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Testing on Certification Prep Courses

Creating a solid foundation

In April we launched a marketplace-wide update to our pricing and promotional strategy on Udemy. We did this for a few different reasons (which you can read about here), but the overall goal was to create a solid foundation from which to grow a sustainable business.

Our previous strategy of artificially inflated list prices and steep, constant discounts created an unsustainable business model that saw declines in average sales price, student lifetime value, and customer retention rates over time. While steep discounts were great at driving short-term revenue they contributed to a promotional model that, over time, would actually contribute to a decline in marketplace monetization.

Updating the pricing structure created a solid marketplace-wide foundation. Now that it’s in place we can start pushing the envelope on innovating our pricing. We’re launching the first phase of a new, category-specific pricing model this week.

A higher willingness to pay for certification courses

Over the past year, we have been undertaking an extensive user research project to define who are our target student is today and who we want our target student to be tomorrow. Today, our target student is who we call a motivated knowledge seeker – someone who feels that learning, both personal and professional, is vital to living a happy life. Our next target student is the job seeker – someone who is learning for purely professional advancement.

We’ll be launching a test to create category-specific pricing that targets the job seeker persona. The test will be structured as follows:

  • 14 verified, 3rd party Certification Prep courses (across different certification categories) will be priced at $100 and discounted up to 50%. Note that this higher price point will only be visible to students coming through the Paid Acquisition and SEO channels.
  • We’ll advertise these courses to the job seeker audience to analyze whether this persona has a higher willingness to pay for certification prep help.
  • If the data signals a positive result to the higher price cap, we will expand the test to include additional certification prep courses. If you have a certification prep course that covers one of these certifications, please fill out this form and we will reach out to you about being included in the test’s second phase.

We’re running this test for two reasons. The first reason is audience – a person who is looking for a new job has a vested interest in education and a commitment to achieving their learning goals. They’re learning for a reason, not purely for fun. Quality is of the utmost paramount to these students, not price.

The second reason is the certification test itself. Many certifications can cost hundreds, if not thousands of dollars to take. The high price point of the test means that the preparatory work can be priced higher than other topics and appear reasonable to the target audience.

As the test proceeds and data comes in, we will update you in the Community and on the Teach Hub. We’re excited to explore expansions in our pricing structure to fully monetizing the market for you.

Certifications we’re including in the first test:

Reiki Master Certificatoin
AWS Certified Solutions Architect
Project Management Professional: PMP
CompTIA A+ Certification
Certified Associate in Project Management: CAPM
Cisco CCNA
TOGAF Certification
Certified Information Systems Security Professional: CISSP