My favorite survey platform is SurveyGizmo. In the past I have written about its pricing and how it effectively used multiple versions and visual nudges in its pricing page. SurveyGizmo has been experimenting with their editions and pricing page since then. From presenting five options, to four options and now there are only three options when you visit their pricing page.
Before I point out the most critical change in their pricing, let us look at some of the secondary changes
- What is missing in the three options? What is one version you see in any pricing page you visit but is missing here? The free version. It is not prominently featured in SurveGizmo page. It is still there but as a footnote. It is an indication that their customer mix has changed as they move into next phase of the product adoption.
Their current customer mix is more likely made of Enterprise customers with willingness to pay for a survey platform and a budget to match it. The focus has likely shifted from attracting freeloaders who may never convert to those who think differently about the product and have different buying process.
- What do you see about the prices? The highest priced option is listed first and the middle option is prominently featured (in the middle too). This points more to the size of organizations or groups within organizations they are targeting. While you may notice the two options as different you will later see this difference essentially going away.
- What do you think about unlimited number of responses in all three? Most webapps differentiate based on number of responses or equivalent – like number of Giga Bytes of storage in case of Dropbox or number of events per months in case of Kissmetrics). SurveyGizmo has done away with number of surveys or number responses as pricing meter. It is a very good approach as most likely customers are not seeing as many responses and it does not make sense as a meter to attach pricing to.
Now all these points are for naught when you try to upgrade your free account to a paid account. Despite what the pricing page says they have done away with any feature differences between the different editions. In essence there is just one version of the product with all the features.
Well the free edition comes with limitations, otherwise you would be happy with free. Beyond that are no difference in the power of the tool, types of questions, reports, number of emails you can send, etc.
If they have done away with differences what is the pricing meter then? They rely on number of users. Want access to all these features? You can get it for $50 and after that it is $20 each additional user on the account.
Why have they done away with multiple editions? If one price is good, aren’t two better?
When you have multiple versions (editions) these should differ in at least two dimensions. The mandatory dimension is price and you choose the second based on what the customer values and willing to pay the price difference.
For example, take MacBook Air. Its multiple versions differ in three choice dimensions. Price, screen size and capacity. Clearly the customers see value difference between 11″ and 13″ screens and are willing to pay for it.
But if the customers do not see value difference between versions, they serve no purpose. In fact they add to cognitive cost to customers in making their purchasing decision. When SurveyGizmo had Personal, Professional and Enterprise editions they tried to limit the advanced features like custom scripts to the certain versions. It is likely that only a small percentage cared about these and for the rest the most essential features of the survey platform were more than enough.
Hence their decision to get rid of multiple versions/plans/editions and charge only based on number of users.
How do you decide on offering multiple versions of your product?
- Why there is only one version of Apple TV but three versions of Roku?
- Why are raspberry and strawberry yogurts priced the same?
- Should your Versioning differ in quantity or benefits?
Note: I have used words Plans,Editions and Versions interchangeably in this article.