Customer’s choice: Introducing pay-what-you-want pricing in ConvertKit

Commerce Inside ConvertKit
5 min read
In this Article

Pricing. Oh, pricing.

It’s a word that strikes fear into the hearts of side-hustlers and seasoned creators alike. Making the leap between creating free content and monetizing your work isn’t always easy—and choosing the right amount to charge is never easy. For most creators, taking the first step into monetization is always met with the most paralyzing question—how do I price this?

The reason pricing is so difficult? You don’t choose the value of your work—your customers do. And now, with pay-what-you-want pricing for digital products coming to ConvertKit Commerce, you can put them in the drivers’ seat.

Show your audience you trust them to support you and pay what your product is worth, and you’ll be rewarded with more sales, greater reach, and a stronger bond with your subscribers and customers. Even better, you’ll get a range of insights into your audience’s appetite to pay for your products and where your product’s price point should land.

What pay-what-you-want (PWYW) pricing can do for you

I know what you’re thinking: How would that work? In a world where free content is so easily accessible, why would people pay?

Because your content is valuable—and your superfans want more.

They want to feel connected to your craft. They want to understand the behind-the-scenes. They want to be included.

Pay-what-you-want pricing can not only help you accomplish that, it can also be a great way to take that first step into monetizing your content. Here are some benefits for what PWYW pricing can do for you:

Expand your reach

Free products spread faster. It’s easier for your followers to share something they enjoyed with their friends when there is a low barrier to entry. With PWYW, you can get the best of both worlds by setting the minimum price of your product to $0 without losing out on the opportunity of making some money.

Increase your revenue ceiling

When you set a fixed price, no one can pay you more than the price you’ve assigned to your product. Take an e-book for example—because most ebooks sell for $3.99 on Amazon, you feel forced to go with that same price point to stay competitive even when your superfans are willing to pay $9.99. Letting your customers choose how much they’re willing to pay often means you make more money than if you set a fixed price.

Foster a community

A pay-what-you-want model opens up your product to more people who may not have been able to afford it. By being overly generous and giving to your community, you’ll be surprised what your community will do for you in return!

3 situations you should use PWYW pricing

PWYW may not be everyone’s go-to pricing strategy, but in certain situations it can net you more revenue than setting a fixed price:

Pay what you want ConvertKit

New paid products

Launching a new paid product is stressful. If you’re having hesitations because you value your product higher than what your audience might be willing to pay, the PWYW model can help you test the price range.

Short-term promotions

Instead of running a 20% sale, you can offer a pay-what-you-want promotion for a limited time. This gives people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford your product the opportunity to purchase it. It also doesn’t prohibit any of your audience to pay “full price” (or more!) for your product.

Donations and fundraising

Any time part of your sales goes to a charitable cause, a pay-what-you-want model will help drive up sales goals. By letting your audience know that their money will have a positive impact, they’ll be more likely to pay above the minimum to support the cause.

How to set up pay-what-you-want pricing in ConvertKit

Pay-what-you-want pricing works with all product types in ConvertKit Commerce, including one-time sales and subscriptions.

Start by logging into your ConvertKit account, and set up your product in ConvertKit Commerce as normal. Instead of choosing Standard or Subscription for pricing, choose Pay What You Want. You can also set a minimum price for your product—setting the minimum price to $0 will let your audience download your product for free. Choose your product type, add a custom domain, and customize your landing page to encourage visitors to download and pay for your product.

Pay what you want ConvertKit

In addition to what you’d typically include in a standard sales page, here are two additional things you should include when using the pay-what-you-want pricing model:

  • Anchor your price against what you’d normally consider charging. While you are not asking for the standard, or “retail”, price of your product, you still want to let your audience know how much you would normally price it at. Consider adding an “anchored price” to your sales page—the price you would charge if you were using Standard pricing. This helps potential customers frame in their mind how much to pay for it—otherwise, the only number they have to benchmark from is the minimum price you’ve put down. Pro tip: if you’ve sold this product before or have run PWYW pricing in the past, it’s also helpful to indicate what the average price people purchase the product at.
  • Be transparent with your pricing. Don’t be afraid to share why you’ve set that anchored price. While there’s no need to break down how many hours went into the development of your product, the behind-the-scenes effort will help your audience understand what might be a fair price.

Put your customers in the drivers’ seat with PWYW pricing

Creating your first PWYW product can be intimidating, but once you’ve done it, the experience will teach you what you want to know about your audience and how to price your product for the future.

The PWYW model is just one way to help you start earning a living online. Whether you’re launching a new product idea or running a promotion, you can use ConvertKit to grow your list, connect with your audience, and earn a living.

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As a creator, you deserve to get paid for your work. ConvertKit Commerce is ready-made to help you sell digital products.

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Frances Wong

Frances Wong is the product marketing manager at ConvertKit. She is customer-obsessed, which helps her build, launch, and grow innovative and impactful tools for creators. Outside of ConvertKit, you’ll find her in Brooklyn with Daikon, her adorable Jindo mix.

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