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How Much Does Optimizely Cost (And Is It Worth It?)
If you were in the market of A/B testing tools before December 2014, you’ll likely remember that Optimizely had a free plan, in addition to tiered “Silver” and “Gold” plans that were competitively priced and that companies could sign up for right away.
Those days are long gone.
Today, if you want to use Optimizely, you’ll have to have a call with their sales team, pricing is not available online, and there are no fixed pricing plans like there used to be.
With this said, if you’re like some of our clients, a mid-sized to large ecommerce company in the market for an A/B tool, you probably want to get an idea of the tool’s pricing before wasting your time on a sales call, right?
Fortunately, you’ve got this post to help you out. And since pricing can be so subjective, keep reading to find out if what Optimizely is asking is worth the investment for your company.
First things first – why is Optimizely so secretive about its pricing?
Simple. Optimizely now focuses on serving enterprise customers exclusively. It has built a tool that is immensely powerful, and generally, most of its features that drive the price up and make up the platform, are features that will only be used on websites with high traffic, and at companies that are very serious about testing and personalization.
The enterprise focus means most packages are custom built for the company’s needs, which means pricing will vary. Optimizely’s sales team makes sure to evaluate your requirements and goals in order to build the perfect package and price it accordingly.
Additionally, prices are generally too high for anyone to sign up for the service online without talking with a salesperson.
At this point, you may still be wondering… how much does Optimizely cost?
Optimizely X will cost you at least $36,000 a year
It is impossible for us to give you a completely accurate breakdown of Optimizely’s prices for the reason mentioned above: plans are custom made by their sales team to match a company’s needs.
Optimizely also has two different product levels: Optimizely Web, and Optimizely Full Stack.
Optimizely Web focuses on experimentation and personalization for your website and is specifically made for marketing teams. This is ideal for testing and personalizing page layouts, checkout flows, content, images, and so on.
Optimizely Full Stack is made for product developers to test out new product features, and although it has some feature overlap with Optimizely Web, it has a completely different purpose within the theme of experimentation.
For the smallest plan, you can expect to pay a minimum of $36,000 USD per year. Depending on your needs and plan features, know that your plan can easily reach $200,000+ per year. Your website’s traffic levels will also be a factor in how your plan is priced. More traffic to test = higher price.
If this is within your range, and you are interested in finding out what the pricing would be for your company, then the best way to go ahead is to get in touch with Optimizely directly.
If we compare Optimizely’s pricing to other experimentation tools out there, it’s one of the most expensive, so your next question may be…
Is Optimizely Worth It?
For some companies yes – for some, no. It’s not a question with a black & white answer. To determine this, there are quite a few variables to figure out first.
First, what are your needs?
Are you just looking to run one or two A/B tests a month, or do you have a whole testing program ready that needs to see multiple tests go live in a month? If your test volume is low, only want to optimize a few landing pages, or your tests are quite simple, you may not need Optimizely.
However, if you have lots of tests to launch and those tests have complicated or unique technical requirements that go beyond simple front-end changes – Optimizely may be worth a look.
Optimizely’s personalization features are some of our favorite aspects of the tool here at SplitBase. Do you have a website personalization strategy in place? Do you have needs for it?
Chances are that if you’re not yet running A/B tests, you shouldn’t worry about personalization yet. Which means Optimizely is probably not the right tool for you. But again, if you’ve got A/B testing nailed down and you’re looking at increasing your personalization capabilities and have a plan for it in place, Optimizely may be a great option.
Generally, Optimizely is best suited for high-traffic websites (over 250k uniques per month), where volume allows you to have a wide range of experiments and make full use of its features such as multivariate testing, advanced targeting, personalization, and program management (which is particularly helpful when you have a full optimization roadmap planned).
If you’re unsure of what your needs are and need help finding out if what you have planned needs a tool as powerful as Optimizely, get in touch with us. Being a conversion optimization agency for specialized fashion, lifestyle, and luxury brands, we’ve helped small teams all the way up to Fortune 500 companies find the testing tool that was right for their needs, and we can help you do the same.
What does your marketing and optimization team looking like?
