Wisepops logo

Last updated Thu Jun 20 2024

Limited-Time Offers [Guide + Examples]

Here, you’ll get ideas on how you can sell more with limited-time offers.

Also, you’ll see a list of limited-time deal examples from successful businesses along with tips on how you can implement them, too.

In this post:

Promote your limited-time offers with popups, onsite notifications, and AI conversion boosters
Get started free
countdown sales popup

What’s a limited-time offer?

A limited-time offer is a type of sales promotion that offers products and services in a special deal (such as a special price, discount, gift, free shipping, etc.) available within a short period of time to drive a sense of urgency and/or scarcity.

Example: Nora Gardner offers 10% off for purchasing through a popup on its online store. Note that the popup has a countdown timer to motivate hesitant customers to buy by generating a sense of urgency:

Time limited offer meaning

Limited-time offer examples

While a limited-time offer can be any marketing deal available for a short period of time, there are some examples we can differentiate:

Examples of limited-time deals
Sitewide discountsFlash sales
BOGO offersMystery offers
Daily deals“Deals of the hour”
Free shippingBlack Friday deals
Seasonal product promosFirst-time purchase special deals
Limited-edition product promosProduct category sale
Egg hunt on a websiteSeasonal clearance sale
Brand birthday celebration saleSpecial offer on selected products
Special product bundling offersDiscount for completing the purchase
Exclusive sales for subscribersHoliday sales (Labor Day sale, Mother’s Day sale, etc.)

1. Host a flash sale 

charlotte bioTime limited offer example

In this limited-time offer example, Charlotte Bio had a flash sale that lasted six hours on its online store. Shoppers could get a 40% discount on their order.

To promote this limited-time special offer (Charlotte Bio doesn’t do a lot of sales, by the way), the business used two campaigns: 

  • a popup (which you can see above)

  • a bar at the top of the website (below)

website bar charlotte bio

Customers could apply the discount to their shopping cart just by clicking Apply the code in the popup, so taking advantage of the offer was quite easy.

Those who preferred not to use the code and closed the popup had the option to get the discount from the bar, which stayed at the top of Charlotte Bio’s website.

Marilou Bertrand, one of the creators of this limited-time flash campaign, had to say this about how she chose to promote it:

marilou bertrand

“We added the bar with the countdown to reinforce the sense of urgency for those who did not apply the code in the popup, which was key to success.”

Marilou Bertrand, Director of Digital Marketing, Charlotte Bio

Here’s how successful this campaign was—

Over 1,400 visitors viewed the popup and over 50% of them chose to apply the code:

mobile popup perfrormance sale

As for the bar, it attracted 236 code applications:

website bar performance

Together, these campaigns helped Charlotte Bio generate 17% of monthly sales in just six hours. That was six times more revenue compared to a regular day. 

Learn more about this campaign:

charlottebio
Sell more with flash sales:

Why this limited-time offer is effective:

  • Easy to apply the discount code

  • Clearly communicated sale timeframe

  • Popups were shown to both desktop and mobile visitors

How to implement:

  • Make two campaigns (a popup and a bar)

  • Add the discount code and the countdown to both

  • Make the code easy to apply (with one click, ideally)

Sell more with flash sales:

Guide to flash sales (+examples)

2. Discount products of a specific brand

onsite campaign3

Here, you give a discount on a range of products made by one brand. This limited-time special offer can especially be effective for retailers.

In this example, The Knitting Network, a popular online yarn retailer from the UK, gave a special price for dozens of products made by Sunflower. The campaign ran for three days and drove 444 visitors to the page with the products:

performance

By using such limited-time offers regularly, retailers can get their visitors accustomed to good deals and motivate them to return.

Another thing—

Take a look at how The Knitting Network promoted this limited-time deal. The visitors could find it (and a few others) in onsite notifications, a social media-like feed for websites:

onsite notifications on the knitting network
notification feed wisepops
See how you can use onsite notifications to engage more visitors:

Why this limited-time offer is effective:

  • Attract customers looking for the best bargain

  • Entice visitors to browse more products from different manufacturers

  • Can create a good impression and make customers want to return for a good deal

How to implement:

  • Add onsite notifications to your website (find the tutorial below)

  • Create a notification with a link to the page with the promoted deal

  • Set the notification to stop showing in X hours

logo
Learn how to promote your limited-time offers like The Knitting Network:

If you'd like to know how onsite notification work, check out this quick video:

3. Make a special B2GO offer for a special occasion

buy 2 get 1 free sales popup example from Blume

Blume, a self-care brand, celebrated its third birthday with a special deal: a B2GO offer (“buy two get one free”). To be eligible for this time-limited promo (the offer was available for 48 hours), shoppers just needed to give their email in that popup.

