Steal This #9 – Promote Urgency


Welcome to the latest edition of my new weekly blog series, Steal This. Each week I’ll highlight a marketing activity that a company is using and suggest ways that you can model it and make it work for you. Last week’s topic was – Outside the Box Thinking.

Today’s topic is: Promote Urgency

This week’s subject came to me while I was checking the weather on my phone last week. See below.

countdown ad.PNG

The ad at the bottom counted down (I was too slow to capture the screenshot before it got to 1 second). I thought it was a creative way to get someone to click. It hits on a key marketing strategy, which is using urgency to sell.

When you add a time constraint to your marketing, you’re forcing customers to take action. It’s a very effective strategy in the direct marketing world.

So how can you steal it?

There are too many ways to use urgency in your marketing to name them all, but here are a few.

Employ deadlines to all of your special offers, and promote the deadline. This is common among car companies who use commercials to highlight a one month sale, or stores who highlight one weekend of discounts.

“While supplies last” is another way to promote urgency. You might create a landing page or product page on your website that promotes an offer and lists the number available. It triggers consumers to take action now or miss out on the offer.

Include “add-ons” to your offer. You might present your standard product pricing but tell people that if they buy now, you will also throw in one year of free live support, or you’ll double their order, or you’ll offer free shipping. These are popular techniques in infomercial style ads.

As always, tell me what you think of this week’s idea and suggest other marketing programs to “Steal” in the comments below.