101 Pricing Models for Courses and Memberships

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Karthik Vijayakumar
Published on: July 24, 2023

We basically built a pricing model that surgically identified what people wanted to pay us for and what they didn’t want to pay us for. ” — Alexa Hirschfeld

A lot has been talked about and discussed about pricing, pricing strategies, and pricing models. I’ve been writing about pricing a lot in recent times. If you’re interested in psychological pricing strategies, I wrote two – one yesterday and another the day before.

In today’s post, I’m going a little easy on my writing and instead trying my skills in listing or enumerating pricing models. Use this post as a skimming reference or something to get your creative juices flowing when it comes to coming up with a pricing model for your course. Sounds good? Let’s jump in.

It’s time to explore 101 unique pricing models for courses and memberships, helping you find the perfect fit for your offerings.

pricing models

One-Time Payment Models

One-time payment models are straightforward and commonly used pricing strategies. You offer a single payment for access to your course or membership with no recurring charges. Below are five different one-time payment models:

1. Flat Fee Pricing:

When you use a flat fee pricing model, you set a fixed price for the course or membership, offering all-inclusive access to the content and resources. This pricing model simplifies the decision-making process for clients.

Most products (including courses) we buy fall into this category.

2. Tiered Pricing:

In a tiered pricing model, you offer multiple pricing options with varying levels of access and features. Clients can choose the tier that best aligns with their needs and budget.

A good example here is Netflix. The video streaming service offers tiered pricing plans with different levels of access and features, such as Basic, Standard, and Premium.

3. Pay-What-You-Want (PWYW):

The PWYW model allows clients to choose the amount they want to pay for the course or membership. It can help attract more clients while allowing them to determine the value they place on the content.

Humble Bundle allows customers to choose their own price for a bundle of video games, with the option to allocate a portion of their payment to charity.

4. Early Bird Pricing:

Early bird pricing offers a discounted rate for clients who purchase the course or membership during a specified pre-launch period. It incentivizes early enrollment and creates a sense of urgency.

Event organizers offer discounted ticket prices for early registrants to incentivize early sign-ups and secure early funding for event planning.

5. Lifetime Access Pricing:

Lifetime access pricing grants clients access to the course or membership content indefinitely. It can be offered as an upsell to provide long-term value and build client loyalty.

Online learning platform MasterClass offers lifetime access to their courses for a one-time payment, allowing customers to revisit the content anytime.

Subscription-Based Models

Subscription-based models involve recurring payments at regular intervals for continued access to the course or membership. Here are five subscription-based pricing models:

6. Monthly Subscription

The monthly subscription model charges clients a fixed fee each month for ongoing access. It’s a popular choice for courses with regular updates and new content.

Spotify offers a monthly subscription for unlimited ad-free music streaming.

7. Annual Subscription

An annual subscription offers clients a discounted rate when they commit to a full year of access. It provides stable revenue and encourages long-term engagement.

Amazon Prime provides an annual subscription that offers various benefits, including free shipping, access to streaming services, and exclusive deals.

8. Freemium Model

The freemium model offers a free basic version of the course or membership, enticing clients to upgrade to a paid subscription for premium features.

Dropbox offers a freemium model, allowing users to sign up for free with limited storage space and offering premium subscription options for more storage and features.

9. Trial and Freemium Hybrid Model

A hybrid model combines a free trial period with a freemium version. Clients can test the course or membership before deciding on the premium subscription.

Microsoft 365 offers a trial period where users can access the full suite of applications for free for a limited time before deciding whether to subscribe.

10. Usage-Based Pricing

Usage-based pricing charges clients based on their actual usage of the course or membership. It’s commonly used for platforms with metered resources or pay-per-use models.

Cloud computing services like Amazon Web Services (AWS) charge customers based on their actual usage of resources, such as computing power and storage.

Tiered Membership Models

Tiered membership models provide different levels of access and benefits based on subscription tiers. A quick tip here is to pick words that best suit the needs and aspirations of each segment of your target buyers. Here are five examples of tiered membership pricing:

11. Basic, Premium, and Pro Tiers

Organize membership options into basic, premium, and pro tiers, each offering an increasing range of features and benefits.

LinkedIn offers Basic, Premium Career, and Sales Navigator tiers, each with different features and benefits for users.

12. Silver, Gold, and Platinum Levels

Use precious metal names to signify different membership levels, with platinum being the highest and most comprehensive tier.

Airlines often have tiered membership programs, such as Silver, Gold, and Platinum, offering various perks based on frequent flyer status.

13. Features and Access-Based Tiers

Create tiers based on specific features or access levels, such as a “Video Only” tier and a “Full Access” tier with additional resources.

Medium offers different membership levels with access to exclusive content, audio versions of stories, and offline reading options.

14. Student, Professional, and Enterprise Tiers

Segment membership options for different types of clients, catering to students, professionals, and enterprise-level clients.

Adobe Creative Cloud offers student, individual, and enterprise pricing plans for their suite of creative software.

15. Limited, Standard, and Unlimited Tiers

Offer tiers with limited access, standard features, and unlimited access options to suit clients with varying needs and budgets.

Web hosting companies often offer limited, standard, and unlimited hosting plans, varying in disk space, bandwidth, and other features.

Time-Based Access Models

Time-based access models provide access to the course or membership for a specific duration. Here are five examples:

16. Weekly Access

Offer clients access to course modules every week, encouraging consistent engagement and progression. Some online courses provide weekly access to new modules or lessons to pace learning and encourage regular participation.

17. Monthly Access

Monthly access grants clients full access to the course or membership content for 30 days. Digital magazine subscriptions typically offer monthly access to the latest issues and archives.

18. Quarterly Access

Quarterly access provides clients with access to the content for three months, which is suitable for longer courses. Research databases and market intelligence platforms often offer quarterly subscription plans.

19. Semi-Annual Access

Semi-annual access offers clients six months of access, which is ideal for more extensive courses or memberships. Some specialized online courses offer semi-annual access to accommodate learners who prefer longer intervals between learning sessions.

20. Annual Access

It’s Annual Access when you provide clients with a full year of content and resources, encouraging long-term commitment. Annual subscription plans for antivirus software offer users continuous protection throughout the year.

Bundled Pricing Models

Bundled pricing combines multiple products or services into a single package at a discounted rate. Here are five bundled pricing models:

21. Course Bundles

Bundle multiple courses together and offer them at a discounted rate compared to purchasing each course separately.

Udemy offers course bundles on related topics, such as a bundle of photography courses covering various genres and techniques.

22. Cross-Selling Bundles

Combine courses and memberships from different niches or subjects, offering clients diverse content in one package.

Amazon often suggests cross-selling bundles on its product pages, where customers can purchase related items together for a better value.

23. Exclusive Content Bundles

Create bundles with exclusive or limited-edition content, enticing clients with unique offerings.

Adobe Creative Cloud offers exclusive content bundles that include premium stock photos, templates, and fonts for a higher subscription price.

24. Time-Limited Bundles

Offer time-limited bundles with a countdown timer, creating a sense of urgency and encouraging immediate purchases.

Humble Bundle offers time-limited bundles of video games and digital content where customers can pay what they want for a collection of games.

