Marketing 14 MIN READ

The Best Black Friday Marketing Ideas (for 2021)

Βlack Friday is the biggest shopping event of the year.

Ask whoever you want – online retailers, online stores, and small businesses; and they will tell you they are crazy about Black Friday. It’s that time of year that brings in those extra sales and a spike in revenue.

And guess what. It can do the same for you!

Black Friday is the best excuse to get that big sale sign up and start cutting on your course prices. It offers you the perfect opportunity to market and sell your online courses out to your target audience – old, new, and existing customers. Considering that during Black Friday sales, the average adult plans to spend $400 alone, this is a huge opportunity!

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Not to mention – as a course instructor, you have an extra advantage over Black Friday deals. Why?

Here’s your answer:

Did I get you hooked? Great!

Now, you are most likely to be familiar with Black Friday but if you are not, here is some useful information…

Why is it called Black Friday?

Black Friday is a tradition that comes from America and has given its name to the day after Thanksgiving. The term refers to stores ‘going into the black’ for the season, hence becoming profitable. Black Friday marks the official start of the holiday season, holiday shopping and for many, it’s like early Christmas shopping.

When is Black Friday?

This year’s Black Friday is on November 26th. However, most companies rush out getting their discounts by mid-November or the end of October to get ahead of the competition. For online sales, this window period is much bigger giving time to potential customers to explore products.

This means that from Thanksgiving until the upcoming Monday – known as Cyber Monday (29th of November), you can go wild with your course sale.

Black Friday Masterclass: How to sell more online courses

Before you go on reading all the ways you can use to prepare for Black Friday, I advise you to watch the incredibly valuable webinar that Panos Siozos, LearnWorlds CEO’s gave back in 2020 on Boosting your course sales on Black Friday. He shared lessons from our experience with thousands of course creators and entrepreneurs using LearnWorlds to successfully launch their courses and get a surge in sales!

Your Marketing Campaign: How Can You Prepare?

So, how can you get ready for Black Friday and get the most of it until the end of Cyber Monday? That’s easy. Come up with a Black Friday marketing campaign.

Dive in this big eCommerce frenzy by putting on your Black Friday promotions and offering them as part of an attractive deal that will help you boost sales.

Fortunately, there are many options to choose from when it comes to your Black Friday special deals. As part of your marketing strategy, be sure to take a look at the following ideas and choose what works for you:

1Introduce massive discounts for Black Friday promotions:

The easiest Black Friday marketing idea is to cut down prices yet to retain the quality of your courses. Start with 50% and go all the way up to 70% off the original course price. Don’t be afraid to reduce the price. For Black Friday deals it’s normal for a course worth $290 to be sold at $87. Besides, you can always upsell later.

Leverage LearnWorlds’ Site Flavors to change your entire online school into a Black Friday theme for a short-term period. You can turn back to your original theme instantly. Watch the following video to see the process step-by-step:

*The unlimited Site Flavors option requires a Learning Center plan on LearnWorlds.

Alternatively, if you don’t want to change your entire school’s look, then you can easily add a section with just a few clicks on any part of your website, and customize it to create an attractive discount Black Friday zone.

You can even include discount zones in the after-login page which is the first place your students visit when they login to view their courses.

black friday zone examples

2Create course bundles

Prepare a bundle offer with three courses sold at the price of two e.g. “2+1 free”, or “3+2 free”, etc, depending on how many courses you are working on right now and have the potential to promote.

To create a new course bundle in your LearnWorlds school, go to school’s dashboard, and under the section “Marketing Products” click on “Bundles” to start creating your new bundle.

Course bundle

Fill in the Bundle name, provide a description, and add a thumbnail image for your new bundle.

From the dropdown menu, select the courses you want to include in your bundle and click “Save” to finish the process. Check out this article to see the whole process.

Use bundles to upsell your customers, offering them the opportunity to buy (and pay) more at a better price. Make those bundles a unique Black Friday offer, to combine bundles with scarcity and bring more impulsive!

3Come up with a limited-time offer

Create scarcity and a sense of urgency while reinforcing FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) through a limited-time offer and last-minute deals that are only available for this holiday season. Deal hunters are always on the lookout for these.

course zone examples

4Give out a free course giveaway

Come up with a course intro or a mini-course and offer it for free to customers who buy during the sales period. This way, you can also start preparing them for a future course launch.

Free courses are a great way to introduce your audience to your quality of work and upsell them later on! Christmas and Hanukkah are just on the way 🎁

5Send out a physical free gift

Reward your most loyal customers with a gift sent directly to their homes. Your customers are more likely to get excited about this, and it’s a great way to boost your relationship with them while showcasing your new products.

You can do this as part of your loyalty program, sending out a book you wrote, or another from your industry, a calendar, or even an exercise book you think they will find useful.

It can also be a part of Black Friday, instead of discounting your course, offering an extra limited incentive. Just remember to limit the physical gifts, as they can overwhelm you!

6Create new products or pre-sell

Black Friday offers the best opportunity to introduce a new course that you have been working on. If you are ready for it, send out an email to your students and the rest of your target audience reminding them of the benefits of joining and what skills they can learn in your school.

