Why You Can’t Wait to Create Urgency in Your Marketing

Written by Dan Magill on February 18, 2021 Marketing.

Urgency sells.

People buy with emotion and justify their purchases with logic. Urgency delivers both. It ignites the very powerful emotion of not wanting to miss out and it provides the logic that says, “I have to decide soon if I want this deal.” 

Scientific studies on urgency offer another take on why it works so well. In this study, researchers found that urgency realigns people’s priorities so powerfully that when urgency is added to less important tasks, people will actually pursue them over more important ones.

Buying your product may not be the most important thing in a person’s life. But with urgency, you can make them feel and act as though it is. 

In this article, we’re going to look at three aspects of creating urgency in your marketing:

  1. Types of marketing urgency
  2. Pro tips for mastering urgency
  3. Reasons to justify urgency 

Types of urgency in marketing

Time-based deadlines

On this date, the deal expires. The sale ends. The prices go back up. Access to the VIP club closes.

urgent message on a product page warning about a deal expiration

This is the most commonly-used form of urgency in marketing. And it’s very effective when used well.

Limited quantity

Once the product is sold out, the deal goes away. So if you want to get your copy, act now. We only have 845 left. 

If you can create a situation where quantity is limited, use that scarcity to your advantage. Memberships and coaching groups use this all the time, creating urgency with statements like, “We can only accept ten new members.” 

Product discontinued

If a product or a service is being discontinued, it presents a useful form of urgency as well. When you encounter a situation where something is ending, use that to build urgency for your customers and leads.

Red tag sales

This type of in-store approach fits into the gamification type of marketing — customers get to hunt for deals. You can use this online, too. Only products with stars next to them are discounted, for example. These usually work well in combination with a time deadline, such as a one-day flash sale.

‘First 100’ urgency

On the flip side of quantity limitations, offer a special deal to the first group of buyers. It motivates the need to act now, because other people could get there first. Your marketing might say something like, “We can only afford to give 53 of these away at this price, so don’t wait too long to decide.”

Free gift available in limited quantities

This is a variation on the limited quantity form of urgency. If you’ve paired a free gift with a particular purchase, limit the quantity of the free gift. That way, when the gift is gone, you can keep selling the main item. But if the first 500 buyers get a special free gift, and if that gift is desirable on its own, you will motivate people to act now.

Peer pressure urgency

When people see others take action, they’re more likely to do the same. This is one reason sites feature notifications every time someone makes a purchase. All these people are purchasing — what are you waiting for?

You can use many of these strategies with the Sales Triggers for WooCommerce extension. For example, you can display your urgency marketing in up to nine different places on your product pages. 

Pro tips for mastering urgency

1. Don’t bury it

You see this all the time on coupons, printed offers, emails, and landing pages. Down near the bottom in tiny print is a little phrase saying the date when the offer expires. 

That’s not urgency. That’s to appease the lawyers in case anyone complains. Accomplish both by bringing the cut-off date front and center.

message on a product page with the stock remaining

2. Feature urgency in your marketing copy

If urgency is the primary selling point, put it right in the headline. Or use a subheading or other prominent text. Put it near the call to action. Use a call-out box. Tastefully use different colors or fonts. 

You want everyone to see it. You want it to be impossible to miss. Don’t just say it once. 

3. Use a countdown timer

For time-based deadlines, countdowns are brilliant. Time is literally ticking until the deal expires. It’s a powerful visual. As long as you can update remaining stock quantities frequently, the same power applies. With the Sales Triggers for WooCommerce extension, both countdowns and low-stock notifications are updated automatically.

4. Send reminder texts and emails as the deadline nears

Reminders can be really short messages, which is why texts work as well if not better than email for this purpose. If you can, you should do both. 

Only five hours left. Only 12 left in stock. 89 out of 100 spots are taken – just 11 left. 

That’s the kind of language to use here.

5. Social media posts

Frequently post updates about the approaching deadline. Nonprofits use this when they have a fundraising goal. If the goal is $50,000, they can post updates along the way, increasing in frequency and excitement as they inch closer to their goal.

Have a reason for urgency in your marketing

Don’t just pick a random date. Don’t make up limited supplies. People eventually see through that. It’s like the “forever sale” that some stores use — if it’s always on sale, then it’s never on sale. That’s just the price.

Here are a few reasons to create urgency:

  • You have limited capacity. This works great for B2B, coaching, and service niches. You can only handle a certain number of new customers.
  • Your product is running out. The season is changing. Demand was higher than expected. Let customers know what’s happening. 
  • The expiration date is approaching. You have perishable items and need to clear your inventory before it goes to waste. 
  • There are natural deadlines. Certain deadlines happen naturally. You have to buy a gift before Valentine’s Day. School starts when it starts. Good weather doesn’t last forever. Events happen on specific dates. 

The more convincing and understandable your reason, the more people will give you the benefit of the doubt. 

How to implement urgency in online marketing

Remember, adding urgency can give you an immediate boost in sales. Just be sure to communicate clearly and provide legitimate reasons for your customers to take quick action. To effectively inject urgency into your marketing, take a look at the Sales Triggers for WooCommerce extension

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