25. Customizable Bundles

Allow clients to build their own bundles by choosing the courses or resources they want, promoting personalization and flexibility.

Build-A-Bear Workshop allows customers to create customizable stuffed animal bundles by selecting different animals, outfits, and accessories.

Loyalty and Referral-Based Models

Loyalty and referral-based models reward clients for their loyalty and for referring new clients to your platform. Here are five examples:

26. Loyalty Rewards Pricing

Offer loyalty points or rewards for each purchase, which clients can redeem for discounts or exclusive content.

Sephora’s Beauty Insider program offers loyalty points for every purchase, which can be redeemed for exclusive discounts and products.

27. Referral Discounts and Rewards

Provide clients with referral links to share with others, granting both the referrer and the referred client discounts or rewards.

Dropbox offers additional storage space to users who refer new customers to the service.

28. Ambassador Programs

Establish an ambassador program where clients can become brand advocates and earn special rewards for promoting your courses or memberships.

Fashion brands often have ambassador programs, where influencers and celebrities promote the brand in exchange for exclusive benefits and discounts.

29. Points and Rewards System

Implement a points system where clients earn points for various actions, such as completing modules or engaging with the community.

Starbucks’ loyalty program allows customers to earn stars for every purchase, leading to various rewards like free drinks and food items.

30. Group or Family Discounts

Offer discounts for clients who purchase memberships or courses as part of a group or family.

Family plans for streaming services like Spotify and Netflix offer discounted rates for multiple users under the same account.

Pay-Per-Module Models

Pay-per-module models allow clients to pay for individual course modules or content pieces. Here are five examples:

31. Modular Pricing

Price each course module individually, allowing clients to choose only the necessary modules.

MasterClass offers modular pricing, allowing users to purchase individual courses taught by different experts.

32. Pay-Per-Chapter

For courses with chapters or sections, offer clients the option to purchase each chapter separately.

The Amazon Kindle Store allows users to purchase individual book chapters or sections instead of buying the entire book.

33. Pay-Per-Topic

For content-heavy courses, provide the choice to purchase individual topics or lessons.

LinkedIn Learning offers pay-per-topic pricing, allowing users to access specific courses or learning materials based on their interests.

34. Customizable Module Selection

Allow clients to build their own course by selecting specific modules, and customizing their learning experience.

Coursera allows users to build their own course by selecting individual modules from various courses to create a customized learning experience.

35. Progress-Based Payment

Charge clients based on their progress in the course, allowing them to pay as they advance.

MasterClass offers an all-access pass where users pay a flat fee for access to all courses, unlocking new content as they complete courses.

Dynamic Pricing Models

Dynamic pricing models adjust prices based on various factors, such as demand, time, or location. Here are five dynamic pricing examples:

36. Demand-Based Pricing

Set prices based on demand fluctuations, offering discounts during low-demand periods and premium prices during high demand.

Uber applies surge pricing during high-demand periods, increasing fares to incentivize more drivers to come online and meet demand.

37. Time-Based Pricing

Offer time-sensitive discounts, flash sales, or limited-time promotions to incentivize immediate purchases.

Movie theaters often have different ticket prices for matinee shows, evening shows, and special late-night screenings.

38. Geographical Pricing

Adjust prices based on the geographic location of clients, considering different purchasing power and market conditions.

Airbnb adjusts rental prices based on the location of the listing and factors such as demand and events in the area.

39. Seasonal Pricing

Offer seasonal discounts or promotions to align with specific events or holidays.

Hotels often have seasonal pricing, with higher rates during peak tourist seasons and lower rates during off-peak periods.

40. Event-Based Pricing

Adjust pricing for events or milestones, such as launching a new course or celebrating an anniversary.

Ticketmaster offers dynamic pricing for event tickets, adjusting prices based on factors such as demand and ticket availability.

Performance-Based Models

Performance-based models tie pricing to specific outcomes or results achieved by clients. Here are five examples:

41. Revenue Sharing Model

Agree on a revenue-sharing percentage with clients, who pay a portion of their earnings based on the value they received from your courses.

Airbnb operates on a revenue-sharing model where hosts share a percentage of their earnings with the platform. When hosts list their properties on Airbnb and successfully make a booking, the platform takes a portion of the rental income as its revenue.

42. Royalty-Based Pricing

Offer royalty-based pricing for creators or experts who contribute content to your platform.

Spotify uses a royalty-based pricing model to compensate artists and record labels for streaming their music on the platform. Each time a user streams a song, a portion of the revenue generated from their subscription fee goes to the artist or label as royalties.

43. Performance Bonuses

Provide performance bonuses for clients who achieve specific milestones or meet predetermined objectives.

Many sales teams offer performance bonuses to incentivize sales representatives to achieve and exceed their sales targets. The bonus amount is typically tied to the individual’s performance, such as meeting specific sales quotas or revenue goals.

44. Outcome-Based Pricing

Charge clients based on the specific outcomes or results they achieve through your courses.

Business consulting services may offer outcome-based pricing, where clients pay based on the results achieved through the consultation.

45. Pay-for-Performance

Set pricing based on the level of performance achieved by clients, ensuring they pay only for the value they receive.

Affiliate marketing programs often operate on a pay-for-performance basis. Affiliates earn a commission for each sale or lead they generate through their referral links. Amazon Associates and ClickBank are examples of companies that offer pay-for-performance affiliate programs.

Fixed and Variable Pricing

Fixed and variable pricing models combine both fixed and dynamic pricing elements. Here are five fixed and variable pricing examples:

46. Fixed Course Pricing

Set a fixed price for the course or membership, providing stable revenue and predictable income. 

Udemy offers fixed pricing for its individual courses, where learners pay a one-time fee to enroll in a course and gain lifetime access to the content.

47. Dynamic Course Pricing

Adjust course prices based on demand, promotions, or seasonal factors. Online course marketplaces may offer time-limited discounts on specific courses to attract more enrollments.

48. Fixed Membership Pricing

Offer fixed pricing for membership levels with stable and consistent benefits.

Amazon Prime offers a fixed annual membership fee that provides subscribers with various benefits, including free shipping, streaming services, and exclusive deals.

49. Dynamic Membership Pricing

Adjust membership prices based on factors like demand, time, or additional features.~ A subscription box service may offer discounted rates for the first month of membership to attract new customers.

50. Hybrid Fixed and Variable Pricing

Combine fixed and variable pricing elements to create a customized pricing structure for your courses and memberships.

Airbnb charges a fixed nightly rate for accommodations and allows hosts to add a variable cleaning fee for each booking. The cleaning fee varies depending on the property and the host’s cleaning costs.

Multi-Tiered Discount Models

Multi-tiered discount models offer various discount options to attract different client segments. Here are five multi-tiered discount models:

51. Bulk Purchase Discounts

Offer discounts for clients who purchase multiple courses or memberships at once.

Costco offers bulk purchase discounts on a wide range of products, allowing customers to save money by buying items in larger quantities.

52. Early-Bird Discounts

Provide early-bird discounts to clients enrolling in the course or membership during a pre-launch period.

Event organizers may offer discounted ticket prices for attendees who register early for conferences or workshops.

53. Student Discounts

Offer discounts for students or educational institutions to make your courses more accessible.

