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The psychological lever that increases conversions on expensive products

Put a $50 lawnmower next to a $150 lawnmower, and the second one feels more expensive.

Tell the customer that the $50 lawnmower lasts only 3 months while the $150 lawnmower lasts for a decade, and suddenly the first one sounds really expensive.

Truth is, you have more power than you realize over whether a customer feels your product is expensive or not.

In the end, the difference between “cheap” and “expensive” depends entirely on context.

Here’s how you can use this principle in your marketing:

This is called the Cost of Ownership close. It’s a tactic that involves reframing prices to show cost over time, and it’s frequently used by people selling expensive products.

Here are a couple concrete examples:

  • A skilled web designer charges $5k to design your site. While you could find someone on Fiverr to do the work for a fraction of the cost, the designer reminds you that by spending $5k now, you’re getting a site that’s better-designed for the long haul—and will more than repay the investment in conversions.
  • An apparel brand charges $100 for a white t-shirt. Their web copy notes that while the shirt is expensive, it’s the only white t-shirt you’ll need to own for the next 5 years—and if you bought something cheaper, it would wear out within months.

See? You have complete control over how you frame the price of your product.

If your customer thinks your product is expensive, put it in context, and they’ll feel differently.

That’s the power of simple tricks like Cost of Ownership.