How to Decide What Features Should be Free or Premium When Selling WordPress Plugins and Themes


Hi! I’m Ben from Freemius. So, you’ve created a shiny new plugin or theme and chose to sell it using the freemium
business model. first of all, congratulations! If you don’t know or want
to be reminded what is the freemium business model and what its benefits, be
sure to watch our video about it. Now, comes one of the most important
decisions you’ll ever have to deal with when selling your plugins or themes: Which features will be free and which ones will be premium? How can you find the perfect balance between giving enough value to free users, but also provide incentive to upgrade? To find out the answers, let’s plug in! Before we get started, make sure you
subscribe to our YouTube channel for future videos. If you’re watching this directly on YouTube, you can click the alert icon for notifications about new
releases. First, the basic rule of thumb is that it’s easier to convert users when the free features of your product offer true benefits. This way, they’ll learn how your product works and receive some kind of satisfaction from using it. In order to convert free users to paying ones, you should offer premium features that are as useful and valuable at least as the free features. And now for the big decision: what features should you offer in your premium version? To answer that, you need to ask yourself 4 important questions: First – is there no other
feature like it available on the market? or does it solve an existing problem
measurably better than the competition? if the answer for this question is “yes”, then you’ve got yourself a good candidate for a premium feature. Let’s take for example the Rating Widget plugin. Rating Widget is the only WordPress rating plugin that provides real user ratings for BB Press. If you have a forum and you want to
provide an accurate reputational user rating, you’ll have no other choice than Rating Widget. This is a unique feature that justifies making it a premium feature. The second question would be: Does this feature save users’ time? Time is one of the most important assets anyone has and if your product does that or alternatively increases productivity – it is very valuable. Think about it. Would you pay a few bucks a month to save one or two more hours a day? So will your users! Take a look at BackWPup for example. This is a very simple plug-in that backs up your WordPress website. By paying $69 for their
premium features, you get back several hours of frustration if your website goes down. Hours is that otherwise you’d have to waste dealing with some minor problem that is easily resolved with a quick restore. Sounds like a pretty good deal, right? The third question you should ask yourself when deciding whether or not a certain feature should be premium is: Can it generate revenue for the user? Very similar to the last question,
because time equals money. Basically, it all comes down to simple math – buying a product that can help you generate more money than you paid for it is definitely a no-brainer. A good example of this is Popup Maker. This plugin includes a premium feature called “Intent Popup” which opens a pop-up window on a
website whenever users try to leave it. This help site owners to capture up to
700 percent more leads! Worth the money, right? The fourth and final question is: Who is my audience? who are the users who are most likely to use the feature? Researching and analyzing your target audience can help you decide. A good example for a better converting segment can be users with online shops. If one of your product’s features provides an E-commerce solution of some sort, then it would be probably a good solid candidate for a premium feature. Why? Users who run online shops make money out of their site, that is why these users are more likely to pay for a premium plugin than users who have a blog for example. This increases the chance of users actually buying this feature. Finding an accurate and correct balance between free and premium features for your WordPress product is definitely not an easy task. It might be the most important decision
you will ever make – business-wise. Think about it, and always remember – use free features to get a large pool of free users, gain your potential customers’ trust, identify new revenue opportunities from their feedback, and build premium features that they want. Bring home the cash by asking yourself the following questions when deciding on the premium features: Is this feature unique? Does it save users’ time? Can it make money for users? Who is the typical buyer
of the feature and do they have money to spend on it? If you liked this video and want to get more advice from the experts here at Freemius, be sure to subscribe to our channel and blog where we share the best practices
for selling WordPress plugins and themes. See you next time!

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