:Marketing / Marketing best practices

Cut through the clutter and market your course for the holidays

woman in white room using laptop with headphones on desk holiday marketing ideas woman in white room using laptop with headphones on desk holiday marketing ideas

Course creators everywhere already know the importance of good digital marketing. But when you’re preparing for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it’s good to know about some online marketing ideas for the holiday season.

No matter your business, the holiday season is one of the most important times of the year since so many people are spending so much money. And these days, digital gifts like online courses are excellent for folks who are hard to buy for. Around the new year, you’ll also have more people looking for quality courses to pursue their New Year’s resolutions.

But in many cases, it’s not enough to keep marketing your courses during the holidays just like you do during the rest of the year. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some holiday-specific online marketing ideas to make the most of the upcoming spending frenzy.

Prioritize the right courses

For starters, you should prioritize specific courses in your marketing campaigns and advertisements. For this, you should push certain courses on your website’s landing pages. Specifically, make your most successful courses even more attractive and obvious to potential customers. Your big sellers will be even bigger once Black Friday and Cyber Monday roll around.

Track your sales and engagement throughout the year, and use that data to highlight big sellers at year-end. For example, you can use accounting software that comes with critical features like expense and receipts tracking. This way you can determine which of your course offerings and clients are most profitable. 

Additionally, using the right tools helps break down business marketing data points for analysis. The courses that bring the most profits are ones you should focus on when determining your holiday bundles. Don’t hesitate to bring your best courses to the forefront and leave your lower-earners behind. You’ll have an opportunity to upgrade or replace them with other courses next year.

Update your platform

You can make your courses more attractive by updating your course platform overall. Platforms like Teachable, for example, offer customization controls so you can keep your courses and platform accessible, modern, and attractive no matter what time of year it is.

Depending on the format of your courses, you might also consider updating your courses one by one for new material. You can then advertise that on a big banner on your website or course platform for the new year. New material for each course does wonders to get people interested in trying out a course or two.

Offer special deals and bundles

Most online shoppers expect special deals for everything they plan to purchase this time of year, including digital products like online courses. You can jump on this trend and offer your courses in holiday bundles or at significant discounts.

Naturally, you’ll need to do some budget calculations to see how much of your course costs you can shave off each class. But this can do wonders for driving traffic to your site and getting people to purchase multiple courses where they might otherwise have only bought one or two.

Holiday bundles are also great if you have several courses that are themed or that focus on related subjects, like SEO and social media marketing or data science and business analytics.

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Sell gift cards

Similarly, you can use digital (or physical) gift cards to drive course purchases throughout the holiday season. Gift cards are the most requested gift across the country since they’re easy to send and they offer flexibility to the recipient. It might be hard for prospective customers to choose specific courses for someone else, and gift cards solve that problem. 

You can do the same thing with coupons, but gift cards (either digital or physical) have more of a gift-giving impact. Remember, presentation is just as important as content when it comes to gift giving.

Leverage social media marketing

Of course, you should still be leveraging social media marketing ideas during the holidays, as it’s one of the most effective online marketing strategies for your courses overall.

Social media marketing allows you to:

  • Connect with current and potential customers
  • Increase the recognition of your courses and brand
  • Announce the launch of new courses or special deals

Additionally, social media marketing is very cost-effective. If you run your own social media page and announce when you have special deals or when you launch a new course, it costs you nothing. Depending on how many followers you get, you could end up drawing dozens of new visitors to your course website with each post.

Emphasize the value of your courses

Learning is wonderful, but it can unfortunately be expensive. Many people want to learn but simply aren’t able to afford it, and the cost of a good education throws many into debt. Student loan debt in the US alone was over $1.5 trillion by the third quarter of 2019. 

Because of this, your ads should emphasize just how valuable and cost-effective your courses really are. Think critically about your email copy and include impactful lines like, “The cost of a college class in this subject is $X. You can learn just as much material and more for my course, which is $X!” This way, you can position your courses as affordable for folks who may want to learn more but who don’t think they can afford traditional college classes.

In conjunction with your other marketing elements, emphasizing the value of your courses can go a long way toward convincing skeptical visitors that they should make a purchase.


Implementing holiday-specific marketing ideas can be tough, but the above strategies can help you have a profitable Cyber Monday and beyond. Think critically about your marketing strategy, leverage all the tools available to you, and make sure your teaching platform is as attractive and user-friendly as possible. These strategies will help give your courses a boost so you can continue to grow into the new year. 

Author: Nahla Davies, Nahla Davies is a software developer and tech writer. Before devoting her work full time to technical writing, she managed—among other intriguing things—to serve as a lead programmer at an Inc. 5,000 experiential branding organization whose clients include Samsung, Time Warner, Netflix, and Sony.