B2GO is one type of a BOGO deal, with others being:

  • Buy one, get one half-price

  • Buy one, get a free sample

  • Buy one, get a free product from another category

  • Buy one, get X% off the second item

You can choose any type of BOGO offer that suits your marketing strategy, of course. But B2GO is a good place to start, especially if you sell replenishable items or products that go well with others.

Why this limited-time deal is effective:

  • Helps clear out overstocked items

  • Increase customer satisfaction by giving them a free item

  • Good way to celebrate special occasions like brand birthdays and milestone anniversaries

How to implement:

  • Choose the eligible products (the free item, for example, should be a replenishable product your customers use often)

  • Use an app compatible with your ecommerce platform (for example, there are 28 BOGO apps in the Shopify App Store) to speed things up 

  • Time your BOGO promotions strategically (special occasions and holidays are the best times for such deals)

Blume converts 5% of its visitors with a popup like the one above. Learn how you can do the same:

4. Have a sitewide sale with a coupon code

Time limited offer sale

A sitewide sale is another good special limited-time offer idea, especially for retailers. In this example, Overstockart.com, a retailer of handmade oil paintings, gives a 40% discount on everything plus additional perks.

Why this limited-time deal idea is effective:

  • Helps sell overstocked inventory

  • Increases customer engagement

  • Encourages to browse more products

How to implement:

  • Create a discount code for the offer to be applied during checkout

  • Provide links to the discounted products in sale promos

Overstockart.com is also a good example of how an art business can build an email list quickly and nurture customers with emails effectively:

Amitai Sasson

“Our growing email list has enabled us to be much more successful, as we continue to see great numbers in sales generated from our email marketing”

Amitai Sasson, VP of Ecommerce, Overstockart.com

5. Motivate first-time visitors to subscribe to your email list

Time limited offer example popup

TOMS uses this website popup to build its customer base. Unlike traditional email popups, this one a) has a countdown to drive a sense of urgency and b) is displayed only to those who added a product to the shopping cart.

It’s a good idea to use countdowns in such limited-time offers. The research shows that having a countdown timer in a popup can increase the conversion rate by 41% (from vs 3.99% to 5.61%). 

Why this limited-time deal is effective:

  • Generates a sense of urgency

  • Is displayed only on product pages (to ensure that customers are likely to be interested in buying)

  • Gives an extra 14% off the first order, which is a good deal

How to implement:

  • Decide on the discount size

  • Create a popup with a countdown

  • Set the popup to be displayed only to unsubscribed visitors

If you'd like to use a timer popup, try our popup tool, Wisepops (rated 4.9 stars on Shopify).

Here's the step-by-step guide to making a countdown timer popup.

Get a free account to start creating:

trustpilot

"I increased my conversion rate with marketing messages displayed at the right moment thanks to their targeting options. Last but not least, it integrates very well within my stack (Klaviyo for emails and Postscript for SMS)..."

Alexander B., Trustpilot

6. Give a dollar discount to new visitors

Time limited offer example1

This limited-time offer example differs from the previous one in one important aspect: instead of a percentage discount, it’s got a dollar discount. 

Here’s why this is important—

Customers perceive dollar discounts as having better value for higher-priced products (for example, for an item that sells for $150, I’d suggest that a discount of $50 might do better than an offer of 15% off). In fact, the rule of thumb is that a dollar discount will perform better for products priced over $100.

So, it could be worth trying both ways to use this limited-time offer idea. 

Why this limited-time deal is effective:

How to implement:

  • Choose the discount size

  • Make the offer valid only for first-time customers

  • Make a countdown popup for promotion

Giveaways are another proven way to build your email list:

See a list of giveaway ideas

7. Give a discount on several product subcategories

Time limited offer example shutterstock

If you’re selling a service or a product that comes with subcategories, this limited-time sale could be a good idea for your business. In this example, Shutterstock gave a discount on packs of HD and 4K videos, which was a good deal for anybody looking for videos especially.

