If you are looking for new ways to increase your revenue, limited-time offers can be a great way to do so without much effort. Some of the biggest online course creators in the world have grown their brands by selling online courses and membership websites with limited-time enrollment.
The fear of missing out (otherwise known as FOMO) is an extremely powerful motivator that drives people to shop. According to OptinMonster, even 7 out of 10 millennials experience FOMO, and even 60% of consumers admit to making reactive purchases after experiencing FOMO.
If you haven’t yet utilized the full potential of FOMO marketing or limited-time offers, there is no better time to start than now. So, let’s talk about everything you need to know about how to use limited-time offers for your online course business.
How to use limited-time offers for your business
What is a limited-time offer?
A limited-time offer is a marketing tactic that involves promoting an offer for a limited time only. The window of availability can be from a few hours to a few weeks, depending on your business model and the product or service you offer.
Usually, a limited-time offer can be anything from offering free shipping, a huge discount, or even a free product. However, for online course creators, it can mean opening the enrollment to their online course only for a limited time once or twice a year.
The benefits of running limited-time offers
Okay, let’s talk about the reasons for using limited-time offers for your business. We already discussed that it’s one of the best ways to take advantage of FOMO and encourage impulse shopping. However, it’s not the only reason.
If you choose to offer a limited-time enrollment for your online course or a membership website, it can position your offer as an exclusive offer. Exclusivity is a marketing tactic that some brands use to increase the demand for their products.
Making the enrolment to your online course exclusive can not only drive the interest of more people but also allow you to charge premium pricing. The more demand for a product there is, and the harder it is to get, the higher price you can charge.
A great example is Australian relationship expert Julie Allen who has an online course on building a holistic relationship with yourself and your partner called Pleasure School. She only opens the door to her course a few times a year, and you have to sign up on the waiting list to be notified when the enrollment starts.
Due to how exclusive her online course is, she is able to charge a premium price in the thousands. Despite the hefty price tag, people are eager to pay and wait on the waiting list to be able to enroll in her online course.
Lastly, when you make your online course exclusive and harder to get into, it might help boost your student engagement. People will be much more invested in finishing the course if they invest more money in it, and when it’s not easily available.
Key things to consider about limited-time offers
If a limited-time offer sounds like something you’d be interested in implementing in your online course business, there are a few things you need to know before you use this strategy in your business.
Offering a limited-time enrollment allows you to charge a premium price for your online course. It positions your online course as an exclusive offer, so do your market research to see what other creators who offer similar offers charge their audience.
The enrollment timing
When it comes to choosing when to open the enrollment to your online course, there are no set rules. It will depend on your niche, your offer, and your audience. There are general guidelines you might want to follow when it comes to seasons.
For example, summer might not be the best time to open the door because people tend to spend less time online and more time enjoying summer holidays outside. But see when your audience is the most active. It might be that for your niche and for your offer, summer is the best time to launch.
Also, consider the frequency. If you open the enrollment to your online course too often, it will not feel as exclusive to people as it would if you only opened the door twice or even once a year. Allowing enrollment twice or thrice a year might be the sweet spot. So, experiment with what works the best.
Off-season refers to the periods of time when the enrollment to your online course is closed. This is a very important period for your business when you get to build excitement around your course and entice people to sign up for your waiting list.
This is also the time for you to work on engaging with your students who are taking the online course, nourishing the community, and refining the materials of your course. Ask your students for feedback on the course and what they would like to see more of, and then implement it during the off-season.
Once you have improved your online course, when the time comes to open the enrollment, you can then market it as a new and improved course, which might even further entice new people to purchase your offer.
When it comes to getting the best out of your limited-time offers, strategic marketing is a must. You will have on and off seasons, when the enrollment is active, and when it’s closed, and depending on that you have to focus on different aspects of marketing.
Active season marketing
During the on-season when you open the doors to your online course and people can enroll in it, you want to be super active with all the marketing channels you choose to use.
So, plan social media posts in advance, and be consistent. Share material about your online course that would entice people to sign up, like student success stories and curriculum. You might even want to consider offering the first module for free or for $1, or host live webinars.
This is also a good time to run limited-time ads on social media, inviting people to enroll in your course while the doors are open. Also, you want to utilize your email list and create a targeted email marketing campaign to send out to the people on the waiting list.
During the off-season, you want to focus on more passive marketing tactics and long-term brand building. It’s a great time to create content for your blog or a podcast and find guest blogging and guest podcasting opportunities.
Focus on sharing content about your brand and the course, as well as other products you might have on your social channels. If you have a community, focus on building and nurturing the relationship with them.
Try to be consistent with your email list as well. But instead of selling your products, use the off-season to provide value to your audience for free.