Selling online courses along with the membership is a model used by many successful LMS websites. We all have been in the dilemma of choosing between single payment courses and subscription model.
One off payments have the perk of getting a good amount on money at once, while subscriptions offer recurring revenue. If you are caught in this situation, we have got you covered. Here are our five strategies to blend both Online Course and Membership models to generate hybrid monetization.
Cross trade strategy
How to sell Online courses along with the Membership?
1. Cross-Trade Strategy for Online Courses
This strategy works well if your course and membership are built around the same or similar topic. You can keep both of them as standalone products but you can also cross-trade them with some promotion. For example, let’s say you have a course on healthy eating habits and you also run a membership site for a fitness club.
While selling the course, you can market your membership by offering “If you buy this membership along with the course, you will get the first two months subscription completely free.”
You can also pitch it like this, “ Buy the membership and get community support along with our expert advice to carry on good eating habits.” You can also offer a discount on either product when purchased with the other.
2. Crumble Strategy
In this strategy, you build membership content and then take a crumb from the whole membership package, like a mini-course, and sell it as a standalone product.
It helps in various ways. First, you can target those people who want to purchase a single product with a one-time payment rather than a monthly or yearly fee. Secondly, it helps to promote your membership.
You can offer a mini-course for a higher one-time fee, let’s say $80, and membership with much other stuff for a $50 monthly fee. If they admire the course and are looking for more courses, they are more likely to join your membership as well.
3. Synchronic Strategy
You can also sell both the online course and membership simultaneously. Usually, when a person buys a course, once it is finished, he is on his own to implement what he has learned. In the synchronic model, you sell membership (for a certain period) along with the course.
They can get extra resources, Q&A sessions, community support, webinars, etc. to help them practically imply whatever they are learning in the course. It helps the users get a taste of what premium looks like and become permanent members.
4. Rear Guard Strategy
The main focus of this model is to pitch membership to the users at the end of a course. If you offer a course in a limited time frame and start it once all the learners are on board, the rear-guard strategy is quite a good approach. Once all the learners are finishing off their course, you can offer a free subscription to your membership for a small-time like 7 days.
If you do not want to sell the whole package without any fee, you can offer a small portion like extra resources or a weekly invitation to join a Q&A session just to give them a feeling of membership. It will also help to build good customer relations by offering an extra benefit.
5. Upsell Strategy
You might be thinking these blended models work well if you have multiple courses. You can either sell them separately or offer all of them in your membership area just like the Fader Pro example. What if you do not have a huge course library but want to sell membership.
This is the perk of membership that it is not just about content but building a community is of the same significance. If you have one course which covers all the details and content required, you do not need to build more. You can offer extra support and features in the membership area like,
- Q&A sessions
- Live workshops
- Interview sessions
- Forums for group discussions
- Invitation to a private Facebook group
- Premium Video tutorials
Now, you are well aware of the five strategies to use a blended monetization model, where you can get an immediate income injection as well as recurring income. However, when deciding the best strategy, keep in mind your target audience, resources, type of courses you are providing, and ultimate user satisfaction and value proposition. Whatever you sell, people buy the value, not the feature. Be that value and benefit your community. Keep growing…