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Subscription website - pricepoint question

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Bronze Contributor
Mar 25, 2008
OK so I'm not quite ready to describe the online service I'm working on with some partners but I have a question....

For a subscription based service that provided data/tools that saved you a LOT of time and legwork what would be a subscription pricepoint you'd find reasonable.

The target market would be similar to those on this site - entreprenurial, excited...
The value of the tool would be in time savings and better decision making, sifting mountains of raw data that would take you hours to compile, applying some intelligence to it and spitting you back coherent, actionable information you could profit from. Say it was a much better stock-picking tool that analyzed criteria you just could not find elsewhere in a single stop...

I want folks interested in the field to think: "$XX for that? that's a no-brainer!"

So where would be your pain point? My initial gut feel is that $19.99 is a good pricepoint, perhaps with a 30 day trial you could cancel and never get charged.

Would that be 'background noise' to you or would you have to think real hard?

Does $19.99 month sound like more or less to you than "around 60 cents per day"

would $9.99 or $29.99 change the equation substantially if you really felt the tool was useful and valuable to you in your fastlane projects?

Trying to figure out what the 'no big deal' point is since it is different for all.

Any thoughts or suggestions about how best to set the price appreciated. It's hard to raise once you set a value unless you offer different levels of service and add more value on the top end.
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New Contributor
Sep 1, 2007
Honestly I would NEED it to pay a 19.99 subscription fee.

9.99 would make me look twice, providing I trust the service and want it.

I work at a internet service provider at the moment and trust me, without our "9.99 for the first 3 months!" program, I would make absolutely no sales. Instead the deal makes me close almost every sale I make.

So make sure and add on some type of eye catching savings also.



Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Oct 3, 2007
My initial reaction (as if I saw your ad) is between $10-$50. My 'no big deal' price is $9.99.

Even if I didn't use it often, I would continue the service as long as it "projected" usable

value for me to utilize at a moments notice. Anything over 20 bucks I 'notice.'

Now, my thoughts on this are it's difficult to say what I would pay. It makes a difference

if you are a market follower or a market leader. I have an idea of the service you're

developing but there are other valuable resources yet to be tapped. Using initial customer

feedback to implement suggestions and "add ons" could drive the value of the service up.

Additional services could multiply the value of your original system.

Additionally, I would try it out for 30 days no matter the price if it fit my needs. That's

always good to lure people in.

Maybe some market research?....maybe some of these will help


Gold Contributor
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Speedway Pass
Nov 12, 2007
suburbs of savannah in Ga
I belong to a subscription website and I can tell you how that one works.

they have a ultra basic platform for free, with teasers to the vip info/tools/community they provide.

then they have a 2 level paid membership in addition to the free basic one. first is regular vip second is the vip restricted special. the regular one has 3 price points 1 month 3 months and 1 yr with approiprate discounts the longer you pay for. and the special is one price and has access to only certian vip features for 1 year.

they charge $10 for 30days $16.95 for 90days and $45 for 365.
they have many many many members and no ads or sponsers of any sort.

they used to have a one time lifetime purchase also but they did away with it.

they also have a 30day vip trial for new accounts.

I would say it depends alot on the market also. for instance the info I gave was a fertility charting website. there are forex charting softwares that charge upwards of $100-175 a month.
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Gold Contributor
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Speedway Pass
Oct 31, 2007
Edmonton, Canada
If you promised me this:
a subscription based service that provided data/tools that saved you a LOT of time and legwork...

and then had a $19.99, I'd be suspicious. Since what you're promising, even if it saved me an hour a week would should be worth minimum $100 a month. Be careful of pricing too low as it can damage your credibility.

For example here are some prices and services that I use in my online business:

Keyword & Market Research Tool = $200 / month (market leader)
Article Distribution Service = $35 / month
AdServer = $20 / month
Simple Uptime Monitoring Service (sends an email or SMS if a site goes down) = $5 / month for 3 sites.

Just to give you an idea of relative values of these monthly services. It sounds like the one you are proposing, it most like the Market Research tool, if it really does what you claim then your price point is way too low. IMHO


Bronze Contributor
Mar 25, 2008
That's interesting. Once upon a time I worked on the price optimization stuff used by companies to forecast the 'sweet spot' on a product. Think airlines here: 100 seats sold at $250 is better than 200 sold at $100 but where is the optimal level?

Once we get closer to having real product to offer I'll need to study this closely.
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MJ DeMarco

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Speedway Pass
Jul 23, 2007
Alpine, UT
Without knowing your particular industry, it would be hard to speculate.

Some factors...

1) Competitor services. What are they pricing at?
2) Similar services. What are they pricing at?

I've used RealtyTrac and paid $49/mo. I've used charting services for $29.95/mo. I've used server monitoring services for $19/mo.

It is best to price in a "schema" that your market is familiar with. For example, if your market has experience paying $XX.XX for particular services, then your pricing point should be in that neighborhood.

If you price outside of an established schema, you might find yourself if a poor position. For example, a price outside of an established schema would be charging a price for something that users normally get free. Or, having a Foreclosure website that charges $299/mo (when the target market already has an existing schema to pay in the $29-59 range, not $299.)

3) Target market's industry value of time. Your target market ... how do they value their time? If your product targets "lawyers" vs "students", your price point would be far higher for the professional group vs the student group. Again, w/o knowing the specific industry, its hard to say.

If your service saves 3 hours of time for a lawyer, its price point and valuation is far greater than a service that saves 3 hours of a high school student's time.

Good luck.


Aug 8, 2007
Here is a little tip whenever pricing anything online. Run a split test; as long as you have enough traffic and conversions running through your website it will give you a better answer than anyone can.

Set up a few different pages each with a different pricepoint. You can even do different billing periods -- $9 a month, $99 a year, $19 for 6 months, etc. You could even have multi-tiered service -- 5 quotes for $9 a month, 15 usage points for $20, and so on.

Split the traffic off between them and see which one adds up to the most total profit for you (there may be variations between advertising costs depending on your price point.)

The web makes this super easy. You don't have to go printing out labels or have prices printed on thousands of fliers. Online its just a matter of going in a changing a few numbers around and its instantly live (this may vary depending how your systems are set up.)

There is some basic logic that goes in here, use MJ's guidelines as a starting point; but use split testing to make a final decision.


Aug 14, 2007
Buckinghamshire, UK
Think airlines here: 100 seats sold at $250 is better than 200 sold at $100 but where is the optimal level?

Depends how your product works.

What is your monthly cost per user?

If your outlay is the same for 1 or 1000 users... then the above example is not really as relevent. As the airline spends $XXX per seat to run it. So their profit is price-cost=profit. Whereas yours could be Xprice-1x cost=profit. So you want X to be as big as possible (higher user group).

But then you need to consider support costs per user as well.

Ultimately, in your situation you need to identify a target audience (ideally of friends you trust) so you can gauge the value they associate to your product and price accordingly.

I'm involved in a subscription product and our competitors are charging $80/month. So I'm going in at $10-20/month. Originally wanted $5/month to get membership numbers as quick as possible, but working out our costs and its around $7/user/month so going with $10/month is our minimum.

Ideally you also want other revenue streams to sell into this membership. This is our plan and is the majority of the profit in the situation. Membership=covers costs and small profit... extra revenue = pure profit.


(don't check this forum that much so if you want more details PM me)
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Bronze Contributor
Mar 25, 2008
Great points to ponder folks, thanks for taking the time to respond.

BTW - the airline example was just an analogy, clearly a very different pricing model, I was just trying to illustrate what I meant by the sweet spot.

You've given me some homework to do.

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