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Six messaging tips to level up your comparison pages

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Pricing pages: hidden UX and copy improvements for an effortless user journey

Help maximise your conversions with these micro-optimisations that keep prospects moving forward

Your pricing page is one of the most important steps in your sales funnel. It’s often the last page they view before deciding whether to sign up or go elsewhere.

So naturally, this page has a massive impact on your lead generation success.

In this article, I’ll talk about the small UX and copy details that startups often miss. A lot of these are so subtle that I think of them as 'hidden' copy and UX improvements. But together, they make the user's journey almost effortless.

View the video version of the blog to see a more in-depth breakdown:

Whose page are we looking at in this breakdown?

Sox is a company that provides proxy IP solutions. The product offers customers a way to improve their anonymity online and access a greater range of internet services.

I came across Soax's website and thought it would be worth doing an analysis of their pricing page. While the page follows pricing page best practices well, it has some opportunities for improvement that are common on SaaS websites. Let’s dive in!

Click here to see the page

Keep your headline simple, but consider adding relevant brand messaging

Here, Soax opts for a simple and clear headline. That’s absolutely fine for a pricing page, where the headline doesn’t need to work hard to hook readers into continuing. 

However, for companies who are striving to stand out in a competitive marketplace, this is also a good place to work in some brand messaging. Below, Monday uses its pricing page intro to show its main brand message:

You can also use this space to highlight a special offer. Notice how Xero draws attention to its introductory pricing and onboarding assistance:

You never want to make the page intro so complicated that it’s distracting for users. But don’t be afraid to use this space to tell prospects something useful—as long as it’s relevant to their journey.

Position buttons carefully, putting the most important ones on the left

People tend to read in an f-shaped pattern online, so positioning your buttons intelligently is important. 

Given that the annual pricing button has an orange highlight on it, it seems like Soax wanted to draw attention to this button. Unless there’s a good reason to put the other button first, I’d position it in the left-hand position so more visitors notice it.

Write plan names that help prospects make decisions

Soax misses the mark a little with their plan names. They don’t tell us much about the plans, and aren’t coherent with the left-to-right ascending sequence. While ‘Pro’ sounds superior to ‘Starter’, the most expensive plan is ‘Regular’, which sounds inferior to ‘Plus’.

A better example comes from Xero, whose plan names describe the company sizes they’re aimed at (while also flowing in a logical sequence). This strategy helps users immediately see themselves in the plan names, which speeds up the decision-making process.

Add a description to help users find the right plan

Some companies also add a quick description below the product name for the same reason. Visitors to Pipedrive’s pricing page get helpful guidance about which plan might be right for them:

Asana takes a similar approach on its pricing page:

Price plans consistently where possible

Another thing I noticed here is that Soax is inconsistent with its pricing strategy. Pricing a product at $99 instead of $100 is a psychological trick that’s been proven to work—but the company does it only on its first plan.

Perhaps the company had a good reason for doing it. But there’s a risk that the inconsistency will confuse users, or cause them to stop and think. If I was Soax, I’d continue the $99 tactic on all four pricing plans.

Subtly move the focus away from money

Another little trick that some companies do on their pricing page is to include a small currency sign. This is subtle, but the idea here is to put less focus on the money and more on the features that the tier offers. 

It would be nice to see this page adopt the same strategy, as Mailchimp does on its pricing page:

Help prospects understand any technical references

Pricing tables often include technical references to features. The Soax pricing table refers to whitelisted IPs and Ports - but will prospects always know what these terms mean?

It’s best to play it safe and assume that some prospects won’t.

Perhaps the prospect is new to this type of technology. Perhaps English isn’t their first language. Or perhaps they’re a first-day intern whose boss has asked them to shortlist some tools they don’t fully understand.

So when you’re including technical references, use tool tips to give extra clarification. This avoids the risk of confusion so prospects who are new to your technology keep moving forward. Here’s how Pipedrive does it:

Make it crystal clear what graphics and visual elements mean

After the main pricing table, we see an interactive tool that tells us something about enterprise pricing. Move the slider up, and the price changes accordingly at set intervals.

The problem with this is that it implies the company already has set prices for specific service levels. But the copy below the headline tells visitors to contact sales and get a custom quote.

These two messages seem at odds with each other—does the company offer bespoke quotes, or does it have ready-made pricing tiers?

If I were SOAX, I would update the copy to make it clear that the price per gigabyte gets better the more data you buy, and that this is demonstrated in the visualisation below.

As always, take care that there is no possibility for confusion. When you’re including images and tools, spell everything out. Don’t leave anything for the reader to piece together themselves.

Ensure call-to-actions and trust signals are right for this stage of the customer journey

The credit card logos here are also worth quickly discussing. On one hand, familiar logos like this can act as trust signals- but they also suggest that the visitor is about to make a payment.

Again, this could confuse the prospects. Given that they’re not congruent with this stage of the journey, these logos might be doing more harm than good here. 

If I was working on this page I would also consider whether ‘Get a quote’ might be a better call-to-action than ‘Contact Sales’. Speaking to sales implies a level of commitment that the prospect might not be ready for yet.

Add helpful FAQs, but cut out any unnecessary distractions

Lastly, the page finishes with a lengthy FAQ section that has over 20 questions. FAQ sections can help overcome any last-minute uncertainties, so it’s a good idea to include them.

However, questions like the ones below don’t belong on a pricing page and can only slow down or confuse prospects:

Including too many extra questions could make the page hard to navigate, potentially frustrating users. For this reason, I would remove any unnecessary questions that aren’t relevant at this stage of the buying journey.  

Leverage user behavior data to optimise your FAQ list

Not sure which questions to cut? Follow this process to evaluate your copy with conversion optimisation tools:

  1. Set up heatmaps on the page with a tool like Hotjar or Crazy Egg
  2. Let the tool gather data for a couple of weeks
  3. Check the heatmaps to see which questions get clicked most (and least)
  4. Move the most popular questions to the top of the list and remove the questions that don't get clicked at all.

Key takeaway: Optimising pricing pages comes down to one simple idea

You’ve probably noticed a trend in all these tips. Almost everything here is about removing obstacles and facilitating easy-decision making.

Everybody clicking your pricing page is at least somewhat interested- and in many cases, they’ve already decided your product is right for them. Therefore, your overarching goal for the pricing page is to keep users moving forward. 

Any time your users get confused, distracted, or have to think, they stop moving forward. 

So when designing and optimising your page, evaluate each page element (like copy or visuals) by asking the following questions:

  • Could this distract users from their goal on this page?
  • Will this element result in users thinking more, or less?
  • Does this element make it easier to make a decision?

Happy optimising!

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