customers

When refining your right SaaS pricing strategy, it's valuable to implement changes in a controlled manner, especially when considering price adjustments.

Testing updated prices on new customers allows your SaaS company to assess the market's response and gather insights without immediately impacting existing customers.

Why it Matters

  • Risk Mitigation: Testing on new customers mitigates the risk of alienating existing clientele with sudden price changes. It provides a buffer to evaluate the effectiveness of the updated pricing model without affecting the loyalty of your current customer base.
  • Market Response Analysis: Introducing new prices to a segment of your customer base allows you to gauge the market's response. Analyzing how potential customers react to the updated pricing structure helps refine the strategy before broader implementation.
  • Competitive Positioning: Testing new prices on new customers enables you to evaluate your competitive positioning. Assess how your SaaS offering is perceived in comparison to competitors at the revised price points, helping you make informed adjustments.

Implementation Tips

  • Segmented Testing: Divide your target market into segments and test different pricing structures on each segment. This approach allows for a more granular understanding of how distinct customer groups respond to varied pricing models.
  • Limited Timeframes: Implement the new pricing structure for a defined period when testing with new customers. This time-limited approach allows for a controlled assessment without committing to a permanent change until the impact is thoroughly understood.
  • Performance Metrics: Establish key performance indicators (SaaS Marketing KPIs) to measure the success of the tested pricing model. Monitor customer acquisition rates, conversion rates, and revenue growth during the testing phase to quantify the impact.
  • Feedback Collection: Actively seek feedback from new customers during the testing period. Understand their perception of value, willingness to pay, and any concerns they may have. This qualitative input is valuable for refining the pricing strategy.
  • Iterative Adjustments: Based on the insights gathered from testing, be prepared to make iterative adjustments to the pricing model. This adaptive approach ensures that the final implementation is well-informed and aligned with market dynamics.

6. Offer Free Trial Options

In the realm of SaaS pricing strategies, providing free trial options is a powerful practice that offers potential customers a firsthand experience of your product or service.

This approach is designed to build trust, showcase the value of your offering, and encourage users to explore your SaaS solution without an immediate financial commitment.

Zapier shows the option of free trial by adding a button stating “Try Free” in all the pricing plans.

Why it Matters

  • Clear Trial Terms: Clearly communicate the terms of the free trial, including the duration and the features accessible during this period. Transparency fosters trust and helps users understand what to expect.
  • User Onboarding: Implement a seamless onboarding process for users during the free trial. Provide guidance and support to help users navigate and make the most of the trial period, increasing the likelihood of conversion.
  • Feature Access: Consider offering a limited version of your SaaS product during the free trial. This ensures users experience the core features while creating an incentive to upgrade for access to additional functionalities.
  • Data Collection: Leverage the free trial period to collect valuable user data. Understand user behavior, preferences, and pain points to inform future product enhancements and tailor your approach to customer needs.
  • Conversion Pathways: Strategically design conversion pathways within the free trial experience. Clearly outline the steps users can take to transition from the trial to a paid subscription, making the conversion process seamless.
  • Communication Channels: Establish effective communication channels to engage with users during the free trial. Use email campaigns, in-app messaging, and support channels to provide guidance, address queries, and nurture leads.
  • Feedback Gathering: Actively seek feedback from users during and after the free trial. Understand their experiences, gather insights into any challenges faced, and use this feedback to refine your SaaS product and the overall user journey.

How much time should you spend on your SaaS Pricing Strategy?

Deciding how much time to spend on your SaaS pricing strategy depends on where your company is at.

But as your company gets bigger, pricing becomes a big deal. Your saas company need to keep improving your prices, bundle features together, and maybe add extras. It's smart to check your pricing regularly—maybe a few times a year, or every three months.

If you only have one plan, look at it once a year.

The important thing is not to raise prices too often. Instead, understand what your customers are willing to pay. As you make your product better, think about adjusting your prices. This doesn't always mean making prices higher. It could be making a new, fancier plan each year.

To sum it up, when you're starting, keep your pricing simple. But as your company grows, take time to improve and tweak your pricing regularly. This way, your prices stay competitive, match what others are doing, and show how your product keeps getting better.

Ready to attract more Customers with your effective SaaS Pricing strategy?

In B2C or B2B SaaS businesses, pricing is the compass steering companies toward success. This comprehensive guide unveils the intricate dance between Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) and Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), highlighting the strategic artistry in crafting models like Competitor-Based, Penetration, and Skimming.

In the grand finale, the spotlight turns to the customer—transparent pricing, goal alignment, and even free trials.

Now, if you want to have a clear understanding of what SaaS pricing is and which strategy will be best for your SaaS business, then share that with us in the comments below.

Also, if you are planning to take a professional help to excel in marketing or website creation, feel free to contact us.

Frequently Asked Questions

SaaS pricing, or Software as a Service pricing, is a subscription-based model where users pay a recurring fee to access and use software hosted in the cloud. This approach provides businesses with flexibility, scalability, and regular updates without the need for extensive installations or maintenance. To create a good SaaS pricing strategy you need to be aware of the market updates and the current condition of your SaaS.

The cost of SaaS varies widely based on factors such as the complexity of the software, the number of users, and additional features. Pricing models can include per-month or per user saas product pricing, freemium pricing, tiered pricing models with different levels of service, usage-based pricing, flat-rate pricing, or custom pricing tailored to the unique needs of the business. It's common for businesses to find a SaaS solution that aligns with their budget and requirements.

SaaS stands for Software as a Service. This cloud computing model delivers software applications over the internet on a subscription basis. Users can access the software through a web browser without the need for local installations, making it a convenient and cost-effective solution for businesses.

Among different types of SaaS pricing strategies this model where the cost of the software is determined by the perceived value it provides to the customer. Unlike traditional fixed-rate models, value-based pricing aligns with the specific benefits and impact the software brings to users. This approach ensures a more personalized and equitable pricing structure, where customers pay for the utility and value of the SaaS product.