Apple offers student discounts on its products, providing students with lower prices on devices such as MacBooks and iPads.

54. Non-Profit Discounts

Provide discounts for non-profit organizations or charities to support their educational initiatives.

Adobe offers discounted pricing for non-profit organizations on its creative software products.

55. Member-Exclusive Discounts

Offer exclusive discounts for existing members to encourage retention and loyalty.

Amazon Prime members have access to exclusive discounts and deals on various products as part of their membership benefits.

Pricing with Add-Ons

Pricing with add-ons allows clients to customize their learning experience with additional options. Here are five examples:

56. Additional Content Add-Ons

Offer extra content, such as bonus modules or advanced resources, as add-ons for a separate fee. Duolingo, a language learning app offers add-ons for access to additional vocabulary lessons.

57. Certification Add-Ons

Provide clients with the option to purchase a certification or accreditation upon completing the course.

HubSpot Academy provides optional certification exams for learners who want to earn recognized certifications in inbound marketing, sales, and other disciplines.

58. Coaching or Mentoring Add-Ons

Offer one-on-one coaching or mentoring sessions as optional add-ons to support client development.

Online fitness platforms like Beachbody On Demand offer one-on-one coaching add-ons for users who want personalized guidance and support on their fitness journey.

59. Resource Material Add-Ons

Allow clients to purchase physical course materials, such as workbooks or textbooks, as add-ons.

An online language learning platform like Rosetta Stone offers downloadable workbooks and supplementary materials as add-ons to enhance the learning experience.

60. VIP Access Add-Ons

Provide VIP access to exclusive events or live sessions as premium add-ons. A live event may offer VIP access as an add-on, providing attendees with exclusive perks and experiences.

Gamification-Based Pricing

Gamification-based pricing models integrate game-like elements to incentivize client engagement and progress. Here are five examples:

61. Points-Based Pricing

Implement a points system where clients earn points for completing modules or achieving milestones, which can be used for discounts or exclusive rewards.

Starbucks Rewards uses a points-based system, where customers earn stars for every purchase, leading to free drinks and other rewards.

62. Level-Based Pricing

Offer different pricing levels based on clients’ progression or achievements within the course.

Online learning platforms may offer different pricing levels for courses based on the learner’s proficiency level.

63. Achievement-Based Pricing

Reward clients with discounts or bonuses when they unlock achievements or badges in the course.

Language learning apps like Duolingo offer pricing tiers based on language proficiency levels, with advanced content available to more accomplished learners.

64. Gamified Progression Pricing

Provide tiered pricing based on clients’ progression through levels or stages of the course. 

Habitica, a productivity app, gamifies task completion and offers premium features to users who consistently achieve their goals.

65. Competitive Pricing Tiers

Create competitive pricing tiers where clients compete with others to unlock the best pricing offer.

E-commerce platforms may offer pricing tiers with different benefits, encouraging customers to compete for better pricing and discounts.

Progressive Access Models

Progressive access models release course content or features gradually over time. Here are five examples:

66. Unlocking Content Over Time

Release new course modules or lessons at specific intervals to keep clients engaged over an extended period.

The Great Courses Plus releases new lecture series on a regular basis, giving subscribers access to fresh content over time.

67. Gradual Access to Features

Provide clients with access to additional features or resources as they progress through the course.

Canva, a graphic design platform, offers gradual access to advanced features such as premium images, animations, and team collaboration tools. As users become more familiar with the platform, they have the option to upgrade their subscription for additional functionality.

68. Time-Limited Access to Advanced Content

Grant time-limited access to premium content or advanced features for clients who achieve certain milestones.

MasterClass, an online learning platform, provides time-limited access to exclusive masterclasses and workshops conducted by renowned experts. Learners can upgrade to a premium membership to access advanced content for a limited duration.

69. Tiered Access Based on Engagement

Offer different levels of access based on clients’ engagement and participation in the course.

Peloton, a fitness platform, offers different tiers of access to live and on-demand workout classes based on clients’ levels of engagement and participation. Clients can earn achievements and unlock more challenging classes as they progress.

70. Graduated Membership Levels

Create a tiered membership structure where clients move up to higher levels of access based on their progress and engagement.

LinkedIn offers graduated membership levels, including Basic, Premium Career, and Sales Navigator. Each level provides different features and benefits, catering to users’ professional needs and preferences.

White Label and Branding Pricing

White label and branding pricing models allow clients to rebrand or customize courses as their own. Here are five examples:

71. White Label Reselling

Enable clients to resell your courses or memberships under their brand name.

Printful is a print-on-demand dropshipping company that offers white label services to online businesses. Retailers can integrate Printful’s services seamlessly into their e-commerce platforms and sell custom-branded products without the need for inventory or manufacturing.

72. Co-Branded Membership Pricing

Offer co-branded membership options where clients’ branding is displayed alongside yours.

American Express offers co-branded credit cards in partnership with Delta Airlines. These cards provide exclusive benefits and rewards for Delta’s frequent flyers, creating a mutually beneficial partnership between the two companies.

73. Private Label Course Pricing

Provide private label options, allowing clients to add their branding to specific courses.

Udemy for Business is a corporate learning platform that offers private label course pricing. Businesses can customize and brand the courses within the platform to create a personalized learning experience for their employees.

74. Custom Branding Options

Allow clients to customize course materials, such as workbooks or certificates, with their branding.

Nike By You allows customers to customize and personalize their Nike shoes with various colors, materials, and design options. Customers can add their names or unique graphics, creating a truly custom-branded product.

75. Brand Licensing Pricing

License your course or membership content to other businesses or organizations for a fee.

Disney licenses its characters and properties to various companies for use in products like toys, apparel, and home goods. These licensees pay fees to Disney for the right to use its iconic characters and branding on their products.

No-Risk Guarantee Models

No-risk guarantee models offer clients peace of mind by providing a risk-free purchasing experience. Here are five examples:

76. Money-Back Guarantee

Offer a money-back guarantee to unsatisfied clients with the course or membership.

Zappos, an online shoe and clothing retailer, offers a 365-day money-back guarantee. Customers can return their purchases within a year of purchase for a full refund, even if the items have been worn.

77. Satisfaction Guarantee

Provide a satisfaction guarantee, assuring clients that they can request a refund if the content does not meet their expectations.

Casper, a mattress company, offers a 100-night risk-free trial. Customers can try out the mattress for 100 nights, and if they are not satisfied, they can return it for a full refund.

78. Course Completion Guarantee

Guarantee clients that they will achieve specific outcomes or complete the course successfully, or they will receive a refund.

MasterClass offers a course completion guarantee for its annual membership. If a member completes a course and is not satisfied, they can request a full refund.

79. Results Guarantee

Assure clients that they will achieve measurable results through the course or membership, backing it with a refund if they don’t.

Nutrisystem, a weight loss meal delivery service, offers a results guarantee. If customers follow the program and don’t lose weight in the first month, they can get a full refund.

80. Free Trial with No Obligation

Provide clients with a free trial period to explore the course or membership content without any commitment.

Netflix offers a one-month free trial to new subscribers. Customers can try out the streaming service for free and decide if they want to continue with a paid subscription after the trial period.