Why this limited-time deal idea is effective:

  • Speed up sales of specific products or categories

  • Easy to implement (you just need to create a campaign with a code)

How to implement:

  • Create a discount code

  • Make a few promotional campaigns on your website (a popup, a bar, and a banner, for example)

8. Host a special holiday sale

4th of july time limited offer

Making limited-time deals on holidays is a must for online businesses. Like here, Ekster announces the 4th of July sale with this cool-looking popup. And the discount is very generous, too, so the offer is quite tempting.

Why this limited-time offer is effective:

  • Can help increase sales (many shoppers are more likely to buy on holidays)

  • Clear your inventory to make way for new products

How to implement:

  • Choose a holiday

  • Make unique discount codes (you can do so with Wisepops, too, by the way)

  • Create sales promotions to maximize engagement

See examples of how online businesses engage more customers with sales:

Sale promotion examples

9. Launch an Easter egg hunt on your website

If you’re looking for a fun idea for a time-limited deal, this one could be interesting. It's an Easter hunt on the website—you hide a few “eggs” (basically, small egg-shaped popups) somewhere on your website and offer visitors to find them to get a special holiday discount.

Here’s how Soi Paris, a clothing store, did it.

During the Easter weekend, every visitor on its website saw this announcement:

soi paris popup

Those who wanted to get a discount (there were a lot of folks who did, as you’ll see in a bit) had to visit a few pages to find the “egg.”

The hunt was easy, as the “eggs” were put on some of the most popular product pages, like this one below. Clicking the “egg” revealed the discount code:

onsite campaign soi paris
Elodie new

“We are really satisfied with the results of this campaign, it exceeded our expectations. In three days, it helped generate 42% of our revenue (month to date) with a nice average order value. We also received a lot of positive feedback from our customers. They really enjoyed our egg hunt!”

Elodie Trebuchet, Director of Digital Marketing, Soi Paris

Why this limited-time offer is effective:

  • A gamified and fun idea to share discounts

  • Encourages visitors to browse more pages on your website

  • Can help get a nice boost in sales

How to implement:

As you can imagine, creating this limited-time offer takes a bit of work. That’s why watching a quick video is best—we recreated this campaign for you:

onsite campaign on website
Get more details:

10. Make a special offer on selected items

Time limited offer

You can sell slow-moving or seasonal items by including them in a special sale. Like here, this brand hosts an end-of-season sale and offers discounts on products for summer, which is about to end. Shoppers looking for a good deal will definitely want to go check them out, especially if there are some extra perks like free shipping.

Why this limited-time offer is effective:

  • Sell more seasonal or overstocked items

  • Bundle complementary products to get more profits

How to implement:

  • Decide on products to discount

  • Choose the discount size

  • Promote the offer beforehand with emails, popups, and social media

Want to build your email list with discounts? Share them in popups.

See how to make a discount popup

11. Give a gift for purchasing above a certain threshold

Time limited offer increase aov

This is a good limited-time offer idea if you’d like to increase the average order value. Take a look at the example above—during the sale period, shoppers can get a gift for making a purchase of €170 (about $182).

Why this limited-time deal is effective:

  • Increase the average order value

  • Sell more of slow-moving or seasonal items

How to implement:

  • Choose the products eligible for the promotion

  • Create a discount (in Shopify, it’s “BUY X Get Y”)

  • Promote the deal on your website and in emails

See more examples of how ecommerce businesses engage and convert visitors with popups:

50+ examples of website popups

12. Sell more during Black Friday

Time limited offer black friday

Black Friday deals are the most common examples of limited-time offers. This Black Friday popup made by Priority Bicycles with Wisepops helped the business generate leads and drive a sense of urgency to buy.

Why this limited-time offer is effective:

  • Drive more excitement to shop

  • Generate a sense of urgency

  • Build a list of quality leads who are likely to buy

How to implement:

  • Create a popup with a countdown

  • Launch that popup before or when your Black Friday deals go live

Get more sales during the holiday season:

Black Friday marketing strategy (includes expert tips, examples of campaigns, and tools for ecommerce stores).

13. Offer free shipping for a limited time

free shipping Time limited deal example

Free shipping is nothing new but you can still offer it as a marketing special. This limited-time deal, for example, can be one of your important competitive advantages during busy shopping seasons.

That’s why Lulu & Georgia used a welcome popup to motivate first-time customers to buy.

