Ecommerce Growth

Limited-Time Offer: 20 Compelling Examples + How To Copy Them

Using discounts is an old trick. Explore these 20 fresh and creative limited-time offer ideas to give your conversions a breath of fresh air and a boost.

Limited-Time Offer: 20 Compelling Examples + How To Copy Them

Science has shown consistently that humans equate scarcity with value.

A group of researchers ran a study to determine how scarcity influences value using two identical jars and 12 cookies. They placed ten cookies in one jar and just two in the other jar.

Surprisingly, the participants valued the cookies in the near-empty jar as more desirable, despite the jars containing the same cookies reinforcing one of the oldest marketers’ tricks.

Today, savvy marketers use limited time offers to drive urgency and scarcity; businesses use the fear of missing out (FOMO) to convert middle-of-the-funnel visitors into buyers.

In addition to converting shoppers to buyers, you can use limited time offers to clear old stocks or build interest in a new product.

20 creative ways to use limited time offers to supercharge your conversions

1. Using attention-grabbing popups to stop abandoning shoppers

Not every visitor is going to buy from your eCommerce store, notwithstanding how compelling the offer is. 

A study found that close to 70% will add products to the cart and disappear without checking out. At 86 percent, mobile shoppers have a higher cart abandonment rate, which poses a huge problem considering that people are shopping on mobile more than ever.

Of course, this is incredibly frustrating, but you can cut into that number using attention-grabbing exit popups. 

We love how SwissWatchExpo, an online retailer of pre-owned luxury watches, does it. So let’s see what we can learn from them.

example of popup with limited time offer from SwissWatchExpo 

The brand re-engages shoppers abandoning carts with an exit popup, offering them a huge discount plus free shipping.

The popup design and messaging are straightforward, focusing visitors on the offer effortlessly.

SwissWatchExpo’s countdown timer heightens urgency, making the offer fleeting. In addition, it uses a benefit-based CTA button to set clear expectations.

How to apply

  • Use a minimalist design and a nice contrast to make the popup less overwhelming
  • Use a benefit-focused CTA to set clear expectations and enable sales on the fly
  • Most of your visitors are likely shopping on mobile, so make the popup responsive for all, regardless of their screen sizes
  • Use a countdown timer to create scarcity and a “now or never” moment with shoppers
  • Avoid using generic popups for all products; personalize your limited-time offer messaging
  • Create popups like a human, not robots—use A/B tests to learn what your audience wants
  • Use entrance animation to grab attention effortlessly

2. Use free shipping offers to improve your checkout rate

Consumers are becoming more sophisticated with their demands, with some expecting brands to offer them free shipping.

Though some brands often see this as a big ask, a study by Baymard Institute found such sacrifice can reduce cart abandonment by about 55%, providing savvy brands opportunities to improve their conversion numbers by more than half.

Furthermore, close to three-quarters of consumers will purchase a product faster if they don’t have to pay for a delivery, while almost a quarter will shop more to qualify for free shipping. Making the offer fleeting plays on consumers’ fear of missing out, enabling sales effortlessly, and giving you crazy checkout conversions.

Zappos, an American eCommerce fashion brand, does this so well. Let’s dive into their shiny little secrets.

The company delivers free and expedited shipping to customers, delivering more with less, in line with its core values.

Consequently, Zappos’s online store receives up to 21 million monthly visitors, who spend nearly 4 minutes on average navigating up to 5 pages per visit.

Zappos’ free shipping offers are a huge draw for online shoppers. But the company makes the offer time-bound, leveraging consumers’ fear of missing out to drive its impressive engagement numbers. 

Example of limited time free shipping offer by Zappos

It places the offer above the fold, making it accessible to all visitors, regardless of their session duration. Furthermore, the font color contrasts the website colors, also making it grab attention effortlessly.

