Decreasing my course's selling price + process I followed

by zer0_snot. Posted on Sep 09, 2020    1    27


I created an online course (with USP validation) that I had put up on sale for $49. I conducted a couple of free multiple-beta rounds and kept improving the course for 6 months. Kept working on people's feedback.

A time came when the beta feedback was quite positive and they also validated the price tag of $49 to be reasonable for this course.

Then I setup facebook ads and started getting clicks for my sales page (for which I paid $1000 to a pro-rated copywriter for setting it up). However, no one purchased the course. A couple of people reached the checkout page never completed the transaction. This has been heartbreaking.

I've been solopreneuring since the last 18 months with 6-12 hours a day besides my day job in order to reach here. I've put in a lot of hard work, I've done my time in the trenches and given it everything I can but it's heartbreaking to see no one buying it at this price.

I'm trying to setup an email funnel now but everyday I'm running into new complications with email server setup / content issues, setting up A/B testing etc.

So I'm now considering whether I should start selling the course for $5 to start with. I'm bleeding on my funds and as I get real customers I can keep getting their feedback to keep improving the course. The small trickle of money can help paying for some of the costs.

Meanwhile, I can keep tinkering with my email funnel + sales page as well based on these purchases. As I get more feedback, keep improving the quality of the course I'll raise the price slowly.

My question is this:

  • How does this pricing strategy sound?
  • Is this a reasonable way to start selling or am I making some crucial mistake here?
  • If this is the wrong approach then what is the right approach?

Comments

cofferlattice 2

When you’re considering pricing check out “Porters Generic Strategy”

Basically it says you can charge a lot if you’re differentiated but you can also decide to compete just on price.

So if your course is unique you’re probably undercharging if it’s generic a cheaper price is a good idea.

bmt96 2

Maybe try more marketing plaforms? Instagram, Youtube? Influencers or pages in your field could really make the difference. And trust me there are plenty of them oriented towards technical content. Run a blog, discuss the topic. Use those feedbacks as references.

For your first sales maybe check Amazon's book publishing program for Kindle. Put your course in pdf, and use affiliate links. You said you need more sales to know the right price, variate the platforms and see which one works.

You could start there and the move towards Shopify.

Don't lower your price yet.

  zer0_snot 2

I'm not a marketing guy and I'm still trying my hands at email marketing (which is pretty huge already).

I'm getting burnt out and also there's a lot of people teaching this for free:

The reason I think that the price could be too high is because I'm offering a Python course.

I'm not sure how familiar you are in the field of programming languages but believe me when I say this : there are tonnes of Python courses out there currently and the market seems pretty saturated. Then Google / Microsoft and some other big brands started offering their entire courses for free. Plus there's a bunch of established big brands that are also giving away their courses for free.

On Udemy whatever courses do sell sell between $5-$15.

What do you feel? Thanks a lot for responding back BTW!

bmt96 1

Programming languages are not really my field, but languages are. I did though some courses on codeacademy.

If you are getting close to a burn out, take a step back, breath and look from the perspective of the buyer.

The market is not going anywhere.

If you haven't already done it, ask yourself a few questions: Would you pay $49 for a course? When was the last time you paid for a course? Besides information, what other things does your course offer(cerificates, experiece, interactive exercises)?(whatever is your reply, you already have a starting point for your marketing campaign)

When was the last time you bought something from e-mail marketing? Do your friends, colleagues, family members buy from e-mail marketing?

As a buyer, when I look into a course I want it to make me do stuff, to make me apply what I'm learning, I want it to be practical.

You can have a mediocre product, as long as you market it well, you might make tons of sales compared to a high-quality one.

The market is not going anywhere. Don't focus on only one platform and ignore the rest. Keep an eye on everything.

Why not selling it on Udemy? I don't really know the platform, but I suppose you can get a few ideas on how does your course sell. After a while, use the money you made, add some missing features, upgrade it and sell it at your asking price on other platforms. And it's still a profit. Sell it as a 5-day course, follow up with your clients, be available, bring human touch in a technical field.

If you are not a marketing guy and you don't enjoy doing it, that's perfectly fine. You may come with the product and have someone else sell it. There are plently of freelancers who occupy themselves with only that.

Don't forget that potential buyers want to be impressed. Packaging, offers, notoriety, reputation, promises.

