Across the customer bases of our clients, we have seen a high correlation between learning and buying. When somebody wants to polish skills, reach new levels of professional advancement or complete a new credential, he or she also is more inclined to attain the materials required to achieve that goal. That tendency makes for excellent opportunities to upsell and cross-sell.
That's where packaging comes into play. If you were to consider all of the opportunities you have for monetizing your learning content, the list would include the abilities for you to:
Combine courses into bundles;
Create and promote discount and trial coupons;
Set up individual and corporate subscriptions;
Manage affiliate selling;
Suggest related content for cross-selling;
Allow users to build their own custom packages of content;
Accommodate physical sales; and
Continue promoting and selling to the same buyers in personalized ways to help them build on their individual successes.
You're probably familiar with the concept of the customer lifetime value (CLV), which attempts to describe the entire lifecycle of your customer acquisition and retention. Maintaining an eye on CLV helps you to determine the appropriate investment for acquiring a new customer and improves your ability to monitor how well your relationship-building efforts are going.
In the business of online learning, however, we prefer to use the model of "Learner Lifetime Value" or LLV. This metric takes all the same inputs as CLV with one key difference: It incorporates both the individual learner sales and the recurring corporate subscription revenues in order to measure the overall success of your online learning operation. (You can read about the four levers that play an important role in that metric in this article.)
The point is this: In order to maximize LLV, your learning platform needs to provide you with agility and flexibility and the same kind of functionality customers expect in their other kinds of e-commerce transactions. If it takes you a month programmatically to create a holiday bundle, for instance, you may find that your most creative ideas for extending LLV never get off the ground.
You need the tools at hand to allow you to quickly bundle, print, package, model, upsell and cross-sell your online courses. That's the way you'll optimize those opportunities as you identify them.