Are you trying to develop a pricing strategy for your digital products? Good idea. This is very important for building a successful online business.
In this article we’ll share some tips for effectively pricing digital products.
Whether you’re starting your first online business, or expanding on your eCommerce site, pricing your digital products or services will play a significant role in your success.
There is no one-size-fits-all pricing or marketing solution. But you can research similar products.
Your pricing model won’t look the same for graphic templates or dog scarf knitting patterns or online courses for basket weaving. There are fundamental elements to consider.
Here are some foundational tips for pricing your digital products.
- Keep Your Friends Close and Your Competitors Closer
- Pricing Is All About Value
- Don’t Forget about Fees and Expenses
- Customer Service Doesn’t End at Checkout
- Consider Tiered Pricing
- Bundles and Upsells FTW
1. Keep Your Friends Close and Your Competitors Closer
Checking out your competitors is one of the first things you should do when you’re ready to determine your pricing.
Your products or services should be priced fairly for you and your customers. Take into account the value you offer in your pricing approach.
Pricing your products with an overly low price compared to your competition can devalue your products and lead your customers to believe the quality isn’t as good as your competitor’s product. Pricing your products higher than your competition shows your customers that you bring something more to the table.
Visualize your potential customers. Imagine how you would feel about your potential prices compared to those of your competitors. Ask:
- What features does your product or service offer that your competitor’s product doesn’t?
- What makes not just your product or service great, but also your company?
- Who are you selling your products or services to?
- Should you minimize customer risk my offering a money-back guarantee?
- Are your product offers easy to understand?
Don’t be afraid to stand out in the crowd. Take a look at your competitors and see what they’re doing – they’re likely checking you out as well.
2. Pricing is All About Value
You build digital products to solve a problem and enrich the lives of others. With the amount of time, effort, blood, sweat, and tears (and oftentimes rude words) that go into creating these products, the hope is to also generate a profit.
If you create a software plugin that is essential to the success of an online store, such as a payment gateway, that provides immense value to a user. They literally could not run a store without taking payments on their website. You just brought high-value!
If you sell a complex sewing pattern on your site, you are giving your customers the gift of enjoyment that comes with creating something handmade, without the stress and the “how-on-earth-do-I-do-this?!” emotions. That is an added bonus to their hobby. You’ve added value.
You’re providing your customers with a key component they need to accomplish a task. You’re saving them time so they don’t have to do something themselves. That’s providing value.
Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.
Not About Your Time
It’s not about you. It’s about them.
Software development, writing, and designing ain’t easy! It takes a lot of time and effort. We know that. We do that every day here at Easy Digital Downloads.
But the customer is thinking about the value to them. The time your product will save them.
It’s difficult to put a price on your time spent, but here’s the truth: most people simply won’t even consider the time and effort you spent creating the product they buy from you (harsh, but true).
To them, it doesn’t matter whether you’ve spent hours, weeks, or months on a product. To a customer, they are thinking about buying something that will save them time, save them money, save them effort, or will make their life better in some way.
Think about the value to them. That is the real value you’re selling to your customers. Smart business owners think about the value to them. Your customers.
Show Don’t Tell
Use social proof to demonstrate the value of your products.
- Collect and share reviews of your digital downloads
- Write case studies that tell stories about how your digital goods provide what your customer needs
Don’t Underestimate Yourself
Considering the value of your product is incredibly important when determining price.
If your product is the right fit for your customer’s specific needs, they’ll pay a higher price. You’re reading this because you create incredible digital products – don’t underestimate your own worth!
3. Don’t Forget About Fees and Expenses
Hosting Services, Gateway Fees, Marketing Costs, OH MY!
The excitement of starting your business and making that first sale can quickly fade when you start to add up running costs.
When you figure web hosting, gateway fees, and marketing costs into your budget you may realize that you’ll need to sell a lot of $1.99 music downloads to cover monthly expenses and make a profit. You may wish you had set a higher price.
For example, Stripe Pay As You Go pricing currently charges 2.9% + $.30 per successful card charge. After all the hard work you put into that $1.99 piano solo, you’re keeping $1.40.
When pricing your products, think long-term and look towards the future. Price higher than you think you initially should.
What is the first price that comes to mind that you believe you could safely sell your product for? Write it down, and now raise it 20%.
As your site grows and your product features or benefits expand, your operating costs will also rise. Someday, you’ll likely have to raise your prices.
There is always a risk when you raise prices. Introducing price increases for existing digital products or services down the road may discourage existing customers from renewing or purchasing newly-released products.
Starting off with a higher price with will help you avoid a drastic increase in the future to cover any additional expenses.
Remember to factor in fees, expenses, and after-sale costs when picking that just-right price.
Here are some examples of potential expenses to remember:
- Credit card fees
- Marketplace fees/revenue sharing (you can avoid these by selling on your own website)
- Fees for freelancers helping you develop your products or run your operations
- Employee costs
- Digital marketing expenses
- Blog writing
- Social media posts
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Monthly platform fees (you can avoid these by running your own website)
- Software subscriptions
- Web hosting
Making sure your prices are not too low also means you can do holiday or seasonal sales. You’ll likely want to do the occasional sale or promotion. When you do you want to still be able to cover your expenses without bottoming out!
A good general rule of thumb: price your products or your service higher than your gut tells you.
4. Customer Service Doesn’t End at Checkout
The “Customer Experience” encompasses every touchpoint a customer has with your business. From visiting your website, to completing a purchase, to after-purchase interactions, to receiving a follow-up email, and so on.