Pre-Launch and Post-Launch Pricing

Pre-launch and post-launch pricing strategies focus on attracting and retaining initial clients over time. Here are five examples:

81. Early-Bird Pre-Launch Pricing

Offer exclusive discounts for clients who enroll before the official launch of the course or membership.

Many Kickstarter projects offer early-bird pricing for backers who support the project during its pre-launch phase. Backers who pledge early can get the product at a discounted rate.

82. Founders’ Pricing

As a token of appreciation, provide special pricing options for early adopters or founding members.

During its early days, Slack offered a Founders’ Pricing plan for early adopters. These customers received significant discounts on their subscriptions, locking in lower rates for their accounts.

83. Launch Discount Pricing

Introduce limited-time launch discounts to create a sense of urgency and drive early enrollment.

Apple often offers discounts or promotions during the launch of new iPhone models to incentivize early adopters to purchase the latest device.

84. Post-Launch Price Adjustments

In this, we look at adjusting pricing after the initial launch phase based on feedback, demand, or market conditions.

Steam, a digital distribution platform for video games, offers sales and discounts on games after their initial release to drive additional sales and engagement.

85. Price Stabilization Strategies

Implement pricing strategies to stabilize prices after the launch period, ensuring consistency for existing clients.

Airlines often use price stabilization strategies by adjusting ticket prices based on demand and booking patterns to maximize revenue without drastic price fluctuations.

Value-Based Pricing Models

Value-based pricing models align pricing with the perceived value clients receive from the course or membership. Here are five examples:

86. Value-Based Pricing Strategies

Use customer feedback, surveys, or market research to determine the perceived value of your offerings and adjust pricing accordingly.

Tesla’s pricing strategy is based on the perceived value of its electric vehicles, emphasizing innovation, performance, and environmental sustainability.

87. Pricing Based on Customer Outcomes

Set prices based on the outcomes and benefits clients are expected to achieve through your courses.

Salesforce’s pricing varies based on the features and level of customer support needed, ensuring that clients get the most value from their investment.

88. Competitor Comparison Pricing

Compare your pricing with competitors to ensure that your offering is competitively priced while providing superior value.

Walmart is known for its competitive pricing, offering lower prices than its competitors to attract price-conscious customers.

89. Perception of Value Pricing

Design pricing plans that reflect the perceived value clients will receive, emphasizing the benefits they can expect.

Apple’s pricing strategy is built on creating a perception of high value and premium quality for its products, which allows the company to command premium prices.

90. Price Anchoring Techniques

Present different pricing options, with one being a higher-priced anchor to make other options seem more affordable.

Car dealers often start negotiations at a higher price (anchor) and then offer discounts or incentives to make customers perceive a better deal on the final price.

Combo and Upsell Pricing

Combo and upsell pricing models encourage clients to purchase additional products or services. Here are five examples:

91. Upsell Add-Ons at Checkout

Offer upsell add-ons during the checkout process to increase the average transaction value.

Amazon often suggests additional products or related items to customers during the checkout process, encouraging upsells.

92. Combo Package Discounts

Combine multiple courses or memberships into a single package, offering a discounted rate compared to purchasing them individually.

McDonald’s offers combo packages where customers can buy a meal with a burger, fries, and a drink at a discounted price compared to purchasing each item separately.

93. Upsell Funnel Strategies

Use upsell funnels to present clients with relevant add-ons or upgrades based on their preferences and behavior.

Amazon Prime uses upsell funnel strategies by offering additional services, such as Prime Video and Prime Music, to its members.

94. Tiered Pricing for Upgraded Memberships

Encourage clients to upgrade their memberships by offering tiered pricing options with increasing benefits.

LinkedIn offers tiered pricing for its premium membership, with different levels of access and features for job seekers, professionals, and sales professionals.

95. Time-Limited Upsell Offers

Create urgency by offering time-limited upsell offers that expire after a certain period.

Software companies may offer time-limited discounts for upgrading to a premium version during certain promotional periods.

Social Impact Pricing

96. Buy-One-Give-One (BOGO) Pricing:

For every course or membership purchased, donate a free course or membership to a person in need or a charitable organization.

TOMS Shoes TOMS Shoes is well-known for its Buy-One-Give-One model. For every pair of shoes purchased, TOMS donates a pair of shoes to a child in need. This model has not only been successful in attracting customers who want to make a positive impact with their purchases but also in making a significant difference in the lives of those in underprivileged communities.

97. Social Impact Tiered Pricing

Offer different pricing tiers, with a portion of the proceeds supporting social or environmental causes.

Patagonia Patagonia, an outdoor clothing and gear company, offers tiered pricing on some of its products. Customers can choose the regular price or pay a higher price, with the difference going towards supporting environmental causes and conservation efforts. This pricing model allows customers to align their purchase decisions with their values and contribute to meaningful causes.

98. Pay-What-You-Can (PWYC) with a Purpose

Allow clients to choose their own price, with a suggested minimum amount, and explain how their payment contributes to a specific social impact initiative.

The Depanneur The Depanneur is a community-driven food space in Toronto, Canada that offers a Pay-What-You-Can pricing model for some of its events and workshops. This allows individuals from different financial backgrounds to participate, fostering a sense of community and inclusivity. Customers have the freedom to pay what they can afford while still enjoying the same experience as others.

99. Impact-Based Pricing

Give clients the option to pay any amount they wish, with a percentage of the proceeds donated to a charity or cause.

Good Energy Collective Good Energy Collective is an energy provider that offers impact-based pricing for its customers. They allow customers to choose where their electricity comes from, whether it’s from renewable sources like wind or solar. Customers can opt for higher-priced renewable energy plans, knowing they support cleaner energy production and reduce their carbon footprint.

100. Impact Progression Pricing

Offer discounts or benefits to clients based on the impact they create through their engagement in the course or membership.

Charity Miles Charity Miles is a fitness app that allows users to earn money for charities through their physical activities like walking, running, or biking. The app partners with corporate sponsors who pledge a certain amount of money per mile or kilometer covered. As users progress in their fitness journey, they unlock higher donation amounts from sponsors, enabling them to impact the charities they support significantly.

101. Social Impact Badges or Certifications

Reward clients who contribute to social impact initiatives with special badges or certifications, highlighting their commitment to positive change.

B Corp Certification B Corp is a certification given to companies that meet rigorous social and environmental performance standards, accountability, and transparency. Businesses that obtain this certification demonstrate their commitment to positively impacting society and the environment. B Corp-certified companies can display the B Corp logo on their products and websites as a badge of honor, building trust with socially-conscious consumers.

What’s Your Pick?

Choosing the right pricing model for your online courses and memberships is a critical decision that can impact your business’s success. And sometimes it just helps to skim through the options. I hope this post was useful in helping you get unstuck and think fresh when it comes to picking your course or membership pricing model. Every model has it’s pros and cons. Look into them and consider factors like client segmentation, value proposition, and market conditions, you can create a compelling and competitive pricing structure that attracts clients and drives long-term success for your online course business.

To your prosperity,

Kartvee

 

“We basically built a pricing model that surgically identified what people wanted to pay us for and what they didn’t want to pay us for. ” — Alexa Hirschfeld

A lot has been talked about and discussed about pricing, pricing strategies, and pricing models. I’ve been writing about pricing a lot in recent times. If you’re interested in psychological pricing strategies, I wrote two – one yesterday and another the day before.

