Limited-Time Offer

A Limited-Time Offer (LTO) is a marketing technique in which a product or service is sold at a special price or with a unique feature for a short, predetermined period.

This tactic creates urgency and encourages customers to make a purchase decision quickly, under the pressure that the offer will soon expire.1

Visual Representation

time-limited offer visual representation


The main goal of a time-limited offer is to speed up the decision-making process for potential customers.

Setting a deadline plays on the psychological fear of missing out (FOMO), which can motivate people to make purchases more quickly.

This method also aims to boost short-term sales and can effectively clear inventory or promote new or underperforming products.2

Key Components

The main components of the time-limited offer include:

  1. Clear Deadline: The deadline is the most critical part of a limited-time offer. It needs to be clearly stated when the offer ends to create urgency.
  2. Strong Value Proposition: The offer must provide a compelling reason for customers to act now.
  3. Prominent Visibility: The offer should be obvious across all marketing channels. This ensures that it catches the eye of potential customers.
  4. Call to Action (CTA): A solid, straightforward CTA is essential. It tells customers exactly what to do to take advantage of the offer.
  5. Terms and Conditions: Clearly outline any restrictions or conditions that apply to the offer. 3


Limited-time offers are typically used for:

  • Seasonal Deals: Companies offer special discounts during holidays or seasons, like Black Friday or Christmas when people are already looking to shop.
  • New Product Launches: When a new product comes out, businesses might offer it at a lower price for a short period to get people excited and willing to try it.
  • Clearing Old Stock: If an old or extra stock needs to go, businesses might sell it at a discount for a limited time to free up space.
  • Trial Encouragement: Services or subscriptions might be offered for free or at a reduced rate for a short time to let people try them out and see if they like them.
  • Increase Slow Period Sales: For businesses like restaurants or travel agencies, offering special prices during less busy times can help bring in more customers.
  • Keep Customers Coming Back: Special deals can be given to loyal customers to make them feel valued and encourage them to keep shopping or using the service.
  • Sell More with Bundles: Sometimes, businesses combine a few products in a package and sell them at a lower combined price for a short period to encourage bigger sales.
  • Flash Sales: Online stores often have flash sales where they offer big discounts for a very short time, creating a rush of customers who don’t want to miss out.4


A classic example of a time-limited offer is a holiday sale, such as a Black Friday discount, where a store offers a significant price reduction on products that are valid only for that specific day.

This drives sales during the period and creates anticipation and excitement in the lead-up to the event.

Related Terms


1. Kovalenko, O. (n.d.). Limited-Time Offers [Guide + Examples]. Limited-time offers [guide + examples].

2. Brunson, R. (2020). Dotcom Secrets: The Underground Playbook for Growing Your Company Online with Sales Funnels. United States: Hay House.

3. Eggspert, T. (2020, March 24). Limited time offer: How to write a discount offer for limited time only. The Daily Egg.

4. Heitman, S. (2021, December 7). 10 examples of limited-time offers (& how to promote them) to boost sales fast | localiq. LocalIQ.

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