Deadlines are a part of our daily lives, whether at home or at work. When people know there is little time until a project has to be submitted, or a task to be completed, they tend to quickly assess their chances of success and do the best they can in a short amount of time to meet the requirements.

The same attitude can be seen in sales as well when people consider different time-limited offers. Assessing their needs and the offer at hand, they make on-the-spot decisions to purchase a product, even when they don’t need or want it, out of a fear of missing out.

Why does this work? When you offer your product as a one-time-only opportunity, you create a feeling of urgency for your prospects. Knowing that they can miss an opportunity makes potential customers take action. Moreover, offering a limited number of products creates scarcity, which makes people feel it’s now or never, so they act immediately.

Many learners tend to procrastinate. For them, limited offers make the difference between taking the path of personal development or staying at the same level of knowledge and skills.


Read more: What you need to know about the basics of selling online courses


Masterfully using deadlines to sell more courses

Deadlines create alterations in people’s behavior and choices, that otherwise wouldn’t occur. Taking this into account, you can use deadlines in your marketing strategy to your advantage.

Having a one-time offer, a time-limited campaign or free bonuses for a specific purchase increases your chances of selling your online course, since your prospects feel compelled to act instantly, rather than take the time to overthink their decisions.

There are at least two ways in which setting deadlines can help your sales and marketing strategies:

Nudge visitors to buy your course

This is all about marketing. Your job is to convince your prospects to buy your course. Depending on your target customers, whether they are your former students or newcomers, you can create different campaigns to entice them to make a purchase.

Here are some types of campaigns you can create:

  • A limited-time offer of your course at a reduced price. This type of campaign is perfect for your former students questioning the idea of taking another course or for first-time customers who have been indecisive whether to purchase your course or not. With a considerable discount, such as 15-25% off, you’ll attract students to your course.
  • One or more course bundles (3 related courses, for example) or buy-one-get-all-three. In this way, you promote more products at the same time and make sure you have students for all of them. Of course, you have to show your customers the benefits of making such a purchase, like having a better price when they buy a bundle or receiving exclusive content, like a preview of a course you haven’t launched yet when they purchase a course. People will have a hard time refusing such perks.
  • A short free trial of your course. Before releasing the course in the online world, it’s safer to give it for free, for a few days for instance. In this way, you get invaluable feedback for your course, which you can adjust and improve before you make it available for the whole market. In a week or so, students cannot finish the course and won’t be able to benefit from it, this being the exact reason why they will want to pay for the course and enjoy it for a longer amount of time.

    Read more: How to get feedback for your online course


  • A limited-time bonus for your course. As part of your marketing campaign, you can make a time-limited offer in which you give other bonuses when a purchase is made. These bonuses can take the form of one-on-one meetings, online sessions, webinars, tutorials or ebooks.

Support learners to finish your course

Once your learners enroll in your course, you have to make sure they finish it. They need motivation. While motivating your students in their learning journey, you also create a win-win situation for both you and your learners. Because if they don’t finish your course, they’re less likely to recommend it to others, either verbally, or in writing — like leaving a nice customer review for your course landing page.


Read more: 6 Awesome tips to get more customer reviews for your online course [INFOGRAPHIC]


One thing you can do is to set deadlines for each module/assignment. They are useful in creating a schedule for learning, helping students stay on track and avoid procrastination.

Offer limited-time extra resources that they can get if they follow the learning schedule or reach a specific progress level. By doing this, you motivate your students and support them throughout their learning process. In the end, they will feel proud of their accomplishments and happy with your course, and also willing to leave a positive review, or a testimonial, which, in time, can also affect your sales numbers.


Read more: 4 Things to consider if you want to passively sell your online courses


Wrapping up

Deadlines usually have a negative connotation because they impose limitations. But they aren’t necessarily bad when you want to structure your course outline and help students schedule their learning process.

Deadlines, in online business, will entice people to take action faster for fear they’ll miss out on a great offer. People love free things and offering something relevant will help you keep your sales numbers up.

Remember to use deadlines to your advantage and leverage their potential. Create an appropriate strategy for you and your customers for optimal results.

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