Why it makes sense to build SaaS apps with monetisation in mind

Salable Team Member

When you’ve got a great idea that turns into an even greater product, it’s tempting to give users the whole kit and caboodle, just to get it out there. But building with a pricing structure in mind makes it much easier to market your hard work and monetise it if you want.

We get it. You built something beautiful and you want people to use your app in all its glory, benefitting from the full functionality it offers. It’s neat, and other people need to experience all that neatness right away.

For the altruistic types out there, listing an app for free and never seeing any revenue might be just the ticket. But if you’re building a small business, hoping to turn a side project into your day job, or just want to break-even so you can keep bringing new tools to market, then you’re going to need to make a little money.

Sign up for subscriptions

One of the hardest things to do for any app creator — be it on the Apple App Store or a SaaS offering like Atlassian Marketplace — is convincing people to sign up to what you have to offer. A small one-off payment for an app is relatively low-risk for a consumer, but ideally, when it comes to SaaS, you want to generate repeat revenue through subscriptions.

Since 1999 when Salesforce ushered in the software subscription model revolution, there’s been a steady trend towards this money-making approach. Also, software developers can offer a range of pricing options to suit different users’ needs and budgets.

But for many small businesses and solopreneurs, monetisation is an afterthought. And that makes sense. You’re focused on building your app and gaining traction in the marketplace. You’re probably thinking, ‘What’s the point of building a pricing plan right now when no one’s even heard of what I have to offer?’

Here’s the point…

Imagine you’re building a house — if you want it to have doors and windows, it’s much easier to plan where they’re going to go when you’re building the walls, rather than knocking things down to fit them in after the fact. App monetisation is no different. Retro-fitting monetisation into your app is a headache, so it pays to build it with that in mind.

By building functionality around a pricing plan, deciding how many tiers you’re going to offer, which features users get for free (if you provide a free version), and which they have to pay for, means your basic app will still make sense independent of additional premium features you might want to monetise.

What’s on offer?

Think about what features you want users to be able to access with a basic subscription first. Even if your basic option is free, grouping features together as a clear offering is still a good idea. If you decide to add new features and provide a paid subscription down the road, users will be more aware of what they’re already getting and the additional benefits they’ll receive for spending some money.

The more you know about your potential customers, the better. If you understand their needs and pain points, the potential number of users they’ll want to cater for, as well as what their nice-to-haves are, you can build a service offering and price plan to match.

Price plans with pizzazz

Designing an effective pricing plan is super important. By adjusting the number of pricing options you have, tweaking which features are available, and changing the price, you can build a sales structure that works best for your target users. You can also run A/B testing to understand the effect these changes have on sign-up rates to maximise the number of paying customers.

At Salable our simple process has all this thinking built in. To get started, you create a pricing plan and an easy-to-understand pricing table for your website. You can choose the number of users, available features, and cost of each option to your potential customers. You can even incorporate ‘freemium’ plans that entice smaller companies who don’t want to take the risk of paying just yet, but who you can potentially convert to paying customers down the road.

Follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to learn more about how we’re helping developers monetise awesome ideas easily.

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