How Much Should You Sell Your Online Course For?

You’ve created all your downloadable resources, spent hours finely tuning your videos and it is now time to put your course up for sale and grow your audience.  Before you hit publish its important to educate yourself on how to price your digital product. Common sense would dictate that selling it for a lower price point will mean more people are likely to afford and thus buy your course.  You might be surprised to learn that this isn’t always the case.

In this article, we’re going to discuss why you should avoid pricing too low and then the instances where it might be acceptable to sell low – or even give it away.

Finally, we will look at how to actually price your unique course offerings and give you ideas about how you can juice up the value so you can justify large price increases.

Why Going Low Is A Bad Idea

Let’s start off with a question.  Would you rather spend $1 to make $2 or $10? When I put it like that the choice seems pretty obvious doesn’t it? In the above example, the $1 is representative of your marketing efforts and your time invested in generating sales.

If you only make a couple of bucks off each sale of your course, you’re going to have less resources to re-invest into marketing your course. Spending $1000 on Adwords to make $1000 seems cool at first, it’s still profit right?  

What if you could spend $1000 to make $10,000 and then put that $10,000 back into Adwords spending.  You see where I’m going with this?

Okay so I decided to hit you with some math at the start of this but I want to talk about next is my opinion the #1 reason you shouldn’t underprice your course – the perception of value.

I’m sure you have heard the expression “you get what you pay for”, it holds true when selling digital assets.  A low price can communicate to buyers that there is little value in what you’re offering.  

In my early web design career, I can’t begin to tell you the number of contracts and jobs I missed out on because I bid too low.  My potential client was wondering what they weren’t getting with me and my $2000 bid, next to the other bid of $15,000. And yet I would argue that the result would have been similar.  The other agency just knew their worth better than I did. 

This points back to my opening statement where we think it is common to undercut the competition and sell low to optimize the number of potential buyers. In my experience, you can actually get more sales by increasing your price (this applies to everything, not just online courses).

Lastly, If you want to leverage affiliate marketers to sell your online course you will need to have a price and generous commission structure that will make them more likely to promote you. 

If you’re thinking of pricing your course for $29.99, I would really recommend not selling any of your online courses for less than $50 if you absolutely had to. 

As a general rule of thumb, if anyone off the street were to ask me what starting point would be to sell a course, I would tell them $199 and above.

When you should consider low prices

Okay, so I just went into a heated rant about why you shouldn’t sell your course for lower than $199 – I get that.  But there are in fact some scenarios where a low price, or even giving the course away for free can be strategically beneficial.

Discounts, Coupons and Sales Events.

This can work well if you have a group of people in your email list that just won’t convert no matter how many emails, free resources or outreach you do.  Some people just love a sale, just don’t do to many of them. Having a cyber monday or statutory holiday aligned sale could help budge those fence-sitters.

Pre-Launch Feedback and Social Proof 

Before going live it can be immensely beneficial to sell your course at a deeply discounted rate or just completely give away for free to a small group.  This will allow you to collect feedback and testimonials about your course before you start throwing your marketing dollars behind it.

Social Proof is one of the three major pillars of persuasive selling, next to Urgency and Scarcity.

How to Price an Online Course

There are a lot of variables to take into consideration here, but let’s go over a few of the key areas.

The first thing I would do is take a close look at what your competition is doing, but don’t look at just the price itself, take a look at the total offer.  How many hours of video tutorials are there, do they offer direct contact to the educator for questions, what other resources do they offer in their course package? 

Put together a shortlist of the top direct competitors to your own course and try to determine their quality.  If you feel that your online course offering is on par or surpasses the quality of the marketplace then I would set your price near, equal or just above what is found on average.  Don’t just undercut your competition, otherwise, that’s just a race to the bottom. 

Determine the true value of your online course

We touched on the quality, now let’s discuss the value – specifically the value that you bring to your students. 

You will need to ask yourself questions like “does my course solve a big problem for my students?”.  Will your course empower your students to save money? Make money? Save time? Save their marriage? Some things will be harder to quantify than others, but if you can argue that your course materials can significantly improve a student’s life then you have free range to pump those prices up. 

How to get the highest price possible for your online course

If you are unable to launch your website with your ideal price point in mind there are many things you can do justify future price increases.

  • Provide downloadable resources: Video and Audio files and supplements.
  • Offer a payment plan: Make it easier for students to pay you
  • Get involved with your students: 1-on-1 coaching, weekly/monthly calls

My final note on this subject would be to use split tests when you first launch and to constantly test your pricing.  Do not sell yourself short, keep it in the $199 range if you can help it. 

Best of luck on your launch, now go out there and make some money!

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