How David Travis got 300+ paying students into his Usability course in 30 days

UserExperience-UltimateGuide_DavidTravisDr. David Travis had a breakout month on Udemy last month. It was impossible to miss the numbers he did. He was kind enough to share how he achieved his best month on Udemy so far in detail. A huge thank you to Dr. David Travis for his candid account. There are plenty of takeaways. I hope you find the below useful in your efforts to Grow the Pie this month.



1.    I have a course on User Experience (UX), so first, I found the most popular UX course on Udemy which was Amir Khella’s course “Design Your User Experience in 7 Simple Steps.”

2.    I did a Google search on Amir’s course to find websites that reviewed it. UXMastery was one of the sites I found, and I saw that they were already Udemy affiliates.

3.    Since they reviewed Amir’s UX course, I figured they might be interested in reviewing mine, too. I sent the following email: 

I notice that you have a page on your web site where you list a series of online courses in UX.

I’ve recently launched a course on Udemy, and I wonder if you would be interested in reviewing it and listing it on your site?

You can access the course here:

To get the course for free, you’ll need to enter this coupon code: [COUPON-CODE]

I can see that you have an affiliate code for Udemy and I’d be delighted for you to share in the potential success!

We’re officially launching the course tomorrow. I’d really like to hear your feedback whether or not you decide to list it.


4.    Matthew Magain from UXMastery then got back to me and promised to review the course. It took about a month, but he wrote a great review and gave the course 9/10. I asked him what I needed to do to get the extra point and it turned out that he’d missed something that I’d included, so he agreed to revise his rating and give it the full 10/10!

5.    At the beginning of the month, I sent a “BUDDYPASS” coupon code to current subscribers, offering my course at $49 (versus the normal $199). This promotion wasn’t very successful but as a subscriber to the course, Matthew from UX Mastery saw the message and asked if I would extend the offer to readers of the UXMastery blog.

6.    I created a new code for him and then things went a bit wild. I had 326 new paid subscribers in May which is as many as I had in March and April put together. Although these weren’t all through the UXMastery coupon, the majority were.

For me, there were two learning points.

  • First, I’d previously tried the same idea with another popular UX blog (more popular than UXMastery). This blog wasn’t a Udemy affiliate, so I hand-held them through the the process of setting them up as an affiliate and I offered them a $50-off coupon — but I got just a handful of subscribers. I think this is because they didn’t review the course—they just tweeted out the coupon code. Even though they have nearly 30,000 followers on Twitter, I only had 5 people use their coupon. So having a review of the course made all the difference.
  • Also, UXMastery send out a newsletter every month and they featured the promotion at the very top of their newsletter. The other blog didn’t do this. This is what they wrote in their newsletter:

We have some exciting news! David Travis, who created the amazing online course User Experience: The Ultimate Guide To Usability has kindly offered an exclusive discount on his course for our newsletter subscribers.

Use the discount code UXMASTERY when you sign up, and you’ll receive David’s course for only $49 instead of the regular $199. That’s a whopping 75% off!

Sign up here.

If you were previously on the fence about this course, now’s the time to take advantage of this special price—but the offer is only available to the first 25 people who use the discount code.

In Matt’s recent review on UX Mastery, he gave it a rating of 10/10. Here’s what he said about the course:

This really is online education at its best: the content is comprehensive, well-structured, and up-to-date, and it’s delivered by an instructor who is likeable, funny, and uses interesting examples.

Read Matt’s review for more about the course. But don’t delay—those 25 slots will go fast!

My other learning point is that there’s a magic number for discounting the course. When anyone signs up for my course, I ask them what they want to get out of the course and why they chose it, and after the UXMastery coupon, many of them said it was because the offer seemed too good to miss. With my course, the magic price (after a discount) is not $149 or $99 (I’ve tried those), it’s $49.

Personally, I think my course is a steal at that price (when I run this course face-to-face the cost is £725 — over $1100) but the extra numbers it generates makes up for the discount. I’m finding it hard to get my head around the Udemy pricing model and this has taught me that I need to look at the total revenue per month, and not get too hung up on the price paid by individual students.

I do have some plans for other promotions. My company’s newsletter has over 8000 subscribers and this month I sent a message to them offering the course for $49. I want to test out if this discount really is the sweet spot. I’ll let you know!