This article is a guest post from Nick Beske, the lead creative and founder of Point Click Productions, a design and marketing agency focused on helping small businesses make a big impact.
Clicking on an ad for a product or service you're interested in, you stumble upon a landing page with three different products at three different prices. You quickly scan the list and make a choice: all by yourself. Think again. Odds are, the colors, sizes, and placement of the price you chose were all carefully selected by a brilliant graphic designer.
Design can play a huge role in subliminally suggesting price options to consumers, and to your pricing strategy as a whole. Price Intelligently already covered some general tips and tricks for software pricing pages in their pricing page blog post. Yet, we'd like to dig a bit deeper and show you how you can make a design element, such as a preferred price option, stand out to customers with a few simple tricks.
Color By Number: Utilize color to guide users to your optimal products and tiers
You can't have a conversation about design without voicing opinions about color. Color theory is a psychologist's pillow talk. Warm colors increase energy; cool colors evoke feelings of calm and meditation. Green makes people hungry. Blue makes them feel full. Is there any evidence to support this? Actually, there is, but you don't really want your pricing strategy to make people's stomachs start growling. Instead, you want to draw the eye to the preferred pricing bracket for your products and services.
Primary colors, that's red, blue, and yellow for all you Art 101 dropouts, are the colors generally thought to be the most eye-catching. A website filled with just the primaries, though, will look like a crayon explosion. Instead, we recommend a color technique known as "split complementary." Complementary colors are colors opposite from each other on the color wheel: red and green, blue and orange, and yellow and purple. Instead of using just these two colors, choose a primary color and surround it by several hues from the opposing side. This technique will make your primary color pop off the page, emphasizing whatever text you choose.
Take a look at Zcope for an interesting example of this concept. Where does your eye dart?
Is Bigger Really Better?: Subtly differentiating the size of target tiers/products
There's a lot of disagreement in the design industry about size. Some designers will swear up and down that the bigger the font or banner featuring a price option, the more likely a customer is to examine and choose that option. Others will roll their eyes and say that customers are not so easily fooled. From a purely psychological standpoint: yes, a bigger font and banner will attract more attention. There's a fine line, however, between big enough to attract attention and so enormous that a customer feels like you're trying to pull a "fast one." Happy, middle ground: that's what we're after.
Shopify is exceptionally subtle with their size differentiation here, but I guarantee you that tier at least gets more clicks, if not more full conversions.
The Lazy Eye: Centering ideal products yields results
Here's something you need to know about the human body: it's a machine, and a very efficient machine, at that. In fact, you might go so far as to say the human body is so efficient it's practically lazy. If the body can skip over an unnecessary task, it will. If the brain can come to a conclusion with minimal data input, it will. If the eye can focus on a price that seems reasonable without having to rove around a webpage, it will.
The "lazy eye" can be a web designer's best friend. When you're designing a website that offers multiple products or services in different pricing brackets, put the preferred pricing option smack dab in the center of the page. The eye immediately absorbs the information that's right in front of it. So, your preferred pricing option is ideally the one seen first by the eye.
Shopify above employed this method with that iteration of their page, combining it with nice color differentiation. Take a look at Basecamp below. There's a clear plan meant just for you.
Now, we're not suggesting that you're going to fool anyone with this technique. Customers are going to see all your pricing options, and shrewd consumers are going to choose a pricing option that they think is best. Subliminally, though, you will be affecting the customer's decision. Because the center option is likely to be seen first, customers will assume the middle pricing option is the most popular, the most recommended, and maybe the most likely to suit their purposes.
In all, design is exceptionally important to your pricing strategy, because it buttresses your entire pricing page. Just like pricing though, design is a process, something that needs to be tweaked, adjusted, and updated over time to suit anf fit your customer's needs and values.