🚀 Ignite your growth: Discover 30+ new tools to get ahead in our new Ecwid Igniter. Learn more →
Everything you need to sell online

Set up an online store in minutes to sell on a website, social media, or marketplaces.

an illustration of a video with an dancing lesson with a balerina on the background

How To Price Your Online Course: 5 Pricing Models

13 min read

Quick answer

Choosing the right price for your online course you have to consider many things: vale for the students, cost recovery, revenue and competition. Taking all the aspects into account, you can go with 5 pricing models:

  1. Freemium
  2. One-time payment
  3. Subscription
  4. Tiered pricing
  5. Pay-Per-Module

Continue reading to learn more about pricing your online courses the right way.

Pricing a course is a crucial step in the process of sharing your knowledge and expertise with the world. Creating and marketing an online course involves multiple expenses, including content creation, platform fees, course incentives, your time, and more.

Knowing how to price your online course properly ensures that you’re covering these costs and receiving enough profit to continue promoting it.

Pricing a course is not just about putting a number on your content; it’s about understanding the value you provide, the topic of your course,  and finding a balance that reflects that value while remaining attractive to your target audience.

In this post, we’ll take some time to explore the various factors that influence course pricing, strategies for determining the right price point, and tactics for maximizing revenue while ensuring accessibility for your audience.

Whether you’re a seasoned educator or launching your first course, this guide will provide you with valuable insights and practical tips to help you price your course effectively.

Let’s dive in and unlock the secrets to pricing your course effectively!

How to sell online
Tips from e-commerce experts for small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs.
Please enter a valid email address

The Importance Behind Understanding How to Price Your Course

As the first section of this guide, we’ll begin by diving into the importance of understanding the value your course offers to your target audience.

Assuming that you already know how to create your online course or have created it, let’s take a look at how to identify the unique benefits and outcomes that come with pricing your course properly and how to communicate this value effectively.

Understanding these factors will help you make informed decisions when determining the price of your course.

Perceived value

The price you set for your course affects how potential students perceive its value. Pricing it too low may give the impression that the content is of low quality or lacks depth, while pricing it too high may deter potential students from enrolling.

Finding the right balance ensures that students perceive your course as valuable and worth the investment.

Revenue generation

Pricing your course properly is essential for maximizing revenue generation. Setting the price too low may result in missed opportunities to generate significant income from your expertise and hard work. Conversely, pricing it too high may limit the number of students who enroll.

By finding the optimal price point, you can attract a larger audience while still generating substantial revenue.

A starting rule is that if you’re convinced your course pricing is too low or too high, it likely is. We’ll take some time to further discuss too-low or too-high prices in one of our next sections.

Cost recovery

Developing and marketing an online course involves various costs, including content creation, platform fees, marketing expenses, and your time.

Pricing your course properly ensures that you can recover these costs and achieve a return on your investment.

Competitive positioning

Understanding the pricing landscape in your niche allows you to position your course competitively. Researching similar courses can help you determine what price points are common and where your course fits within the market.

This knowledge enables you to set a price that is competitive yet reflective of the unique value proposition of your course.

Brand perception

The price you set for your course can influence how your brand is perceived within your industry.

How to Price Your Digital Course: 5 Pricing Models

As we briefly discussed in our previous section, pricing your course effectively can make a significant difference in its success. Finding the right balance between affordability and value is crucial for attracting students while ensuring your course remains profitable.

There are several pricing models you can explore when pricing your course. Some common options include:

1. Freemium or Free trial

Offers a portion of the course content for free or provides a limited-time trial period before requiring payment for full access.

  • Benefits: Lowers the barrier to entry, attracting more potential students. Allows students to experience the course’s value before committing to a purchase.

2. One-time payment

Students pay a single fee to access the course content indefinitely. ​​

  • Benefits include offering simplicity and transparency for students. Plus, it provides immediate revenue for course creators.
  • Considerations: It may limit accessibility for students who prefer payment flexibility. Requires continuous marketing efforts to attract new enrollees.

3. Subscription

Students pay a recurring fee (e.g., monthly or annually) for ongoing access to course materials and updates.

  • Benefits: Generates predictable recurring revenue. Encourages long-term engagement and commitment from students.
  • Considerations: Requires consistent delivery of new content or updates to retain subscriber interest. This may result in higher churn rates if students perceive the ongoing value as insufficient.

4. Tiered pricing

Offer different pricing tiers with varying access levels or additional features.

  • Benefits: Appeals to different segments of your audience with diverse budget constraints and needs. Encourages upselling to higher tiers for increased revenue.
  • Considerations: Requires clear differentiation between tiers to justify price discrepancies. It can add complexity to the enrollment process if not implemented effectively.

5. Pay-Per-Module

Charge students based on the specific modules or sections of the course they wish to access.

  • Benefits: Provides flexibility for students to focus on specific topics of interest. Allows course creators to monetize individual modules separately.
  • Considerations: Requires careful module design and sequencing to ensure a cohesive learning experience. This may result in lower overall revenue if students only purchase select modules.

When selecting a pricing model for your course, consider factors such as your course content complexity, audience preferences, revenue goals, and long-term sustainability.

Choose a pricing model that aligns with your course structure and the preferences of your target audience. Experimentation and flexibility may be necessary to find the optimal pricing model that maximizes both revenue and student satisfaction.

You can also choose to launch your course with a promotional pricing strategy to generate excitement and attract early adopters.

Ultimately, find the best platforms for selling your online course that align with your pricing strategy. Offer limited-time discounts, early bird pricing, or special bonuses to encourage students to enroll quickly. Be transparent about the promotional pricing termination to create urgency.

