Should you offer a payment plan for your online course?

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Great question!

First of all, I’ve done it (and seen it done) EVERY way under the sun.

Payment plans can be great for bringing in new customers (buyers LOVE spreading out payments) but also come with some additional work (i.e. the few bad apples that will try to screw you).

Overall, having a payment plan option (including our big 12 pay option for Create Awesome Online courses over 12 months) has been a huge success for us (mixed with a headache or 5).

That being said, whether YOU should do a payment plan for your course depends on a few factors.

Here are a few tip-a-roos:

1. If you are launching your FIRST course, payment plans might not be worth it.


When you are launching your first course there are lots of moving parts. Tech parts. Launch parts. Customer service parts. Etc.

While payment plans can be VERY, VERY effective realize you are adding a new layer of fun to your plate including (but not limited to):

-Systems for collecting payments (If someone doesn’t pay, say, their second payment… what happens?).

-Making sure you have a place where credit cards can be updated easily.

-Customer service to make sure you are reaching out to those that handle payments, etc.

My advice for course #1, launch #1 = Keep it freakin’ simple.

I’ve seen people obsess over how many/what types of payment plans to offer as opposed to launching. This is not good.

2. If you decide to go with payment plans at some point, here are my tips:

Avoid too many options. I’ve seen (and had) the most success with two options:

  1. Full pay or
  2. A payment plan option

-Make sure you have all the systems above in place to collect on payments owed. We have emails that go out automatically if someone misses a payment and also a manual follow up system where my dad (who heads up customer service) contacts the customer.

-Prepare for every trick/excuse in the book as to why people can’t pay. Remember they made a binding commitment to a payment plan (assuming it is past your refund period). Make sure that is clearly stated and stick with it.

Concluding thoughts:

For us payment plans have become a big success. But, it took awhile to get to that point.

Unless you REALLY have your systems down, get a few launches under your belt before you dive into fun payment plan land.

Hope that helps!


PS: Friday Funday Webinar!

“Hey, David what do you have going on this Friday  at 2:00 eastern time which is 1:00 PM central/11 AM pacific?”

Wow that is a mighty specific question my friend!

What a coincidence you asked as during that exact time and date (yes THIS FRIDAY) I’m going to be teaching my most famous webinar and free training:

AND will be doing an extensive Q&A as well do bring yo questions (that isn’t a typo…’yo’ is what I mean to type there).

There will be NO replay so make sure to come on out for live goodness on Friday (and there will be also be an opportunity to enroll in Create Awesome Online Courses)

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