Questions and Considerations When Pricing Online Learning Courses

Emily McLaughlin
Jun 12, 2017 10:05:00 AM

Before launching an online learning course, your organization needs to consider who your customers are, what makes your learning content offering unique, and how to control costs as you scale. The next step in the process is establishing a price point for your online learning offerings.

In this tip, Michael Daecher, CMO at ArtistWorks Inc., shares three questions and three considerations to assist in the price establishment process. Daecher advises organizations to start by considering the value of their learning content, how it’s being delivered, and the frequency which content is being produced. Then, learn different ways to ensure profit.

4 Question to Ask When Pricing Online Learning Content

  1. How specialized is your course content? Before the pricing stage, Daecher suggests that organizations spend time thinking about content differentiation. Once they know their content offering is unique, they can start creating the content. Then, in the pricing stage, Daecher suggests consider how unique the content offering is, whether or not there is exceptional instructor feedback or interaction, and how much a person would pay for the same learning within an in-person setting.
  2. How is the learning content formatted? If your organization is offering short-form online learning content (e.g. a 10-minute video), you might charge much less than a long-term (e.g. 6-month) program certifications. In addition to considering the length of your online learning program, consider the content types used throughout the learning experience -- videos, flipcards, quizzes, PDF downloads, annotated videos, etc. -- and their value.
  3. How often are you creating content? If you have a limited amount of content to start with, an a la carte model makes it easier to test price points and the learning experience. If you are creating new content on a regular schedule, and you’re building a deeply engaging product that ensures a high renewal rate, a subscription model may be more attractive.

Other Online Learning Revenue Considerations

In addition to asking those important questions about price establishment, Daecher suggests that organizations consider other ways to ensure business is profitable.

  • Start high: It’s better to launch with higher prices, and then use discounts to find the market. Avoid starting with low prices and raising them later.
  • Selling within your course: Take advantage of e-commerce within the your online learning platform to sell physical products to accompany your courses. These products should complement the course experience.
  • Selling sponsorships: Even if you’re charging for your online course, your sales team can recruit course sponsors using integrated marketing campaigns, 'brought to you by' designations, and authentic product placement.

By asking these important questions and taking Daecher’s pricing tips to heart, your organization can expect to find the right price point for your learners, and then see profits increase over time as your audience and learning environment grow.

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