It's a vital part of any business if you want your customers to not only trust you, but also buy from you on a consistent basis. There are many ways to achieve this:
- Social Proof
- Money Back Guarantees
- And so on...
Like many things in life, the poison is in the dose. And there is a point where too much of a good thing can become bad.
Recently, we discovered that being too transparent can actually hurt your business.
On bornfitness.com we recently redesigned our online coaching page, which features online diet and training plans.
The redesign was a massive overhaul, but really just the first step of conversion optimization. Before the page ever went live, we were pretesting several elements on the older page. (Something we highly recommend; don't wait to go live to test. Always start one-step ahead when possible.)
One of the tests focused on the one of the most popular questions asked about coaching: the price.
We wondered if listing the prices of coaching would act as a barrier or lead to more qualified leads. (More interested clients that would actually buy.)
This was a unique situation because the coaching program isn't designed for scale. It's one-on-one coaching, so you can only work with so many clients at once.
But the Born Fitness wait list is the backbone of the business. The high demand allows for spots to easily be filled once a customer's life cycle ends.
So what would lead to the strongest wait list: showing the price or keeping it hidden. Here's what we found.
It's All About The Money
The entire purpose of showing prices was to make the customer feel like they were aware of every step of the process. What we didn't realize was that sharing price could create a hyper awareness that stunted the most important point of the page: taking action to sign up for a free consulting call.
When the price was removed, we saw applications increase 341% for our $199.99/mo program and 373% for our $99.99/mo program.
Let those numbers sink in for a moment.
It was clear to us that being transparent with the price of our coaching programs was significantly hurting the number of people applying for one-on-one coaching.
Important note about split tests: Always provide enough time for your tests to run. The worst thing you can do is make premature assumptions based on your A/B testing. According to Optimizely the tests run were 100% statistically significant. The golden rule is reaching a 95% confidence level, but that still doesn’t necessarily mean you have a winning variation. The best way to verify these numbers is to let the test run at least 4 weeks (this will vary depending on your traffic and number of conversions). If you don’t know how to calculate the significance click HERE for a free calculator provided by VWO.
After our testing we decided to remove the price completely.
But before you avoid listing prices, you should ask yourself why it might be best to remove. After all, Amazon lists all their prices, and they clearly aren't struggling for buyers.
How To Be Transparent Without Price
If you're worried that price might inhibit action, your focus should be on eliminating as many questions as possible, while still allowing for a few to remain.
You may be wondering, "But how can I truly be transparent without providing the price?"
The answer is in how you create your sales page, and your willingness to create as much detail as possible.. Granted for some products this may not work, but our one-on-one coaching is setup as an application process.
Our sales page was created strategically to let people know exactly what to expect before they join coaching, during the consulting call, and then after acceptance. This is accomplished through video and copy. We also make it clear before the applicant applies that the first month is risk-free, and that no client will ever be charged a penny before they have a chance to know pricing, expectations, and deliverables.
We don’t blow smoke up anyone's ass just for the sake of trying to enhance a false sense of value.
No marketing BS such as “it takes 100 hours to build this program” or “you will be shredded in 2 weeks”.
We tell them what the program is, how it will be, and who it’s for. Not only that, but we allow them to speak on the phone with a Adam for free.
Is the free call a loss of potential revenue? Yes.
But does it build a relationship on a deeper lever? Without a doubt.
Sometimes the best marketing is honesty.
The Takeaway: Ask Better Questions
When we launched our new sales page we were so excited that it almost blinded us. Instead of looking at what you've accomplished, always find new questions to ask to poke holes in what you've created. Better questions always lead to better answers.
You need to identify the barriers to purchasing. The best way to do this is to constantly be A/B test on your website. These A/B tests should focus on factors that either generate revenue or leads on your site. It’s easy to get carried away with testing but make sure you have a focus and reason behind it.
In our case, it wasn’t the offer itself. It was the buyer wanted more communication and confirmation that they were accepted to the program before they bought.