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How to set up pricing experiments

We all act like the best time for a price change is “not now”, but that’s not sustainable. Costs evolve as does the value of our work, so the price has to follow suit.

Since the effects of price changes are notoriously hard to fully predict, the anxiety that tags along is unfortunately inevitable, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do anything about it.

If there is enough time, price changes should not look like sweeping leaps of faith. Instead, I prefer smaller “experiments” of deliberate pricing campaigns.

And people

To try one out, decide:

1. Is this about you testing
1. existing client relationships?
2. new market viability?
3. how your pricing affects perception of value?
2. Who is this “campaign” aimed at?
3. Is the new pricing model based on
1. new levels of service or value
2. an adjustment addressing external factors like costs or increased demand
3. new incentives for volume, early payment, or similar
4. How long will the experiment nominally last?

Once you have all that, start mentioning it to the new audience, get a few “beta” buyers, and see how it goes without abandoning the old model. If it works well, simply make the change permanent, without any big announcements. If it doesn’t – just let it end. That way, you never have to walk back pricing decisions – nothing “failed”, the campaign ran out and it’s back to business as usual. That usually works for my anxiety, at least.

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