Ah, Black Friday! The holiday that was created so that businesses could put their products on sales and consumers could trample over each other to buy them before stocks run out.
Fortunately, as an online course creator, you have an unlimited stock of online courses. In the United States alone, over 133 million people are expected to shop in stores and online (including online courses) on the Black Friday weekend, resulting in several billions of dollars in sales. It’s time for you to take a slice of that pie. Mmm, pie…
Here are some promotion ideas that you can use to boost your online course sales on Black Friday and Cyber Monday:Explode Your Online Course Sales With These 10 Easy #BlackFriday Ideas Click To Tweet
Black Friday Deal Types
1. Create a coupon code to offer a discount
Price discounts are probably the easiest type of promotion to create to help boost your online course sales. Although we normally discourage course creators from discounting their courses (check out our complete guide to pricing your online course here), Black Friday is one of the few times we think it’s okay to offer a price discount on your courses, simply because customers expect discounts during this time.
With Thinkific, you can create a coupon code that discounts your course by a specific percentage or dollar amount. You can (and should) also set a limit on the coupon (so that a limited number of people are able to use it) or an expiry date (so the coupon no longer works after a specific day). Both of these options help to create a sense of urgency among your prospective customers and gives them an incentive to purchase your course right away.
2. Create a bundle deal of several courses
If you have more than one online course, consider bundling two or more of them and selling that bundle for a better price than if someone were to purchase each of the courses individually.
Deanne Love, who teaches hula-hooping at Hooplovers.tv, uses bundles effectively. She has a number of courses teaching different types of hoop movements, but her customers can also purchase multiple courses at once resulting in a 25% discount or more.
Setting up bundles in Thinkific is really easy. You simply create a new bundle like you’d create a new course, and then select the courses that are part of that bundle.
For Black Friday, you can create a bundle that’s public for a limited time and then set it as Private so that it’s no longer available after Black Friday weekend to help create urgency for your customers.
3. Create a free course
Consider creating an introductory or mini version of your paid course, and give away that course for free. You can also discount some of your existing lower-end courses all the way down to $0.
The idea behind this strategy is to get lots of people in the door up front so that you can then use Thinkific’s upsell feature and sell your higher-priced courses to them after.
4. Offer additional limited-time bonuses
If discounting and bundling are not your thing, you can also incentivize people to buy your courses by throwing in value-added bonuses. These include but are not limited to:
- Consultation calls
- Personal or group coaching
- Access to a private group
- A content piece, like a PDF, video, or email series
Adding bonuses allows you to sell your courses at regular price while also incentivizing customers to take action. The key here is to articulate the value of the additional bonuses so that customers realize they’re getting a good deal.Explode Your Online Course Sales With These 10 Easy #BlackFriday Ideas Click To Tweet
5. Include a free physical product with your course
Like additional information or content based bonuses, a free physical product adds value to your courses without requiring you to discount them. For example, if you have a Yoga course, you could offer to ship your students a free yoga mat, yoga towel, water bottle, etc, for a limited-time.
Free physical products can sometimes be more appealing because the value is quite obvious. While a free coaching call is definitely valuable, and in many cases more valuable than a yoga mat, it requires a fair amount of effort to articulate that to visitors. On the other hand, tangible products like yoga mats have a very clear value.
6. Promote a charity
Is there a specific charity or non-profit that you believe in? If so, tell your customers that you will donate a % of your course sales to that charity. This can help encourage your customers to buy from you knowing that they are helping to support a worthy cause.
Online Course Promotional Strategies
Ok, so now that you’ve come up with a compelling Black Friday promotion, it’s time to start spreading the word.
Here are some ways to promote your Black Friday deal:
1. Email promotions
Nothing beats email for marketing promotions. If you already have an email list, send them something creative that entices them to check out your promotion. If not, read an implement our full guide to list building.
Just remember that your email list will probably also be getting bombarded with Black Friday emails from the dozens of other newsletters and businesses they’re subscribed to. That means you need to come up with a catchy subject line to stand out.
Once they open your email, the content needs to convince them that your promotion is worth exploring. Here are some elements to add to your emails to convince people to click through:
- Talk about benefits – Paint a picture of how their lives will change after getting your course promotion. You want them to imagine a more desirable future and explain how your offer can get them there.
- Present the offer – After showing them you can get them to a more desirable future, you need to present your offer. Let them know the price, discount, and any other bonuses you’re throwing in.
- Add some urgency – By definition, your Black Friday deal should expire when the Black Friday and Cyber Monday period ends. Make sure your subscribers know this by establishing a deadline for them to take action
- Show social proof – For the cherry on the cake, show some examples of past students who took action and got value out of your course.
Shopify has some great Black Friday email marketing campaign ideas here. Check them out!
2. Host a Black Friday webinar
If you don’t have a large email list, webinars are an effective alternative. We’ve already written case studies of how brand new course creators were able to make sales in just their first webinar.
Webinars allow you to directly sell to new leads. During the webinar, you should paint a picture of their desired future, while also adding enough value that they realize they can get there with your help. The more value you add in the webinar, the more likely they are to buy from you.
At the end of your webinar, you present your Black Friday deal to them. You can also offer a variation of your deal that is exclusive to your webinar attendees.
3. Post in forums and social media groups
You can bet that people will be actively looking for deals on online forums or social media groups during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Search for the ones that are about your course topic or that contain your target audience and post your deal over there.
Always check the guidelines before promoting something (or ask the owner for permission to promote). One strategy you might want to try is to first post a link to a free content piece or your webinar. That way you’re not directly selling but you are getting them into your email or webinar.
4. Recruit Affiliates
With Thinkific’s built-in affiliate feature, it’s easy to set up new affiliates with their unique sharing links and automatically calculate commissions. If you don’t already have affiliates, the best place to start recruiting is from your existing customer base.
After you’ve got a few affiliates, you can further motivate them to share your Black Friday deal by using some of the following ideas:
- Run a content for your affiliates with prizes for the top performers.
- Increase their commission.
- Give them coupon codes to distribute to their audiences.
Affiliates and Joint Venture partnerships are powerful ways to promote your courses and launch new ones. Be sure to maintain good relationships with your affiliates and focus on growing their quantity even after Black Friday.
5. Create a Facebook Event
A really smart way to build anticipation and keep your upcoming Black Friday deal on top of people’s minds, even before your promotion actually begins, is to create a Facebook event. People who subscribe to your event always get notifications every time you post to it. And since everyone is on Facebook, you can be sure they’ll see the notifications!
Also try getting them to invite their friends. There’s already a built-in virality mechanism that ensures their friends see that they’re going to your event, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.
6. Team up with other course creators
Do you know any other online instructors that have courses that complement your own? If they’re also using Thinkific, you can easily create a bundle that includes courses from multiple instructors.
Assign each instructor as a Payee for the course, so that whenever a sale is made, each instructor included in the bundle receives their share of the revenue.Explode Your Online Course Sales With These 10 Easy #BlackFriday Ideas Click To Tweet
Hey, we have a Black Friday Deal too!
Since we’re giving you ideas to help increase your sales on Black Friday, it would be wrong of us not to offer a special deal of our own. If you aren’t already on Thinkific‘s Business Plan, we have $1,000 in additional Bonuses this week only! Learn more here.