How to apply

Limited time free shipping offers can improve checkouts, boost average order value and drive customer retention

Here’s a quick guide on applying it:

  • Make the offer message benefit-focused, unambiguous, straightforward, and actionable
  • Visitors spend 54% of their viewing time above the fold, so place your free shipping above the fold, like Zappos did, to grab attention effortlessly
  • Tap into urgency by making the offer time-bound
  • Trigger a countdown timer when shoppers land on the page to heighten the urgency
  • A/B test the offer and the timer to learn what works for your audience

Don't forget to check out Free Shipping: Still a Conversion Driver in 2022? (+ Brands Nailing It)

3. Send limited-time sales email updates with psychological triggers

Email is the past, the present, and the future—and it’s not going anywhere yet.

It’s 40-times more effective than social media, and shoppers who receive email offers spend a staggering 138% more than those who don't. And most marketers believe it's the most effective revenue generation channel.

Of course, the current trends are inspiring. Luckily, you can tap into this magic to drive game-changing numbers by adding psychological triggers to the email and leveraging what consumers often hate the most—missing out on good deals.

We love how Brooklinen does this during its 5th anniversary.

Example of limited sales emails from Brooklinen

The email offered shoppers a time-bound 20% discount on all purchases, using emotional triggers in a compelling email copy to create memories and excitement.

Brooklinen’s email message is concise but powerful, creating a sense of urgency in a few words. In addition, the brand used a single CTA to focus shoppers on the offer. 

Its countdown timer reinforces the audience's FOMO, boosting their anticipation with each passing second. 

example of countdown timer by Brooklinen to spark urgency

Below the timer, it uses an emotionally charged copy and benefit-based CTA button to set out what they stand to lose. 

How to apply 

  • Use an intuitive and less pastel design to make your limited time offer email less overwhelming
  • Set clear expectations of what the audience is getting from the offer and use psychological triggers to create emotional moments
  • Consumers are loss averse, so tell them what they stand to lose by missing the offer, rather than boring them with the offer benefits
  • Use benefit-focused and actionable CTA to enable conversion effortlessly. Multiple CTAs work best for offers with several conversion paths
  • Videos convert like crazy. Sadly, most email clients don’t support video embedding. But you can convert and use it as a GIF image in the email as a walk around

4. Meet daily AOV targets with countdown timers

Increasing average order value (AOV) helps eCommerce founders scale business revenue with minimal resources, making it one of their biggest challenges.

All this entails is improving the amount shoppers spend per purchase. 

Of course, it’s not as simple as it sounds; however, it’s also not as difficult as people often make it seem. It’s evident in the numbers—research says it’s five times easier to sell to existing customers than acquiring new ones.

Thankfully, our recent article demystified this—providing baby steps to improving AOV with non-intrusive upsells.

Wondering how to put your upsells on steroids to meet daily AOV targets? It’s simple—use a countdown timer. 

Best Buy does this so well—it receives up to 140 million monthly visits, and close to 45% of the visits were direct, likely from returning shoppers.

The brand doesn’t overtly rely on upsells to improve its daily AOV. It offers shoppers one-day exclusive deals plus free next-day delivery. With new incredible deals daily, it offers them limited quantities to create exclusivity. 

Example of increasing AOV with daily offers by BestBuy

The countdown timer puts the shoppers on the spot, heightening their FOMO with each countdown and reminding them what they stand to lose without being pushy.

Best Buy’s clutter-free “Deal of the Day” page is less distracting, enabling it to gain shoppers’ attention effortlessly. Furthermore, the company offers shoppers a price match guarantee to make the deals more compelling. 

How to apply

Follow these tips to get shoppers to spend more per session:

  • Incentivize upsells at checkout with free shipping or discount and make the offer time-bound
  • Create a Deal of the Day page, offering shoppers incredible one-day exclusive deals, as Best Buy does, and promote the page to shoppers
  • Grab the attention of the buyers on the deal with a less overwhelming page design
  • Price intelligently—use a time-sensitive product bundle to get shoppers to spend more
  • Convey urgency by using countdown timer to trigger FOMO in your limited-time promotion

5. Boost loyalty with limited period email deals

Consumers that trust your brand are more likely to make more significant commitments. So rewarding their loyalty with exclusive limited-period email deals can make them spend more. 

