I noticed the other day that Saasu have changed their pricing strategy – after comments from their customers, they determined that a much simple pricing structure was in order and delivered one. It seems there are two distinct strategies with SaaS pricing;
KISS (keep it simple stupid) as utilised by Saasu, aims to have the smallest number of offerings for users. The benefits is that it is a no-brainer for the customer to see what they get and what it’ll cost them. It’s a great option for a reasonably simple offering, one with out the complexities of different modules and the like.
BETE (be everything to everyone) is where the provider tries to keep everyone happy – they’ll tend to separate the pricing on each of the discreet components of the offering, sometime separate user charges depending on the number of seats, and even charge tiered traffic and storage fees. The advantage of BETE is that it allows the customer to tailor the offering to their own particular situation. Clearly the disadvantage is that it is much more complex, required a more robust back end charging module, and on many levels adds complexity to the decision making process.
To succeed in SaaS you need to sign people up quickly and keep them with you. A simple pricing structure that allows customers to make a very quick purchasing decision should be seen as preferable for all but the most complex and customised of SaaS offerings.