When on the hunt for an online registration software, it can be overwhelming for many reasons. There are tons of features offered (which one is best for you?), many add-on’s to consider (social media integration, emails, payment processor, etc) and of course, the cost of the system itself. So how do you evaluate online registration software pricing so you know you’re getting the best deal?
When money enters the conversation, you will see that every online registration software pricing offers a certain pricing model. Trying to decide which structure will be the most cost effective when in the market for an online registration software depends on your business and needs, but in general there is one model that will fit best you: one that will give you all the features you need at the best possible price. Here’s a handy little comparison post to illustrate the different pricing models and options that are out there when it comes to online registration software and application software.
1. Fixed One-Time Pricing
While this takes the #1 spot on my list, it’s probably the least used pricing model out there. Usually this is a pricing structure used when the software isn’t a SaaS (Software as a Service which means the software company bascially takes care of servers, databases etc… It is what is called “the cloud”) system or if the system is very old. The fixed cost softwares are normally a high upfront cost product and when you want or need changes to the system, you are charged an additional fee. Obviously for a dynamic organization this isn’t very cost effective.
Who is this option good for?
This model can be a great option though for an organization that has a structure they’ve been using for years and that doesn’t change and you do not anticipate it on changing (as if that really happens…). This is normally well suited for an organization that is not client-oriented, or if the registrants really really want to register no matter what. These organizations are usually bureaucratic, large and/or have the money for the large down payment. If all of the above is you then this might be the most suited pricing structure for your organization.
2. Price Per Applicant
There are many online registration software companies that use this pricing model. Basically, you pay a fee, usually between $2-10, for every applicant that registers. This can be great since you ‘pay’ for what you get. If no one registers to your event or program you will normally not pay anything. Note that normally this pricing model does not take into account if the applicant makes a payment, completes the application or anything of the sort. If they registered (even only with their name) you will pay for them. Assuming that every applicants is a paying customer then basically part of the profit you make from each confirmed applicant ‘pays’ for your online registration software.
The downside to this model though is that the software company becomes, in a sense, your “partner.” As you succeed, you are paying more and more to the software company. This means that it is hard to predict the overall price you will pay for the system at the beginning since the number of applicants you have can grow exponentially (which is great for you, but not so great for your bank account when your software bill is due!). Furthermore, since this pricing model is normally registrant based and does not take into account the level of completion or if they paid or not your bill can actually be very high even though your earnings are not growing.
Let’s do a little exercise to know the actual cost per applicant you are paying when using this model. We all know about the people that start a registration and never complete it or people that do nearly everything except pay. In order to really calculate the cost per applicant you will need to know your conversion rate and then calculate accordingly. A pretty good conversation rate for completed applications is 75%. When payments come into the picture if 60% of your registrants actually make a payment you are in good standing. This means that if you are paying $2 per applicant (which is considered low, normally the model is $5 per applicant) then if you are not taking payments you will actually pay $2/75% (you completed applications) = $2.66 per applicant. If you are taking payments and only someone who pays is actually an applicant for you then you are paying $2/60% (you completed applications) = $3.33 per applicant. If you go up to $5 per applicant (which is the majority) you will be paying $6.67 or $8.34 per applicant. Quite a lot!
Who is this option good for?
This model however can be good for an organization that is small, seasonal, or has cash flow issues. It becomes very uneconomical as you grow, and I’d assume most organizations want to grow so this model probably is limiting for most organizations.
3. Price Per Administrator
This is the model most organizations prefer, in my humble opinion, and not just because it’s the model Regpack uses. This is the model that 90% of the companies in the SaaS world use, so that should tell you something. The reason most companies use this model is that the price is directly connected to the size of the organization. So small organizations needing only 1-2 admins with access to the system will pay less and bigger organizations that need 10-20 admins will pay more which is fair for everyone involved 🙂
For example, Regpack’s pricing looks like this:
- $49/month/admin up to 200 applicants
- $99/month/admin up to 2,000 applicants
- $149/month/admin up to 5,000 applicants
- $249/month/admin up to 15,000 applicants
Prcing based on administrators is a really good option for any size organization since the price basically changes according to your needs and will grow proportionally to the growth of your business (vs #2 above which will grow significantly as your business grows). There are event systems out there that allow you to add and remove admins on a monthly basis. This allows you to really control your costs since you do not need to pay for admins annually. Hence in peak registration time you can add admins and during your off season you can remove. This obviously makes these online registration softwares really budget friendly. The main draw to this option is that you do not have a large down payment to make. You can alter and change the process as you wish, you can react to peaks in your registration and finally: the registration company is not your partner – they are someone supporting your success and not taking a cut out of it.
Who is this option good for?
Basically any organization. It is especially good for organizations that care about their bottom line, are in constant change, want full control over their expenses and want there to be a connection between their profits and their amount of clients and their costs. Like I said: nearly every organization (maybe with the exception of the government).
CONCLUSION: Is there ONE online registration software pricing model that is just the best for everyone?
There is no ‘right’ software or pricing model that is universal, there is only the software that is the best fit for you. Keeping in mind and understanding your needs is the number one thing to do. Then, look at the price of your options since your budget and what you can and can’t afford will factor in heavily to your decision. Most organizations in our experience are growing or hoping to grow, have dynamic programming and are wanting a system that can adapt and change as they do, at a cost that doesn’t prohibit them from offering great technology and services at a reasonable price.
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