Research said loyalty programs could increase average order quantity by a staggering 319%, and in a different study, Bond found 66% of shoppers modify their spending to maximize loyalty benefits.

And you could make it more potent by making the benefits transient, and ColourPop does this so well with its animated campaign.

 Example of loyalty-based email deals by ColourPop

The brand sells high-quality and cruelty-free cosmetics at affordable prices. 

Its loyalty program leverages existing relationships to boost sales and customer loyalty. It offers loyal customers VIP deals, allowing them a 20% discount on selected luxury beauty products.

But there’s a catch, it allows them only six hours to take the deal or completely miss out, a nice trick to trigger their FOMO to make them vulnerable to reactive purchases.

How to apply

Brands that do loyalty well grow revenue over two times faster than their industry peers. These tips could get you similar results:

  • Personalize the offer to make it relatable—the era of one-size-fits-all email marketing is long gone; consumers expect brands to offer them a personalized experience
  • No two customers are the same, so segment your list for hyper-personalization
  • Use the psychology of loss aversion to your advantage—tell shoppers what they stand to lose rather than what they’ll gain
  • Customers buy more when they feel appreciated. Use compelling limited time email copy to inform them the offer is to reward their loyalty
  • Trigger their FOMO with a countdown timer

6. Land year-round sales with seasonal period offers

Seasonal periods like Christmas, Cyber Mondays, and others provide opportunities to drive sales with limited time offers.

U.S. total holiday retail sales reached $789 billion in 2020, growing by 8.3% despite the pandemic, with eCommerce accounting for $209 billion of those sales.

Most retailers generate 20% to 30% of their annual sales during the holidays, according to reports from the National Retail Federation. This makes holiday marketing an effective channel to grow revenue and expand the customer base.

Seasonal periods already drive a sense of urgency, so you don’t even have to do more to trigger FOMO. Promoting the offer on a holiday-theme page and incentivizing purchase with free shipping could be all you need to tap into its magic.

A simple campaign might look like this.

Example of a seasonal period offer by Faherty

Faherty Brand, a clothing eCommerce brand, promotes its winter sales on a clean and less-distracting winter-themed page, offering shoppers up to 50% discounts plus free shipping on orders above $95, a nice trick to increase AOV.

Faherty’s intelligent pricing lets shoppers see how much they’ll save taking the offer.

The brand’s straightforward page design makes the offers stand out, and it would have killed it totally with a countdown timer.

How to apply

Here’s how to make your seasonal marketing more potent:

  • Strategically placing countdown timers in limited time promotions can increase conversions by 400%
  • Keep the page simple and reinforce it with your brand identity
  • Offer only limited quantities to create exclusivity
  • Use the decoy effect to your advantage. Get shoppers to spend more effortlessly with product bundles
  • Provides a FAQs section or live chat to enable shoppers to get help on the fly

7. Promote products and categories with limited offer banners

Product categorization makes it effortless for online shoppers to discover products. 

It streamlines product searches, enabling shoppers to browse products painlessly, compare prices on the fly, make a choice on the spot, and navigate quickly to the product page for checkout. 

You could boost sales by promoting popular categories and products with limited offer banners.

Several brands like Amazon, Aliexpress, and LuckyVitamins do it so well. 

Here’s how Bed Baths & Beyond does this. 

Example of limited offer banners by Bed Bath & Beyond

Bed Bath & Beyond channels a lot of traffic to popular categories with attention-grabbing limited-offer banners, offering shoppers huge discounts to incentivize purchases.

Its benefit-focused copy makes the offer compelling. In addition, the brand uses a combination of limited quantities and limited-period to create scarcity and urgency. 

How to apply

Promoting categories and products with banners is a no-brainer. Action these tips for enjoying impressive numbers:

  • First, follow the guide here to make your category page high-converting
  • Use benefit-focused products or categories to make the limited-time offer compelling
  • Create urgency and scarcity by offering time-bound limited inventory
  • Incentivize purchases with discounts or free shipping
  • Use a homepage feature banner to drive shoppers to the categories

Short on time? Here's a quick video with all the brilliant examples:

8. Experiment with your pricing using flash sales

Flash sales offer enormous discounts on limited stock selections for a short time. 