Define Your Unique Value Proposition

What sets your course apart from others in the market?

Highlighting your course’s unique value proposition will justify its price to potential students. Whether it’s exclusive content, personalized support, or tangible outcomes, clearly communicate the benefits of enrolling in your course.

When prospective learners understand the unique benefits and outcomes they will gain from enrolling in your course, they are more likely to perceive it as valuable and be willing to pay the price you set.

a picture of online courses previews on the ecwid academy website

Ecwid ecommerce academy, for instance, offers free online courses for everyone who want to start their own online business. The main value of the academy is the accessibility to the vital information on running an online store provided by the industry experts.

Always Test and Monitor Your Pricing Strategy

Continuously monitor and evaluate your pricing strategy based on sales data, student feedback, and market trends. Experiment with different price points, models, and promotional tactics to optimize your pricing strategy over time.

The market for online courses is constantly evolving, with new competitors entering the space and consumer preferences changing over time.

By monitoring pricing strategies, you can stay informed about shifts in the market landscape, identify emerging trends, and adapt your pricing strategy accordingly to remain competitive.

A few examples related to monitoring pricing strategy include:

Regularly review the pricing of similar courses in your niche. Visit competitor websites, subscribe to their email lists, and follow them on social media to stay updated on their pricing changes, promotions, and discounts. Take note of any pricing trends or strategies that may impact your own pricing decisions.

Pay attention to feedback from your existing students or potential customers regarding your pricing. Monitor comments, reviews, and inquiries to understand their perceptions of your pricing and whether they find it fair and reasonable.

Use this feedback to make informed adjustments to your pricing strategy as needed.

Conduct A/B tests to experiment with different pricing strategies and measure their impact on customer behavior.

Look for insights into pricing trends, consumer behavior, and best practices in online course pricing. Use this information to benchmark your own pricing strategy against industry standards and identify areas for improvement.

By monitoring pricing strategies, you can gain insights into how consumers respond to different price points, discounts, and promotional offers. This information can help you optimize your pricing strategy to better align with customer preferences and maximize sales.

Find and Sell Only to people Who Value What You Have to Offer

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, selling your course only to people who truly value it can be a strategic approach to ensure a higher success rate and better student satisfaction.

When students truly value your course, they are more likely to be engaged and motivated to participate actively in the learning process. They’ll be eager to apply the knowledge and skills they gain, leading to better outcomes and satisfaction.

Also, satisfied students who value your course are more likely to recommend it to others in their network.

Word-of-mouth recommendations from enthusiastic students can be a powerful marketing tool, helping to attract more students who are likely to appreciate the value of your course.

Key Takeaways When It Comes to Pricing Your Online Course

As a course creator, you may feel a sense of attachment to your content and expertise, while also experiencing apprehension about how your pricing decisions will be perceived by your audience.

On the other hand, potential students may feel excited about the opportunity to learn and grow but may also feel hesitant or skeptical about investing their hard-earned money in your course.

Remind yourself of the value that your course provides to students. Reflect on the knowledge, skills, and transformative experiences that learners will gain by enrolling in your course. This confidence in the value of your offering will help you feel more assured in your pricing decisions.

By following the strategies outlined in this guide—such as conducting market research, understanding your audience’s needs, and experimenting with different pricing models—you can confidently set a price that reflects the quality and value of your course while maximizing your revenue potential.

Remember, pricing is not a one-size-fits-all approach, so don’t be afraid to adjust your pricing strategy as needed based on feedback and market conditions.

Here’s to your success in pricing your online course effectively and achieving your goals!


Table of contents

Sell online

With Ecwid Ecommerce, you can easily sell anywhere, to anyone — across the internet and around the world.

About the author

Max has been working in the ecommerce industry for the last six years helping brands to establish and level-up content marketing and SEO. Despite that, he has experience with entrepreneurship. He is a fiction writer in his free time.

Ecommerce that has your back

So simple to use – even my most technophobic clients can manage. Easy to install, quick to set up. Light years ahead of other shop plugins.
I’m so impressed I’ve recommended it to my website clients and am now using it for my own store along with four others for which I webmaster. Beautiful coding, excellent top-notch support, great documentation, fantastic how-to videos. Thank you so much Ecwid, you rock!
I’ve used Ecwid and I love the platform itself. Everything is so simplified it’s insane. I love how you have different options to choose shipping carriers, to be able to put in so many different variants. It’s a pretty open e-commerce gateway.
Easy to use, affordable (and a free option if starting off). Looks professional, many templates to select from. The App is my favorite feature as I can manage my store right from my phone. Highly recommended 👌👍
I like that Ecwid was easy to start and to use. Even for a person like me, without any technical background. Very well written help articles. And the support team is the best for my opinion.
For everything it has to offer, ECWID is incredibly easy to set up. Highly recommend! I did a lot of research and tried about 3 other competitors. Just try ECWID and you'll be online in no time.

Your ecommerce dreams start here

By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.
Your Privacy

When you visit any website, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. This information might be about you, your preferences or your device and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to. The information does not usually directly identify you, but it can give you a more personalized web experience. Because we respect your right to privacy, you can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings. However, blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. More information

More information

Strictly Necessary Cookies (Always active)
These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not then work. These cookies do not store any personally identifiable information.
Targeting Cookies
These cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.
Functional Cookies
These cookies enable the website to provide enhanced functionality and personalisation. They may be set by us or by third-party providers whose services we have added to our pages. If you do not allow these cookies then some or all of these services may not function properly.
Performance Cookies
These cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources, so we can measure and improve the performance of our site. They help us know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. If you do not allow these cookies, we will not know when you have visited our site.