Evergreen Deadlines

You want to know one of the biggest reasons your leads aren’t converting into customers? Of course you do, that’s why you’re reading this after all.

It’s because you don’t give them a good reason to do it right away. When given the option to do something now or later, the majority of people will choose later. And often they’ll then promptly forget about it.

But what if I told you that by using a few simple tricks, you could get some of those wait-and-see leads to become customers? Well keep reading, because that’s exactly what I’m going to do…

What is an Evergreen Deadline?

Some of you might be wondering what an Evergreen Deadline is. Simply, it’s setting a dynamic end for the offer you are making that is based on when the recipient opted in.

For example you could offer a free presentation to all new subscribers to your newsletter BUT it expires in 3 days. Whilst your new subscriber might have previously put that opportunity to one side, now they have to watch it in 3 days.

The “Evergreen” in Evergreen Deadlines is named after the evergreen family of trees, these are trees that will live in any weather condition and will be green all year round. An Evergreen Deadline is exactly the same, and when done properly will be useful to you all year round.

There are two main reasons that you might want to use an Evergreen Deadline:

  1. You’re trying to sell something.
  2. You want to be sure your audience consumes your content.

How Can Your Business Use an Evergreen Deadline?

Almost any business can use an Evergreen Deadline and see a dramatic increase in conversions, however using them in the situations below can be particularly effective:

  • You want to ensure that your audience is consuming your content
    How many of your audience who are opting in are actually consuming the content that cost you time and money to produce? Probably a pretty low number. What’s the point in creating content that nobody sees? With an Evergreen Deadline you can push your audience to your content shortly after they receive it by telling them they only have a few days to do so.
  • You’re building a list and offering products to buy
    By using deadlines you can drive your leads to purchase, but with Evergreen Deadlines you can ensure any lead feels the same sense of urgency, no matter when they first come into contact with you or your business.
  • You offer a service and want to do a free trial
    An Evergreen Deadline is a great way to offer a free trial for a service or piece of software.
  • You sell through a live event, like a webinar or presentation
    You can use Evergreen Deadlines to maximise the conversion rate for no-shows. If somebody doesn’t come to your event it’s harder to sell to them, but what if you could make your replays available to view for a short period after the event? And then you could run a campaign to these no-shows where they have a limited time to watch the videos that they’ve shown interest in.

So now you have a few general ideas, let's get into some specific examples of real-life Evergreen Deadline campaigns…

Freemium Content With Limited Availability

Like I said above, what’s the point in making a free premium (freemium) piece of content if nobody is going to read it. With this example campaign we’re going to be offering a high-quality and very informative video presentation that the recipient will only have a week to watch.

  • The content needs to be great. It has to provide value and entice the audience to watch.
  • The deadline needs to be appropriate to the content, if it’s three minutes then it should be shorter than if the content takes two hours to consume.
  • Giving a deadline encourages your audience to take the next step from being interested in your video to actually watching it.
  • If they only have a week to watch it they’re much more likely to take time out of their day to do so.

In this case we’ve set a week for them to watch an hour long video presentation. If you wanted you could even split the videos into a video series to make them more digestible, but for simplicity here we’ll serve as one video for this example. These are the emails we would send:

  1. Introduction to Content
    Firstly you want to introduce your content and showcase how great it is. Let them know the deadline for viewing it. Stress the limited availability, your freemium product is “so good I can only give it away for so long”.
  2. Talk up the product again
    Wait a day and then email again. This time you want to include samples and testimonials for the product. In this case we’d tap people who have seen the video to say how great they thought it was.
  3. Time is running out!
    Email a day or so later to let them know they only have 3-4 days left to watch your video. Include some content from previous mailings, but this one should emphasise scarcity more.
  4. Today is the last day
    On the last day of your period let them know it. Tell them how amazing your product is and then we would put a countdown timer in the email. Timers are very effective for creating urgency.
  5. You only have two hours!
    Similar to the above, though much more urgent. If you’re planning on selling the product maybe include an RRP that the audience will have to pay once you do start selling it. You want to emphasise that the product is premium, limited and scarce.

The Timed Discount Evergreen Deadline

This kind of deadline is very simple. You’re most-likely already sending any new subscribers a confirmation email when they subscribe (and if you’re not you SHOULD be), but now this email contains a discount code.

  • This code can be for a specific product, or just for anything they purchase from you.
  • It should be of value to your subscriber. If it’s 1% off something they won’t care, but 20%?
  • If you’re offering a discount on a particular item I would recommend a low-dollar offer on one of your best sellers.

When we set a deadline like this we would usually set it for 3 days. In those days we would send the subscriber 3 emails:

  1. First reminder
    This email reiterates your offer and clearly states the expiry date.
  2. Time is running out!
    This is similar to your first email, but you’ll want to use more urgent language. This isn’t a friendly reminder that there’s a deadline, you’re telling them the deadline is fast approaching.
  3. The deadline is today!
    This is a short email that gives the deadline in hours rather than days. You’ll also want to reiterate how great your offer is here. Very urgent language should be used too. You want to create a fear of missing out for your lead.

You can also send a fourth email an hour before the deadline, but that’s optional. If you’re sending this optional email you’ll want the subject to be “Only One Hour Left!” or something to that effect.

The First-In Bonus Deadline

This one is interesting, as it isn’t actually time-based. With this sort of deadline you’re giving a bonus to the first few people who complete an action, such as subscribing to your newsletter.

  • Your bonus needs to be complimentary to your offer. For example if you’re offering an electronic juicer you could offer a recipe book.
  • The bonus needs to be of value. You can’t expect a lead to want to buy something because of a worthless bonus. Imagine a bar trying to entice people to buy drinks with a free glass of water for each alcoholic beverage you bought.
  • State the value of the bonus in your marketing. Make sure that people know your free item would normally be sold for a specific value.

You could even combine this with a Tripwire offer. For example, if you’re offering a discounted premium item, you could also offer a free gift for the first 100 customers.

A bonus offer deadline is really good for businesses that are offering a physical bonus, but have limited storage space. You can limit the bonus to the first 100 customers, and as such you know you only have to fulfill 100 bonus orders.

Early-bird Offer

You could set two deadlines on your offer. For example the first 100 customers get a bonus, anyone buying within the deadline gets a lower price and people who buy after the deadline have to pay full price. With this you’d want to go for a slightly different email sequence:

  1. Early-bird Offer
    Tell them the early-bird offer if they’re either in the first set of customers or they buy within a certain very short deadline. You probably want to only set this for one or two days.
  2. Early-bird is Over
    But they can still purchase for a lower price. Give them a bit of urgency here, making sure they know they have already missed out on the best offer, but there is a chance to buy in at a lower price still.
  3. Offer Almost Over
    On the last day of the offer make sure they know it’s the last day. Urgency is the theme for this email.
  4. Only One Hour Left!
    This is a super short email, the most urgent of all. I’d recommend mentioning the price that the item will be after the promotion is over.


In order to implement these ideas though you need to make sure that you have a CRM solution set up. We use InfusionSoft, and combine this with PlusThis to set Evergreen Deadlines.

So now that you understand what an Evergreen Deadline is and you’ve discovered some of the most popular examples, you might already be thinking of ways to use them in your business. If your campaigns are getting lots of opens but very few conversions then an Evergreen Deadline might be the answer.

I can wholeheartedly recommend at the very least that you give them a try and start implementing these ideas as soon as you can. I bet you won’t regret it, and neither will your business!

Good Luck!