I recently spent a couple hours in a waiting room and thankfully remembered to bring the latest issue of Search Marketing Standard along to pass the time. I read a few good articles, including Using the Power of Urgency to Increase Online Conversion Rates by Nick Usborne.
Creators of direct response TV ads, direct mail and even car salesmen all fully understand that if consumers don’t make a purchase right away then they are unlikely to come back and buy at some future date—so they communicate an urgent message to their prospects inviting them to ‘call now for the best deal’ or ‘come in today for extra savings.’ Correspondingly, you can create a sense of urgency that will increase your online conversion rates…immediately answer your prospect’s unspoken question as s/he clicks onto your offer page, “Why should I buy this NOW?”
Urgency, real or implied, is an essential ingredient of any sales message. Below are several tactics provided by Usborne that provide reasonable ways to communicate urgency to your prospect online:
- Take full advantage of buying seasons such as Christmas…these dates come and go, and have inbuilt urgency.
- Where appropriate, add a time limit to your offer. If it expires in 5 days, make a big deal of it!
- Scarcity, real or imagined, communicates urgency. If there are only a certain number of items remaining, say so.
This being said, you must take care in how you frame and present your message. Here are a few guiding principles to consider:
- The urgency should be genuine and not simply created as a promotional gimmick.
- Even the legitimate use of an urgent message will still be recognized by your audience as a promotional tactic. If you are not being genuine and honest, you run the risk of losing the respect and loyalty of some prospects.
- The use of urgency on an offer page can be a very powerful tool, but is not something you can do all the time. If you do, you will lose credibility.
- When you are using an urgency tactic, take steps to maximize traffic to that page during the offer period using strategies that work best for you.
As proven in case studies presented within the Search Marketing Standard article, urgency can have a very powerful impact on your online conversion rates and revenues. Answer your prospect’s unspoken, yet incredibly important question, and give a solid reason to buy now. Usborne urges you to employ the tactics summarized above, and I agree – add some urgency to your pages, NOW!