Developer resources have never been so valuable, particularly in a small team or start-up environment. Without devs, there is no product, no product maintenance, no optimization, and definitely no positive user experience.
Developers are constantly on the lookout for tools that boost efficiency. They want to get 👏 stuff 👏 done 👏 – before moving on to the next item on the roadmap. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy to win them over, thanks to a competitive market, developers’ loyalty to word of mouth, and them being reasonably skeptical of any “marketing fluff”.
So, how do you make them see the value in your product and choose you?
If you get it right, pricing is one thing that can set you apart from your competition.
Here’s what it takes to strengthen your pricing model:
1) Target specific audiences
This feeds into how you market your development tool, including the pricing of it. Why? Because developers aren’t people that want to splash the cash, and with so many tools out there doing the same or similar things, a big price tag is just a road diversion straight to your competitors. Or they’ll just do it themselves. 🤷
It’s their hands-on nature that has led so many dev tools and dev platforms to choose a self-serve first approach. From the checkout experience through to integrating and using your product, developers will want to get their head down and just go . They can do just that if you:
- Limit human interaction from sales or support teams with a self-serve checkout
- Reduce the number of heavy integrations (did someone say ‘all-in-one platform’?)
- Create a smooth onboarding process
- Offer simple yet thorough documentation so they can learn by themselves
2) Pushing transparency with your pricing
Don’t make it too complex. Make clear your value proposition, because that’s far more important than your product working perfectly in the eyes of the developer. They’re used to bugs, but your product is there to help them get to where they want to be faster.
Consider offering free trials or demos so they can try out your product before clicking Buy. Freemium is another popular route for devtools to take as it’s known to boost the uptake of a product, especially in a competitive market. But in terms of fast revenue? Not so much.
Monetizing from a freemium model can be tricky, but by creating a well-thought-out tiered pricing model , you can encourage upgrade opportunities. Again, just make it as clear and concise as possible so they can choose the option most relevant to them. Check out our post on some of the best freemium conversion tactics .
3) Offering flexible subscription options
Developers are going to use your product in different ways, with different aims in mind. And that will most likely change over time for each individual too.
Q: How do you appeal to so many indie developers’ needs in one pricing model?
A: Offer up flexible subscription options. (We gave the game away with the subheading, didn’t we?)
A usage-based (also known as metered ) billing model is a popular option for start-up or small development tool businesses. For one, it’s very flexible and can easily suit a wide range of developers because of its pay-as-you-go approach, and secondly, it’s a pricing model that can easily scale as your users (and you) scale. Oh, and usage-based companies have better financial performance than their peers . Nice.
Of course, the predictability of costs is important in any business, but especially to start-ups and their budgets. This is just another reason why transparency in your pricing is important. Take a look at AWS’s pricing calculator , for example, where you can work out your future costs if your usage changes from X to Y.
Interested in opting for (ahem, transparent ) usage billing yourself? Check out these three examples of it done well .
4) Localizing your payment flow
This means offering up the currencies and payment methods preferred in certain locations. Cover all bases to make sure your checkout process is an easy, breezy experience for developers all over the world.
For more on localization and how you can use it to increase your revenue, head to our handy guide.