There are a lot of course software options out there, all with different pricing structures and benefits they offer.
I’ve put together the 5 top ways you can save money with the right course registration software. When looking for software options, this is a good baseline for evaluating your options.
Payment Processing Fees vs Per Applicant Fees
This is the biggest challenge in determining the price of a course software. Really do the math here because lower processing fees don’t always net out to lower cost overall.
Let’s take an example of two companies who offer different processing.
Company A offers payment processing at 3.2% and Company B at 2.9% plus $.30 per transaction.
At first glance, you might think the lower processing makes more sense. If you have only 200 applicants, that 30 cent fee is really only $60 which is probably way less than the processing percentage. But let’s do the math…
Note here that the *per transaction* fee is every time a payment is made, not per applicant. So it’s $.30 whether the transaction is $1 or $1000 and for every “ping” to the credit card system. The average number of transactions for most online courses is 1.07. So if you process $2 million, that $.30 transaction fee will cost you $2,140.
eChecks as a way to lower your processing
Another key to lowering your processing is offering multiple ways for applicants to pay. This includes eChecks in addition to credit cards.
eChecks cost less to process, are preferred by applicants who don’t have a credit card, and are just as easy to use for the applicant as a credit card.
Regpack clients have seen that offering eChecks as the default payment option will have about 24% of applicants using the option to pay. With an eCheck rate as low as 1.5%, this actually takes the 3.2% payment processing fee down to a blended rate of 2.775%. For the 2.9% payment processing fee, the blended rate would be 2.55%.
Let’s now look at the total cost between the “higher” processing Company A and “lower” processing Company B.
Compay A: 2.755% Blended rate; without the 30 cent fee = $55,500
Company B: 2.55% Blended rate; with the 30 cent fee = $60,140
That’s a savings of $4,640! It definitely pays to do the math!
Automation = Less Admin Hours
Regpack clients have found that on average, they save 60 hours a month in admin time when going from a paper process online. I think it’s safe to assume most online course software offer similar savings.
Automating your process means less time on manual entry, less time answering questions about your process (it’s all online and straightforward!) and less time filing, following up and emailing people individually. And, online registration is cheaper than paper! See the proof here.
If I had to pick ONE thing you should have as a course provider in your online offering, it would be automatic billing. Automatic billing gives applicants OPTIONS to pay you, and the more options you give, the more you get paid. Period.
Especially for courses or programs that have a high cost, offering a payment plan that bills automatically gives you a few advantages:
- It spaces out payments for the applicants, which allows them to more easily afford the program.
- It gives options! It’s just good customer service too.
- It is less work for you – a payment plan with a specific amount due on the 1st of every month will automatically charge without you doing a thing!
- It’s less work for your applicants! They don’t have to remember when their next payment is due, and you don’t have to remind them!
- It’s customizable and works for everyone!
- It will lower your account receivables by 50%!
Purchase Protection is a unique product that Regpack offers, however any course software that offers a similar product is great too (I dare you to find one!)
Purchase Protection is FREE to offer applicants. It is a fee charged to applicants at checkout to protect their order in the event they have to cancel attendance. The fee is a small percentage of their total order, so it varies from applicant to applicant.
One reason Regpack introduced Purchase Protection was as a response to many of our clients dealing with chargebacks. A chargeback costs $25 and can increase your “risk” as an organization in the eyes of a payment processor, which ultimately affects your processing rates. This is bad news!
Oftentimes, when an applicant cancels, they will use chargebacks as a way to get their money back, which as I mentioned above, is not a good thing. It’s very difficult to fight a chargeback, so oftentimes you eat the money and the ping on your risk.
Purchase Protection offers a better way: if an applicant has to cancel, they can file a claim with Purchase Protection for a full refund of their purchase price. No more chargebacks, and no more losing your investment in that applicant’s attendance by honoring a refund. You can do all of this, and save money…for free!
Embedded on Your Website
This feature has been shown to lower cart abandonment by 27%. Applicants already trust you, so taking them away from your website to register and pay breaks that trust. If you factor in the 27% to your cash flow rate, you can expect to see $8,100 increase in payments, using the numbers from our example above.
Plus, embedding registration and payments on your site just looks good – it keeps people on your website, with your branding and color scheme.
Final Thoughts on Getting the Most out of your Course Software
The key message here is: you gotta do the math! Don’t take anything at face value and find a software that is truly the best for your budget and your needs.
These features are a great baseline, but you need to also think about what you really need and value, and what that’s worth to you. Maybe you don’t accept payments for your courses, so all this about autobilling and processing rates means nothing. Well, what does matter? Answer that, and then make your course software options answer it to!