If your marketing team is just one or two people, chances are they won’t have the bandwidth to manage a full-scale experimentation program where Optimizely is the recommended tool.
For Optimizely to be worth it, you don’t want it to sit empty and only have one or two A/B tests go live once in a while. It has to be used!
Do you have a person or team or agency that is dedicated to your optimization and personalization program? Do you have A/B or personalization tests running at all times, with a backlog of planned tests? If the answer is no, then another tool might be a better fit.
However; if your answer is no but you want to scale up your optimization program to that level, you may want to look into hiring a conversion optimization agency. A good optimization agency will be able to plan and manage your optimization and experimentation program on your behalf, without requiring you to hire 5 roles that usually form an optimization team (analyst, designer, developer, copywriter, program manager).
What is your budget? Your revenue? Projected ROI?
At the end of the day, even if the above seems to indicate that you should look into Optimizely for your company… do you have the budget for the tool? If your company is only starting out with experimentation and personalization and the budget is limited until ROI is clearly demonstrated, you may want to explore other tools (we suggest alternatives below).
A key thing to consider when looking at your budget for a testing tool is to factor in the “human” costs operating the tool. For example, if you’ve got just enough budget to pay for the tool, but no money left to pay specialists to do research to come up with the test ideas, design and code the A/B tests, QA and monitor the tests and finally, do the post-test analysis… then it’s useless.
For any tool to be worth it, you need to have the people to operate it at its full capacity. Generally, that will cost a minimum of 4x the price of the tool. Factor this into your budget.
If you’re unsure what to budget for your testing program, including tool costs and how much to invest in an agency, or an in-house team, use our Conversion Optimization ROI Calculator to predict how much more money you could bring in with CRO.
What are the alternatives to Optimizely?
If you’ve decided to go ahead with Optimizely, great choice! It’s truly a fantastic and immensely powerful tool if you have the budget and team to use it to its full potential. However, if you’re still unsure, have determined Optimizely is not the best fit for your needs, or simply want to know the alternatives, what are your options?
Since we're always testing and running experimentation programs on behalf of our clients, we’ve worked with an array of testing tools over the years. Here are some of our favorites:
Convert is one of our all-time favorite experimentation tools. We love how easy the platform is to use, and how simple it is to install, set up, and integrate with ecommerce stores. Its pricing and features make sense for most brands looking to start doing or ramp up testing, and we love how they also allow you to launch personalization campaigns. +1 for their team who is fantastic to work with when needed.
Google Optimize is still quite new, and we would be lying if we said that it’s a perfect tool. There are still many missing features, and it’s interface and capabilities are works in progress.
However, Optimize is a free tool which is a huge plus to companies who are new to testing.
Ascend is completely different from Optimizely and the other tools above in the way it helps you optimize your website to increase revenue. Sure, it accomplishes a similar outcome, but the way it tests different elements of your site is powered by AI, and you can generally test more things and get the results faster than with traditional split testing.
You’ll still need to design and code your tests, as you would have to with all other testing tools, and it’s pricing runs on the enterprise side, similar to Optimizely’s pricing. This is a tool we recommend if your company is already familiar with testing, has high-traffic, already have a healthy conversion rate and you’re mostly looking to test design changes.
And finally, although there are tons of options out there that you may have heard of, such as VWO, A/B Tasty, Dynamic Yield, Adobe Target, and I could go on… The 3 tools above, in addition to Optimizely, are some of the most popular amongst the companies we work with. They all cater to different needs and as optimizers who do A/B testing every day, we can vouch for them.
Optimizely is an enterprise tool, and if you’re not an enterprise company, it may not be the best tool for you. However, if you’ve got a high-traffic website, and are already quite familiar with optimization, Optimizely is a powerful tool to launch your experiments and personalization campaigns.
If Optimizely is not a great fit, tools like Ascend, Google Optimize and Convert may provide exactly what you need.
If you want to get serious with conversion optimization, need help with finding what to test, or need help with creating, running and analyzing your experiments, we help lifestyle, fashion and luxury ecommerce sites, such as Kiehl’s, Mackage and Yves Saint Laurent increase ecommerce sales by millions. Learn more about our conversion optimization services here, or request a free proposal here.
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