4 Pieces of Advice on LMS Pricing from Your Friendly Neighborhood LearnDash Consultant
As a LearnDash consultant that works with many online course builders, I often get asked, "What LMS platforms do you recommend?" I typically get the question because they are considering LearnDash, but there are others they have found which are possible options too.
Mikelya Fournier wrote an article with answer in the LearnDash blog and I thought I'd offer my two cents on the subject. Let's discuss the pricing and available offerings to give you some advice on selecting the platform that's best for you.
LearnDash Consultant Advice #1
Udemy is a popular teaching platform for online course builders. You can set up an account for free and start selling your courses. Udemy is popular. A lot of people go there looking for courses for learning what they need to learn. Udemy serves to connect students with instructors that can teach them.
It's an option for a lot of people.
The bad news is that Udemy controls all the selling. Prices are low in the $9.99 to $199.99 range. Udemy takes 63% of all sales. Udemy, in their quest to attract more customers, is big on discounting. This means that your $9.99 sells for even less and your take home pay is a percentage of that discounted price.
You might consider Udemy to do some test marketing. You can get your program in front of a lot of students to confirm the interest level in your course. It can be a tool for launching an early version of your course without a big expense and effort.
LearnDash Consultant Advice #2
Some LMS platforms charge per student in your course. They offer low priced starter packages with plenty of features. Their pricing model goes up as you attract more buyers. In Mikelya's article, she tells us about Talent LMS. It offer a lot of really good features. It offers more features than popular platforms like Teachable, Thinktific and Kajabi. Talent LMS pricing starts at $59 a month for 40 users. Then the price goes up $129 for 100 users and up and up.
It does offer you a full set of features from the start, but if you are offering a lower priced solution with tight margins, the pricing model may not work. For courses in say the $2,000 range, this will work. If you have a$20 a year program or have an internal platform for training your team, the cost adds up and my not be cost effective.
LearnDash Consultant Advice #3
We run into a lot of do-it-yourselfers in this space. LearnDash can be used by someone with a good understanding of how to use Wordpress. Their tutorials and online documentation are good ones.
LearnDash's approach is they give you the features you need at a set price. The current charge is $199 for the year. You have to pay for your website hosting which can run you $10 to $30 a month. Some people try LearnDash expecting it will do all they need. It's good, but it works best when it's integrated with add-on products to give you a complete solution.
What I believe is the biggest strength of this approach, and this assumes you can pay for this upfront development assistance, is you have ultimate flexibility. LearnDash integrates with so many tools that enable you to provide for just about any requirement you encounter.
If you need enhanced e-commerce features, it integrates extremely well with WooCommerce. That enables you to sell subscriptions, offer coupons or promo codes. The sky's the limit on e-commerce features you can use to sell your program.
We work with a lot of business owners that want to include community features to their learning program. This allows learners can interact with each other to enhance the learning experience. LearnDash integrates really well with BuddyBoss. That enables you to create Facebook like interaction on your site with no dependency on an outside system.
To promote your learning programs, you may want to build sales funnels. We work with Keap/Infusionsoft for building sales funnels. Using a tool called Memberium, you can build complete sales funnels with features for giving your member automated access to the program they purchase. It works very nicely.
My main message is that there is likely an add-on for LearnDash to support whatever feature you are needing now and in the future. That is NOT be the case with many hosted solutions.
LearnDash Consultant Advice #4
It's hard to tell before you start selling a course all that's going to happen. I like to reference a customer of mine that offers a training course for working with emotional disabled people. Originally, they expected their $20 program to be purchased one at a time by mental health professionals.
In three years, they had unexpected growth from larger organizations that buy their solution in blocks for their employees and associates. She sells it to mental health professionals who have their team and staff go through it. They then offer it to their patience, for example, to parents of autistic children or to people working at prisons or mental health wards.
That opportunity was unexpected. Since they opted for LearnDash from the beginning and made use of Keap/Infusionsoft and Memberium, they were able to address this block sale requirements. It's a feature offered by Memberium.
Selecting a platform that services you when you start and then offers you ways to grow which are straightforward in important. The last thing you want is to get the success you always hoped to get and then find out the features you need to grow are NOT offered by your platform meaning you have to migrate to a new LMS which means a lot of unexpected work.