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Is your Pricing Grid hurting Conversion?


Last night I was reviewing a web site. It was a great site and I know the folks that run it. Solid stuff. But I noticed a mistake they were making. And this morning, I did a quick scan of some of the sites I worked on last year, and guess what? I had made the same mistake.

Before I walk thru it, let me highlight how I caught it.

The Pricing Screen

We’ve all been to sites that show us the pricing comparisons of various plans, right?


Now to be clear, there’s nothing wrong with this at all.

I really like this one (hubspot) for three reasons:

  1. The first is the naming. I like the terms and bet they close well with corporations who jump to “enterprise.” Not enough people do that.

  2. The second thing I like about this is that there are only three options. I think when pricing plans move past three tiers/levels/options, you drive the brain into analysis paralysis.

  3. The third thing I like is that the rest of the comparison data is only displayed when you click the “compare packages” button. Complexity is hidden.

So in essence, this one is done right. But the pricing grid I was looking at didn’t look like this.

Presenting Too Much Info

I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed this, but our brains can often get in the way of our decision making.

Maybe you’ve had this experience. Ever send a contract or spreadsheet to a prospect, only to see everything slow down? That’s because their brain begins analysis. And that leads to paralysis.

Think about the deals you’ve done that have been fast. Anyone looking over pages of contracts or sheets in Excel? I doubt it. Deals move quickly when there’s less data to engage our frontal lobe.

When we process data, numbers, and lots and lots of text, we engage the part of our brain that is focused on analysis.

When we process visual images, we can often skip the analytical part of our brains and jump to the emotional (and sometimes fearful) parts that make quick decisions.

When we give people too much information, or too much choice, we limit their ability to take any action at all.

But Wait…That wasn’t the issue.

So pricing grids, though valuable, can just as easily drive people away from clicking on your call to action as they might drive people to click. That suggests you need to do a lot of testing and just make sure you’re using it right.

Don’t create tons of columns and even more rows. It’s not helping you.

My challenge to you, however, isn’t about your pricing page directly. My focus is on conversion. And the role your pricing page plays into it.

The Home Page Call to Action

Rather than pick on anyone else’s site, I’ll point to one of my own, where I sell a premium plugin for PURLs – elegantPurl.


Does this look like any of your slider panels on your home pages?

If it does, then that “get started” button looks familiar. We all have them. The big call to action buttons on our home pages.

My Conversion Mistake

And that’s where I found the mistake. Let me ask you this? If you came to this home page and you wanted to know the pricing, where would you click? Logically the “pricing” item in the menu, right?

But if you wanted to get started, if you knew you wanted my software, where might you click? Maybe the “Get started” button?

So why does my “get started” button not let you get started? Why does it send you to the pricing page? Because I was naturally assuming that the best way to get someone to make a decision was to review the pricing.

I was wrong.

Looking at a big comparison grid doesn’t drive decisions. It drives paralysis.

So if you’re anything like me, you may want to shift how that “get started” button works.

I caught all this because I had just worked with someone else (about three months ago) where we made that button kick off the ordering process and kept things easy and clean. The result? An increase in conversions by almost 40%.

Just because we let people who wanted to give us money, give us money more quickly. And that’s a good thing.

So be careful how you design your pricing grid. And be even more careful when you direct people to it. It could be costing you serious money!

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