Edit to add: You can sell it even on Skillshare. Hire someone to record the voice-over and make a power-point to narate/present the course.

ChristopherGS 2

A few things to consider:

  • Offer a "mini" version of the course for free
  • Offer it for free for the first 5 users to sign up in exchange for feedback (you do know where your target students hang out, right?)
  • Rather than permanently dropping the price, run a launch sale for a fixed period of time (suggest a 50 percent discount, rather than dropping from $49 to $5 which is jarringly large)

    Can you talk more about the course and your target students?
  zer0_snot 1

>Offer a "mini" version of the course for free

I tried giving away the first chapter for free. And that did not result in sales. Perhaps I could try giving away a mini-version for free. I like this idea!

But which method do you think has a better potential of making sales to cold leads?

  • FB Ads --> Mini-course for free --> Buy main course for $20 (reduced price)
  • FB Ads --> Buy main course for $5 --> keep getting feedback from real customers / keep improving course quality / use that money to keep upgrading the site + slowly increase price until I reach $20

    > Offer it for free for the first 5 users to sign up in exchange for feedback (you do know where your target students hang out, right?)

    Yeah. I did this for 6 months when I conducted beta rounds. Got a pretty good response in these rounds.

    > Rather than permanently dropping the price, run a launch sale for a fixed period of time (suggest a 50 percent discount, rather than dropping from $49 to $5 which is jarringly large)

    Yeah the drop seems large. But is it really a drop from $49 --> $5?

    AFAIK, the price of the product is what the customers are willing to pay for it. If they're not willing to pay $49 then it was never worth $49 to begin with. Until the first few sales are made I cannot know the correct price. So it's neither a drop nor an increase in price until the fist sales are made.

    What do you think?
ChristopherGS 2

You should never trust if people say "I am willing to pay X dollars for Y product". The data that matters is whether they buy it or not. From the sounds of things you've already conducted beta rounds (I assume not with friends and family, they will just lie to you). So I guess there are four possibilities:

  1. You are not reaching the right people (again, who are your target students?)
  2. You are reaching the right people but not enough of them - the conversion rate simply isn't that high
  3. The product/copy is not compelling (i.e. your beta testers were either not similar to your current target customers, or they lied).
  4. The price point is genuinely too high

    I think 4 is the least likely, but hard to say without knowing more about what you are offering.
  zer0_snot 1

Thanks for replying! All these points make sense. The beta participants were all strangers to me but people interested in the topic. Yeah, I've taken their feedback with a grain of salt. But one thing that I had seen is that in the first round all participants would generally have a negative feedback. I kept working on these feedback until I started getting positive feedback and validation for the price range.

I still don't trust that price tag as you mention and I'm trying to figure out what to price it in the beginnng.

It is hard to decide about each of these points. Perhaps each of these points are valid to a certain extent.

The reason I think that the price could be too high is because I'm offering a Python course.

I'm not sure how familiar you are in the field of programming languages but believe me when I say this : there are tonnes of Python courses out there currently and the market seems pretty saturated. Then Google / Microsoft and some other big brands started offering their entire courses for free. Plus there's a bunch of established big brands that are also giving away their courses for free.

On Udemy whatever courses do sell sell between $5-$15.

What do you feel? Thanks a lot for responding back BTW!

ChristopherGS 1

I teach a couple of ML courses (Python based), on both Udemy and my own site. People buy on Udemy because my co-author and I occupy a particular niche (ML deployments) and do it better than others. People buy on my own site because they read my content and think it's good enough to trust me.

Let's take other examples: Michael Kennedy (host of "Talk Python To Me" podcast) - all his courses are $49-$69 (https://training.talkpython.fm/) and that's because people listen to his podcast and trust him.

Why should someone trust you to teach them about Python? Do you create content (e.g. a newsletter with an email list)? Do you contribute to open-source - this works really well for Anthony Sottile, who's parlayed his pytest contributor credentials into a v. successful Twitch channel. The point is, there are many ways to do build trust and an audience, but it's a tough sell without it. If you're starting from zero audience a marketplace might be wise - here's a comparison of all the Udemy alternatives, though yes, you'll want to think about a niche/angle.

Happy to help more - just DM me.

sourd1esel 2

Look into funnel Creation. You could also do a webinar. And they sell.

  zer0_snot 1

>Look into funnel Creation. You could also do a webinar. And they sell.

