Pricing is one of the hardest challenges for plugin and theme developers. On one end you have agencies who want an unlimited sites package at an attractive price. At the other end you have single site owners who may not have site income to offset subscription prices. Buyers want a lifetime package while sellers worry that if sales drop off then there won’t be enough income to continue development and offer support. Some of the greatest fails have come because developers overvalue a new offering and it fails to gain traction, or they undervalue the product and miss income that would help bootstrap the product development.
The solution to finding a good price point is in knowing who your customers are. That sounds straightforward, but in reality, starting out, no one really knows who the users are. Or to phrase it a different way, the WordPress community is very diverse. You have single blog owners, passion projects, community and non-profit sites, membership sites, learning management sites, sites for coaches, churches, news, small to large businesses, schools, and all manner of ecommerce sites.
In reality, pricing is a process and there are two parts to determining who your customers are. First, understanding your product, who would realistically use it, and how much is it worth to those users. The second part, which is not as often mentioned, is to choose your customers. Of course developers have ideas about who might use their products and they can see how similar products are priced, but because it is a process, they need to periodically do a reality check and see who is actually buying their products and who is it really helping. Thrive themes seems to have evolved their pricing intelligently and chosen their audience.
Their products include a theme builder, a page builder, quiz builder, email marketing leads capture, testimonials, comments, A/B testing, course builder, and an automation plugin. Their products are very conversion focused and they have made it a point to craft them so that they work together and complement each other. In so doing, they offer a lot of value.
Along with a suite subscription, Thrive used to offer a reasonably priced lifetime package option for a single product for 1, 5, or 15 sites. They discontinued the lifetime packages and moved to a suite only annual subscription. Now they updated their pricing again. They have changed their pricing so that:
$228/year for 25 licenses will become $299 for 5 licenses
$90/qtr for 25 licenses will become $99/qtr for 5 licenses
They also recently added an option to buy a one year subscription for a single product.
These pricing changes are interesting because Thrive believes they know their audience and have been tailoring their offering accordingly. They think their target customers are influencer, coaches, and entrepreneurs with one to five sites. Based on that knowledge they tailored their products to meet their users needs. No doubt the new pricing turns away many potential buyers, such as agency owners. In this way they also have chosen who they want to target. It appears that by understanding their audience and target customer they have been able to increase their prices, decrease the number of sites included, and I imagine increase their profits.