Make the most of coupons and referrals

Whether you’ve got a large, loyal audience or you’re just starting out, promoting your course can increase sales and attract new students. Learn how to use tools like coupons and referral links to improve your revenue and reach.

“Why promote?”

First of all, no one knows your course better than you do. You know exactly who it’s for, what they’ll learn, and how it will benefit them. So you’re in a great position to spread the word, especially when your course is newly published.

Second, the students you bring in are generally more engaged. On average, students who purchase a course through an instructor link watch about 30% more course content in their first week than those brought in by Udemy promotions. The student/instructor connection really does matter!

And finally, when you use Udemy’s promotional tools to bring in a new student, you keep 97% of the revenue from the sale. Your promotion, your reward.

“What tools are available, and how should I use them?”

There are a few different tools you can use to promote your course (see here for technical details and instructions). The right combination of them will depend on your marketing strategy and how much time you want to devote to course promotions.

  • A referral link lets you refer unlimited students to a course without influencing its selling price. If you participate in the Udemy Deals Program, students who click your referral link may or may not see a discount, such as a special offer for new users.

    Referral links are great when you want to create a permanent way to passively channel students to your course (“set it and forget it”), like on your website or professional profile.
  • A discount coupon lets you create a temporary promotional price for your course. You can choose between a steep discount that lasts for a few days, or a more moderate discount that lasts for 30 days.

    A steep, temporary discount is great for running an urgency-driven promotion, like a sale you announce via email or social media. A more moderate discount is well-suited to content marketing like a series of YouTube videos or a blog post. For all coupons with expiration dates, be sure to communicate the deadline to your potential students to motivate them to enroll while the offer is still available.
  • A free coupon lets you give some lucky students free access to your course. You can choose to offer a free coupon to unlimited people during a short giveaway period or to offer it only to a select group (but give them longer to redeem it).

    Free coupons can be a good way to reward students (i.e. as part of an “early access” program), give gifts to friends and family, or build some initial traction if you’re just starting out in a competitive topic.

“How should I include referral links or coupons in my marketing?”

Great marketing is about finding the people who have a problem your course can address, helping them understand how your course will solve their problem, and making it easy for them to enroll. This is where links and coupons come in.

Whether you’re launching a new course or promoting an existing one to a new audience, make sure you:

  • Clearly explain who will benefit from your course and what that benefit looks like
  • Link to the course early in the message (whether that’s a referral link or a coupon link)
  • Set expectations about any deal you’re offering, including the price, who’s eligible, and the expiration date

Ready to create a promotion, but unsure where to start? Check out some ideas for marketing to an external audience here.

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