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Selling Courses Online: Pricing Strategy

Selling courses online? Your pricing strategy can really make or break your success. Dive into the psychology behind pricing, explore various strategies, and avoid common pitfalls. Remember, it's not just about numbers; it's about value!

Selling courses online

Table of Content


Why Pricing Matters?

  • The Psychology Behind Pricing

  • First Impressions Last

Factors Influencing Course Pricing

  • Course Content Quality

  • Target Audience

  • Market Demand

  • Competition Analysis

Pricing Strategies to Consider

  • Cost-Plus Pricing

  • Value-Based Pricing

  • Competitive Pricing

  • Bundle and Discount Offers

The Art of Upselling and Cross-Selling

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  • Undervaluing Your Course

  • Overpricing Without Value

  • Ignoring Feedback

Conclusion: The Price is Right (If You Make It So!)

Introduction: Selling Courses online, the golden rush!

Ahoy, digital pioneers! 🤠 Welcome to the Wild West of the internet, where selling courses online is the new gold rush. But instead of pickaxes and gold pans, you're armed with content and a killer pricing strategy.

Why Pricing Matters?

The Psychology Behind Pricing

Ever wondered why that course priced at $99.99 feels more affordable than one at $100? That's psychology, my friend! Pricing isn't just about numbers; it's about how those numbers make your potential students feel.

It taps into the subconscious, influencing decisions in ways we might not even realize. For instance, odd pricing, like $97 or $99, often feels like a deal, even if it's just a few cents off a round number.

It's a dance between perception and reality, and as course creators, understanding this dance can be a game-changer.

Smiling man

First Impressions Last

Your course's price is often the first thing potential students see. It's like a digital handshake.

Too weak (cheap), and they might doubt its value. Too strong (expensive), and they might run for the hills.

Striking the right balance is key. Think of it as setting the stage for the entire learning experience.

A well-priced course not only attracts the right students but also sets expectations. It's the silent ambassador of your course's quality, content, and transformation you promise.

Factors Influencing Course Pricing

Course Content Quality

The backbone of any course is its content. It's what students are essentially paying for.

  • High-quality videos and materials: In the HD and 4K age, grainy videos just won't cut it. If you've invested in top-notch video production, professional editing, and crisp graphics, your course should reflect that. Think of it as the difference between a home video and a blockbuster movie. Cha-ching! 🎥

  • Expert interviews and insights: Bringing in industry leaders or subject matter experts? Their insights can add immense value to your course. It's like having a guest lecturer at a university. If you've got exclusive interviews or expert sessions, that's a value-add you can charge for.

  • Interactive quizzes and assignments: Passive learning is so last decade. Today's students crave engagement. If your course offers interactive elements like quizzes, assignments, or projects that help cement learning, it's a sign of a comprehensive course. And comprehensive courses can command higher prices.

Target Audience

Knowing who you're selling to is half the battle.

  • Demographics: Are your potential students fresh out of high school, mid-career professionals, or retirees looking to pick up a new skill? A course tailored for college students might be priced differently than one for top-tier executives. Understand your audience's spending capacity.

  • Geographic location: The global nature of online courses means your audience could be from anywhere. $50 might be a day's wage in one country and a week's wage in another. Consider tiered pricing or regional pricing to cater to different economic realities.

Man teaching

Market Demand

Supply and demand aren't just for economics textbooks; they apply to online courses too.

  • Trending Topics: Is your course on a subject that's the talk of the town? Maybe a new technology, a fitness trend, or a hot marketing strategy? If it's in demand, it's an opportunity to charge a premium. But remember, trends can be fleeting.

Competition Analysis

You're not alone in the online course market. Knowing what your competitors are up to can inform your pricing strategy.

  • Scout the Landscape: Regularly check out platforms like Udemy, Coursera, or industry-specific sites. What are others charging for similar content? Are you offering more depth, better insights, or a unique perspective? If so, price accordingly.

  • Differentiation: How do you stand out if the online course market feels like a crowded subway? You may offer real-life case studies, or you may have a unique teaching style. If you bring something different to the table, it can justify a different price point.

Pricing Strategies to Consider

Cost-Plus Pricing

Simple and straightforward. Calculate your costs, slap on a profit margin, and voilà!

Value-Based Pricing

What's the transformation or outcome your course promises? Price based on the value it delivers.

Competitive Pricing

Keep your friends close and your competitors closer. Match or beat their prices, but ensure you're still profitable.

Bundle and Discount Offers

  • Bundle courses for a discount. Buy one, get one 50% off? Yes, please!

  • Early bird discounts can create urgency and drive sales.

Woman recording

The Art of Upselling and Cross-Selling

In the world of online courses, the journey doesn't end once a student enrolls in a course. In fact, that's just the beginning. If done right, one sale can lead to multiple sales, amplifying your revenue without the need to constantly hunt for new customers.

This is where the twin strategies of upselling and cross-selling come into play.


Upselling is all about encouraging students to purchase a more advanced or premium version of what they've already bought. It's like when you're at a fast-food joint and they ask if you'd like to "supersize" your meal. In the realm of online courses:

  • Depth Over Breadth: If a student has enrolled in a beginner's course, there's a good chance they might be interested in an intermediate or advanced module once they complete it. It's a natural progression. For instance, after mastering the basics of photography, wouldn't they want to dive into advanced techniques or specific genres like portrait or landscape photography?

  • Exclusive Add-ons: Offer exclusive materials, such as downloadable resources, templates, or even one-on-one mentoring sessions, available only to those who upgrade. It's like getting a VIP pass to a concert – who wouldn't want backstage access?


While upselling focuses on upgrades, cross-selling is about complementary offerings. It's like buying a new phone and being offered a protective case to go with it.

  • Bundle of Joy: Group related courses together and offer them as a bundle at a discounted rate. If a student is interested in photography, they might also be keen on courses about photo editing, lighting techniques, or even how to start a photography business.

  • Workshops and Webinars: Beyond traditional courses, you can cross-sell live workshops, webinars, or Q&A sessions. For our budding photographers, a live workshop on photo editing or a webinar with a renowned photographer can be an enticing offer.

  • Tools and Software: If your course requires specific tools or software, partnering with companies to offer these at a discounted rate can be a win-win. A photography course student might appreciate a discount on editing software or a deal on a new lens.

The Golden Rule:

While upselling and cross-selling can significantly boost revenue, ensuring that every offer adds genuine value to the student is essential. It shouldn't feel like a sales gimmick. Instead, it should be an opportunity for the student to enhance their learning experience and achieve their goals faster.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Undervaluing Your Course

Don't be the dollar store of online courses. If your content is gold, price it like it!

Overpricing Without Value

Conversely, don't be the luxury brand without the luxury. If you're charging premium prices, ensure premium value.

Ignoring Feedback

Negative reviews about pricing? Take them seriously. Adjust and adapt.

Conclusion: The Price is Right (If You Make It So!)

In the grand game show of online courses, your pricing strategy is your buzzer. Press it right, and you could be the next big winner!

Thanks for reading!

Laurence Zimmermann

More information about our Web Design services and pricing here.

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