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Urgency is the difference between making a few sales and making a ton of sales.
The reality is that people procrastinate. They need a reason to buy now. If there’s not a reason to buy now, then people will put it off. It’s just in our nature.
The problem is that the vast majority of purchases that are put off are never made. That means you miss out on sales from buyers who are otherwise qualified and would benefit from your product but can’t be bothered to make the purchase.
This is where urgency comes in. Urgency creates a reason for people to act now. You provide some sort of incentive to close the deal before someone inevitably procrastinates because virtually all procrastinated purchases will never happen.
4 Ways to Create Urgency
There are four ways to create urgency to incentivize sales:
- Reduce Price (Discount)
- Add Bonuses (Value)
- Limit Availability (Exclusivity)
- Increase the Price
In the last episode, I talked about why discounts are slowly killing your brand. Go back and watch or listen to that episode if you haven’t.
Discounts punish your previous customers and they train future customers not to buy unless there are more discounts.
For this reason and others I explained in the last episode, I recommend against using discounts to create urgency.
This leaves us with three options: adding bonuses, limiting availability, and increasing the price.
Rather than subtracting from the price, add to the product! You’re not discounting, you’re increasing the value.
If you’re trying to create urgency, add a bonus on top of your product and limit the amount of time the bonus is available. This way, when your promotion is over, you can remove the bonus without changing the price or affecting the value.
This prevents your product from being devalued during and after your promotion.
The other way to create urgency without discounting is to limit the availability of your product. If you put a cap on the number of units being sold, this incentivizes sales because there is the risk of missing out.
If your product sells out, then the buyer misses the opportunity. Since they don’t want to miss out, they’ll be more inclined to buy.
Limited availability could be for quantity or it could be for time. In addition to limiting the number of items, you can limit the amount of time the items will be available.
You can also combine limited availability with bonuses, so the bonuses you add can have a cap. Maybe you have 10 t-shirts available for the first 10 customers. It could be a limited number of tickets to a live event or a group video hangout.
Mix and match the different urgency factors for greatest impact, but always make sure to use true scarcity.
If you say you only have 10 downloads of an ebook, that’s not going to work. That’s false scarcity. However you do it, make sure the scarcity you use is real. Have actual physical items, or a legitimate reason for capping the number or limting things.
Increase the Price
Lastly, rather than discounting, you can actually raise your prices to create urgency. For this to work, you need to commit to raising your price permanently and never bringing it back down.
If you create your products with enough value, you should have the headroom to raise your prices. I personally like to make sure my products deliver on 10X or 20X the amount I’m charging.
Because I have a high ceiling, I have room to increase my prices and still have a strong value proposition.
As long as you have the headroom to increase your prices, you can use this to create urgency by running a campaign for people to buy before the price goes up permanently.
Unlike discounts, this rewards your loyal customers with the best price before it increases permanently rather than punishing them by making a better price available later on.
In tomorrow’s episode, I’ll be giving you some ideas for bonuses you can add to your products to add value.