The Real Effect of Free Coupons

So about two months ago, I started getting serious about tracking search results (and sales) for my competitors.

Every day, I run some searches on Udemy, and record the results to a spreadsheet. Which competitors of mine are selling, and which aren’t? How is the search result changing over time? Did any new courses get launched? Which were unpublished? It’s fascinating stuff.

In this image below, you can see someone get a refund.


Having this data on a daily basis has been really useful to me. I’ll be adding these insights into my Udemy related courses. But I’ll drop one insight for you here.

Free coupons’ students do not influence your search placement. 

A course I have been tracking was stuck at 8 students since July 6. From July 6 til July 21, there were no sales. Completely dead.

Then on July 21, the instructor released some free coupons. The next day, he had 515 students. Then 786, and today 870.


His search position did not change over the first two days, but today it jumped up.

Yesterday, he was in 15th spot, last place. The very last course to come up in search. And today, he’s in 8th spot. Went from last place to the very middle of the pack.

So why is that? He got his first review. 5 stars.

He went from 0 reviews to 1, and suddenly from the last place to 8th.

So, you can give out hundreds of free coupons, and your course won’t move in search. BUT if one of those free coupon students happens to take the course, their review helps you.

In this case, where the instructor had no sales for 3 weeks, I support this decision. Free coupons shouldn’t be your first move, they should be your last. Free coupons are for when your course hasn’t had any sales in weeks and you need (with luck) a boost in search.

Let’s see what happens when the coupons run out. Let’s see if the course picks up any organic sales from this point. But watching this unfold has shown me again what the value of free coupons are. If you get lucky, you’ll get a review out of it.

And 1 review is infinitely better than 0 reviews. As long as it’s a good one.


About the Author

Just a guy happy to share his knowledge with people willing to listen. 61,000 students, in 174 countries. "You can have anything in life that you want if you help enough other people to get what they want." - Zig Ziglar

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