A time-honored principle of commerce everywhere is that if a buyer perceives that they are getting a special deal or something extra for the same money, they will be much more likely to buy than if they are given a flat price. We all see it every day when we shop. Even if you have carefully built up the value of your Moodle course with good marketing and written an irresistible course description, there will always be some people who want an offer or some extra value to seal the deal – it’s just human nature.
You can entice more people to buy if you manipulate your pricing in a few ways. Your ability to do this will depend on the ecommerce gateway you are using. With straightforward PayPal, for example, you can manually alter the prices and manually reset them, but a more sophisticated ecommerce system will allow more flexibility and help generate more sales.
Here are some ways to manipulate your pricing to drive sales growth. See which ones you can do with what you’ve got.
- Coupons and special offers. If your checkout system can be set to accept coupon codes for discounts, set up a coupon code and send it out in your newsletter (here’s an article on how to create effective newsletters). Or place the code on your website. Offer a fairly generous discount – 5% isn’t that tempting really, so go for 15% or more.
- Offer course packages. Bundle a related course in with the purchase to sweeten the deal. It can be free or half price, but make it a quality course, not an afterthought. It’s important to deliver the value you have promised, as this can drive good word-of-mouth and customer loyalty.
- Give limited offers. This can be applied to the above as well to create urgency. Limited offers could include early bird discounts for a new course, a Summer Special, or any time period that is appropriate for your course or courses. Stage your own ‘Black Friday’ at a suitable time and generate more income.
- Offer group discounts. Sometimes a company will want to buy multiple seats for its employees, or a group of learners might club together to take your course. Offer tiered discounting to encourage large purchases, such as 15% for 5 places, 25% for 10 places, 35% for 20 places and so on. If your ecommerce system can handle this automatically it makes it easier. Otherwise it may be possible manually, or by billing the customer by invoice and doing the enrollments yourself.
- Offer membership discounts. This can be achieved by giving a discount to members of particular organizations likely to use your course, or by building your own membership database. The latter can be as simple as offering a reduced course price to those who sign up to your newsletter.
- Put a timer on it. A fun way of creating urgency is to have a countdown timer on your website course page showing the price going up as the hours tick down. This can be repeated every week or month. It’s interesting how people will bookmark your course page and return when they know the price will be lowest. There are even sites with ‘yo-yo’ timers that go up and down, which are a way of gamifying the buying experience: buyers watch and wait for the optimum time to buy. This style will not suit every type of learning content, but it’s memorable and has been shown to work in internet retail.
Have we missed anything? Do you use any of these tactics, and what is your experience? Reply in the comments!