It’s effective for enabling impulse buy. Most eCommerce brands often utilize the strategy to clear excess inventory, boost customer loyalty, attract new customers and drive short-term revenue.

Pricing is often at the center of most purchasing decisions. About 65% of shoppers check for price comparison while in a brick-and-mortar store, influencing 51% of purchasing decisions. 

But flash sales could help you establish the price level your customers will love. However, over pushing it could make them develop flash sales fatigue.

Here’s how to set up a straightforward flash sale campaign.

example of flash sale by JackRabbit

JackRabbit  makes flash sales look effortless. It runs week-long campaigns with a bold but straightforward landing page design that grabs attention on the spot and enables consumers to shop in any category without fiddling with the navigation menu.

JackRabbit makes the page stand out with a red theme, likely to create urgency and excitement. 

Psychologists found that the red color creates urgency, encourages appetite, and gets people to act. It gives a 40% discount on selected products to make the offers irresistible, plus free shipping for orders above $75 to enable sales and grow the AOV.

JackRabbit makes product filtering and sorting seamless, enabling shoppers to match their intent with few mouse clicks.

How to apply

Flash sales can boost return purchases by 385% on average. Follow these steps to make it work for you.

  • Create a red-themed landing page for your flash sales campaigns to create appeal
  • Don’t overflog your flash sales campaigns—absence makes the heart grow fonder
  • Place your limited-time sales campaigns above the fold for higher visibility
  • Make it straightforward for people to shop in any category without navigating away from the offer page
  • Offer limited inventory and embed an indicator that shows the number of purchases
  • Keep the campaign window too narrow; anything above 72 hours is going wide
  • Promote flash sales campaigns to customers with email—research shows 67% of businesses have seen results

9. Sell slow-moving products with clearance sale offers

The beginning of the year and post-holidays often offer most retail stores a slow start, perhaps due to bill hangovers. But for most savvy eCommerce brands, they provide ample opportunity to drive sales from penny-pinching consumers.

Clearance sales are potent if done sparingly, preferably during post-holidays, and can help brands clear slow-moving products off the shelves.

Its year-round nature makes shoppers anticipate them, creating a FOMO that pits them against each other in a frenzy competition to avoid missing out.

We love how Loft does it. Let’s see what we can learn from them.

Example of clearance sale offers from Loft

Loft’s one-day clearance sales offer shoppers a 40% discount on selected products. And shoppers can get in with as little as $12.99. Also, the brand promotes the offer with a beautiful sidebar, making it grab attention on the fly.  

Loft uses the scarcity principle to its advantage. It offers shoppers limited stock and uses an intuitive indicator to show the number of available inventory to create a “now or never” moment.

Furthermore, it leverages customer rating to reinforce shoppers' trust, to make deciding easier.

How to apply

Clearance sales are quite a business, of course, if done right. These tips help you set it up correctly:

  • Run your clearance sales campaigns infrequently to retain its appeal; it’s often the most effective post-holiday sales
  • Promote the campaign ahead of time, keep the shopping window too narrow and offer shoppers huge discounts to create a shopping frenzy
  • Use color psychology to make the campaign’s landing page exciting. For example, darker colors are often overwhelming and energy-sapping. So, only use them intelligently on the landing page
  • Add customer ratings to help shoppers make quicker decisions
  • Use a countdown timer and stock indicator to trigger shoppers’ FOMO

10. Convert window shoppers with limited period offer

A staggering 92% of eCommerce shoppers don’t buy on first visits.

They could be window shopping, comparing prices, discovering products, or doing other stuff without current intent to buy. However, it could be a rewarding experience both for the brand and the window shopper.

According to Lan Xia, a professor of marketing, window shopping could lead to serendipity (impulse buy). In her words, “One thing leads to another and you (shoppers) end up with something you (they) hadn’t thought of buying in the first place.”

Offering window shoppers compelling limited period deals could drive first-time purchases, preventing them from slipping away.