In today’s post, I’m going a little easy on my writing and instead trying my skills in listing or enumerating pricing models. Use this post as a skimming reference or something to get your creative juices flowing when it comes to coming up with a pricing model for your course. Sounds good? Let’s jump in.

It’s time to explore 101 unique pricing models for courses and memberships, helping you find the perfect fit for your offerings.

One-Time Payment Models

One-time payment models are straightforward and commonly used pricing strategies. You offer a single payment for access to your course or membership with no recurring charges. Below are five different one-time payment models:

1. Flat Fee Pricing:

When you use a flat fee pricing model, you set a fixed price for the course or membership, offering all-inclusive access to the content and resources. This pricing model simplifies the decision-making process for clients.

Most products (including courses) we buy fall into this category.

2. Tiered Pricing:

In a tiered pricing model, you offer multiple pricing options with varying levels of access and features. Clients can choose the tier that best aligns with their needs and budget.

A good example here is Netflix. The video streaming service offers tiered pricing plans with different levels of access and features, such as Basic, Standard, and Premium.

3. Pay-What-You-Want (PWYW):

The PWYW model allows clients to choose the amount they want to pay for the course or membership. It can help attract more clients while allowing them to determine the value they place on the content.

Humble Bundle allows customers to choose their own price for a bundle of video games, with the option to allocate a portion of their payment to charity.

4. Early Bird Pricing:

Early bird pricing offers a discounted rate for clients who purchase the course or membership during a specified pre-launch period. It incentivizes early enrollment and creates a sense of urgency.

Event organizers offer discounted ticket prices for early registrants to incentivize early sign-ups and secure early funding for event planning.

5. Lifetime Access Pricing:

Lifetime access pricing grants clients access to the course or membership content indefinitely. It can be offered as an upsell to provide long-term value and build client loyalty.

Online learning platform MasterClass offers lifetime access to their courses for a one-time payment, allowing customers to revisit the content anytime.

Subscription-Based Models

Subscription-based models involve recurring payments at regular intervals for continued access to the course or membership. Here are five subscription-based pricing models:

6. Monthly Subscription

The monthly subscription model charges clients a fixed fee each month for ongoing access. It’s a popular choice for courses with regular updates and new content.

Spotify offers a monthly subscription for unlimited ad-free music streaming.

7. Annual Subscription

An annual subscription offers clients a discounted rate when they commit to a full year of access. It provides stable revenue and encourages long-term engagement.

Amazon Prime provides an annual subscription that offers various benefits, including free shipping, access to streaming services, and exclusive deals.

8. Freemium Model

The freemium model offers a free basic version of the course or membership, enticing clients to upgrade to a paid subscription for premium features.

Dropbox offers a freemium model, allowing users to sign up for free with limited storage space and offering premium subscription options for more storage and features.

9. Trial and Freemium Hybrid Model

A hybrid model combines a free trial period with a freemium version. Clients can test the course or membership before deciding on the premium subscription.

Microsoft 365 offers a trial period where users can access the full suite of applications for free for a limited time before deciding whether to subscribe.

10. Usage-Based Pricing

Usage-based pricing charges clients based on their actual usage of the course or membership. It’s commonly used for platforms with metered resources or pay-per-use models.

Cloud computing services like Amazon Web Services (AWS) charge customers based on their actual usage of resources, such as computing power and storage.

Tiered Membership Models

Tiered membership models provide different levels of access and benefits based on subscription tiers. A quick tip here is to pick words that best suit the needs and aspirations of each segment of your target buyers. Here are five examples of tiered membership pricing:

11. Basic, Premium, and Pro Tiers

Organize membership options into basic, premium, and pro tiers, each offering an increasing range of features and benefits.

LinkedIn offers Basic, Premium Career, and Sales Navigator tiers, each with different features and benefits for users.

12. Silver, Gold, and Platinum Levels

Use precious metal names to signify different membership levels, with platinum being the highest and most comprehensive tier.

Airlines often have tiered membership programs, such as Silver, Gold, and Platinum, offering various perks based on frequent flyer status.

13. Features and Access-Based Tiers

Create tiers based on specific features or access levels, such as a “Video Only” tier and a “Full Access” tier with additional resources.

Medium offers different membership levels with access to exclusive content, audio versions of stories, and offline reading options.

14. Student, Professional, and Enterprise Tiers

Segment membership options for different types of clients, catering to students, professionals, and enterprise-level clients.

Adobe Creative Cloud offers student, individual, and enterprise pricing plans for their suite of creative software.

15. Limited, Standard, and Unlimited Tiers

Offer tiers with limited access, standard features, and unlimited access options to suit clients with varying needs and budgets.

Web hosting companies often offer limited, standard, and unlimited hosting plans, varying in disk space, bandwidth, and other features.

Time-Based Access Models

Time-based access models provide access to the course or membership for a specific duration. Here are five examples:

16. Weekly Access

Offer clients access to course modules every week, encouraging consistent engagement and progression. Some online courses provide weekly access to new modules or lessons to pace learning and encourage regular participation.

17. Monthly Access

Monthly access grants clients full access to the course or membership content for 30 days. Digital magazine subscriptions typically offer monthly access to the latest issues and archives.

18. Quarterly Access

Quarterly access provides clients with access to the content for three months, which is suitable for longer courses. Research databases and market intelligence platforms often offer quarterly subscription plans.

19. Semi-Annual Access

Semi-annual access offers clients six months of access, which is ideal for more extensive courses or memberships. Some specialized online courses offer semi-annual access to accommodate learners who prefer longer intervals between learning sessions.

20. Annual Access

Annual access provides clients with a full year of content and resources, encouraging long-term commitment. Annual subscription plans for antivirus software offer users continuous protection throughout the year.

Bundled Pricing Models

Bundled pricing combines multiple products or services into a single package at a discounted rate. Here are five bundled pricing models:

21. Course Bundles

Bundle multiple courses together and offer them at a discounted rate compared to purchasing each course separately.

Udemy offers course bundles on related topics, such as a bundle of photography courses covering various genres and techniques.

22. Cross-Selling Bundles

Combine courses and memberships from different niches or subjects, offering clients diverse content in one package.

Amazon often suggests cross-selling bundles on its product pages, where customers can purchase related items together for a better value.

23. Exclusive Content Bundles

Create bundles with exclusive or limited-edition content, enticing clients with unique offerings.

Adobe Creative Cloud offers exclusive content bundles that include premium stock photos, templates, and fonts for a higher subscription price.

24. Time-Limited Bundles

Offer time-limited bundles with a countdown timer, creating a sense of urgency and encouraging immediate purchases.

Humble Bundle offers time-limited bundles of video games and digital content where customers can pay what they want for a collection of games.

25. Customizable Bundles

Allow clients to build their own bundles by choosing the courses or resources they want, promoting personalization and flexibility.

Build-A-Bear Workshop allows customers to create customizable stuffed animal bundles by selecting different animals, outfits, and accessories.

