Setting the right price for your online course can be challenging. You want to maximize profits for your hard work and at the same time offer as much value as you can to your students. This guide will walk you through the process on how to price your online course effectively, balancing critical factors like perceived value, market trends, and your unique content offerings. Get ready to learn actionable pricing strategies that can enhance your course’s “selling power” while at the same time ensure a sustainable revenue stream.

Here are the key takeaways we’ll present to you over the course of this article. These are all important to consider and document while formuating your course plans and pricing.

1. Identify your target audience and ensure your course price aligns with their expectations of what they will pay and the perceived value of your content. The value must match up to what is charged for the program.  If you are charging a premium, there must be considerable perceived value.

2. Utilize multiple pricing tiers, payment plans, and dynamic pricing strategies to make your courses more accessible, cater to different budgets, and respond to market demand.

3. Strike a balance between affordability and exclusivity, considering premium pricing for an elevated perception of quality, and regularly adjust prices based on market positioning and student feedback.

Online Course Pricing – Audience & Value

At the heart of any successful online course business lies a well-crafted pricing strategy. The right course price can be the difference between a thriving business and a struggling one. It’s not about pulling a random number out of a hat, nor is it solely about covering your costs or matching competitor prices. It’s about finding that sweet spot that reflects the value of your course, resonates with your target audience, and keeps your business thriving.

A comprehensive understanding of the art of online course pricing involves identifying your target audience, gauging the perceived value of your course, and understanding the relationship between price and content quality.


Identifying Your Target Audience

The first step in your pricing journey involves identifying your target audience. Who are the potential students for your online course? What is their financial capacity? What are their preferences and behaviors? Understanding your target audience is the cornerstone of determining the price points of your online course.

The price of your course should reflect your audience’s willingness and financial capacity to pay. By financial capacity, we simply mean what can they afford? Is your course aimed at mostly business professionals looking for continued education? Or high school graduates looking for their first job? These audiences may have different budgets and different expectations on what they can afford.

With this mind, your marketing strategy should always directly tailor to your target audience. It’s about creating a sense of exclusivity ensuring your course content and marketing speak directly to your ideal customer. They should feel like you are speaking directly to them, and that your course is perfect for them and their situation in life.

Gauging Perceived Value & Relationship Between Price and Content Quality

In your online course pricing strategy, perceived value plays a pivotal role. It’s about how your potential students perceive the value of your course. Are they seeing it as high-quality content worth investing in? The perceived value of an online course is intricately linked to the depth, relevance, and interaction embedded in the course content.

How can you increase perceived value?  Here are some things you can offer…

1. Exclusive content that can’t be found with any of your competitors.

2. Advanced resources like high-quality, well-produced video lessons, live coaching, live webinars,  or even 1-on-1 coaching.

3. Plenty of supplemental material that facilitates the entire program, like worksheets and checklists.

The quality of the content your online course provides has a strong correlation with its price. High-quality course elements such as videos, worksheets, and interactive features justify higher prices by enhancing the learning experience. The depth and quality of course material can justify higher pricing by increasing perceived value and enabling differentiation from competing courses.

Course personalization and the promise of tangible outcomes contribute to elevating the course’s worth and support the argument for a higher priced course. For instance, instructors with notable expertise and courses with highly specific topics can command premium prices due to the increased perceived value they offer.

Crafting a Winning Pricing Strategy

Key strategies for crafting a winning pricing strategy include exploring multiple pricing tiers, implementing payment plans, and utilizing dynamic pricing techniques. By strategically combining these elements, you can create a comprehensive pricing strategy that increases revenue and ensures the sustainability of your online course business.


Exploring Multiple Pricing Tiers

Multiple pricing tiers can be a game-changer for your online course. Offering your course at different price points with various features and functionalities can cater to a wider range of customers. This strategy allows for a broader range of budgets and needs, making your courses accessible to a wider audience.

Students might be encouraged to opt for a higher-priced tier to gain additional value if different levels of access or content packages are offered.

Take for example Succeed Courses which is for people who are about to have or already had knee replacement surgery. The author Samantha Smith, who is a professional physical therapist, offers various packages depending on exactly what stage you are at with your surgery to be purchased separately or a bundle package. 

Or look at Amy Lang, with Moxie Club, who works in the weight loss niche for women.  She has designed multiple options including working 1-on-1 as well a signature online course.

Implementing Payment Plans

The affordability of your online course can be significantly increased through payment plans. By allowing students to spread the cost over time, payment plans can make high-cost courses more affordable by letting customers spread out their payments, similar to a credit card, except you aren’t charging interest.

