Rewarding Early Customers
Early customers of a startup software-as-a-service (SaaS) have incredible importance. Together, we grow throughout a journey of trial and error, risk and reward. It’s unlike any other customer experience.
My years as a software CEO have included studying how most software companies work with these unique customers. Often, they’ll offer early pricing perks to Alpha and Beta customers for a limited period of time. But later, once the product reaches maturity, early customer costs are increased on parity with new customers.
I fundamentally believe in a different philosophy. Why wouldn’t we remove temporary limitations rewards for early customers and extend the rewards throughout the full customer lifecycle? I believe it to be a foundational piece of how to approach business.
Sharing Risks & Outcomes
As a company adds product features, deepens R&D investments, and adds to the team supporting a growing business, it’s a natural evolution for prices to increase. The same gates exist with development phases of a startup SaaS. Later on, as the company matures and the software becomes more robust, these development pricing phases slow and regular pricing is set.
However, in those early pricing stages and acquiring the first customers, it is these people and companies who are taking a risk with you. Recognizing and rewarding these early customers by locking in and grandfathering price points throughout the perpetual lifetime of their license is the right thing to do. Why not reward these early customers for the shared risks they decided to take on? Further, providing they sign up all their brands or products during that phase, each brand is eligible to take advantage of it.
Now, if customers leave and come back, they lose out on grandfathered price points; and, if they add new brands, they don’t get the price point on that piece. We should commit to others in the same way we have been committed to.
A startup software company will go through wave after wave of this as they work towards product maturity. Through this evolution, this step-by-step metamorphosis that is a startup, it’s key to reward customers who commit helping a company learn and grow.
Emetry’s Current & Future Pricing Phases – Rewarding those growing with us
Now it’s time to reward those who grew with us along the way. So, barring any unforeseen inflation prices, we will maintain, demonstrate and return customer trust in us through pricing and transparency.
Our alpha pricing phase has ended with our first public launch. (Check it out: Blastoff! Emetry’s First Major Launch & What’s Ahead) Pricing was extremely low as we worked through standing up features customized specifically to what our research (and early customers!) reported was critical to increasing winery profit. Of course, any additional brands brought in later will be joining at that price point in time. But, the bottom line is that these customers will be locked in at that price point as a thank you for joining us in the very beginning.
We have now entered into our second pricing phase. Of course, it’s just the next phase on the pathway — priced competitively at $1,500 a month. Granted, this phase is short. In fact, just 2.5 months. But anyone who signs in the $1,500 phase will lock in that price for the lifetime of their relationship with us.
As you may have read in our last blog post, we’re adding a huge set of features in January, including DtC software. This addition will launch us into our third software pricing phase, $2,500 a month.
Our service will always be high, regardless of when you sign up. However, we will continuously reward those who join our growth. It’s our way of saying thank you for being a customer – and we want to have you as a customer for a long time. Thanks for taking the journey with us.
As always, you can grab a small sample with just a quick email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to create a quick brand report as a sampling of the work we’re doing during this phase and talk about growth ahead.