So you’ve gone through part one of Setting Up Payments in Vantage. You made changes to the listings settings and set up the options in payments settings. Let’s create some pricing plans!
Create Your First Pricing Plan
In order to accept payments for business listings, you must create a pricing plan in Vantage and assign the plan to categories. We’ll do that now. But before we do, it’s helpful to see how the pricing plans will look to your customers. You can see that in the screenshot below.
For this tutorial, let’s create the pricing plans in the screenshot above. We’ll start with the “Basic” plan. In the WordPress admin, navigate to Payments > Plans. On the “Plans” page, click the “Add New” button at the top of the page. You should see the page below.
Pricing Details: Plan Name
This will be the name of your pricing plan. You can use names that will help you keep track of your plans but you should remember that your customers will also see the pricing plan name when they buy a listing. You want keep that in mind. To match our example, we’ll add “Basic” here.
Pricing Details: Description
This section allows you the opportunity to give a little more details to your customers about the pricing plan. You can also use the description to “sell” the plan. For this section, we’ll add “A no frills plan for adding a listing to our business directory website.”
Pricing Details: Price
Simple enough, this is the price that your customer will pay with this plan. Let’s charge $5 for our “Basic” price plan.
Pricing Details: Listing Duration
This setting determines how long a listing is displayed before it expires. Duration is always denoted in days. If you want listings to last a month, add 30 or 31 days. For a year, enter 365 days. If you do not want listings to expire, put zero. When it comes to listing duration, zero equals infinity. For our example, let’s use 30 days.
It’s important to remember that listing duration and featured duration are not the same. We’ll get into that a little more in a few moments.
Pricing Details: Categories Included
Starting with Vantage 1.2, users can choose more than one category for their business listing. This setting allows you to limit the number of categories a user can select when creating a listing. For example, entering “3” would allow the user to choose only three categories for their listing when paying with this pricing plan. Entering “0” allows unlimited categories.
Please note, if users choose a category with a category surcharge, the surcharge will be added to the total cost of their listing. Read more about category surcharges here.
This section gives you the opportunity to include featured status as a part of the pricing plan. Let’s look at the options a little more closely.
In the “Featured Add-ons” panel, you will see check boxes marked “Included” next to “Feature on Category” and “Feature on Homepage”. Checking a box means the featured option will be included as a part of this pricing plan. Leaving it unchecked means that featured is not included in the pricing plan and must be purchased separately.
If you decide to include featured with the pricing plan, you need to set duration for featured status. This determines how long the listing will remain featured as a part of this pricing plan. The duration is denoted in days. The duration can be any amount but must be the same or shorter than the listing duration.
There is a lot more to featured and we’ll take a closer look later in this tutorial. For our “Basic” pricing plan, we will not enable featured.
Vantage allows you to assign pricing plans to categories. You can assign multiple plans to one category, you can assign one plan to many categories or you can do anything in between. It’s very important to note, if a category does not have an associated pricing plan, users will be unable to purchase listings in that category. That means, whenever you create a new category, you need to make sure you assign a pricing plan to the category.
To link categories to a pricing plan, simply check the categories you want in “Listing Categories” in the sidebar. To make it a little easier, checking or unchecking a parent category checks or unchecks all subcategories.
For our example, we will choose all the available categories. Now we’re certain to have at least one pricing plan for everything on our site.
Once you have set your options and chosen the categories associated with the pricing plan, you can click the “Publish” button. Users can now purchase listings on your site using the “Basic” payment plan.
Closer Look at Featured
With options in two different places, featured listings can get a little confusing. Using the examples in the screenshot at the top of this post, let’s look at featured listings in detail.
Featured not Included in Pricing Plan
In our “Basic” pricing plan that was created above, we opted to not include featured as part of the pricing plan. Here’s what that means to your customers when they buy a listing.
If you do not have featured listings enabled in the payment settings, then your customer will not get featured as part of the pricing plan and they will not have the option to pay for featured separately.
In the same example, let’s say you do have featured listings enabled in the payment settings. Featured listing would not be included in the “Basic” pricing but it could be purchased separately. In the screenshot below, you see that customers will be able to add featured at an extra cost.
Featured Included in Pricing Plan
Now we’ll create another example pricing plan. We will create the “Super” pricing plan shown in our original example screenshot. Here’s how it looks on the “Add New Plan” page.
We want this plan to be a real bargain. 180 is almost six months. Since we’re including featured pricing for 60 days in this pricing plan, it means that the listing will be featured for sixty days without paying extra.
Just to cover our bases, we’ll also create an “Ultra” plan. This plan is going to last a full year (365 days). This is going to be an expensive plan and we want give people incentive to choose this plan, so we’ll include featured status for the full length of the listing. You can see below that we added 365 to each featured duration. That means the listing and the featured status will expire at the same time.
Here’s the screenshot with all the plans again.
Purchasing Featured Later
Let’s say your customer opted not to buy a featured listing. Or maybe the featured status expired on one of their existing listings. No problem! Any listing that is not featured can be upgraded, as long as you have featured enabled. In the following screenshot, you can see that a button is added to listings that are not featured. The listing owner only needs to click the “Upgrade Listing” button to upgrade their listing to a featured listing.
With all these options, there are limitless ways that you can offer listings to your customers. Here are a few more examples you might want to consider.
Free Listing, Paid Upgrades
Want to get a lot of listings on your site fast but still have the potential to make money? Offer free listings then require additional payment for featured listings.
Free and Paid Listings
Maybe you want to create a city directory that includes businesses and government and non-profit entities. You can create a free pricing plan for government and non-profit categories and a paid pricing plan for business categories.
Test Drive Featured Listing
You want businesses to upgrade to featured on your site so why not give them a little taste of how featured works for them. Create a listing plan that includes featured for a short amount of time – let’s say 15 days. Then, if they like the benefits of being featured, they can repurchase featured status after the 15 day try-out period.
We could go on, but you probably get the idea now.
Now that you learned how to set up payments in the first part of this tutorial and you have created some pricing plans after reading this part of the tutorial, you should be ready to offer the best pricing model for your site.
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