Let’s examine how to set this up, studying a brand that does it well.

Example of using limited period offers to convert window shoppers 

thredUP offers a considerable discount, up to 50%, to incentivize first order purchases.

However, the brand understands most visitors will not convert at first visits, regardless of the offer. So, rather than go for a straight kill, it asks first-time shoppers to enter their emails to the discount code emailed to them.

Emailing the discount code helps thredUP grow its email list and lets them nurture non-converters into customers in the future.

It's not everyday shoppers get a 50% discount, so thredUP makes the offer time-sensitive to drive immediate action.

How to apply 

Follow these tips to convert window shoppers effortlessly.

  • Use a limited-time sale popup on the homepage to offer a considerable discount to first-time visitors—Trigger the popup after 60 seconds or during exit to make it less intrusive
  • Use a countdown timer on the popup to trigger shoppers’ FOMO
  • Like thredUP, don’t go for a straight kill; request shoppers to submit their email to receive the discount code
  • Retarget non-converters to drive sales—a study shows that retargeted visitors are 43% more likely to buy

11. Offer free gifts and gift cards for a limited time  

Free stuff is always exciting and the subconscious effect of the word on the human mind is severely underestimated. 

One way to roll out limited-time offers is to give out free gifts on the purchase of an item. 

Here’s an example of a free gift offer plus a gift card offer from Wool & Oak which is a limited-time offer done right. 

Free gift limited time offer example

Offering a free gift on a purchase of a bag is a great incentive for customers to buy. Since the gift in this context supplements the utility of the bag, there’s an increase in perceived value from the customers. 

A study discovered that when product bundles are labeled as a free gift, customers tend to perceive the value of the primary item as high, while that of ‘free’ item as low. 

This increases repurchase intentions for the primary item because of its perceived value. 

It also nudges the customers to participate in the contest to buy more and qualify for the gift card. 

If you observe the email includes three options each containing a free item. This is the mere exposure effect. As per this principle, customers tend to develop a liking or preference for an item when they are shown frequently. 

The offer of free items plus a $200 gift card is an irresistible offer for customers. 

How to apply

  • Using free shipping is an incentive guaranteed to work as customers don’t want to spend additional money. They believe the eCommerce brand should incur the shipping costs
  • Using easy returns can help reduce the perceived risk customers may have
  • Adding a price match badge to your limited time promotion can help reinforce the confidence in customers 

12. Above the fold countdown timer for high visibility 

Above the fold content tends to have higher visibility compared to below the fold content. 

The reason is the average attention span of 8 seconds. Too many options will cause friction for the users and is a thumbs down when it comes to user experience. 

Everlast uses a countdown timer in its above the fold ensuring high visibility. It evokes scarcity and the urgency to act. 

‘What if I miss out on the offer’ compels the user to check the offer and make a purchase. It doesn't make the shoppers think and leads to an impulsive purchase. 

Everlast Above the fold countdown timer

The color palette used for both headers enables cognitive ease. Users can differentiate between the two in the first few seconds. The brand identity is reinforced due to the use of its brand colors. 

Colors invoke various emotions. In a study, 21% of the users opined white color to convey trust while 16% associated the color black with security. 

The offer messaging and the countdown timer are in separate colors which is a great user experience hack. 

How to apply

  • Use a limited stock alert in your header to convey that this product has high demand
  • Increase the size of the countdown timer to enforce urgency 
  • Include easy returns in the header to address the perceived risk 
  • Add recent sale notifications which is a perfect blend of social proof and FOMO 

13. Reintroduce limited-time offers for users who missed out 

A sizable chunk of users may have abandoned their carts but may still be tempted to make a purchase. By reintroducing the limited-time offers, you are opening a space for conversions from visitors who dropped off. 

Reintroduce limited-time offers to winback customers

This a great nudge email as the key messaging These deals have ended but more deals are waiting for you conveys reciprocity. As per this principle, customers are likely to repay a favor when one is done to them. 

