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Anchoring with three price options

Caroline Risby, Wellness Creative Co.

"Anchoring is an especially effective pricing strategy when it comes to selling big-ticket items, like personal training packages or annual memberships. It’s based on the premise that nothing is cheap or expensive when considered on its own - only when compared to other things. Anchoring provides this comparison.

So think about a $200 training program – that might be considered expensive on its own or without any context. But if it’s next to a $500 training package, then, all of a sudden, it seems a better value.

So, the best way to implement an anchoring strategy is to offer three price options. And the middle option should be the one that you really want to sell.

And this has been tested extensively. In one test, they had two beers – a regular-priced beer and a more expensive premium one. And in this case, where there were only two choices, 80% of people chose the premium beer.

Then they introduced a third ‘bargain’ beer, which was at the cheap end of the spectrum. So now they had a cheap, regular, and premium option. And what they saw was that the ‘regular’ option became the best seller with 80% of the sales. So, the majority went for the middle option, but interestingly, no one bought the cheapest beer.

This test demonstrates that how much something costs, or the ticket price, often isn’t the deciding factor. It’s whether someone thinks it’s a good value that determines how much a product or service sells. And you can increase its perceived value simply by providing a cheaper and more expensive option for comparison."

Advice Contributor

Caroline Risby

Caroline Risby is a health and fitness marketing specialist who thinks marketing should inspire people, not prey on their insecurities. Wellness Creative Co. helps health and fitness companies market themselves with integrity (as well as impact).

See Caroline's Site