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Marketing on Udemy

Udemy Promotions

One of the biggest benefits of putting your course up on Udemy is exposing your personal brand to Udemy’s millions of students.

Udemy markets your course(s) in a number of ways:

Our Marketing Team works to make sure your course gets in front of the right students at the right time. When they run highly targeted email promotions, they look at these factors to determine which course(s) to feature:

  • Relevance: Is this course in-demand by the targeted group of students?
  • Course Performance: If we feature this course in an email campaign, are students going to find it irresistible and “convert,” or purchase it? When evaluating a course, students look at a number of factors to decide whether to enroll or not. They look at the course title and subtitle, price, number of students enrolled, 5-star reviews, instructor bio, etc. For instance, courses with 100+ students and 20+ written 5-star reviews will convert better than a comparable course with 20 students and 2 reviews.

When Udemy runs a promotion, it’s highly targeted based on students’ login, browsing, buying frequency, and activity. For instance, a student logging into Udemy once per week and purchasing two courses per month will likely not receive an email advertising 50% off courses because they are in the “active and buying” student segment. However, a student who has not logged into Udemy in three months and has never purchased a course may receive a 30% off promotion. These “activation campaigns” are reserved for inactive students.

If someone is new to Udemy and is not logged into the site, they will not see any of Udemy’s promotions. At times you’ll see a hello bar at the top of our site advertising a promotion; students new to Udemy, that are not logged in will never see these promotions. By keeping our students hyper-segmented, we’re able to facilitate the “decided” students purchasing courses at full price and nudge the “undecided” students to take a risk and purchase their first course.


Retargeting Ads: Udemy’s Marketing Team is invested in marketing your course off of Udemy, primarily through retargeted Facebook ads. We want to keep your course on your potential student’s mind, even when they’re not on Udemy. Here’s how:

  • If a student has 1) Viewed your course but not purchased it; 2) Wish listed your course but not purchased it; 3) Previewed your course but not purchased it they’ll see an ad for your course appear in their Facebook newsfeed.
  • If a student has 1) Viewed your course but not purchased it; 2) Wish listed your course but not purchased it; 3) Previewed your course but not purchased it they’ll see an ad for your course appear on sites around the web.
  • Retargeting ads generally contain a discount.

Effective Search & Discovery: Our Product team is constantly improving the browsing experience on Udemy. They work to make internal Udemy search more accurate and effective and personalize students’ experience to help them find the right course (including yours) at the right time.


Ad-hoc Email Campaigns: If you’re a student on Udemy, you’ve probably seen these emails before. “Heat up your Skills for Summer”, “Do Something Today your Future Self will Thank you For” — these sorts of emails are what we call “Ad Hoc Campaigns”. Wondering who sees these emails and what they include?

  • Every email campaign is highly personalized. This means that just because you receive it doesn’t mean that your friend who’s also a student on Udemy will. We segment our students based on very specific behaviors and past purchases.
  • Email campaigns generally contain discounts. We also customize our coupons and discounts depending on the student’s behavior.
  • The most visible courses featured in the discount email are courses that the student receiving the email has 1) Viewed but not purchased; 2) Wish listed but not purchased; 3) Previewed but not purchased. We also feature courses that have a proven track record of selling as well as delighting students.

Action-Based Emails: The Udemy Marketing Team identifies certain student actions on the site that indicate a student’s interest in purchasing a course. Once our system identifies those actions, we’ll send out a hyper targeted (just to that student!) email campaign. Here’s how.

  • Every action based email is hyper targeted. That means our system sends out one email to one student, based only on their actions on the site.
  • Typical actions that could trigger a targeted email are: searching a specific term; previewing a course; watching a course’s promo video; wish listing a course.

Action based emails generally contain discounts based off of a student’s behaviors on the site


External Partner Promotions: Udemy works with external partners—daily deal sites such as Groupon and LivingSocial and large niche content sites. We select courses that are in-demand by the external partner and help instructors reach a brand new demographic.


Because these ad campaigns are so highly targeted, the chance of seeing your own course in a promotional email to your personal account is small. But rest assured your course is being promoted to interested students both on and off of Udemy.


Include Your Course in Udemy Promotions

It’s easy to opt-into Udemy marketing programs. Log into your Udemy account, go to Edit Premium Instructor and select the marketing programs you’d like to opt into.

By opting in, you have the opportunity for your course to be featured in Affiliate promotions, paid ads on Google and Facebook, internal email campaigns, promotions with third parties such as Amazon and Groupon, and more.

Udemy’s promotions are able to generate a great deal of incremental income and help you reach new audiences.