This email by Harley Davidson uses multiple hacks to woo customers — 

  • Online and In-store shopping:  By offering both online and in-store options, it's offering convenience to shoppers. 
  • Limited-time offers: While the limited-time offer is good, it’s the uber-specific pricing that makes it persuasive. By quoting $139.95 and $129.95, the pricing will seem fair as customers think rounded figures are artificially inflated. This can improve the CTR. 
  • Product categories: With four product categories, the customers have options to explore. This avoids choice paralysis. 
  • Holiday gifts/Free Gift with $300 purchase/dealer option: With these compelling gifts, there is an opportunity to increase average spending, increase AOV, and reduce buyer’s remorse.
  • Free shipping: Free shipping is a convincing incentive for customers to buy as the majority of them don’t want to pay the additional costs. As much as 90% of customers will buy more online if free shipping is offered.
  • Free returns: A free returns policy assures the customers that they all are going to be well if the product fails. This allows customers to experiment by addressing risk aversion. 

How to apply

  • Including customer reviews in your limited time campaigns can increase buyer confidence since social cognition is in action—It's based on the premise that if it works for them, it must be good as 88% of customers consider user reviews on par with personal recommendations
  • Adding a customer number or chat can help address customer queries which can lead to conversions 
  • Including a cause that you’re devoted to can help shape a positive brand perception by your customers

14. Use GIFs to draw attention toward limited-time deals 

GIFs are the best invention after the bottle opener! 

Using GIFs in your emails can help communicate your message better. Unlike static images, they hold the user’s attention remarkably well. 

GIFs are proven to boost conversions in emails. As per a BluFly study, emails with GIFs scored 12% more revenue than their non-animated variants. 

Here’s an email by UnderArmour including a GIF in its limited-time offer promo email.

UnderArmour Limited time offer GIF example

The GIF conveys that there’s an offer for running shoes, slides, basketball shoes, and football cleats. 

The element of curiosity piques the customer’s interest in clicking the CTA. 

It doesn’t take up too much space which is an advantage that GIF offers. It enhances your brand personality with the right tone and voice. 

With its ability to convert complex topics into simplified information, it boosts engagement levels by 2x.

How to apply

  • Including promo codes to avail limited time deals can increase the oxytocin levels in customers leading to more conversions  
  • Offering a chance to feature customers in your campaigns is a great way to build user-generated content with legitimate social proof
  • Including FAQs can help answer basic queries can help educate customers 

15. Display product badges + limited-time offers 

Product badges added to product pages trigger the subconscious mind into taking an action. It evokes scarcity, urgency, social proof, and a steal deal. 

Here is an example of using a product badge on a limited-time offer that can increase conversions. 

Product badge + limited time deal to expediate urgency

American Tourister uses a Customer Favorite product badge on its product page to convey social proof. 

Since this is a product liked by customers, it must be good which is why it is a fast-selling product. This conveys the urgency to act. 

Further, the Limited Time Deal Special Pricing is a great reinforcer written in red which ensures that it is on top of the mind for customers. 

 How to apply

  • Experiment with different colors for your product badges. Colors elicit different emotions which can initiate responses. For instance, red induces appetite while blue gives a sense of security
  • Including a low stock alert can help increase conversions as it triggers urgency 
  • Provide a ‘Add to Wishlist’ option for users to save it for later

16. Take advantage of the holiday season

The holidays are a great time to take advantage of limited time offers and create an image for your brand as a fail-safe fallback for holiday gifting.

Here are a few examples of great limited time offers that you can use during the holiday season:

a) Free shipping on all orders

This is a great offer if you're looking to increase the number of orders coming in. You can also set a threshold to control the average order value and ensure profitability is maintained.

b) Discounts on holiday gifts

This one’s a classic with several eCommerce brands offering special discounts on select holiday gifts.

c) Limited-time holiday sales

Many eCommerce brands offer special holiday sales during the holiday season. This is a great way to help customers save some money and cash in on last-minute holiday purchases.

d) Holiday gift ideas

Building a special holiday gift guide works wonders for customers who don’t have the time or willpower to scroll through all your offerings.

