Webinar Pricing Strategies: How to Pick the Best for Your Organization

January 20, 2020
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Over the past couple months we’ve provided you with helpful hints on how to recruit and pay webinar speakers, and how to train your speakers to deliver top-notch content, now let’s talk a bit about how to price your webinar content for maximum success. When diving into any pricing strategy you need to be asking yourself, what are we trying to accomplish through the price structure? Are we looking to be competitive? Are we trying to make money from our efforts or are we looking to just break-even? Are we wanting to use a value-based approach and giving the service offering as a member benefit? Let’s look at a couple pricing strategy options to ensure you are selecting the best one for your needs: 

1. Individual Purchase

Making each webinar program available at set prices or tiered pricing based on membership group, are both great options. Especially when you’re first introducing this program offering, you can get your feet wet and figure out what works best for your audience. It allows you to test your market to see what works best within your industry. 

If desired you can even sell some programs at a set rate and increase or decrease others based on the content quality, timeliness, shelf-life, or even what you’re having to pay your SME. While at my association organization I wanted to ensure I was making a particular net revenue on each program and backed into my price based on my known expenses and the revenue I was aiming to gain. This is also known as cost-plus pricing.  

2. Premium Pricing

In essence, webinars are unique online programs because at any point, any learner can have a direct communication with a SME live in real-time, which has a ton of value for the learner. When you know the program has a high probability of naturally creating engagement you might want to consider selling at a premium price compared to other webinar programs or other programming you offer, i.e. webcasts, in-person, etc.  

This is a great pricing strategy for hot topics or mandatory credits i.e. annual ethics requirements. Another great option to consider premium pricing is if you are selling a unique program, that none of your competitors are offering.  

When you are the only “game in town” it warrants an option to increase the selling fee. Even consider only increasing for non-members and maintaining the normal member fee. You might even see an uptick in membership prior to a program like this.    

3. Bundling

There are lots of options when talking about bundling programming. You can look at bundling your content based on delivery method. You could offer a BOGO offer to gain more interest around webinars if you’re just getting started or they haven’t gotten the traction you had initially hoped for. You could also offer a series of webinar content that all laces together and offer all of the opportunities in a package for a discounted rate. This will only work if you plan out the curriculum at the same time so that you can package and market it appropriately.    

4. Freemium

We’re seeing this surge with new membership models where the member picks how they wish to engage with your organization. Lots of organizations are including webinars or e-learning within the membership package. Different models are being used:  

  • offer an all access pass to the total e-learning catalog 
  • offer a pass for a particular delivery method 
  • issue a particular number of tokens or credits 
  • offer access to the live content for free, but offering paid access to other options are paid, like CE credits or OnDemand versions of the program   

You may even choose to offer one webinar, like a town hall, free for members, and offer other programming as paid options. This will give exposure to learners who might not normally register for this delivery method which can help them gain confidence in the process and platform. 

5. Subscription

Allowing the learners to consume all of the content through a subscription is an easy way to ensure loyalty. You can give this option to only members or open up to non-members as well. In most cases, when you sell a content subscription, most of the buyers will only consume a small amount of content. Don’t get me wrong, you’ll have a handful that will consume a ton of content but most will not. This will make your profit margins higher as well, based on how you plan to pay your SME’s. You can check-out this blog post to learn more about strategies for paying your SME’s.

Regardless of the pricing strategy you choose, offering more value to your constituents through a different delivery method is so important. It helps to ensure your organization is well rounded and serving all members’ learning preferences. Remember to look at your pricing strategy for webinars as it aligns with all of your other offerings. Don’t make it stick out like a sore thumb and don’t undersell the quality content you are bringing to the table. Pricing it relative to your other learning products will ensure that your learners see it as complementary to your suite of learning opportunities.  

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