Communicating price increases for WildApricot customers

Background

WildApricot is a cloud-based software that empowers nonprofits and small associations to manage their membership—including its database, email, events and website—all in one place.

 

Since 2020, I have led the price increase communication planning and execution for a June 2021 effective date. There were over 12,600 paid accounts and 31,000 free and trial contacts. Customers who upgrade their accounts before the effective date have the option to extend current prices by changing to a 1 or 2-year plan.

Transactional emails

Delivering news about a price increase was challenging, especially since the increase was significant (at 20%) in the midst of a global pandemic. So when coming up with messaging, the leadership team and I decided to adopt a straightforward and unapologetic approach—as we're still providing customers value and competitive pricing in this market. 

Some new things we tried this year:

  • Using customized macros to specify the unique price increase date for each account

  • Scheduling emails based on individual renewal dates (versus emailing the entire database at once)

  • Include a product road map to provide some customers more value

  • A call-to-action button that takes customers directly to their Wild Apricot account settings

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Note: the macros aren't shown in this preview.

Results for the email sample above (from HubSpot):

In-product notifications

I was also tasked with developing copy for the in-product notifications for paid customers and those on a trial or free account for this campaign. 

For paid accounts

For free accounts

(the price increase may incentivize them to upgrade their accounts to keep current prices) 

Results 

Email communications

  • Average open rate:  free/trial accounts (~15%), monthly accounts (35%), annual and bi-annual (39%).

  • 281 accounts that received the emails upgraded to the annual and bi-annual plans. 

In-product notifications

  • Engagements: monthly accounts (12k+ views, 180 clicks ~1.5% conversion to view),  trial accounts ( 17k+ views, 127 clicks, 0.7% conversion).

Support tickets volume has been the lowest compared to previous price announcement periods. 

There could be several factors why we're seeing fewer customers reaching out to support.

 

However, the most significant impact is likely providing customers with tailored content and timely emails based on their subscription plans and renewal dates. 

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Comments on results (for in-product notifications)

  • Technical issues during the launch time may contribute to the low performance of this channel.

  • The headline "New pricing" is vague and doesn't explain how this impacts the user's account. Consider "Your plans are changing" next time. 

  • The "learn more" call-to-action button for paid users could also be more specific and personal, such as "Go to pricing plan" 

  • Transactional emails have been highly effective in directing customers to their account settings, which may be why they're not clicking engaging with the notification.

  • Banner ads (and notifications in general) are not ideal for this type of communication - easily dismissable 

    • It's better to have ​the text in the main dashboard and in other prominent areas of the product (we did not have the resource to do this).