Pricing Flexibility

We occasionally speak with people who have a recurring billing business in which every customer pays a different price.

I don’t know about you, but after being part of 8 businesses, the idea of infinitely variable pricing scares me – it just seems like it will create complexity.

Standardization feels much cleaner and more manageable.

I ask them:

a) Do you literally mean that every customer will pay a truly random price?


b) Do you mean that every customer will pay a price that’s chosen from a list of, say, 20 discount levels off the regular price?

Most people say “b”.

Or they say that “b” would actually work – they had just never thought of it that way.

Sales Team Needs Flexibility

They have a sales team that needs some flexibility.

If you have a set of standard prices, and you just need to discount the price to close a sale, then coupons are perfect.

Define 10 or 20 coupons that yield different discounts, say from 5% to 25%, and give those to your salespeople.

Chances are, most of your customers will fit into one of the discount brackets.

And if your salesperson really needs to offer something truly custom, then create a coupon just for that customer.

What about Classes of Customers?

Same thing.

Make a coupon for non-profits, another for churches, another for schools, etc., and apply the appropriate coupon after they sign up.

If you really want to keep things tight, get their tax ID and store it in the Notes section of their Chargify subscription, and then apply the coupon.

40% of Chargify Merchants use Coupons

When I joined Chargify a few years ago, we had no support for coupons.

Now we offer coupons in many shapes and sizes:

• Apply at signup only, or for ‘x’ uses, or forever.
• Give a discount that’s a fixed amount ($10) or a percentage (10%).
• And more on the way!

For literally a year or two, I only thought of coupons as something you give to your customers to redeem when they sign up, or maybe to apply after they signed up.

But in the last year, we started hearing about this need for what seemed like infinite pricing flexibility. But the need is almost never really infinite, so coupons fit perfectly.

The Catch

This all relies on the idea that your products & services have an MSRP – a standard price that you can publish and discount, as needed.

In all the sales calls we do, I think I’ve only heard of one or two merchants where their business couldn’t use MSRPs. I could see that in businesses where the product or service is not standardized itself… maybe each deliverable is custom.

The vast majority of businesses & organizations that use Chargify have standardized offerings, so they can have standardized prices, and we’re back to coupons being the key to their sales teams having enough flexibility.

Have fun with coupons! They may just be the thing you’re looking for.