How to Price a Webinar (maybe)

I got an email from someone yesterday, wondering about the logic behind the pricing of my webinars. Here’s how it works…

The live event is $117 ($99 if you get in on the earlybird price). It also includes an audio and video recording of the event.

The recorded event, by itself, is $117 (there’s no earlybird price, since it’s prerecorded).

He was surprised that the recording wasn’t less expensive than the live event.

It’s a reasonable question. After all, if the live event + recording is the same price as the recording alone, I’ve essentially priced the live event at zero. Shouldn’t the recording alone cost less?

Maybe, but that’s not how I look at it. I always give the live event participants the best price. Two reasons:

1. Because I don’t want to train them to wait. If the recorded version is less, maybe they’ll wait for that.

2. Because I want to reward people for their active, interested participation. The people who register for live events — particularly if they do it quickly enough to get the earlybird price — are “the fanbase.” They’re the people who tend to write the testimonials and spread the word. I want them to be thrilled – by both the event and the price, and to never wonder if maybe they should have just bought the recording.

The way I look at it, the way to build a long-term business isn’t to maximize dollars; it’s to maximize excitement, interest and satisfaction (which leads to those dollars).

What do you think? Is there a different/better way to price these events?

3 thoughts on “How to Price a Webinar (maybe)

  1. Lissa Boles

    Score (again).

    I remember this really smart – and oddly funny, or perhaps just odd? – guy I know (*wink*) saying, ‘How you communicate teaches people as much as what you communicate.’ Been learning recently that every strategy is a relationship-based communication, and being clear about your strategy helps you be clear about the kind of relationships you want and are building with those you serve. If good old Dr. Phil’s right on the ‘We teach people how to treat us’ score, then this certainly fits.

    The other thing I like about point #1 is this: if what’s taugh – and the experience of using it – has real value, why communicate a reduction in that value with a reduced price on the recording? I know a information marketing who’s recordings are higher-priced that the live-event ticket because in his mind forever-whenever access has considerable value – and in his mind, the folks who partcipate in the live event with him in creating the forever-whenever product deserve a thank- you for their help.

  2. Michael Katz Post author

    Lissa! Thanks for adding to my thinking about this. And you’re right — the people who are in the live event are necessary for its existence (it’s not like I’d have a recording to sell without them). Giving them a thank you via a discount feel right.

    (oddly funny?)

  3. Reuben Swartz

    Great points about maintaining perceived value and guiding customers the way you want them to go. So many businesses inadvertently encourage customers to pursue discounts with less value, lowering the benefits for the buyer and the revenue for the seller

    Your example reminds me of The Economist offering print and online subscriptions. The pricing was something like this:

    $129 Print Only
    $129 Print + Web
    $99 Web only

    They wanted to make sure their print subscribers could interact online, too.


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