Loyalty and Referral-Based Models

Loyalty and referral-based models reward clients for their loyalty and for referring new clients to your platform. Here are five examples:

26. Loyalty Rewards Pricing

Offer loyalty points or rewards for each purchase, which clients can redeem for discounts or exclusive content.

Sephora’s Beauty Insider program offers loyalty points for every purchase, which can be redeemed for exclusive discounts and products.

27. Referral Discounts and Rewards

Provide clients with referral links to share with others, granting both the referrer and the referred client discounts or rewards.

Dropbox offers additional storage space to users who refer new customers to the service.

28. Ambassador Programs

Establish an ambassador program where clients can become brand advocates and earn special rewards for promoting your courses or memberships.

Fashion brands often have ambassador programs, where influencers and celebrities promote the brand in exchange for exclusive benefits and discounts.

29. Points and Rewards System

Implement a points system where clients earn points for various actions, such as completing modules or engaging with the community.

Starbucks’ loyalty program allows customers to earn stars for every purchase, leading to various rewards like free drinks and food items.

30. Group or Family Discounts

Offer discounts for clients who purchase memberships or courses as part of a group or family.

Family plans for streaming services like Spotify and Netflix offer discounted rates for multiple users under the same account.

Pay-Per-Module Models

Pay-per-module models allow clients to pay for individual course modules or content pieces. Here are five examples:

31. Modular Pricing

Price each course module individually, allowing clients to choose only the necessary modules.

MasterClass offers modular pricing, allowing users to purchase individual courses taught by different experts.

32. Pay-Per-Chapter

For courses with chapters or sections, offer clients the option to purchase each chapter separately.

The Amazon Kindle Store allows users to purchase individual book chapters or sections instead of buying the entire book.

33. Pay-Per-Topic

For content-heavy courses, provide the choice to purchase individual topics or lessons.

LinkedIn Learning offers pay-per-topic pricing, allowing users to access specific courses or learning materials based on their interests.

34. Customizable Module Selection

Allow clients to build their own course by selecting specific modules, and customizing their learning experience.

Coursera allows users to build their own course by selecting individual modules from various courses to create a customized learning experience.

35. Progress-Based Payment

Charge clients based on their progress in the course, allowing them to pay as they advance.

MasterClass offers an all-access pass where users pay a flat fee for access to all courses, unlocking new content as they complete courses.

Dynamic Pricing Models

Dynamic pricing models adjust prices based on various factors, such as demand, time, or location. Here are five dynamic pricing examples:

36. Demand-Based Pricing

Set prices based on demand fluctuations, offering discounts during low-demand periods and premium prices during high demand.

Uber applies surge pricing during high-demand periods, increasing fares to incentivize more drivers to come online and meet demand.

37. Time-Based Pricing

Offer time-sensitive discounts, flash sales, or limited-time promotions to incentivize immediate purchases.

Movie theaters often have different ticket prices for matinee shows, evening shows, and special late-night screenings.

38. Geographical Pricing

Adjust prices based on the geographic location of clients, considering different purchasing power and market conditions.

Airbnb adjusts rental prices based on the location of the listing and factors such as demand and events in the area.

39. Seasonal Pricing

Offer seasonal discounts or promotions to align with specific events or holidays.

Hotels often have seasonal pricing, with higher rates during peak tourist seasons and lower rates during off-peak periods.

40. Event-Based Pricing

Adjust pricing for events or milestones, such as launching a new course or celebrating an anniversary.

Ticketmaster offers dynamic pricing for event tickets, adjusting prices based on factors such as demand and ticket availability.

Performance-Based Models

Performance-based models tie pricing to specific outcomes or results achieved by clients. Here are five examples:

41. Revenue Sharing Model

Agree on a revenue-sharing percentage with clients, who pay a portion of their earnings based on the value they received from your courses.

Airbnb operates on a revenue-sharing model where hosts share a percentage of their earnings with the platform. When hosts list their properties on Airbnb and successfully make a booking, the platform takes a portion of the rental income as its revenue.

42. Royalty-Based Pricing

Offer royalty-based pricing for creators or experts who contribute content to your platform.

Spotify uses a royalty-based pricing model to compensate artists and record labels for streaming their music on the platform. Each time a user streams a song, a portion of the revenue generated from their subscription fee goes to the artist or label as royalties.

43. Performance Bonuses

Provide performance bonuses for clients who achieve specific milestones or meet predetermined objectives.

Many sales teams offer performance bonuses to incentivize sales representatives to achieve and exceed their sales targets. The bonus amount is typically tied to the individual’s performance, such as meeting specific sales quotas or revenue goals.

44. Outcome-Based Pricing

Charge clients based on the specific outcomes or results they achieve through your courses.

Business consulting services may offer outcome-based pricing, where clients pay based on the results achieved through the consultation.

45. Pay-for-Performance

Set pricing based on the level of performance achieved by clients, ensuring they pay only for the value they receive.

Affiliate marketing programs often operate on a pay-for-performance basis. Affiliates earn a commission for each sale or lead they generate through their referral links. Amazon Associates and ClickBank are examples of companies that offer pay-for-performance affiliate programs.

Fixed and Variable Pricing

Fixed and variable pricing models combine both fixed and dynamic pricing elements. Here are five fixed and variable pricing examples:

46. Fixed Course Pricing

Set a fixed price for the course or membership, providing stable revenue and predictable income. 

Udemy offers fixed pricing for its individual courses, where learners pay a one-time fee to enroll in a course and gain lifetime access to the content.

47. Dynamic Course Pricing

Adjust course prices based on demand, promotions, or seasonal factors. Online course marketplaces may offer time-limited discounts on specific courses to attract more enrollments.

48. Fixed Membership Pricing

Offer fixed pricing for membership levels with stable and consistent benefits.

Amazon Prime offers a fixed annual membership fee that provides subscribers with various benefits, including free shipping, streaming services, and exclusive deals.

49. Dynamic Membership Pricing

Adjust membership prices based on factors like demand, time, or additional features.~ A subscription box service may offer discounted rates for the first month of membership to attract new customers.

50. Hybrid Fixed and Variable Pricing

Combine fixed and variable pricing elements to create a customized pricing structure for your courses and memberships.

Airbnb charges a fixed nightly rate for accommodations and allows hosts to add a variable cleaning fee for each booking. The cleaning fee varies depending on the property and the host’s cleaning costs.

Multi-Tiered Discount Models

Multi-tiered discount models offer various discount options to attract different client segments. Here are five multi-tiered discount models:

51. Bulk Purchase Discounts

Offer discounts for clients who purchase multiple courses or memberships at once.

Costco offers bulk purchase discounts on a wide range of products, allowing customers to save money by buying items in larger quantities.

52. Early-Bird Discounts

Provide early-bird discounts to clients enrolling in the course or membership during a pre-launch period.

Event organizers may offer discounted ticket prices for attendees who register early for conferences or workshops.

53. Student Discounts

Offer discounts for students or educational institutions to make your courses more accessible.

Apple offers student discounts on its products, providing students with lower prices on devices such as MacBooks and iPads.

54. Non-Profit Discounts

Provide discounts for non-profit organizations or charities to support their educational initiatives.

Adobe offers discounted pricing for non-profit organizations on its creative software products.

55. Member-Exclusive Discounts

Offer exclusive discounts for existing members to encourage retention and loyalty.

