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Trigger Conversion With Time-Sensitive Selling Techniques

Posted by: Nikki Tabberrah

February 22, 2023


Time-sensitive selling is an effective tool for boosting conversions and increasing sales. By creating a sense of urgency, customers are more likely to take action rather than delay their purchase decision. But what exactly is at play in the psychology of urgency? What drives customers to convert?

The most successful time-sensitive offers center around three things: scarcity, exclusivity and immediacy. 

Scarcity requires customers to act quickly in order to make sure they don't miss out on limited opportunities, like flash sales or special discounts. 

Exclusivity encourages buyers to feel as though they're part of a privileged community, so offering personalized offers or VIP memberships can be great incentives. 

Finally, immediacy conveys a sense of immediacy—that something must be done now—to ensure that the customer doesn't lose out on potential savings.

By utilizing these three psychological triggers and understanding how each one affects buyer behavior, you can maximize the effectiveness of your time-sensitive offers.  Before we discuss the different ways you can incorporate urgency into your selling process, let’s dive deeper into the role of time and urgency in persuading consumers to convert.

Understanding A Buyer’s Train of Thought

When a shopper is presented with a one-time discount promo through a newsletter or an app push notification (exclusivity), they will likely recognize the potential savings and eagerly pursue it. During the decision process, they will also be driven by anticipated regret because no buyer wants to miss out on an opportunity for a great value that's too good to pass up (scarcity). 

Studies show that the more favorable an offer is, the buyers feel higher levels of anticipated regret (loss aversion), intensifying their eagerness to avail of the offer. And when marketed with the language of urgency (immediacy), buyers are naturally drawn in by the ticking clock – pushing them to act faster to cop a good deal.

Brands and marketers can use the psychology of urgency in their marketing to trigger conversion in different ways. 


Employ Deadlines

Setting deadlines on promotions can create a sense of urgency amongst customers. This type of strategy works especially well if there are multiple offers available at any given time, as customers will have reason to act quickly before they lose out on potential savings.

This can also be applied when pushing promotions like

  • Free shipping or delivery offers for a 3-day sale
  • Promo code discounts ending in 12 hours

Periodically remind consumers of these deadlines through a follow-up email or an in-app message / push notification if you happen to have your own custom mobile app where customers shop exclusively.


Add Time Sensitive Incentives

Adding incentives with expiration dates can also increase customer engagement and promote action-taking within a defined timeline, ultimately resulting in higher sales conversions for you.

  • Create tiered discounts where customers receive progressively larger savings depending on how quickly they make the purchase i.e.,“Get 10% off if you order in the next 24 hours, 15% off if you order in the next 12 hours” etc.
  • Feature bonus bundles with purchases that are only available for a set amount of time. For example, you can run an until-stocks-last kind of promo bundle where they can get 2 products for an incredibly low price.


Create Urgency Through Time-Related Copy

Utilizing phrases such as "hurry", "now or never" and "last chance" in marketing messages can create a sense of urgency that motivates customers to act quickly. Here are some tips for incorporating these phrases into your marketing materials:

  • Include strategic calls-to-action with phrases such as “Don’t miss out!” or “Act now and save” in emails, blog posts, or social media posts.
  • Use vivid descriptions like “once in a lifetime offer” and “opportunity of a lifetime” to emphasize the idea that this is the only chance customers will have to purchase something at this price.
  • Highlight key features like discounts, free shipping, and limited availability with phrases like “Now is your last chance to get…” and “Time is running out - Hurry!”

To make the copy more effective, add countdown timers on product pages or email campaigns so customers know exactly how long they have left before the offer expires. Utilizing live countdowns give shoppers visual cues when their allotted time is nearing its end, reminding them that they need to act now or else miss out on savings opportunities.


Visually Reinforce Scarcity 

When customers are browsing online, having a visual indication that an item is no longer available helps signal to them that they should act fast if they want it.

Here are some tips for visually showcasing sold-out items on your website or custom shopping app:

  • Use visuals such as crossed-out labels or empty shelves with "Sold Out" signs to indicate which products have already been purchased.
  • Showcase the most popular items by displaying them prominently and highlighting how many customers have recently bought them.
  • Create a dedicated section on your website or in-store that displays "sold out" items along with their availability dates so customers can plan ahead if they want something similar in the future.

Incorporate Live Shopper Statistics

There’s nothing more satisfying than catching a good deal before others do. By emphasizing that there are shoppers lurking around for the same thing, shoppers become threatened that they may not able to get the best deal. Here are some ways to signal potential competition during the sales process:

  • Display the number of people who’ve recently viewed or purchased the product on product pages to demonstrate its popularity and encourage others to buy quickly so they don’t miss out. I.e. 24 people just added this to their cart!
  • Send potential customers timely reminder emails or push notifications with phrases such as “Don’t forget, you have 12 hours left to take advantage of this offer!” or “Better act fast - other customers have already added this to their cart!


Inventory Count Down

Highlight how many units are left in stock when listing products online so customers will know if they need to make their purchase quickly or risk missing out altogether.

  • Show a timer next to select products with messages like “Hurry, only X items left!” to emphasize the limited availability.
  • Post countdown posts on social media sites with hashtags like #nowornever and#lastchance to spread the word about current offers and limited availability of certain products.

Final Thoughts

Time is of the essence. Businesses often miss out on opportunities to maximize their conversion rates by neglecting a single concept: urgency. By strategically using this tactic, you can put your business one step ahead and see powerful results! 

We hope this guide helps and all the best!