7 Tips for Pricing Your e-Learning Content

Ace your pricing strategy with expert advice from BlueSky eLearn

By Jocelyn Fielding

FRM MayJun OnlineExclusive Pricing

Developing an effective e-learning plan doesn’t happen overnight. You need to generate a wealth of content, prepare your learning management system (LMS) and, last but not least, create your e-learning pricing strategy. With all of the possibilities available, strategizing can seem like a daunting process. Do you offer some courses for free? Do you incorporate discounts for early adopters or offer bulk purchases? What about pricing for members vs. nonmembers? There is so much to consider, but these tried-and-true tips from Blue Sky eLearn will help you develop a plan most advantageous for you, whether you are brand new to the world of e-learning or a seasoned veteran looking to refresh your pricing model.

1. Segment your member pricing.

First, survey your members, and find out what they value and how much they are willing to pay. From there, you can allow people to pay for different membership options that give them access to more or fewer options. Having a limited versus a standard or premiere membership could allow you to restrict access to certain content or change the cost based on their membership type.

2. Consider offering some content for free.

Yes, you might be thinking you don’t want “free” to be part of your pricing strategy, but giving away even a small portion allows your audience a sneak peek before fully committing to purchasing something. For example, when you’re launching a new series, you could offer the first module free of charge and then follow up with and ask those users to subscribe to the rest of the program. Additionally, you can consider offering a discounted rate to early adopters – or charge them the full price with the promise of a discount off their next purchase. No matter how you decide to do it, make sure you are transparent about how future offerings will be priced.

3. Reward loyalty.

Everyone is familiar with loyalty programs and reward cards. Whether it’s getting a hole punched in a card every time you visit your local ice cream shop, collecting points on your Starbucks card or accruing miles on your favorite airline, we’re all doing it. You can adopt a similar program within your association. Make your loyalty program open to all members, allowing them to build up points for free offers and gifts. One example is to offer discounts based on the number of items someone has purchased or the amount of money they’ve spent. You can also track and reward engagement within your AMS, LMS and online community.

4. Get creative with promotions and bundles.

Think outside of the box when it comes to these incentives. Whether it’s an early-adopter promotion (think “First 10 Buyers”), a buy-one get-one special, a time-sensitive deal (related to a holiday, the end of the year or prior to a specific event) there are many opportunities to drum up additional sales. Try to be thoughtful about these offers and their timing, or you’ll have people waiting to buy because they know an upcoming promotion is inevitable. Make sure to mix up product bundles as well. It makes sense to bundle items under a similar topic or theme together, but there are also plenty of out-of-the-box ideas too. Try tying in experiential learning vs. all on-demand content: calls with mentors, Q&A sessions with subject matter experts or discussion forums. These items are out of the ordinary and their value can be reflected in your pricing.

5. Highlight the value.

Whether they are justifying educational costs to themselves or their employer, the more information members have, the better. If members don’t perceive any value, it won’t matter what kind of discount you provide, that you were transparent with pricing or that you changed up some graphics on your website. Having short videos in course descriptions or in your marketing messaging can be very helpful. Being transparent about member versus non-member pricing is also a good way to show the value of becoming a member.

6. Experiment.

At the end of the day, this is your strategy, and what works for another association may not work for yours. With that in mind, try different strategies and see what works for you and your members. Don’t just tinker with pricing, but try bundling different items together, play around with program names and descriptions as well as with the way you are marketing to your audience.

7. Never stop reimagining.

Even if you have an established LMS, it’s never too late to re-evaluate your name, brand, everything. If you are thinking of refreshing anything within your e-learning platform—even subtle changes in your imagery and logos can make a big difference. Rewrite your product descriptions, enhance your programming by giving your education department its own brand, or rename your webinars or micro-learning courses. With any of these small changes, make minor adjustments to pricing. All of these enhancements working together can result in the production of big benefits.

About the Author

Jocelyn Fielding is the director of marketing and sales operations at Blue Sky eLearn.

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