It also presents a lower barrier to entry for customers who aren’t confortable giving up a large portion of money up front. Customers who are ‘on the fence’ might feel more comfortable paying out a potion of the course first to discover the program’s value.  Then once value is reaslized, the remaining payments are easy to make.

When using payment plans it’s also great to consider adding a “one-time” price at a discounted amount. This well help drive sales for full price for those people who don’t want to miss a discount!

Dynamic Pricing Techniques

Dynamic pricing, a technique that facilitates price adjustment based on demand, user behavior, or market conditions, can be a valuable tool. This pricing model responds to real-time market dynamics, enabling course creators to capture optimal price points by leveraging fluctuations in demand.

For example, many creators close their courses for a time period and then open them up for short periods at time.  Further, they may give a discount for ‘early-bird’ access once registration opens up for a short period like one week.  Then defaults to regular price for another time period, say another week.  Then they close it down and at this point gather email addresses for anyone interested in when the next openings are available.

This strategy is very effective at generating buzz and sales through FOMO and scarcity.

Balancing Affordability and Exclusivity

Balancing affordability and exclusivity in online course pricing can pose a challenge. You want your course to be as exclusive as possible, which allows you to charge more, while also maintaining affordability to maximize reach.  This balance is essential to ensure that your course is accessible to a wide audience without compromising its perceived value or quality.

There are a couple of ways to make this easier.

The first is to use multiple pricing tiers which we have already touched on, where your higher-end tier will ask for premium pricing. Premium pricing can elevate the perception of the course and attract customers who are willing to pay more for perceived additional value or exclusivity.


Another way is to increase perceived value high enough to justify premium pricing.  You can raise your perceived value, thus justifying preumium pricing, through market positioning.  

Market positioning strategies can help you find your own unique place in your market as compared to your competitors.  It’s the process of creating an image for your company and your course in the minds of your target audience. 

You’ll need to consider assessing market authorities and competition. That is, what are your competitors charging for their offers? What do my potential customers have for alternatives to you? Do you offer more value? How can you position yourself better or differently? What mesaging do they convey?

You can achieve this through your messaging, addressing customers needs, product quality, branding, and pricing. This again relies on your understanding of your target audience. Compose a unique product with messaging that speaks to your audience.  And develop a brand that communicates quality and success that positions your course as high-end and thus demanding premium pricing.

Premium Pricing VS Affordability.

Do you want to sell your course to 100 people for $50 each or to 5 people for $1000 each?  Which is better?

There are many things to consider here. First and foremost, how much time is required from you in order to deliver your course? Your time is limited, so if lots of personal, 1-on-1 attention is required you will not be able to accommodate to thousands of new customers per month.  But if your material is mostly selft-taught and on-demand then it will require less of your personal time.

Don’t confuse self-taught and on-demand with low perceived value though! A self-service course is easier to scale and easier to deliver but can still deliver incredibale amounts of value. It’s just a bit more difficult to communicate that. This is a huge topic for another time, but something you must consider.

In general, adopting premium pricing leads to higher profit margins, contributing to a more profitable and sustainable online course business model. Higher course prices tend to attract more motivated and committed students who are invested in the content and take their learning seriously. Thus, premium pricing not only enhances profitability but also improves the quality of your student base.

However, their expectation will be greater. So you will need to be able to deliver the value that they are expecting for a premium price. If the value is not there then expect to have issues with unhappy customers.  

There is a balance to work out here which can and should be adjusted over time.

The Lifecycle of an Online Course: Launch to Growth

Now we switch gears to discuss how your pricing strategy can and should change from launch to growth stages. The journey of navigating the lifecycle of an online course involves strategic pricing decisions at each stage. From pre-launch pricing tactics to post-launch price adjustments, every phase of the lifecycle plays a crucial role in the success of your online course business.


Pre-Launch Pricing Tactics

Pre-launch pricing tactics can assist in gaining initial traction before the official launch of your course into the market. Offering early bird discounts and limited-time offers during the pre-launch phase can encourage early registrations and generate initial revenue.

For instance, starting with a lower pre-launch price can help new creators build their audience and provide room for price adjustments as their market presence grows. Utilizing time-sensitive coupons is another effective method to incentivize purchases within a specific timeframe, creating a sense of urgency that can lead to higher initial sales.

Post-Launch Price Adjustments

The post-launch phase holds crucial importance in the lifecycle of an online course. It’s a time to reflect on the initial response, gather student feedback, and adjust your pricing strategy accordingly. It’s important to stay flexible and responsive to the market demand.

