When Should You Charge for Your SaaS University?

So: you’ve created a SaaS University for your company. You’re confident in what you’ve created, and know your SaaS company has got that something special to help an untold number of people advance their skills, knowledge, and professional certifications in some way.

Now that you’re ready to offer your SaaS University to the masses, you’re likely wondering: what should you charge customers to enroll in and complete your Saas University? It’s a fair question. After all, you’re running a business, not a charity – even if you do hope your SaaS University provides enormous help to both those who utilize it and the world at large.

When it comes to your SaaS University, there are three options for what to charge:

  • Free to use
  • Available for use by paying customers
  • Behind a paywall as its own product

Looking at those three options, what to charge for your SaaS University is far from the only consideration. As you can see, it isn’t just what to charge for your SaaS University that matters. Because when to charge for the enrollment and use of your SaaS University is nearly as important in the long run – to the success of your SaaS University, your software, and your company overall.

Considerations for Charging Customers for Your SaaS University

The answer you’re probably looking for, regarding when to charge for your SaaS University, is now. But even if you have the utmost confidence in your company’s SaaS University– which you should!– you may need to check off some boxes along the way before you can begin maximizing your profits.

You’ll want to consider a number of factors before you decide when, or what, to charge for your SaaS University. Some of these factors include (but are not limited to):

  • What capabilities your SaaS University offers to teach customers
  • How big the market is for your SaaS University
  • Whether your company’s software is already well-known and respected
  • How well your SaaS University helps customers once they’ve completed the course

Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind, when deciding the timeline for charging customers to use your SaaS University, is how large your company’s customer base is currently. Your SaaS University could potentially revolutionize an entire industry. But if you charge too much too soon, you’ll likely end up putting the cart before the horse.

For example, say you’ve created your SaaS University, but your company and its software has little to no name recognition. Regardless of what you’re offering– even something groundbreaking in some way– if you haven’t yet established your place in the market, or lack any sort of name recognition to draw in potential customers, then charging the highest possible price for your university may hurt more than it helps.

You don’t want to risk ruining the potential success of your SaaS University by overreaching upfront. This is especially true if your company and software is still developing a reputation, and carving its place in the market.

Three Options for Charging for Your SaaS University

So let’s say you know your customer base, and you’re confident that your SaaS University has exactly what a huge swath of the population needs. What should you charge customers for the right to enroll and complete your SaaS University?

Let’s explore the three options listed up above.

SaaS University is free to use

Making your SaaS University free for customers is a great strategy when your company is just starting or trying to grow. Say your company and its software product are relatively unknown. Offering free access to your SaaS University can help generate leads, and act as an effective advertisement for the software product itself.

Like anything else in life, you need to learn to walk before you can run. While you may be eager to immediately begin profiting from your SaaS University, you have to be absolutely certain that there’s a customer base willing to pay for the service.

If your company has just created a SaaS University, ask yourself: how well known is the software you produce and sell? More than anything else, when to charge for your SaaS University comes down to whether people know your company and software, and are already familiar enough to consider paying your company for educational and training purposes.

SaaS University available to Paying Customers

Perhaps you’re a relatively well established company, and your software product is both respected and widely recognized. Your company and software may already generate a fair amount of business and website traffic, but you’re aiming to reduce churn and increase your overall customer retention.

Since your company can only be profitable and successful if you retain satisfied customers over time, consider your SaaS University as a companion component for your company’s software service. When you offer SaaS University access and enrollment to paying customers, it can improve your customer’s satisfaction levels by adding additional value for them.

By offering access to your SaaS University to your software customers, you enhance the overall experience for them. Because you won’t just be providing your software to customers; you’ll be offering additional services and opportunities to incentivize them to retain your services.

SaaS University Behind a Paywall as its Own Product

The term “paywall” may be off putting to some. But if you’ve created a SaaS University that blows up in popularity and usage, or offers highly valuable and complex content, you may want to consider only offering access to customers willing to pay solely for that privilege.

Keep in mind: if you want to charge and sell your SaaS University as a lone product, it needs to be extremely valuable to the customer. While this may be the ideal scenario, or the goal of creating your SaaS University in the first place, it may not always be feasible.

This isn’t to say your SaaS University is lacking or substandard by any means. In fact, some of the most widely used and completed SaaS Universities don’t offer their courses exclusively behind a paywall. It just may not be the best option, or make the most business sense, for your company to go this route.

When to Charge for Your SaaS University Depends…on You

Just like any other business decision, your company will want to be honest with itself when considering when or what to charge for access to your SaaS University.

If you’re offering something truly and uniquely valuable to enrolled customers, you may be able to charge customers for the right to access them. Of course, even if your SaaS University is amazing across the board, it may be best to offer access for free, at least initially.

There’s no perfect methodology to tell your company what to do, or when to charge for your SaaS University. But if you keep in mind the big picture, and the current reality of your company and its software, you can find that sweet spot: with your SaaS University producing satisfied customers, and increasing profitability of your company and software.

Visit our directory of SaaS Universities.

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