I’m going to admit this one is part rant, part advice. The good news is it will be short.
For the past few hours I’ve been looking for newsletter service providers. I have a large list and am not looking for a free solution. My need is for high quality, an easy to use system and high delivery rates. None of these factors come cheap and I’m happy to pay.
I feel like crying for some of these companies. They meet my needs and target smaller users such as myself over enterprise clients (pricing strategies differ for these customers). I don’t have time to test out five providers so the next logical step is to consider price. You know…that magical thing I pay you that turns into profit!
It seems displaying prices is a hard concept to grasp. On one occasion I was instructed that the only way to see prices was signing up for the free trial. Another company had no mention of prices anywhere, not even Google could find them. At the end of the day I know these companies will want some money from me and I’d appreciate knowing how much upfront.
Understandably some companies are resistant to putting a price on the front page (and that’s ok), competing off price is never wise but having the information available somewhere is important. In a market like mailing lists where the product and price differentiation among competitors is marginal it is unrealistic to assume I will lock my list in without knowing the end game. In the end I just purchased from the company who would tell me upfront how much money it was going to cost.
In the words of David Heinemeier Hansson (albeit talking about the market grabbing companies) “having a price is really cool for getting profits”.