If your courses are not ready, Black Friday is the perfect opportunity to pre-sell the course at a discount rate and sell something that is not finished yet with only a preview.

7Optimize your landing page/product page

When this time of year comes, you know that you should start working on your landing page. Prepare to adjust the design to bring out a Black Friday ‘mood’ and to make it clear to your target customers and site visitors that something is up. Focus on your branding colors, add powerful CTAs and use pop-ups wherever appropriate.

Also, don’t forget to encourage visitors to opt-in to your email list to keep up with your course launches and updates. If you don’t have one yet, make sure you create your own email list of useful contacts.

Black friday example
A Black Friday popup template with LearnWorlds Popup Builder

8Come up with an email marketing campaign

Start working on your email campaign at least 2 weeks prior to the day. Decide what is it going to be about, e.g. course launch, informing people about the offers and inviting them to check them out, or promoting specific products to a closed customer group offering early-bird access.

Before you hit the send button, customize your emails and their subject lines. Use words that are popular and catch the attention such as ‘Black Friday’, ‘Cyber Monday’, ‘Holiday’, ‘Free’, ‘Don’t Miss Out’, ‘Save’, ‘Now’. This should help you attract more people to your school site and increase your conversion rate.

9Create a flash sale

Flash sales are perfect for increasing the rate of impulse buying, encouraging people to buy your courses on the spot. The best way to go is by creating a deal-of-the-day for a specific time period of 24 or 36 hours and for a limited number of positions for your course. Then, inform your people about it by email or through social media posts, and watch those places get filled within minutes.

10Explore opportunities to cross-sell and upsell

There are many course providers out there offering courses on the same subject. One of the best ways to get ahead is to offer something that your competitors don’t offer

Consider offering an additional paid service as part of your course bundles such as free consultation, a VIP/private course, exclusive access to a premium course, or other useful downloadable material (PDFs, videos, audios).

11Get on social media

Never underestimate the power of social media. Inform your loyal customers about your offers and encourage them to spread the word. Share discount guides, promotions, and blog posts that take your blog visitors to your course checkout page.

You should have a blog already set up with Black Friday offers on display but if not quickly start a blog and put out some content about the discounts being offered. Your social media pages should be used to share the posts as much as possible.

On top of that, you can create a dedicated homepage banner for your offer and use it on all your social media accounts – Twitter, Facebook, etc. You can use Canva or Visme to create your banner or browse free stock photos.

Get the Ultimate FREE Toolkit for Course Creators

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Your Black Friday Sales

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12Prepare your coupons

Coupons are one of the best promotional tools you can use to increase your course sales. And they are great at creating a sense of urgency because they have an expiry date.

create course coupons

LearnWorlds Promotions (Coupons) function makes it easier than ever to create coupons. With just a few clicks, you can get sets of memorable discount codes to share across your marketing channels. You can share them on social media, use them in your newsletter, send them one-on-one as a special gift card or even print them out in your promo material!

13Build Your Black Friday Email Campaign

As research shows, email marketing is at its core a very powerful strategy. It has a huge positive impact on the eCommerce business’s revenue, especially during holiday seasons. Considering that the average ROI for email marketing is estimated at 4200%, it serves as an excellent choice to increase your online school profits.

Imagine what email marketing can do for your eLearning business when used effectively as part of your Black Friday campaign!

Currently, there are many different techniques that can make up your marketing strategy and position your Black Friday deals in the spotlight.

This hugely depends on the type of email you choose to send out to your email subscribers. For example, the welcome email, the informational email, the newsletter, and the promotional email, amongst many others.

A winning Black Friday email campaign that is backed up with a series of well-designed and targeted emails can reach your audience just as easily and quickly, delivering the right message.

Check out our blog post “Successful Email Sequences to Boost Your Online Course” to discover how you can use email sequences to boost your online courses.

Black Friday Email Marketing Examples

The following list of email marketing examples gives out a great deal of information that can help you gather some inspiration for your email campaign:


Create Suspense: Surprise!

An email can do a lot of things and one of these is to create a feeling of suspense. The following example from Gwynnie Bee shows a virtual scratch card that was sent out as part of a promotional campaign. With just a simple CTA, the company encourages people to click on the email and reveal the percentage of the offer!

Effective, don’t you think? You can also create suspense through a free gift, a giveaway, or a new product launch.

Example: Gwynnie Bee

Urgency: Tell them to ‘Hurry Up!’

According to ConversionXL, creating urgency can help you increase your sales by 332%! This sense of urgency tells people that they have limited time to purchase their offers.

Also, scarcity and FOMO are two effective techniques that can draw people into this. The fear of missing out is what brings people in because it tells them that this might be their last chance to join in. This along with other last-minute offers and psychological tricks can help you increase your sales in many clever ways.

Example: Google Store

Cart Abandonment / Failed Purchase: Hello again!

A great example that explains the abandoned cart email is Walmart’s email reminder that aims to re-engage visitors that already visited their site at a specific timeframe, but left without buying from them.