Yeah, I've spent an entire month studying funnels. I've already tried 3 different funnels with zero sales.

Is decreasing the selling price to get your foot in the door a bad idea?

sourd1esel 1

How long did you try each funnel?

sourd1esel 1

What is the course on. I don't think changing the price is a good idea. You could an test the price. What have you done for funnels?

Warped_Mindless 3

I'd have to see all your marketing materials, the website, the course, and other things to see where the major problems are but here is some quick advice...

Up the price to $297.

I know, you think im crazy (and without seeing all of your stuff I may be wrong here) but upping the price has worked for clients of mine.

There is psychology behind it I don't have time to explain. Just try it.

  zer0_snot 1

After upping the price what kind of funnel do you use? I'm sure that we can't sell this directly to cold traffic.

FB Ads --> Sales page (won't work)

I've seen many people pricing stuff at that price. I'm selling a Python course BTW. The market is saturated with Python courses and big brands are giving away their courses for free entirely. Not sure whether upping the price would work considering this. What do you suggest?

Warped_Mindless 1

So a few things...

Answer these questions for yourself:

1) What benefit(s) does your course deliver to the user? Why should they buy it?

2) Why should they buy from you instead of a competitor?

3) Why is the price a great deal?

Use the answers to those three questions to figure out the following:

1) Who is most likely to buy the course? Are you reaching this specific group of people with your marketing?

2) Does your offer appeal to this group of people? Can you make the offer better?

3) Does your course deliever enough value to justify the price? How can you add more value without spending a ton of time or money?

4) Does the sales copy adequately convey all of this information to the prospect in an interesting way?

MisterGGGGG 3

I took courses all the time from www.udemy.com for $20.

Maybe you sell your course for $20 on Udemy and also via FB.

$50 is a bit steep. Maybe break your content up and the more advanced course is $50.

  zer0_snot 1

AFAIK Udemy only supports video courses. My USP doesn't work with video courses. Also, there's an extremely stiff competition for Python courses on Udemy. I'm selling a Python course BTW. :)

So I would need to sell it on my own site.

What do you think about decreasing the price to a $5 for course? Would it be a big mistake for the long term? I could always increase the price slowly every couple of months and reach the $20 price tag again, isn't it?

LinkifyBot 1

I found links in your comment that were not hyperlinked:

sourd1esel 3

You need to find what works.

Maybe you need a free class. Take some of the content, make it free, make it short. After they complete it, then you go in with the sale.

This way they are warm leads.

  zer0_snot 1

This sounds like a good idea as well! But I already tried giving away the first chapter for free. Got a couple of registrations as well. But no conversions. Perhaps, I could offer a different chapter that is more enticing for free. +Something that can be completed within an hour.

They might bite at $49. Or not.

I'm wondering whether I should keep tinkering with all these funnels and might never make a sale or start with a low price like $5, start making some sales and then keep improving the funnel from there.

sourd1esel 1

How much traffic are you getting? How many people are taking the free class ?

LavenderAutist 1

Your pricing might be too low.

  zer0_snot 1

>Your pricing might be too low.

How do we decide this? It feels too low but isn't the price ultimately what the people are willing to pay for it?


It's a Python course BTW. And big giants like Google, Microsoft and lots of other people are giving away their courses for free entirely.

Knowing what the course's domain is how do you feel about the $5 price tag now? :)

LavenderAutist 2

I honestly really don't care what it is.

If the value of your course is really $49, how do you even expect it to make you money.

Focus on high ticket items and value propositions.

Then you might price discount them periodically.

But if you are working with $49 items, how do you ever expect to make enough to make the business anything other than a hobby.

Good luck.

  zer0_snot 1

I created a course on a topic that I truly know very well and I'm passionate about it. I could pick a different niche but I might have lesser interest in the topic compared to this. Isn't that also a factor that we consider for picking the niche?

LavenderAutist 2

Here's my point.

People never pay more than want they value a product at and you need to make enough money on the items you sell to make it worth your time.

It's great that you know your subject but you need to do two things.

Figure out what your potential customers value and make sure that the value is high enough to be over what you can sell your product for make a living.

Increase your credibility so that people will be comfortable paying top dollar for your products.

People never pay more than what they value a product at.