But, alas, of course it’s not that simple.
In this guided tour of scarcity sales tactics I’ll show you how NOT to do it, how to use this technique in a customer-friendly fashion, and examples of genuine scarcity and urgency you can build into your sales copy.
How NOT to use scarcity and urgency
I am not encouraging you to scare the reader into buying. Do not force the reader into a buying decision they’re not comfortable with by using FOMO pressure. Short-term this makes money - long term it makes trouble. You’ll have a disappointed buyer who regrets their decision. Even if your product is the mutts nuts, someone who feels pressured to buy is likely to suffer a serious case of buyer’s remorse.
Instead of forcing your reader into an uncomfortable purchase, you can use FOMO to gently move a prospect from “Yes, I want to buy this” to “Yes, I want to buy this, right now!!!”
It’s the ‘right now’ that generates action, because without it, your would-be customer is likely to get distracted by a cup of tea or a funny video about singing dogs, and never whip out their credit card.
To create a feeling of scarcity on your sales page, there needs to be a limited quantity of something.
♦ You have a limited number of physical products to sell - because that’s all you have in stock.
♦ You have a limited number of spaces available in a group program - because that’s the threshold below which you can deliver the best user experience.
♦ There are only so many clients you can work with on a 1-1 basis - because you want to maintain the quality of your work + your sanity.
♦ You only want to onboard a certain number of new members to your group each week/month/doors open period - because you want to help new members get off to the best possible start + you don’t want to dilute the community feel of your existing membership.
You’ll notice that I was able to write a ‘because’ after each one, with the reason making total sense.
You can only create GENUINE scarcity if there is a limited quantity with an actual logical reason that you would feel comfortable explaining to a potential customer.
To create a feeling of urgency there needs to be some sort of looming deadline.
♦ The customer wants the product/service asap - eg. Amazon - for next delivery order within this amount of time.
♦ The product/service is in some way tied to the seasons/months/holidays/celebrations.
♦ When you are closing the doors to your membership/program on a particular date.
♦ There is some live element to the product/service that is only available on a particular date.
Combining Urgency and/or Scarcity with Discounts and/or Bonuses
What this looks like:
♦ Early bird price only available for first 10 customers.
♦ This bonus is only available until this date.
This can work:
If you use those first few customers to generate quotes, testimonials, stats or anything you can use as social proof in your marketing and sales page, so when that reason to buy has gone away - because the discount or bonus has expired, you can replace it with other compelling buying arguments.
And/or you are constantly refreshing your audience.
When it doesn’t work:
If you are hoping for ongoing sales during a launch period - If you launch to a list/audience size of 5000 people offering a discount, or bonus and 10 people buy. One week later - why would any of the remaining 4990 buy? If they were on the fence before, knowing they’ve missed out on a deal is more likely to sour than sweeten them.
I’m not saying don’t do it - I am saying use with caution.
5 Simple Steps To Using FOMO On Your Sales Page
#1 - Consider if/how what you are offering is limited by quantity
#2 - Consider if/how what you are offering is limited by time/deadlines
#3 - If you don’t have any natural scarcity built in - for example, evergreen digital courses or memberships - consider how you can add something of value that will be limited by time or quantity - a live Q&A call, a monthly competition, content tied to a real-world time sensitive event/date/milestone (tax return date, school holidays).
#4 - Consider the long-term impact of this in your marketing strategy. Is this something you can keep up long-term or will it be a flash in the pan?
#5 - Consider how this looks to your audience. Is it something that makes sense, or something that seems false and tricky? Is it going to push fence dwellers the wrong way?
FOMO Cheatsheet | 30+ words and phrases to generate FOMO and create conversions
30+ FOMO-inducing words and phrases
Move the buyer from ‘I want to buy this’ to ‘I need to buy this right now’ with these FOMO generating words.