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How to Set Listing Rates for Your Business Directory that Attracts New Customers

Starting off a free directory business is a great idea to acquire new customers and expand your directory business initially. Having said that, if you turn your free directory into a paid one, you are to make huge money from it. Contextually, a paid directory is most effective once you have acquired a few customers from your free directory beforehand.

For your information, a paid directory is when you charge for every listing your users upload on your directory website. But if you are just beginning a directory website, you may be in a fix wondering how to set listing rates. Meaning, if you charge too low, you may lose tons of money. On the flip side, charging too high may repel your customers from purchasing your listing service.

Worry not! This article will answer the questions like how much should you charge for your listings, or do you have to charge annually or monthly. Remember, setting an appropriate listing rate, will help you get more business in the future. So, let’s dig deeper.

Emphasize Value Rather than Just Fixing Rates

Why people will prefer your business directory listing website to others to submit their listings? Well, it’s nothing but the unique value as an incentive. It means if you don’t provide value for the price your customers are paying, you are going to lose both paid customers and potential.

No matter which business directory website you are running, you must provide extra value to your customers. Why? Because it creates a sense of exclusivity to your customers. It also makes them feel different from others and gives them a topic to talk about and share thoughts with each other. The more people talk about your service the more the chances are to sell your directory listings service.

In addition, the concept of uniqueness and exclusivity brings another topic called scarcity that makes your listing rate appear more lucrative so as to get more deals and grow your business exponentially.

Then again, the tough question arises, “What is the optimized pricing plan that creates a sense of exclusivity to the customers?”. One way to create a sense of exclusivity is to set premium pricing plan tiers. But, we recommend you give a special value to your customers in return before you charge higher for the premium listings.

The Typical Going Rate in Real-life Business Directories

Unfortunately, the typical industry rate for directory listings is not well-defined. Howbeit, according to Moz, “Pricing for local directory listings can range from $29 to $499 per year.”.

However, we will suggest you compare your directory website with industry leaders like Yelp and with other local directory websites in your area to set the listing rate. In this case, Yelp has a typically higher pricing rate when comparing to your local directory listings. Remember, the higher the traffic the more the listing rate you can charge for.

Examples of some listing rates:

How to set listing rates – Yelp

Yelp is one of the leading business directories from around the world:

So, the basic plan for Yelp starts from (4*52) dollars = $208

and the most premium plan for Yelp is (19*52) dollars = $988

How to set listing rates – Things to Do in Athens and Greece

Things to do in Athens and Greece is a local directory in Greece. Here is their pricing plan:

So, the annual pricing plan starts from {(25.65/60*30)*12} dollars = $153.9

And the premium pricing plan is {(99/90*30)*12} dollars = $396

How to set listing rates – N49

N49 is a Canadian local business directory. The monthly pricing plan for N49 is as following:

So, their annual pricing plan starts from $120 and culminates at the premium plan at $1200

And their lifetime deals for listings include:

So, their lifetime pricing plan starts from $400 to $1500.

We hope these data will give you a rough idea of the typical industry-going rate for the listings of a directory website.

Then How Much below the Listing Price Should I offer?

For startups:

Now, if you are a beginner you may be wondering how much listing price should you offer, isn’t it? Well, if you are starting your directory business in a busy city where businesses are booming, you can give a 50% coupon code in acquiring new customers.

Moving forward, you should not charge more than 40 dollars per month. If you are charging weekly it should not exceed 10 dollars and finally, if you are charging annually you should not charge anything more than 300 dollars. If you, on the other hand, are on a niche-based directory, you can also go for the annual pricing plan.

For a running business with decent traffic:

In case, you are getting a handsome amount of traffic per month, you should not charge less than 10 dollars/week, or less than 40 dollars/month, and 400 dollars/month, or otherwise, you will lose the value of your directory business.

Still Struggling? – Try Our Pricing Plan Extension out.

how to set listing rates - Directorist pricing plan extension

Be that as it may, you are using the free version of Directorist, you can still charge for your listings and featured listings as well by turning the monetization feature on. But you may not be happy with only one pricing tier. So, how can you create multiple pricing tiers?

Well, it is a piece of cake if you extend your directory website with the Directorist Pricing Plan. It will help you set the listing rates by creating different pricing plan tiers just like Yelp, or Foursquare, or Tripadvisor does.

