Strategic Marketing: Using Deadlines and Discounts

Strategic marketing means promoting your products and services with a clear cut plan. Like most small business marketing consultants, I do a MUCH better job of doing this with my clients than I do in applying strategic marketing practices to my own stuff.

If you didn’t know it before, you should learn this now; it’s HUMAN NATURE to procrastinate! It’s why coupons have expiration dates, it’s why businesses have limited time SALES. There’s not better way to motivate buyers to ACT NOW than to impose a deadline! Putting a deadline on a discount is essential.

A discount without a deadline is simply a price cut.

Creating a deadline is a good marketing strategy. So, when I offered my Fast Track to Blogging Success for free, I put a deadline on that discount. The deadline has now passed – and the 100% discount is now over.

However, as I went in to remove the code, I remembered how I HATED it when I wasn’t able to get Naomi’s report when I missed the boat.

It was time to “enforce” my own deadline – and I was faced with a dilemma. If I didn’t remove the 100% discount, I’m a liar. If I remove it, then someone’s going to try to use the discount because they got here late and it won’t work. Then, forever more, if they ever think about “Virtual Impax,” it will cause “bad vibes”.

Talk about a “no win” situation!

So, instead of REMOVING the discount, I just reduced it. The discount code “CathRocks” now takes $10 off the $24.95 price.

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If you got it for free – then you still got a bargain, however if you’re late to the party – you can still pick it up at a discount.

However, in order for this discount to be “motivating” it still needs a deadline. Otherwise, it’s simply a thinly veiled attempt at a price cut. So the deadline is now moved to November 1 for the “CathRocks” discount code which was originally offered to readers of Cath Lawson’s OUTSTANDING blog.

If you haven’t checked out her blog, you should.  She definitely offers business advice from the “been there, done that, bought the T-shirt AND the factory which produces the T-shirts”  point of view.    Cath is a serial entrepreneur – and honestly, I don’t think there’s any other kind of entrepreneur.  She shares her wisdom with a healthy dose of wit via her blog on a regular basis.    In other words, she’s the’s the real deal and it shows!


  1. Great marketing.. Seriously. Cath has a button on her blog that reads, Do Not Click This Button, what is she hiding behind that button? I want to click it so bad….But she says don’t.

  2. Hi Kathy. I’ll second that. “…she’s the real deal and it shows!” And you know what they always say, “It takes one to know one.”

    Davinas last blog post..Thanks, It Means The World To Me

  3. Hi Kathy – deadlines are a great way to motivate folk to act now aren’t they? And thanks for still giving a discount on your report. It is absolutely brilliant – plenty of folk seem to be raving about it, which is great.

    A lot of the commenters on my site just haven’t got round to learning SEO, so hopefully your report will encourage them. If $15 million can’t persuade folk, I’m guessing nothing will.

  4. @Jim
    Isn’t she BRILLIANT! You’ll click soon. (You’re a better person than I am! I clicked IMMEDIATELY!)

    @ Davina,

    @ Cath,
    With all the horrible financial news, a big sale is a great way to grab US residents attention – that’s for sure!!!

  5. Hi Kathy,

    That is a hard call, isn’t it? You want to motivate people to take advantage of the offer, but at the same time you don’t want to make people feel bad.

    One approach that some of my clients take is this: a case by case basis. Sometimes people email about the product or service, and either ask if they can still get the discount or mention that they paid full price and that it was well worth it.

    If they took the time to email then, depending on the original offer, my clients might give it to them at original discounted price or give them a credit for the same amount on a future purchase. That’s a good tip for us as consumers as well — it never hurts to ask.

    In the case of a 100% discount, I think eventually you have to start charging for it. But I think it’s a good move to continue giving a discount to keep that happy balance between “deadline” and “not selling disappointment”. As I already stated on my own blog, your report is great, and worth the few bucks you are charging. (It’s worth that for your Wordle tip alone!)

    I hope it does well for you.


  6. @Graham,

    Thanks for your 2 cents! I really appreciate it. You have no idea how much your recommendation means to me!

  7. I’m so glad I didn’t procrastinate! I’m looking forward to reading it (no time yet).

    Your first paragraph sure hit home with me – I’m always on top of things for my clients, but my web sites are like the cobblers children who have no shoes.

  8. @SEO Diva,
    There’s a reason cliches are what they are! In other words, me too!!!