Earlier this week I received an email from a prospective customer asking a question which (obviously) comes to everyone’s mind when considering buying something – “How much does this cost?”
The answer is easy when the object for sale is a standard product with a standard price. With some luck there is a clearly visible price tag on it and the question doesn’t even need to be asked.
But, the answer is harder to give when the object for sale is a solution – like an eLearning solution – which needs to be custom built-based on certain requirements. In this case the answer significantly depends on what these requirements are.
The question I was asked was specifically for developing an Interactive Learning Game but since we were still missing some specifics couldn’t quote a precise amount.
Instead, I replied by giving him some examples of what other customers had paid for Web Based Trainings with Video and by sharing a list of Key Factors which affect pricing. In the past I have talked at length about the Typical Costs Associated with Building eLearning Videos with Film & with Animation. I have shared Tips To Reduce the Cost of Adding Video to eLearning and on to stretch your budget to Get More From Less
When it comes to building Web Based Trainings with Video it is important to know what are the key factors affecting costs so that one can try and find a solution which fits the available budget.
This is what I attempted to explain to the prospective customer in my email response and I thought the email itself would be a great blog post.So after redacting confidential information and some edits here and there, here it is:
I am very happy you liked the slides we sent you. Your question about pricing is a very good one but also very difficult to answer without knowing the specifics. So I shall attempt to answer it in 2 steps:
1. First I shall share with you what other customers pay and what value they get for it
2. Second, I shall share with you the factors which affect pricing. By adjusting with these factors we can always develop a solution which addresses your needs and fits your budget.
What existing customers pay
1. Our standard price for a fully customized 30-page Web Based Training (WBT) is [REDACTED]. This is what clients like [REDACTED], [REDACTED], etc. pay. We put a team on the project which includes a Project Manager, an Instructional Designer, a Graphic Designer and an eLearning Developer. Every page is fully custom-built.
2. Of course, if the number of pages needed is lower the price can go down and vice versa.
3. Now, the customer for whom we are developing the [Interactive] game came to us saying – “We have a budget of about ________. We need a WBT with video and games. The learner must finish the WBT in 30 minutes or less. What can you do?”. We proposed them a solution which included a Web Based Training with video content, interactive graphics, tests and games. One of these games is an [Interactive] game.
4. If this customer had come to us with a lower budget we would have offered another solution – perhaps with some compromises – like fewer pages or simpler video, etc. There is almost always a way to find a solution which fits the budget. We will see this in the next section.
Factors which affect price
1. No. of pages in the Web Based Training: The more the pages, the more the price. The less the pages, the lesser the price. This is a fairly linear calculation. If you only need a few pages then the price can be really low.
2. Complexity of the design and the interaction: Generally, we try to make our designs as beautiful as possible and as interactive as possible without extra costs. But sometimes, in rare cases, clients have very special requirements and these can affect cost.
3. Use of video: This is the biggest factor which can affect cost. Video can be inexpensive or can be very expensive. It all depends on what you are looking for – animations or films, 2D or 3D, with actors or without, simple scenarios (eg: in the office) or complex scenarios (eg: underwater, in an airplane, dangerous stunts) etc. So we should discuss your requirements so that I can be more precise in my response.
Bottom line: We will find a good solution which satisfy your requirements and meet your budget. There is always a way.
The key message in this email is the bottom line. Good eLearning companies have a broad range of options at their disposal will always find a way to meet a client’s requirements within the budget available.