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Black Friday is right around the corner! This time of year represents an opportunity for course creators to drive sales and increase revenue, as well as launch new online courses and acquire new students. The sheer level of interest surrounding this promotional period paired with the potential to attract large volumes of traffic from consumers makes Black Friday hard to ignore.

Despite its evident benefits, Black Friday can present some tricky choices for course creators, who aren’t convinced of the value of seasonal promotions. Various concerns have been raised about the issue of devaluing your course through discounts and teaching your followers that they can wait for sales. 

I never do anything for Black Friday. I’d never discount my courses anyway, it just devalues them in your potential customer’s eyes.member of Thinkific’s FACEBOOK COMMUNITY

These are fairs points, but what if we told you that you CAN participate in Black Friday and other seasonal sales without devaluing your content, or training your customers that they can wait for discounts?

In this article, we’ll respond to various concerns course creators have about running Black Friday specials, as well as offer valuable tips from course creators who have run successful Black Friday specials in the past. (Hint: You don’t need to give away the farm!)

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Related: The Only Black Friday Checklist You Need To Sell More Courses

The promising statistics

Here at Thinkific, we’ve observed that every year, like clockwork, people search google for Black Friday Online Course Deals en masse! Don’t believe us? Check Google Trends!

Every year, searches for online course deals during black friday spike in Google during the November holiday (see above). Not only this, In recent years, the adoption of Black Friday has become more prevalent globally. Currently, 50-60% of countries around the world celebrate Black Friday in some form or another.

Additionally, the consumer psychology surrounding Black Friday can be used to course creators’ advantage through various marketing tactics and strategies.

Aaron Morin, a Customer Education Lead at Thinkific, explains:

Black Friday is a powerful incentive for the price-sensitive to help customers ease into a decision that might change their lives for the better. Discounting should never happen as a blanket strategy for selling a course. But when used strategically, it can definitely help a business grow faster and help more people achieve their desired transformations.Aaron Morin, Customer Education Lead @ Thinkific

Let’s explore a few ways that course creators are approaching Black Friday and other seasonal sales.

Alternatives to discounting

Tien Chu, founder of Warp and Weave, launched her highly successful Thinkific course on Black Friday last year. She explains that it’s possible to run holiday promos without devaluing your course.

“What I typically do is run a Black Friday special where I don’t do discounts, rather I add value through offering bonuses,” explains Chu. Last year, she struck up a deal with a yarn shop where they offered a 10% store discount to students in her class as a Black Friday special. And then she emailed all the other students who had purchased before and said, ‘We offered this as a Black Friday bonus and we’re going to offer it to all of you as well.’

So I don’t discount my classes, I offer bonuses. This means I’m not training my students to wait for the discount — it’s more of a motivation tactic rather than actually discounting the product that I’m already offering.Tien Chu, Warp and Weave

By marketing and promoting this bonus, Chu was able to successfully run a Black Friday special without devaluing her course, rather she added an element of exclusivity by partnering with other businesses in her industry.

Adding value through bundles

Linda Reed-Enever, founder of the Enever Group Business Academy, offers similar advice to Thinkific course creators.

It’s important to add value like a bundle rather than discount. You can do this through creating a bundle of courses, adding in a live session, adding extra resources like ebooks, or partnering with other businesses to create a group bundle togetherLinda Reed-Enever, Enever Group Business Academy

“We have to do what is right for our business. If it doesn’t feel right then don’t do it. But if you want to try a promo, you can do it without discounting or devaluing your course,” explains Reed-Enever.

For this Black Friday, Reed-Enever is planning on trialing a bundle launch with three of their popular courses for $197, which is the price of one course.

“Our plan is to send an email blast out to students who are not enrolled in our courses and include the offer with the Black Friday round-up live which is popular, as well as market some Facebook posts in groups that might be keen.”

“We know people are ready to buy at Black Friday and they are looking for a deal which is why we are testing a bundle launch. From our experience, our audience is keen to pick up an offer at this time of year and we can often save to buy the tech they need in a Black Friday sale or Cyber Monday promo.”

In terms of offering Black Friday advice to fellow course creators, both Chu and Reed-Enever say to prepare in advance.

Best of luck!