#16 Lunch and Learn: How to announce a price rise, sweetly

Written by  //  March 23, 2012  //  Daily Juice  //  No comments

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Today’s recipe is inspired by an email I received this week from Galore Park. Here’s an excerpt:

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“Due to increased production costs, Galore Park will be increasing prices of books as of 16th April 2012 and exam papers as of 1st April 2012. If you would like to place an order at existing prices, please do so before these dates.”

What it is:

An elegant and clever way to announce a price increase

Why it works:

Few of us enjoy raising prices. Mostly we try to do it unobtrusively. Holding our breath we fervently hope that our customers won’t really notice.

So why then would it be a good idea to announce it?

Because it gives you an opportunity to:

  1. Give customers a discount “Buy now before we raise our prices”
  2. Remind customers you exist – in the form of a helpful note telling them about the discount and price rise.

You might think that this sounds like a bit of a risky ploy. But here’s how it works for Galore Park:

  1. Galore Park sell text-books and exam papers to help students prepare for big (11+ and 13+)  exams in England
  2. The exams are in September (preceded by the big summer holiday) so March/April is prime time for customers to start thinking about buying study packs
  3. Galore Park set price rise for April and offer customers  a ‘discount’ if they buy in the next two weeks (prime time, remember)
  4. Galore Park have an elegant way to remind customers that they sell study packs: they want to tell them about the ‘discount’

What you do:

If you would like to sweeten your price rise by doing something similar, here are some tips:

  1. Get into the habit of raising prices at least once a year.  That way you won’t need to make a one-off horrendously large price increase. We customers find small and regular price increases easier to digest.
  2. Pick the same date each year to make your price increase. It forces you to do it. Otherwise, like all unpleasant jobs, you will put it off indefinitely.
  3. Select the date of your price rise wisely. Think about Galore Park. When would you like an excuse to remind people that you exist?
  4. Set a smallish window (a couple of weeks, say) in which customers can buy at the old price. This creates a sense of urgency in customers
  5. Tell your customers in a considered way. I particularly liked Galore Park’s email because it wasn’t screaming “Must-hurry-now-before-prices-rise” , rather it was quiet and factual

Raising prices isn’t fun. But if you have a plan for making it happen that feels right, you will find it much easier to do.


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