Amazon Prime members have access to exclusive discounts and deals on various products as part of their membership benefits.

Pricing with Add-Ons

Pricing with add-ons allows clients to customize their learning experience with additional options. Here are five examples:

56. Additional Content Add-Ons

Offer extra content, such as bonus modules or advanced resources, as add-ons for a separate fee. Duolingo, a language learning app offers add-ons for access to additional vocabulary lessons.

57. Certification Add-Ons

Provide clients with the option to purchase a certification or accreditation upon completing the course.

HubSpot Academy provides optional certification exams for learners who want to earn recognized certifications in inbound marketing, sales, and other disciplines.

58. Coaching or Mentoring Add-Ons

Offer one-on-one coaching or mentoring sessions as optional add-ons to support client development.

Online fitness platforms like Beachbody On Demand offer one-on-one coaching add-ons for users who want personalized guidance and support on their fitness journey.

59. Resource Material Add-Ons

Allow clients to purchase physical course materials, such as workbooks or textbooks, as add-ons.

An online language learning platform like Rosetta Stone offers downloadable workbooks and supplementary materials as add-ons to enhance the learning experience.

60. VIP Access Add-Ons

Provide VIP access to exclusive events or live sessions as premium add-ons. A live event may offer VIP access as an add-on, providing attendees with exclusive perks and experiences.

Gamification-Based Pricing

Gamification-based pricing models integrate game-like elements to incentivize client engagement and progress. Here are five examples:

61. Points-Based Pricing

Implement a points system where clients earn points for completing modules or achieving milestones, which can be used for discounts or exclusive rewards.

Starbucks Rewards uses a points-based system, where customers earn stars for every purchase, leading to free drinks and other rewards.

62. Level-Based Pricing

Offer different pricing levels based on clients’ progression or achievements within the course.

Online learning platforms may offer different pricing levels for courses based on the learner’s proficiency level.

63. Achievement-Based Pricing

Reward clients with discounts or bonuses when they unlock achievements or badges in the course.

Language learning apps like Duolingo offer pricing tiers based on language proficiency levels, with advanced content available to more accomplished learners.

64. Gamified Progression Pricing

Provide tiered pricing based on clients’ progression through levels or stages of the course. 

Habitica, a productivity app, gamifies task completion and offers premium features to users who consistently achieve their goals.

65. Competitive Pricing Tiers

Create competitive pricing tiers where clients compete with others to unlock the best pricing offer.

E-commerce platforms may offer pricing tiers with different benefits, encouraging customers to compete for better pricing and discounts.

Progressive Access Models

Progressive access models release course content or features gradually over time. Here are five examples:

66. Unlocking Content Over Time

Release new course modules or lessons at specific intervals to keep clients engaged over an extended period.

The Great Courses Plus releases new lecture series on a regular basis, giving subscribers access to fresh content over time.

67. Gradual Access to Features

Provide clients with access to additional features or resources as they progress through the course.

Canva, a graphic design platform, offers gradual access to advanced features such as premium images, animations, and team collaboration tools. As users become more familiar with the platform, they have the option to upgrade their subscription for additional functionality.

68. Time-Limited Access to Advanced Content

Grant time-limited access to premium content or advanced features for clients who achieve certain milestones.

MasterClass, an online learning platform, provides time-limited access to exclusive masterclasses and workshops conducted by renowned experts. Learners can upgrade to a premium membership to access advanced content for a limited duration.

69. Tiered Access Based on Engagement

Offer different levels of access based on clients’ engagement and participation in the course.

Peloton, a fitness platform, offers different tiers of access to live and on-demand workout classes based on clients’ levels of engagement and participation. Clients can earn achievements and unlock more challenging classes as they progress.

70. Graduated Membership Levels

Create a tiered membership structure where clients move up to higher levels of access based on their progress and engagement.

LinkedIn offers graduated membership levels, including Basic, Premium Career, and Sales Navigator. Each level provides different features and benefits, catering to users’ professional needs and preferences.

White Label and Branding Pricing

White label and branding pricing models allow clients to rebrand or customize courses as their own. Here are five examples:

71. White Label Reselling

Enable clients to resell your courses or memberships under their brand name.

Printful is a print-on-demand dropshipping company that offers white-label services to online businesses. Retailers can integrate Printful’s services seamlessly into their e-commerce platforms and sell custom-branded products without the need for inventory or manufacturing.

72. Co-Branded Membership Pricing

Offer co-branded membership options where clients’ branding is displayed alongside yours.

American Express offers co-branded credit cards in partnership with Delta Airlines. These cards provide exclusive benefits and rewards for Delta’s frequent flyers, creating a mutually beneficial partnership between the two companies.

73. Private Label Course Pricing

Provide private label options, allowing clients to add their branding to specific courses.

Udemy for Business is a corporate learning platform that offers private label course pricing. Businesses can customize and brand the courses within the platform to create a personalized learning experience for their employees.

74. Custom Branding Options

Allow clients to customize course materials, such as workbooks or certificates, with their branding.

Nike By You allows customers to customize and personalize their Nike shoes with various colors, materials, and design options. Customers can add their names or unique graphics, creating a truly custom-branded product.

75. Brand Licensing Pricing

License your course or membership content to other businesses or organizations for a fee.

Disney licenses its characters and properties to various companies for use in products like toys, apparel, and home goods. These licensees pay fees to Disney for the right to use its iconic characters and branding on their products.

No-Risk Guarantee Models

No-risk guarantee models offer clients peace of mind by providing a risk-free purchasing experience. Here are five examples:

76. Money-Back Guarantee

Offer a money-back guarantee to unsatisfied clients with the course or membership.

Zappos, an online shoe and clothing retailer, offers a 365-day money-back guarantee. Customers can return their purchases within a year of purchase for a full refund, even if the items have been worn.

77. Satisfaction Guarantee

Provide a satisfaction guarantee, assuring clients that they can request a refund if the content does not meet their expectations.

Casper, a mattress company, offers a 100-night risk-free trial. Customers can try out the mattress for 100 nights, and if they are not satisfied, they can return it for a full refund.

78. Course Completion Guarantee

Guarantee clients that they will achieve specific outcomes or complete the course successfully, or they will receive a refund.

MasterClass offers a course completion guarantee for its annual membership. If a member completes a course and is not satisfied, they can request a full refund.

79. Results Guarantee

Assure clients that they will achieve measurable results through the course or membership, backing it with a refund if they don’t.

Nutrisystem, a weight loss meal delivery service, offers a results guarantee. If customers follow the program and don’t lose weight in the first month, they can get a full refund.

80. Free Trial with No Obligation

Provide clients with a free trial period to explore the course or membership content without any commitment.

Netflix offers a one-month free trial to new subscribers. Customers can try out the streaming service for free and decide if they want to continue with a paid subscription after the trial period.

Pre-Launch and Post-Launch Pricing

Pre-launch and post-launch pricing strategies focus on attracting and retaining initial clients over time. Here are five examples:

81. Early-Bird Pre-Launch Pricing

Offer exclusive discounts for clients who enroll before the official launch of the course or membership.

Many Kickstarter projects offer early-bird pricing for backers who support the project during its pre-launch phase. Backers who pledge early can get the product at a discounted rate.