Why this limited-time offer is effective:

  • Can help get sales from first-time visitors

  • Can be very effective during the holiday season

How to implement:

  • Set up your shipping rates as “free” (here’s how to do that in Shopify)

  • Promote your time-limited offer on your website (a bar, popups, banners) and emails

14. Highlight a cross-selling offer

product bundling Time limited offer

Increase your sales with a product bundling offer—for example, here we can buy two items for a reduced price thanks to a “mystery discount.” Consider displaying this deal in a popup on product pages—because people visiting them are looking at your products, so they may be more likely to take advantage of the offer.

Why this limited-time offer is effective:

  • Attract more visitors (especially those looking for the best deals)

  • Can help get a boost in sales

How to implement:

  • Choose products to include in the offer

  • Define the discount size

  • Promote the offer with website popups

Shop now sales popup
Free popup templates

Get a head start on making website popups for limited-time offers. Browse our library of designer-made templates:

➡️ Go to templates

15. Promote a time-limited “free service with purchase offer”

Time limited offer on a service

In this limited-time deal, Pedego Harlem offered visitors a free battery upgrade to those buying one of the two chosen bicycle models. That could be an effective way to speed up sales of specific products as well as increase customer satisfaction (who wouldn’t say no to a free service valued at $500?)

Why this limited-time offer is effective:

  • The deal has a real value for the target customer

  • Can help sell specific products (especially high-priced ones) faster

How to implement:

  • Choose products to discount

  • Select the free service or product to entice customers with

  • Promote the offer both offsite (emails, social media) and onsite (bars, ecommerce popups, onsite notifications)

Onsite marketing is a tactic of engaging website visitors based on their behavior, shopping history, and preferences. Learn how to use it to sell more:

Onsite marketing: the ultimate guide

How to promote limited-time offers with a popup

Let’s create a countdown popup with a sitewide free shipping offer:

  • Step 1: Choose a campaign

  • Step 2: Get a template

  • Step 3: Customize the template

  • Step 4: Choose when to show the campaign

  • Step 5: Publish on your website

In this tutorial, we’ll be using Wisepops (rated 4.9 on Capterra).

Get a free account to begin:

You’ll get a 14-day trial with all premium features. After the trial, you’ll still be able to access your campaign and get the leads.

★★★★★

"We've increased our signups by 10x, very easy to integrate with our website and email platform, too"

Wisepops review from Capterra

Step 1: Choose a campaign

In Wisepops dash:

Choose Create campaign > Campaign Assistant > Drive sales > Time-limited offer:

wisepops menu

Step 2: Get a template

Now, pick up a template for your campaign: could a be a traditional popup, a small less intrusive one, a mobile-optimized one, or a bar:

create Time limited offer

Step 3: Customize the template

Once you’ve chosen a template, you’ll land in the editor.

There, you can quickly customize your campaign by adding colors, images, text, countdown duration, etc—everything is in drag and drop:

wisepops popup editor

Step 4: Choose when to show your campaign

Since our offer is time-limited, we need the campaign to be displayed within a specific timeframe.

Go to Schedule in the main menu and choose the time when the campaign starts and ends automatically:

time settings

Step 5: Publish on your website 

Hit Done Editing once you’ve finished. 

Wisepops will show you a quick overview of the campaign so you can make sure everything is ready to go. If you’d like to change something, just click on the edit buttons.

Click Publish to activate the campaign. That’s it!

To publish the campaign on your website, add a short code snippet (no coding experience needed): how to add Wisepops to your website.

To connect your ESP to have emails sent there automatically, see this list of integrations.

campaign in wisepops

Summary

Time-limited offers are a dynamic marketing tool that focuses on the power of urgency to engage customers and drive results. From getting you sales to cultivating lasting customer relationships, the benefits are definitely worth it. 

Oleksii Kovalenko

Oleksii Kovalenko is a digital marketing expert and a writer with a degree in international marketing. He has seven years of experience helping ecommerce store owners promote their businesses by writing detailed, in-depth guides.

Education:

Master's in International Marketing, Academy of Municipal Administration

Related articles

6/5/2024

Find out how to automate lead generation and what lead generation automation tools are used by marketing professionals to capture and qualify leads.

6/12/2024

Here's the list of Optinmonster alternatives. See the best alternatives for lead generation and other goals.

Help