Should you include pricing in a teaser site?

Sheri Allain Digital Marketing Strategist, Brand Builder, Sales Driver

September 18th, 2014

Debating whether to include price details in a teaser site? 

The goal of the site is to gauge interest in the tech solution before deciding whether to create the MVP. 
But I think it's better to see whether people are willing to pay upfront -- this way I know if there really is a viable business idea in the end.  

Note: my pricing model is a bit unusual: 1) initial assessment (~$17.99) and, 2) 3-month membership fee ($~9.99 per month). The price(s) will likely require additional testing.

Is it better to just test the viability of the idea for now? Or to test the idea + potential price(s) upfront? 

Zvi Epner

September 18th, 2014

You can use tools to A/B test both scenarios; I'd recommend that an an efficient way to validate your assumptions.

Tatiana Becker Owner at NIAH Recruiting

September 18th, 2014

Hi Sheri, To gauge interest, you truly have to see if people will buy the product. You would get much different results asking if people would buy rather than actually selling. I would recommend setting up a site that takes people through the entire ordering process, then lets them know that the product is not currently available but that they will get a notification when it is. You could even A/B test by creating a few payment pages with different prices, and see which overall would produce the best results. I hope that helps. Tatiana

John Anderson

September 18th, 2014

I agree with Sean.  Any type of price is based on good old fashioned supply/demand and it's hard to gauge what a fair price is without knowing what the demand is.  Also, if you give away the product/service and you can get tons of people to use it, there will be revenue opportunities other than sales, such as ads.  

I worked at a company where we gave away 60 minutes of the service each month, in the hopes this would get people to pay for additional hours.  People would use 59 minutes and 59 seconds of the free service and then stop each and every month.  This proved that people liked using the service but didn't want to pay for it.  This was invaluable information as we knew the product was good enough for people to use it and they liked it, but they didn't want to pay for it.

If we only had a paid option to use the service, we wouldn't have known the service was good, but maybe priced a bit too high.  High price is MUCH easier to fix.

First thing you need to find out is if people like your product/service.  By having price in the mix, you'll never be sure if people don't like the service, or don't want to pay for it.  Make it free to begin with and you'll find out for sure if people like your offering at all.  Then move on from there.

- John

Sean Hurley Optimize Your Dream.

September 18th, 2014

I strongly recommend only positioning the offer without price. Float the concept first and subsequently sell the price --- Sean M. Hurley, Founder & CEO Hurley Associates Growth Partners 617-784-1435 "Helping Creative Entrepreneurs Bring Exceptional Products To Market"

Grace Ng

September 20th, 2014

Sheri, you are spot on. You need to have a price if you're gauging interest for a new solution.

Try using QuickMVP, it's a tool that helps you test new product ideas in 5 minutes. You can even split test prices with it.

Early testing of the price point will help you decide what metrics you need to hit in order for your product to be successful. Check out my latest article in Inc about this technique.

Melissa Kilbourne Product Manager at Craftsy

September 21st, 2014

I love the approach buffer took for this problem. First, they created a simple page with value prop (without pricing) to see if there was interest. But, the immediate next question is will people pay for this so, once they saw interest, they added a pricing section. Also, instead of offering just one price, they displayed several prices with different features in each. Checkout screenshots of their original MVP tests:

Juan Posada Technology executive, startup advisor and entrepreneur. Also a garage tinkerer and maker movement supporter.

September 18th, 2014

I agree with John and Sean regarding (not) including pricing. 

Also, maybe it's just a terminology thing but a teaser is not the right type of video to gauge customer interest. Why? Because a teaser by definition is only revealing bits and pieces of the whole in an effort to generate excitement, anticipation, and raise expectations about the "full thing". So you don't want to only tell a portion of your story and then base your assessment of demand based on response to that incomplete narrative.

What you are looking for is more of a "vision" video - where you are describing the end state that you want to reach with your full product, but be careful to manage expectations since your MVP will most likely not fulfill 100% of that vision.

Again, probably just a semantics issue but I thought I would throw it out there. Hope this helps. 

Erik Moon Co-founder at Hinted / Co-founder at / Stanford GSB Sloan Fellow

September 19th, 2014

In short: I would say that if it is clear that the value to the customer is obviously greater than what you're asking them to pay, no reason to hide the price...

Most of the advice here is in the "no" column. But, you might consider listing WITH pricing - primarily because your price is not a very large number. If you were asking someone to make a $1,000 or $1,000,000 investment (the latter probably open to much negotiation), you would probably be best following the above advice and hiding the price.

I might be wrong, but your service sounds like a consumer play - I don't know about you, but if I'm spending my own money, it is really important for me to see the price up front to determine if the value is in line with my expectations. As an individual, I tend to assume that if you won't show me the price, it's because I can't afford it (or would be unwilling to pay that price at first glance).

Rob G

September 29th, 2014

Are you selling to consumers or SMB or enterprise?  This has to do with the tendency for enterprise to shy away from "free" products/services.  Not a hard and fast rule, but something to consider. Consumers/SMB/enterprise are pretty smart so just be straight with them.  Tell them you are not yet clear on how you plan to price your product/service and you could user their input/help.  consider a "pay what you think is right" plan and offer them the options you are considering plus a "send us an email here if you have other suggestions".    I would do some in-person testing first to be sure i understand the range of possibilities then i would offer options on the MVP website that span the range of possibilities:  "$0.00 now + $0.00/month or "$0.00 for 90 days then $10.00/month" OR "$17.99 now + $9.99/mo".   i would avoid more than 3 or 4 options.  If you have more than 3-4 options them A/B test them.   I personally dislike sites that hide or are not upfront with their pricing - don't lead me along or make me commit or make me guess before you tell me how much it will cost.