Likewise, at your LearnWorlds’ school, you can check your students’ activities through the events log and find out if there are any ‘canceled sales’. In order to win them over, you can send them a different email that you would normally send out to those who are regulars. Or you can find out who are registered users but non-paying customers and re-approach them through email.

In the following examples, notice how Walmart directs its audience on its social media, which is also part of its re-engagement strategy; how Fab mentions the limited quantity of the product to create scarcity; and how Casper -a mattress company- motivates users “not to give up on their dreams.”

Example 1: Walmart

Example 2: Fab

Example 3: Casper

Reminders: ‘7 Hours Left!’

Most emails that are sent out to customers can work as reminders, but when it comes to special offers and promotions, each word you write on that email counts! Just like the ‘Hurry Up’ email, this one sends out the message that the day of the sale is approaching fast. The countdown timer email urges people to check out what’s available.

What’s unique about this email is that it can be sent multiple times reminding people how many days are left before the sale ends. Also, you can make it count the days/hours/minutes to the start or the end of the sale.

Example 1: Gap

Example 2: Teavana

The Cheesy Email: ‘We’ve Missed You’

Although this may sound cheesy, the ‘we missed you’ email can be super effective as it makes people feel unique. This type of email is often sent out to lost subscribers and can include a clever message that reminds people of the benefits of staying in touch with your business. Also, this is a great opportunity to show them what you have been up to.

Along with this email, it helps to send out information on new products, offer discounts on memberships, a coupon code, a checklist, an invitation to a webinar, or a free ebook. All of these can help to re-engage those people who haven’t visited your site for some time.

Example: Mark AND Graham

Straight to the Point: “50% OFF”

Why waste time on boring introductions and risk losing the attention of the reader? Sometimes the best approach to writing a promotional email is cutting to the chase and using a strong call-to-action statement with big bold letters that say exactly what it needs to say.

Nothing more, nothing less. In a way, what you see in this email is what you get. Hence, it requires simplicity in words, colors, and rich media content.

Example: BB Dakota

Product Recommendations: “You might also like …”

The Black Friday and Cyber Monday periods offer the best timing to create new courses! So if you are planning to feature a brand-new course, send out an email informing your audience about it.

First, check out which students bought your courses and send them the new course that is relevant or similar to the one they bought previously. The ultimate goal is to send them an email encouraging them to check it out.

Example: DollarShaveClub

Going Big: “The Biggest Offer”

This is the type of email that says to your audience: “it’s time to buy the one thing you always wanted,” but was probably too expensive to do so in the past. What you can do is pick that one course that is not as popular as others and offer it at a better price – with a discount bigger than you usually do – just for this time.

Encourage your existing and new audience to buy their one-expensive favorite. As a plus, you can offer it along with other products e.g. a bundle, an e-book, or any other physical or digital product you may offer with your online courses.

Example: Dean & Deluca

Engagement: “Take a Survey!”

Be proactive and encourage your audience to take action through your email. Do this by sending an invitation to a survey as a requirement to get a course discount, or simply visit your site. This should be something that would spark their attention immediately.

Be aware though. Not many people like taking part in surveys, especially when they don’t get something out of it. Avoid writing the word ‘survey’ in the email headline or if you choose to do so make sure you offer something in return e.g. ‘Take this Survey and Win a Free Course’!

Combine this with your Black Friday deal, any other seasonal sale, or when you want to get feedback from your customers.

Example: Kate Spade Saturday

Surprise: “Surprise, Surprise!”

Who doesn’t like surprises when they are good surprises? The best sales are the last ones because they can give a massive boost to your profits at a limited cost – that is, sending another email. Retaining the discounts when the sale didn’t go as expected has the potential to get you a couple of more sales.

Adding 2 or 3 days to your Black Friday deal can do the trick and surprise your audience, supplying them with some extra time or even a bigger discount on your courses.

Example: Forever 21

There is no doubt that email still remains the best channel for digital marketing and sales, and will continue to be for years to come. Investing in email marketing for the upcoming Black Friday period is going to prepare your sales for a huge take-off. And these email examples are designed especially for this purpose!

Don’t forget to check out our article on How to Effectively Sell Your Online Courses Using Email Marketing to boost the performance of your Black Friday email campaign.

What’s Your Plan?

Take time to check out your inventory of courses, pick the best ones you got and get them out to the public. Whether you create a new course or choose to offer one as a giveaway, there are literally so many Black Friday marketing strategies to try out, and the choice is yours.

Besides, you know your customers better than anyone else. Deep dive into your online school’s analytics to make data-driven decisions. Choose the best and most suitable marketing strategy that serves your learners’ needs the most while increasing the chances of them responding to your offers.

Start working on your Black Friday deals today and, don’t forget the Cyber Monday period. Get your Cyber Monday offers ready too!

If you don’t have a LearnWorlds school yet, you can get started here and create your Black Friday offers just in time!

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Further reading you might find interesting:

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Content Creator at

Kyriaki is a Content Creator for the LearnWorlds team writing about marketing and e-learning, helping course creators on their journey to create, market, and sell their online courses. Equipped with a degree in Career Guidance, she has a strong background in education management and career success. In her free time, she gets crafty and musical.