Some prominent benefits of the Directorist Pricing Plan extension include:

  • Adding TAX/VAT in pricing plans. [NEW]
  • Creating unlimited plans with different sets of features.
  • Earning through multiple plan types — Package Plans & Pay Per Listing.
  • Creating a plan with limited features for a specific period to let users try before purchasing.
  • Offering “feature listings” in plans to attract more users and increase earnings.
  • Controlling everything from a very simple interface & create an attractive plan with a few clicks.
  • Being able to charge your users on every recurrence of your chosen duration (depends on the selected gateway), therefore, helps you generate revenue inflow throughout the year.
  • Compatible with all payment add-ons of the Directorist. So, you can collect payment with ease.
  • Nearly zero configuration needed. Just install, create plans and you are ready to go.

What You Should Keep in Mind before Setting the Listing Rate

Now that you know the very basics of listing rate across the directory website industry, we would like to suggest you follow a few factors that may help you optimize the listing rate to get more business.

1. Observe your local market

Before you set any hard number, you must take the demographic information into your account. You should ask yourself the following questions:

  • what is the median income of the local population?
  • is there enough businesses in your area?
  • are businesses expanding in your area?

The answers are quite significant to dictate whether you will be successful at your directory business in your area. Remember, the higher the number of businesses in your area, the more the listing submission will be and thus you can charge higher. In fact, the larger cities usually justify the higher pricing for your listing due to a large number of potential customers.

2. Analyze your market competition

You must take a closer look at the competitors in your area. However, if there are fewer, if not, no competitors, you can enjoy a monopolistic environment. Again, monopoly does not mean you will charge unrealistic and impractical pricing. Rather, you should provide value to your users for what they are paying.

Fortunately or unfortunately, many directory website owners do not consider other types of competitors like local newspaper ads, local FM radio ads, TVC, sponsorships, and direct mails. If the local business owners are using these platforms, you must lower your listing rate even though the fact that there are no competitors or only a few competitors out there.

Don’t be worried about competition. It is rather a good thing, that is, businesses are booming in your area. Instead of panicking and copying others, just be yourself while providing value and set the listing rate as per the competition.

3. Set a practical revenue goal

Another factor to consider is to set the financial goals. It usually means setting a feasible hard number for revenue, either at the end of a year or month or week. In this regard, what you will have to do is to do reverse engineering, that is, achieving that revenue number by making the local businesses sign up on your directory website.

For instance, if you want to generate a revenue number of $100/month in a recurring income, and you charge $5 per month for each listing, you will have to sign up 20 businesses in a month. As simple as that!

Now, the more revenue you want to generate in a month the more you will have to make the businesses signup. That’s it!

4. Make up your directory business costs

No business can survive if it can not cover all the startup investment and ongoing expenses like marketing expenses or other operational costs. Before you charge for the listings make sure that you are charging well enough to cover all the costs associated with your business.

5. Wow your clients providing some extra value

If your clients are generating more calls, messages, and other interactions from their listings, it is time to charge more. But while charging more, make sure you are not overcharging them. If you charge too much, chances are high that they will churn or they will simply unsubscribe to your service. Then again, whatever you charge make sure you are aligning your listing rate to the value you are providing to your customers.

If you want to wow your customers, make sure you are providing extra value apart from the documented values.

6. Set the listing rate as per your website traffic

If you are just starting out your directory, it’s quite normal you won’t be getting a good number of visitors. Over time, your directory website will be generating more traffic You can do so by adding listings, applying SEO techniques, and other digital marketing strategies to promote your site like giving away coupons or paid ads, etc. Thus, you can eventually justify the higher listing pricing tiers when you get a good number of site traffic.

Now, It’s Your Turn!

As we said already, you can charge more with time when you start to get more traffic no matter which type of pricing plan you are setting for your directory website. But whatever you do, make sure your listing rate is justifying the pricing plan you are offering.

However, if you are still struggling to set the listing rate, don’t forget to share your problem in the comment section below. We will try our best to assist you in setting listing rates.

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Al Suzud Dowla plays the role of a content strategist at Directorist. He is basically a digital marketing expert and a tech enthusiast (by heart) who excels particularly in technical content writing. In his pastimes, he is seen playing Ping Pong, performing Karaoke, reading books, and playing around with JavaScript as well.

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