4 min read

Pricing an Online Course

Pricing an Online Course
Photo by Arnel Hasanovic / Unsplash

I’ve been working on the pricing strategy for Mastering HubSpot and I think I’ve settled on something that works.

Unlike SaaS, it’s fairly easy to change pricing for an online course without ruffling feathers, especially if you grant lifetime access to existing buyers, so I didn’t stress too much about perfecting pricing on the first try.

Here are the factors I considered:

  • My course is aimed at people whose businesses are paying at least $200/month for the HubSpot software (probably closer to $1,500/month on average).
  • Most of my buyers are putting the course on a corporate card, not a personal one.
  • As a marketing director for a public company that uses HubSpot, I know that dropping a few thousand dollars on training is trivial.
  • I also know from personal experience that the consequences of botching a HubSpot implementation are grave.
  • Some people will want to purchase the course for their whole team.
  • You can generally price courses about 200% higher than ebooks (even when the difference is largely semantic).

Taking all of this into account, I still want to make my course accessible to individuals and small businesses, so I refuse to give it a $5,000 price tag like some of the Salesforce admin training courses I’ve come across.

To help me decide where Mastering HubSpot fits, I analyzed the pricing elements of 6 high-quality courses offered by people I admire. This comparative analysis really helped me get a feel for how to structure my pricing.

If you’re considering making a course, take a look at the breakdown–it might help you, too! My pricing (as of September 4th, 2016) is included at the very end.

Click here to get a side-by-side comparison in a Google Sheet

I also recommend watching this video of a BaconBiz conference talk by Marc-André Cournoyer. He talks price anchoring, scarcity, trust-building, and objection handling.

Become a Technical Marketer

The complete course on mastering technical marketing from Nat Eliason and Justin Mares.

  • $349 for the complete course ($999 with 1-on-1 consulting)
  • Course link

What’s included?

  • 13 video modules
  • Email and website templates
  • Scripts and code snippets
  • Community

What I like: The option to break the $349 up into 6 monthly payments probably helps sales, but is logistically not worth it for me to implement right now.

Nat wrote about how they initially priced pre-orders at $500 and nobody purchased. They re-launched with a pre-order price of $250 and sold $10,000 worth.

Marketing for Developers

A guide to marketing your software, apps, and digital products from Justin Jackson.

What’s included?

  • 160 page ebook
  • Tutorial videos
  • Interview videos
  • Templates, worksheets, handbooks

What I like: Justin offers a $39 book-only option which is probably an easy decision for price-sensitive people that’ll never fork over $195 for an infoproduct. I can’t help but wonder how much this cannibalized the higher priced options since the book seems like the meat of the offer.

If I were Justin I’d probably eliminate the $85 option to simplify things. Not enough differentiation within that tier, in my opinion.

Chimp Essentials

Bite-sized lessons to help you get the most out of MailChimp from Paul Jarvis.

What’s included?

  • 35+ video lessons

What I like: True to form, Paul Jarvis keeps it mind-numbingly simple. One format (video), one price.

Paul’s course is similar to mine in that it’s largely based on a specific product. However, Chimp Essentials runs the gamut from beginner (e.g., how to create a campaign) to advanced, while Mastering HubSpot doesn’t cover anything that’s already in the HubSpot documentation–only ninja sh*t (to quote Nate Diaz).

Hacking Lifecycle Emails

How to increase sales by writing effective lifecycle emails from Patrick McKenzie.

  • $497 for the complete course ($1,997 for “corporate” license)
  • Course link

What’s included?

  • 5 hours of video lessons
  • Email templates
  • Discounts for related SaaS products

What I like: Having a corporate team license is genius, particularly for courses aimed at departments within a company. People will generally do the right thing and buy the team license instead of sharing a login, especially when budget isn’t an issue (corporate card, FTW! 💳).

I also love how Patrick negotiated discounts for email-related SaaS products that do lifecycle emails. It’s a win-win: the SaaS companies get highly qualified leads and Patrick sweetens his offer.

Annielytics Dashboard Course

A comprehensive course on building beautiful dashboards with Google Analytics and Excel from Annie Cushing.

  • $295 for the complete course ($995 to $1,295 with 1-on-1 consulting)
  • Course link

What’s included?

  • 16 hours of video lessons
  • 4 Excel dashboards
  • 142 page work book

What I like: Multiple options for consulting. Insanely high quality extras.

Annie’s course is much like mine in that it’s crazy technical. It’s less focused on strategy and more on tactical how-tos. Worksheets, tools, code, and templates are a big selling point for courses like this.

Double Your Freelancing Rate

The self-study course that helps freelancers charge more from Brennan Dunn.

What’s included?

  • 4 modules (text and video)
  • Community
  • Contract templates + swipe copy
  • Case study interviews

What I like: Brennan makes the $297 option a no-brainer by eliminating the most enticing extra (document templates valued at $3,000!) from the lower-priced $147 tier.

$297 feels like a perfect price for solo freelancers and small consultancies given the quality of the course and its strong reputation for producing results for students.

Mastering HubSpot

A detailed guide of advanced techniques and best practices to help grow your business with HubSpot from me.

  • $497 for the complete course ($997 for corporate license)
  • $1997 for course + private consulting sessions (4 hours)
  • Course link

What’s included?

  • PDF guide
  • Video tutorials
  • Scripts, templates, worksheets
  • Community