Instructors might justify a price increase post-launch when feedback indicates their course provides significant value, enhanced content, and an improved learning experience. Regular re-evaluation of your pricing strategy post-launch is recommended, considering adjustments at set intervals or in response to enrollment milestones.

Strategies That Drive High Conversion Rates

The ultimate goal of any online course business is to drive a high conversion rate. Implementing strategies that drive high conversion rates, such as referral programs and limited-time offers, can significantly boost your course sales.

For instance, implementing referral programs that offer discounts or other incentives for successful referrals can harness the loyalty of current customers, encourage upselling, and generate new customer leads. Similarly, partners and affiliates are more interested in selling premium products because they yield a higher profit margin, incentivizing them to promote these products more effectively leading to higher sales conversions.

Get your students and customers to be advocates and even evangelists for your programs. It’s a win for all parties involved!

Scaling Up: Adding More Courses

When your initial course gains traction, it paves the way to consider scaling up by adding more courses. As new courses are added to your online portfolio, it’s crucial for pricing to be consistent with your brand’s existing value proposition.

Implementing a tiered pricing strategy can be beneficial when scaling up course offerings, as it allows creators to cater to various segments of the market with different versions of their course at multiple price points. This strategy not only adds variety to your course offerings but also opens up new revenue streams.

Navigating Discounts and Promotions

Discounts and promotions can serve as effective tools in your marketing arsenal and their strategic use is essential. Offering discounts during launch or pre-launch periods can attract considerable interest from potential students and boost initial sales.

However, too many discounts can devalue your course and hurt your brand image. Therefore, it’s important to carefully consider the timing and scope of discounts and leverage limited-time offers to maintain profitability and a strong brand image.

Timing and Scope of Discounts

In your pricing strategy, the timing and scope of discounts holds crucial importance. Offering discounts at strategic moments can help determine the course’s most effective price point while considering long-term customer loyalty and maintaining a strong brand image.

To preserve and enhance the perceived value of a course, it’s advised to offer discounts sparingly. Make them a special events, and it doesn’t have to revolve around a holiday or something similar. You can create urgency using psychological triggers, which combined with a discount can be a powerful selling tool.

Leveraging Limited-Time Offers

In your pricing strategy, limited-time offers can serve as a powerful tool. They create a strong sense of urgency, encouraging students to make quicker purchase decisions. Employ urgency-inducing language and visual cues, such as countdown timers and vibrant colors, to enhance the perception of urgency and prompt immediate action.

Leverage social proof by showcasing real-time purchases or positive reviews, and send reminders to sustain the momentum and validate the popularity of the offer. Include additional benefits such as bonuses or special discounts for early adopters, reinforcing the sense of exclusivity without reducing the actual course price.

If your offer is time-limited, bs sure to stay true to that. Claiming an offer is time-limited and not adhering to that messaging can and will hurt your brand image.


Pricing your online course is a strategic process that requires careful consideration of many factors, from understanding your target audience to gauging perceived value, from crafting winning pricing strategies to balancing affordability and exclusivity. This comprehensive guide has provided you with expert strategies to master the art of online course pricing.

Whether you’re launching your first online course or looking to scale up your online course business, a well-crafted pricing strategy is key to your success. Remember, the right price is not just about covering costs or making a profit; it’s about reflecting the true value of your course and resonating with your target audience. So go ahead, apply these strategies, and see your online course business thrive!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the average price of online classes?

Difficult to say as there are no official studies on this that we’ve found. That’s probably because it’s quite a broad question. Depending on the length of course, complexity, and subject matter courses can range from as little oas $10 to tens of thousands of dollars.  To get a good idea for your own course, check your competitors.  

How much do you make selling online courses?

You can easily make at least a few thousand dollars per month selling online courses full-time. Starting out part-time may bring in a few hundred dollars initially, but this varies based on factors like course price, audience, and marketing skills. Aim high and stay committed!

How do I sell my online course successfully?

Selling your course successfully means you have identified your ideal customer and created a every high quality course that targets them specifically. 

Then you’ll need a quality marketing plan in place to understand how to sell an online course.

Why is it important to identify the target audience in online course pricing?

Identifying the target audience in online course pricing is important because it helps determine the right price and tailor marketing strategies to their preferences and behaviors, ultimately increasing the course’s success.

What is the relationship between price and content quality in online courses?

In online courses, there is a strong relationship between price and content quality. Higher prices often reflect the inclusion of high-quality elements such as videos, worksheets, and interactive features, which enhance the learning experience.

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