82. Founders’ Pricing

As a token of appreciation, provide special pricing options for early adopters or founding members.

During its early days, Slack offered a Founders’ Pricing plan for early adopters. These customers received significant discounts on their subscriptions, locking in lower rates for their accounts.

83. Launch Discount Pricing

Introduce limited-time launch discounts to create a sense of urgency and drive early enrollment.

Apple often offers discounts or promotions during the launch of new iPhone models to incentivize early adopters to purchase the latest device.

84. Post-Launch Price Adjustments

In this, we look at adjusting pricing after the initial launch phase based on feedback, demand, or market conditions.

Steam, a digital distribution platform for video games, offers sales and discounts on games after their initial release to drive additional sales and engagement.

85. Price Stabilization Strategies

Implement pricing strategies to stabilize prices after the launch period, ensuring consistency for existing clients.

Airlines often use price stabilization strategies by adjusting ticket prices based on demand and booking patterns to maximize revenue without drastic price fluctuations.

Value-Based Pricing Models

Value-based pricing models align pricing with the perceived value clients receive from the course or membership. Here are five examples:

86. Value-Based Pricing Strategies

Use customer feedback, surveys, or market research to determine the perceived value of your offerings and adjust pricing accordingly.

Tesla’s pricing strategy is based on the perceived value of its electric vehicles, emphasizing innovation, performance, and environmental sustainability.

87. Pricing Based on Customer Outcomes

Set prices based on the outcomes and benefits clients are expected to achieve through your courses.

Salesforce’s pricing varies based on the features and level of customer support needed, ensuring that clients get the most value from their investment.

88. Competitor Comparison Pricing

Compare your pricing with competitors to ensure that your offering is competitively priced while providing superior value.

Walmart is known for its competitive pricing, offering lower prices than its competitors to attract price-conscious customers.

89. Perception of Value Pricing

Design pricing plans that reflect the perceived value clients will receive, emphasizing the benefits they can expect.

Apple’s pricing strategy is built on creating a perception of high value and premium quality for its products, which allows the company to command premium prices.

90. Price Anchoring Techniques

Present different pricing options, with one being a higher-priced anchor to make other options seem more affordable.

Car dealers often start negotiations at a higher price (anchor) and then offer discounts or incentives to make customers perceive a better deal on the final price.

Combo and Upsell Pricing

Combo and upsell pricing models encourage clients to purchase additional products or services. Here are five examples:

91. Upsell Add-Ons at Checkout

Offer upsell add-ons during the checkout process to increase the average transaction value.

Amazon often suggests additional products or related items to customers during the checkout process, encouraging upsells.

92. Combo Package Discounts

Combine multiple courses or memberships into a single package, offering a discounted rate compared to purchasing them individually.

McDonald’s offers combo packages where customers can buy a meal with a burger, fries, and a drink at a discounted price compared to purchasing each item separately.

93. Upsell Funnel Strategies

Use upsell funnels to present clients with relevant add-ons or upgrades based on their preferences and behavior.

Amazon Prime uses upsell funnel strategies by offering additional services, such as Prime Video and Prime Music, to its members.

94. Tiered Pricing for Upgraded Memberships

Encourage clients to upgrade their memberships by offering tiered pricing options with increasing benefits.

LinkedIn offers tiered pricing for its premium membership, with different levels of access and features for job seekers, professionals, and sales professionals.

95. Time-Limited Upsell Offers

Create urgency by offering time-limited upsell offers that expire after a certain period.

Software companies may offer time-limited discounts for upgrading to a premium version during certain promotional periods.

Social Impact Pricing

Social Impact Pricing considers the broader societal and environmental consequences of a product or service in determining its price. It aligns with consumer values by offering a premium for products or services that contribute to positive social or environmental initiatives.

96. Buy-One-Give-One (BOGO) Pricing:

For every course or membership purchased, donate a free course or membership to a person in need or a charitable organization.

TOMS Shoes is well-known for its Buy-One-Give-One model. For every pair of shoes purchased, TOMS donates a pair of shoes to a child in need. This model has not only been successful in attracting customers who want to make a positive impact with their purchases but also in making a significant difference in the lives of those in underprivileged communities.

97. Social Impact Tiered Pricing

Offer different pricing tiers, with a portion of the proceeds supporting social or environmental causes.

Patagonia, an outdoor clothing and gear company, offers tiered pricing on some of its products. Customers can choose the regular price or pay a higher price, with the difference going towards supporting environmental causes and conservation efforts. This pricing model allows customers to align their purchase decisions with their values and contribute to meaningful causes.

98. Pay-What-You-Can (PWYC) with a Purpose

Allow clients to choose their own price, with a suggested minimum amount, and explain how their payment contributes to a specific social impact initiative.

The Depanneur is a community-driven food space in Toronto, Canada that offers a Pay-What-You-Can pricing model for some of its events and workshops. This allows individuals from different financial backgrounds to participate, fostering a sense of community and inclusivity. Customers have the freedom to pay what they can afford while still enjoying the same experience as others.

99. Impact-Based Pricing

Give clients the option to pay any amount they wish, with a percentage of the proceeds donated to a charity or cause.

Good Energy Collective is an energy provider that offers impact-based pricing for its customers. They allow customers to choose where their electricity comes from, whether it’s from renewable sources like wind or solar. Customers can opt for higher-priced renewable energy plans, knowing they support cleaner energy production and reduce their carbon footprint.

100. Impact Progression Pricing

Offer discounts or benefits to clients based on the impact they create through their engagement in the course or membership.

Charity Miles is a fitness app that allows users to earn money for charities through their physical activities like walking, running, or biking. The app partners with corporate sponsors who pledge a certain amount of money per mile or kilometer covered. As users progress in their fitness journey, they unlock higher donation amounts from sponsors, enabling them to impact the charities they support significantly.

101. Social Impact Badges or Certifications

Reward clients who contribute to social impact initiatives with special badges or certifications, highlighting their commitment to positive change.

B Corp is a certification given to companies that meet rigorous social and environmental performance standards, accountability, and transparency. Businesses that obtain this certification demonstrate their commitment to positively impacting society and the environment. B Corp-certified companies can display the B Corp logo on their products and websites as a badge of honor, building trust with socially-conscious consumers.

What’s Your Pick?

Choosing the right pricing model for your online courses and memberships is a critical decision that can impact your business’s success. And sometimes, it just helps to skim through the options. I hope this post was useful in helping you get unstuck and think fresh when it comes to picking your course or membership pricing model. Every model has its pros and cons. Look into them and consider factors like client segmentation, value proposition, and market conditions; you can create a compelling and competitive pricing structure that attracts clients and drives long-term success for your online course business.

If you’re a course or membership creator, consider subscribing to my Paid Course Creator newsletter below. It’s free, and you won’t be disappointed!

To your prosperity,

Kartvee

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About the author 

Karthik Vijayakumar

Hey, it's me, Karthik. I'm a ghostwriter and copywriter helping B2B founders and businesses. As a copywriter, I help founders validate and nail your messaging. As a ghostwriter, I write strategic blog posts to help you build authority or grow your inbound marketing. Click the tiny button below and connect with me on LinkedIn.

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