17. Factor in product affinity & build bundles that offer greater value

People love a good deal, so offer a limited time bundle of products or services at a discounted price. This helps to upsell customers and move multiple items at once.

Bundling products together is also a great way to increase the average order value of your customers.

By offering a discount on a bundle of items, you can encourage customers to buy more than they originally intended and still receive a deal they’re happy with.

18. Bring back the attention with seasonal discounts

Seasonal discounts are a common way to attract shoppers during key shopping periods like Christmas or Back-to-School. By offering a percentage off or free shipping, you can entice customers to buy from you instead of the competition.

You can also run these in accordance with flash sales.

They’re a good practice to get rid of excess inventory or boost sales during a slow period. They create a sense of urgency and can be a great way to move product.

Limited time offer: Seasonal discounts

19. Cash in on mystery offers

Mystery offers are a great way to build a sense of intrigue in the minds of your audience. A good limited-time mystery offer campaign will drive traffic to your website, thus boosting conversions and ultimately growing your business.

Mystery offers are fun and exciting for the buyer. There are many different types of mystery offers out there, but each one has one thing in common – you don't know what the deal is until after you've engaged.

Pretty cool, eh?

Limied time offer template: Mystery offers

20. Offer dual discount with a catch  

A dual discount can intensify your limited-time offer email campaigns. Charles Tyrwhitt offers time-sensitive dual discounts to customers with the power of choice. 

limited time offer email: Dual discount with diminishing window

The limited-time offer is highly time-sensitive where customers get 25% off until 3:59 PM and thereafter the discount stands at 20%. This principle invokes loss aversion—the tendency to avoid losses in exchange for acquiring equivalent gains. 

The loss of perceived benefit increases if the customers miss out on the 25%. This nudges customers to act. The gap between the 25% and 20% triggers urgency to act and leverage the opportunity of the most obvious choice. 

How to apply

  • Use a strong hero image in your limited-time offer templates to grab users’ attention
  • Apply two different colors to show contrast to enable heuristics 
  • Add a countdown timer to increase urgency by the minute 
  • Offer BNPL options to encourage hesitating customers to purchase

A/B test them to remove the guesswork

It’s time you took action on these 20 limited time offer marketing examples. They will help you level up with the eCommerce brands you admire their conversion numbers. You can start with optimizing mobile, if more of your shoppers are using that channel. Research your competitors to understand what they’re doing and get ahead of them.

Customers are often unpredictable with their expectations. But A/B testing your limited time offers helps you remove the guesswork, enabling you to run a campaign they’ll love, provide them with positive shopping experiences and align the offers to their expectations. 

Buyers, markets, and regulations are always changing—A/B test your offers to deliver shopping experiences your audience will love. Using our free website conversion audit tool, you can uncover and fix frictions in your sales process.

Limited Time Offer 101

1. How do you write a limited-time offer?

Limited-time offers that get users to click often tick these checkboxes — 

a) Copy that sells 

The copy is the first your customers see. This is true be it on your website, emails, social media, or push notifications. 

The copy should catch their attention, spark an interest, create a desire, and trigger an action. 80% of customers read headlines while just 20% read the rest of the content. 

Here’s an example of how using a value proposition in your copy can increase conversions. 

Example for value proposition in your copy

The world’s thinnest tablet is compelling to convey the value proposition. The visual also reinforces the value proposition. 65% of customers are visual learners meaning they learn faster through images. 

The description below mentions the dimensions which provide a paper-like writing experience. 

Using words that evoke urgency like limited time, offer ends soon, and last chance in your copy works effectively. 

b) Make the number the hero of the content 

 Your limited-offer only has a more psychological impact when the number is emphasized in the headline. 

The bigger the size of the font the higher it will create a subconscious impact in the brain. 

Casper emphasizes the offer on its above the fold homepage. 

Notice how Save up to $600 on mattresses.* is bigger compared to the rest of the text. This ensures that the customers pay attention to this more than anything else. 

