Why do so many ads remind us that their offers are only good “while supplies last?” Because successful marketing doesn’t just connect the right person to the right product. It alters their behavior, convincing them to purchase a good or service rather than leaving them to mull it over. To accomplish this, there are five elements every marketing campaign needs to focus on:

  • Clarity. Clear messages resonate with audiences, building trust and credibility. If people cannot understand your proposition, they won’t act on it.
  • Relevancy. Once you understand your customers’ pain points, you’ll be able to craft content that speaks directly to their needs.
  • Value. Good marketing demonstrates the benefits and advantages of your business, which attracts customers while differentiating you from your competitors.
  • Anxiety. Fear of making the wrong decision causes potential customers to delay or abandon their purchase. Effective marketers alleviate these worries by building trust with reviews, testimonials, and detailed descriptions of the products or service, in order to address any concern they may have.
  • Distractions. Successful marketing keeps the audience’s attention fixed on the message. The more internal and external links you include in your emails, ads, and landing pages, the fewer leads you’ll convert.

These are the base ingredients of any good campaign. Urgency is the kicker ‒ the spice that separates an ordinary dish from a bestseller. Keep in mind that creating a sense of urgency only works if the ad works. Messages that are confusing, irrelevant, valueless, untrustworthy, or full of distractions won’t entice anyone no matter how urgently they’re presented. But once everything’s in place, how do you create a sense of urgency? What persuades people to order the chef’s special rather than pick something off the regular menu?

Act While Supplies Last

Humans are sensitive to opportunity costs: the potential loss we incur when choosing one alternative over another. That’s why we spend so much time hunting for the perfect deal, to squeeze the maximum value out of every penny we spend. That’s the reason businesses need to remind customers that some offers are only good “while supplies last.” A good deal intrigues us, but the fear of missing out is what moves us to act.

That’s why creating a sense of urgency is one of the most effective ways to boost sales and conversions. It amplifies the desire stirred up by the rest of the ad, reducing the timeframe for decision. The longer customers ponder an offer, the more likely they are to talk themselves out of it. Urgency spurs action.

It’s important to note that creating a sense of urgency doesn’t always require genuine urgency. A deal that expires when you run out of supplies is genuinely urgent. Once your warehouse is empty, your customers are out of luck. Implied urgency can be equally effective. It nudges customers in the right direction by reminding them of what they’ll miss if they don’t make a purchase. Add urgency to your marketing by:

Setting Deadlines

Limited-time offers force customers to decide quickly. It’s why flash sales are so effective. Standing offers are easy to dismiss, but short time offers capture people’s attention. Tailor deadlines to match your product or service. Few people buy cars on impulse, so setting a twenty-four hour deadline on a new line of pickup trucks probably won’t drive sales.

Conversely, no one needs to think about new kitchen utensils for more than a day or two. Whatever your deadline, make it as conspicuous as possible in your marketing. Countdown timers are particularly powerful, a potent reminder that opportunity is slowly slipping away.

Create Scarcity

Though not the same as a deadline, telling consumers that a desired item has limited inventory narrows their window for action. If a deal is only good “while supplies last” customers have to move before someone else beats them to the last one. Displaying the number left acts as a countdown, ratcheting up pressure on the buyer. If you’re selling a service, letting people know how many available openings are left or how many people have booked the service does the same thing. The latter doubles as social proof, which improves your marketing appeal even further.

Highlight Price Increases

One of the ways airlines prod us into booking flights is by showing us how much more expensive the ticket will be a week or a month from now. Retailers do the same thing, when they mention the normal price of products advertised in a sale (Normally $100. Now $50!). Any time you offer a discount, make sure your customers know exactly what kind of deal they’re getting and what it will cost them to pass it up.

Use Strong Ad Copy

“While supplies last” is a stock marketing phrase for good reason. It implies scarcity. How many supplies are left? When will they run out? Time-related phrases (e.g. Act Now!) do the same thing, suggesting your offer won’t be around forever. A few other common expressions that improve your headlines and calls to action are:

  • Hurry
  • Ends Soon
  • Offer Expires
  • Before It’s Gone
  • Don’t Wait
  • Don’t Miss Out
  • Last Chance
  • Limited Stock
  • Selling Out Quickly
  • Final Few
  • Today Only
  • Rare Opportunity
  • Limited Availability

When creating urgency, plain language works best. Be clear and to the point. Simple phrases are the most impactful.

Incorporate Warm Colors

Colors affect our emotions. Red exudes excitement, energy, and passion. Just seeing the color red can increase our metabolism, heart rate, and respiration ‒ not significantly, but enough to subtly alter our mood. It’s why red increases our sense of urgency. When we’re worked up, we’re more likely to act. By contrast, blue is associated with calm, peace, and security ‒ emotions that decrease urgency. When designing your call to action, remember that warm colors such as red, yellow, and orange not only attract people’s attention, they help convince them to buy.

Offer Bonus Incentives

The only thing more enticing than one good deal is two good deals. That’s why businesses often offer customers a little extra encouragement if they’re willing to pull the trigger and buy now. It might be an additional discount, free shipping, or a free gift. Whatever it is, it doesn’t have to be big. Even something of small value can excite customers, as long as it’s a special offer.

Limiting incentives by imposing a deadline (Call in the next thirty minutes and receive two more!) or reserving them for a select number of people (First ten callers receive an extra $20 off!) makes them even more effective.

Send Reminders

Years ago, online retailers found that one of the best ways to convert customers was to save the contents of their shopping carts, but only for a short time. When the deadline approached, they sent out a message, informing the customer that their cart would be deleted unless they completed their purchase. The reminder boosted conversion rates significantly. Similarly, reminding customers about an impending deadline keeps the fear of missing out fresh in their minds.

YPM Knows How to Motivate Customers

YPM doesn’t just understand the digital marketplace. We understand the people who engage with it. Research and experience allows us to craft messages that resonate with your customers. Our strategies drive conversions, creating a loyal customer base eager to return and buy frequently. Contact us today to learn how we can help you grow your bottom line.