I thought the microservices platform Nanoscale.io have an interesting argument for why you would upgrade to a paid plan. On their pricing page, after they break down each of the pricing plans, they provide you with four reasons of why you would want to upgrade from their free tier.
- More powerful APIs. Your nanoscale.io-hosted microservices can run longer and perform more complex operations or access slower source systems without timing out.
- Get premium support. Having a problem with nanoscale.io? Think you may have found a bug? Submit your inquiry and get a guaranteed response from our technical team.
- Influence product roadmap. We are open to new feature consideration, and give preference to paid accounts to influence which ones get built sooner.
- Deploy anywhere. Upgrade your downloadable nanoscale.io server with a production license to deploy your microservices on any infrastructure you choose.
More power and support seems like no-brainers. Being able to influence the roadmap is a compelling reason and something I would pay money for! The deploy anywhere, I think, is a sign of the future, and not just for how you will buy services for your API; this is how you will deploy your APIs for your consumers. In cloud. On-premise. On-device. You can consume our API anywhere you want...if you pay for it!
I have been aggregating the plans and pricing of API providers, and service providers for a while now. People are getting better at providing a decent breakdown of their API plans, but they aren't always that good at articulating the reasons why you would go from free to a paid plan. I think this is an area of stress and concern for many API providers, as well as an area they could use more examples to follow from out in the wild.