The interaction with your customers should never stop when a sale is completed.
One aspect of ongoing customer interaction is customer support. The amount of support requests generated from selling digital products can be hard to anticipate, and is based on your business and the product or products you sell.
Selling plugins and themes will yield more after-purchase support than selling eBooks or digital photography. These requests can range from complex technical issues to simple refund requests.
Spend some time thinking about the volume and difficulty of the customer requests you’re likely to receive.
Can you handle these requests and keep your customers happy on your own? Or will you need to bring on some help? Have you attracted the right customers for the value you’re providing and the services you’re selling?
Take a moment to consider this scenario: You’re selling a hot new plugin that offers all the bells and whistles. To reach a larger customer base and compete in your industry, you’ve decided to price it at $29 per license. Each one of those customers may have after-sale support needs.
Now consider the effects of pricing that plugin just a bit higher – let’s say $58. You’re showing a more representative value of the available features, and attracting higher quality customers. There are now fewer customers which will result in a lower number of interactions after the sale, and you’re making the same amount of money.
5. Consider Tiered Pricing
Variety is the spice of life. A proven strategy to get new customers is to display pricing tables with tiered pricing.
You see this strategy employed with many SaaS companies (software as a service). Popular SaaS’s include Spotify, Dropbox and Zoom.
All of these Saas services have a free pricing tier and then increasingly expensive pricing tiers. Sometimes this is called freemium pricing. It starts free and gets more expensive as you add premium features or functionality.
Quantity and quality are the two main characteristics that come to mind when someone mentions tiered pricing.
The more you get, the better the value, the more you pay. Tiered pricing creates variety which allows you to reach a wider audience, and this pricing model can apply to nearly every digital product available.
If you sell digital photography you may have a low resolution, and high resolution, version of each image. When faced with multiple price points, customers will often pick the middle-of-the-road option.
The lowest price may not present as much value to your customers as the highest price point, but the highest priced option may be slightly out of reach.
One size does not fit all and offering tiered pricing allows your customers to pick the option that’s best for their needs, and budget.
6. Bundles and Upsells FTW
Would you like fries (AND a drink) with that?
If you’ve ever been to a fast food restaurant and purchased a “Number 4”, you’ve taken advantage of bundled pricing. You’ve also been ‘upsold’.
Why pay for each, individual component, when you can take advantage of a pre-made bundle? It’s easier to purchase and offers a better value versus purchasing each item individually. Bundling digital products can be a great way to offer your customers the same ease, and value.
When creating bundled pricing for your products make sure the products complement one another, and that it will provide value to your customers.
Bundle your newest yoga video with a meditation guide to achieve maximum zen. Bundle a premium plugin with a premium theme and give your customers an all-in-one website solution at a slightly discounted price – it’s better than buying them separately!
If you do tiered pricing, consider how you can convince current and potential customers to purchase the higher pricing tier. Or to get the nicer product.
Think about their journey to your website. Imagine what they need and want. There are times and ways to nudge them into purchasing the bigger ticket item.
Here are some examples:
- On the checkout page or cart, suggest adding another item, or upgrading to the higher pricing tier
- Use pop-ups with a tool like OptInMonster to suggest purchases
- In post-purchase emails explain the benefits of other products or your higher pricing tier
You Know Your Business Best
Pricing isn’t an exact science. It’s subjective, and depends greatly on the customers you’re targeting, the products you’re selling, and the value you’re providing. So before you throw a number at that new product in the hopes it sticks, think about the short-term, and long-term factors described above.
At the end of the business day, remember that it’s an impossible feat to please everyone.
The pricing decisions you make should be based on some of the tips mentioned in this article, but also on your company goals. Be nimble if you choose to be, but ultimately, stay true to your business model and beliefs.
Take Full Control
The best way to sell your digital products is on your own website. This gives you full control. Not only pricing, you get full control of:
- Direct communication with customers
- Give them support
- Help them succeed
- Keep them loyal
- Convince them to purchase more or renew their subscription
- Branding and voice; you be you
- Customer experience
Remove All Limitations with WordPress
The best way to run your own website is with WordPress. WordPress is both free to use and priceless.
All you need is a good web host, starting at just a few dollars a month. Then you’ll have a website that can expand and accommodate anything you need as your business grows.
With the gigantic ecosystem of WordPress plugins, themes, and services, you’ll never have a challenge your WordPress site can’t solve.
✅ Click here for help choosing the best WordPress hosting
Set up A Full Featured Store with EDD
The best way to sell your digital products on WordPress is with the Easy Digital Downloads plugin.
Easy Digital Downloads (EDD) is a full-featured eCommerce store that you can set up with just a few clicks.
EDD is free to use forever. You may find you need an EDD Pass to get advanced features like email marketing integration or subscriptions.
Out-of-the-box here’s what the free version of EDD provides:
- Full control over pricing
- Protected product files and user verification
- Shopping cart
- Flexible checkout options
- Customer management (basic CRM)
- Stripe and/or PayPal integration
- eCommerce reports
- Discount codes
Great work! You’ve learned some great tips for pricing your digital products. We hope this helps you find your pricing sweet spot and increase profit margins.
Our website is full of tips and tricks for digital creators like you. We run a digital product business too. We trust EDD to run our business every day!
What do you want to learn about next?
- 🧲 Grow your business or email list with Lead Magnets
- 🤑 The Astonishing Benefits of Selling Digital Products
- 💰 The Complete List of Digital Products You Can Sell
Or choose the EDD Pass to get advanced features like fraud monitoring or subscriptions for your growing online business.