Pricing your continuing education courses can be tricky, but important, business. With 2024 quickly approaching, it’s crucial to determine your pricing strategy.
We’re here to help you plan your New Year prices. Read our blog for helpful tips to get started!
Why you should invest in your continuing education program in 2024
Continuing education is a valuable member benefit and a great source of non-dues revenue for your association. According to the latest Community Brands research, 51% of members identified training and certifications and credentials as a top member benefit.
When it comes to non-dues revenue, 36% of associations rely on continuing education as a major source of non-dues revenue. With so many members invested in continuing education opportunities, organizations should consider growing their learning programs to drive non-dues revenue.
How to set prices for continuing education content in 2024
How you price your content can make a big impact on the success of your continuing education program. When you publish your pricing, you send a message to your members and prospective learners on the value of your products—that message can influence a learner’s decision to buy.
Here’s a look at four strategic pricing practices you should consider:
1. Cost-based pricing
Cost-based pricing is straightforward. You simply mark up the actual cost of your educational content. Determine the price of your continuing education content by adding a fixed percentage or set sum of the product’s cost to the overall price tag.
Cost-based pricing is heavily used in the retail industry and can be helpful in closing profit margins. Keep in mind that this approach may cover your costs, but it doesn’t necessarily take into account what your members want or what your competition is offering.
2. Competitor-based pricing
Competitor-based pricing looks to a competitor’s prices as a benchmark. Using this approach, you may decide to set your course prices at higher, lower, or the same rate as a competitor. The price you set will depend on your goals and the positioning you want to take with your learning program.
Competitor-based pricing doesn’t take into account what your members expect, learner demand, or production costs. Instead, the strategy considers general trends and expectations in continuing education. When using competitor-based prices, you might not always cover your costs or might even leave revenue on the table.
3. Member-based pricing
Member-based pricing is a strategy that is tailored to your members’ needs. If you choose to use member-based pricing, you should consider the perceived member value of your continuing education courses to set the price of your learning content. To effectively use this strategy, you’ll need to analyze member data and feedback to identify your member needs and preferences.
Member-based pricing involves three steps: segmentation, targeting, and positioning.
- Start by segmenting a member group based on need
- Target the specific member group you hope to reach
- Position the learning content to the member group, showing it offers unique value and set the price accordingly
Member-based pricing can be complicated. If you don’t acquire the correct data to set prices, you may run the risk of ending up with skewed results.
4. Value-based pricing
Value-based pricing adjusts the price of an item based on its perceived value, rather than its historic cost. This approach is often used to increase revenue without a significant impact to volume. You might consider value-based pricing for events or webinars that have limited attendance spaces or for hot topic continuing education courses.
Value-based pricing might be a good choice if your learning program is well established in your industry, and you have a specific and well-known brand. Keep in mind that this approach will price content at a higher level than cost-based pricing, ultimately increasing the perceived value of your continuing education program.
3 things to consider when setting prices for your continuing education content
Pricing your educational products is too important to leave to guesswork. Ask these three questions to help you determine your pricing strategy:
1. What are you trying to achieve?
Determine your goals for pricing your continuing education courses. Consider these questions to set your pricing goals:
- Are you trying to get more of your members to buy?
- Are you trying to get members who’ve already purchased products to buy more?
- Are you trying to differentiate one product over another?
- How are you trying to position your overall educational program in your industry?
The answers to these questions should drive how you price your educational products.
2. What do you know?
While you have your own goals around pricing, it’s also important to keep in mind what you know about your members and what they’re likely willing to pay. It’s vital to understand how each product you’re offering fits into your overall set of educational content.
Understanding this will require the analysis of member price sensitivity and a deep look at your product portfolio and where each product fits. Consider surveying your members about your current prices to gain helpful insights.
3. How much influence do you have?
You likely have more control over the perception of your pricing than you think. Consider altering member perceptions by changing the category of your offering (what type of product you’re offering, and what the acceptable price range is for such offerings).
Whether you’re starting a continuing education program from scratch or adding to an existing program, it can seem overwhelming to set the right pricing strategy. But don’t let that keep you from finding the right approach for your program.