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Written by Leah Messenger SaaS Specialist
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12 Nov 2021  |  Pricing

5 ways to strengthen your pricing strategy as a dev platform

5 minute read

With developers’ time more precious than ever, how do you prove your product’s value to them? For one, you can work on your pricing. Here’s how to strengthen your pricing model to get their attention.

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


Honing in on your target personas is crucial to any business plan because without that focus, you’re not going to get the engagement you’re after (if any engagement at all). Your perceived value will take a big hit.

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


Most software development tools and platforms are transparent with their pricing. By this we mean their pricing is on display, and makes it clear to understand what you’re getting and how much it’ll cost you, with no secret hidden fees thrown in the mix further down the line. 

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


As a software business, your product is automatically accessible to users globally . Given the opportunity for very international traffic, you need to make sure your payment flow is localized to all potential users. 

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.

5) Reassessing your pricing model as you grow

It’s important to have tracking and reporting in place to see what’s working and what isn’t for your product and your customers. Along with many other aspects of your business model, your pricing will develop as your product develops.

Your go-to-market strategy will evolve as you go after different segments - it’s all part of the journey to expansion. 📈

The benefits of getting your pricing right are obvious - you get more people and businesses using your product, and therefore more revenue coming in. It’s part of both your go-to-market strategy and your underlying revenue infrastructure . The latter includes other important requirements like subscription management, sales tax compliance, and fraud prevention. That’s exactly why you have to re-evaluate as your business grows and inevitably changes.

For more on how to make an impact through pricing optimization, check our post out on just that . We talk through its importance, and the 6 steps to take when optimizing your pricing.

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