Casper Limited time offer example

The reason why this is effective can be attributed to the framing effect. According to this principle, a dollar-off discount works better for products priced more than $100.  

c) Back up the offer with incentives

Limited-time offers always don’t seem compelling. Customers tend to develop a sense of perceived risk. It makes them think what if the purchase isn’t worth the money. 

In this case, adding easy returns, free shipping, and other incentives can reduce risk aversion.

2. How do you say limited time only? 

Limited-time offers are of various types. Here’s what works well — 

a) Countdown timers 

Countdown timers are the most popular limited-time offer strategies used. They elicit urgency and scarcity, compelling customers to take action. 

With the clock ticking and the limited-time offer imprinted in their minds, there’s no way why countdown timers would fail. 

Fracture uses a countdown timer for a limited-time sale on its homepage. 

limited-time offer examples: Countdown timer

The discount and minimum order are visible and the countdown timer is a great reinforcer for customers to take action now. 

Using countdown timers can increase conversions anywhere between 3.5% to 10%

It provides a promo code which is a highly potent converting incentive that customers love. 

b) Sitewide discounts 

A product category discount may not be possible. In that case, a sitewide discount can help you. 

It can convert new visitors and discount only shoppers who can become frequent buyers. 

ASOS provides an extra 50% off on 1000s of products. It provides a promo code which is a nudge to get customers to buy. 

Sitewide discounts help sell slow-moving inventory without hurting your profit margins. The cost is recovered by the AOV. 

limited time offer template: Sitewide discounts

c) Try Flash sales 

Flash sales are limited-period offers usually for a 24-hour period. It’s not uncommon to see the 2-hour or 3-hour flash sales as they have proven to be more effective. 

Here’s a flash sale by Hush Puppies for its Father’s Day campaign. 

Notice how the copy grabs your attention by saying it's for grandads. That’s something out of the blue. 

It makes the discount number the hero of the email emphasizing its importance to the readers. 

It offers a promo code and a simple CTA which are great persuasive tactics. Along with having free shipping in the header which is an all-time charm. 

Flash Sale limited time offer example



3. How do you make a limited time offer?

E-commerce businesses are always looking for ways to increase sales and drive traffic to their site. One popular way to do this is to offer limited time discounts and online promotions.

There are a few things to keep in mind when making a limited time offer promotion:

a) Make sure the offer is appealing and will generate excitement.

b) Promote the offer heavily so that everyone is aware of it.

c) Make sure the offer is truly limited time only so that people feel a sense of urgency.

d) Be prepared for an influx of traffic and orders.

4. What are some examples of effective limited time offers?

It's no secret that ecommerce businesses rely on limited time offers to drive sales and boost revenue. Here are some classics they use:

a) Percentage off your purchase

For example, you could offer 10% off all orders placed within the next 24 hours. This is a great way to encourage customers to buy now rather than wait, and it can also help you clear out inventory quickly.

b) Free shipping

This is especially effective during the holiday season, when customers are already spending a lot of money on gifts. Offering free shipping can help you close more sales and boost your average order value.

c) Free gift with purchase

This is a great way to upsell customers and get them to buy more than they originally planned. For example, you could offer a free tote bag with any purchase over $50.

All of these are great examples of limited time offers that can help you drive sales for your ecommerce business. So don't be afraid to experiment with different offers to see what works best for your business.

5. How do you market a limited time offer?

Time-limited offers are a great way to increase sales and boost customer engagement. They create a sense of urgency and encourage customers to act quickly.

There are a few things to keep in mind when creating a time-limited offer.

a) Make sure the offer is actually time-limited

This means creating an expiration date and making it clear to customers that the offer is only available for a limited time.

b) Promote the offer heavily

Use social media, email marketing, and in-store signage to let customers know about the limited-time offer.

c) Make the offer attractive

Time-limited offers need to be appealing enough to encourage customers to take action. This could mean offering a discount, free shipping, or a free gift with purchase.

d) Don't forget to follow up with customers after they take advantage of the offer

Thank them for their business and let them know about other upcoming offers.

Time-limited offers are a great way to increase sales and boost customer engagement. By following these tips, you can create an offer that will be successful.

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