How to Use Limited-Time Bonuses to Increase Sales

If you’re going to run a special offer, you want to maximize your conversions. Limited-time bonuses are just one of the ways you can go about doing this.

How to Use Limited-Time Bonuses to Increase Sales

If you are in retail, you’ll understand how much revenue a sale can generate for your business. To give you a sense of just how crazy people can go over a sale, in 2018, shoppers spent $717.5 billion on Black Friday. That’s a pretty insane figure.

If you’re going to run a special offer, you want to maximize your conversions. Limited-time bonuses are just one of the ways you can go about doing this. Today, I’ll show you how to take advantage of limited-time bonuses to boost sales.

What is a limited time bonus & are they effective

Limited time bonuses are extras or freebies that are created to increase the conversion rate during a specific period. Bonuses are used a lot in sales. A quick check of your email inbox’s Promotions tab will reveal emails with subject lines like, “Get 7% off if you book now!” or “Last two days for you to claim your free ebook!”.

Offering a limited time bonus helps create a sense of urgency. It can make a person think, “it’s now or never.” If people think they are getting more than their money’s worth, they are less likely to hesitate about opening their wallets. This is common sense.

On my first product launch, a photo bundle, we tested a front end bonus before the public release. The conversion rate without a bonus was 3.7%, it jumped to 5.1% with a bonus. That’s a significant jump in conversions, and consequently, revenue.

The correlation between a jump in the conversion rate and the addition of a bonus is well established in affiliate marketing circles. JV Zoo, one of the largest affiliate platforms, offers an automated way to deliver bonuses to customers through their platform.

Essentially, people love a bargain. It’s why Black Friday is carnage, content upgrades boost email signups, and a sale can cause pandemonium.

Source: Giphy

So let’s look at how you can generate those extra sales by creating a relevant bonus for your offer.

How to Come Up with a Great Ideas for Your Bonus

I like to think of a good offer like a sandwich. Let’s say you are offering a subscription to a mobile budgeting app. The “meat” of the sandwich is the main product.

The “bread slices” consist of the bonuses. The slice of bread that goes on top should be directly related to the main product, such as a discount for the premium version of the software.

The bottom slice is the bonus. The bonus or bonuses you provide should be related to the product, but it is not part of the product. You’ll need to do a bit of brainstorming to come up with relevant bonuses to support your product.

What you want to identify are bonuses that a potential customer would find useful. These will generally be products that fill an information gap or add value to the core product. To do this you will need to understand the customer, and their pain points.

Continuing with the budgeting app example, here are a couple of ideas I came up with:

Now, you might have some better ideas. I wouldn’t be surprised if you did.

The purpose of this exercise is to brainstorm content that a person who decides to purchase the budgeting app would find useful. The more value the bonus adds to the core product, the higher the conversion rate. Your aim, after all, is to make this an unbeatable offer for the customer.

What can you offer as a limited time bonus?

I’ve given you a system for coming up with an idea for a relevant bonus for a product. You now need to consider how you’ll deliver the content to people. For information products, there are a couple of obvious formats you could use. They include:

  • Online course: a course is a great way to deliver information to your audience. You can provide the information in a range of mediums (video, written articles, audio files, etc.)
  • PDF or white paper: a free eBook or white paper is an obvious bonus. While most people won’t get round to reading the content, you must produce something really valuable
  • Video training: a 30-minute video, or something similar to this, is one of my preferred upgrades. The reason for this is people get to spend some face time with you. This is great, as facetime helps generate trust and a connection
  • Podcast: pretty much the same as video training, it’s just you deliver the bonus in audio format instead of video

These are pretty standard formats for delivering information products. You’re not limited to just information products.

PLR or white label products are a “go-to” option for many affiliate marketers. You can find information products and software on offer. You’ll find plenty of marketplaces that specialize in PLR products. Sites like Clickbank are an obvious place to start your search.

The advantage of a PLR offering is you don’t need to create anything. The trade off, of course, is the quality isn’t always there.

Finally, with a high value product, you might offer coaching calls as part of a limited time promotion. For example, you may offer one-on-one calls to the first 10 customers to sign up or offer group coaching calls.

Stacking Relevant Bonuses

In the previous section, I gave an example of different types of bonuses you can offer. It’s obviously possible to stack bonuses together. You can do this almost indefinitely.

I remember, a couple of years ago I was involved in a product launch where we stacked almost 20 bonuses together on the front end of a marketing funnel. You might think that’s excessive...

The funnel ended up generating a little over $600,000.

This is the power of stacking bonuses to the point where you’ve created a “no brainer” offer.

How to Present the Bonuses to Your Audience

You should have a decent idea of the kind of how to come up with a relevant bonus for an offer. That’s the theory of creating a bonus covered. So, let’s look at how to “sell” your bonus to increase those conversion rates.

There are two parts to this process. First, you need to clearly show the value of the product you are offering. Here is a nice example of how a bonus should be presented.

The bonus graphic provides an overview of what is being provided. It follows a sales copy formula. There’s the headline, with a description on the right side. You have the bullet points listing the benefits on the left.

You can see I’ve highlighted the price of the product on the right. You must highlight the value of the product to a potential buyer. This helps them place a monetary value on the offer. If you offer multiple bonuses, then you can stack the value of the bonuses together. It’s easy to do this using a landing page builder to create a custom sales page.

How long should I run a limited time offer?

The duration of your limited time bonus will depend mostly on the length of your product launch. However, most online marketers don’t extend these promotions beyond one week.

“From our experience running limited time offers and other promotions with the Zoomshift team, we found that 3-5 days is the ideal amount of time for a limited time offer. Most of the sales occur on the first and last day of the promotion. Keeping the gap to the minimum helps maintain that FOMO.” - Owen Jones, Zoomshift

A limited time bonus that lasts up to a week makes sense. It’s enough time for your audience to see your offer and act on it, but not enough time for them to be wishy-washy about it. You can pull off shorter windows if you promote in advance.

It’s advisable to be persistent about promoting your offer and limited time bonus. You need to create that FOMO and reveal the value of the bonus.


When you are running a promotion, you want to maximize your conversions. You’ll find a lot of content online that covers how to do this. Limited-time bonuses are one such method, which has been proven time and again to boost online sales.

In this guide, we covered how to use limited-time bonuses to boost your conversion rate. We started by looking at how to come up with relevant bonuses for an offer, how to stack offers, and finally, sell bonuses on a sales page. Now you know the theory, it’s time to put everything into practice. Good luck.

About the Author

Nico Prins

Nico is an online marketer and the founder of Launch Space. He helps companies make money blogging and optimize their site for conversions. He’s worked with everyone from Fortune 500 companies to startups, helping them develop content marketing strategies that align with their business goals. Follow him on Twitter @nhdprins.

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