How to Create a Sense of Urgency In Your Marketing Campaigns

Only 3 items left in stock. Check out today’s epic deals. This offer expires tomorrow.

These phrases motivate a customer into buying your product or service. All of them are based on urgency — a principle of psychology that creates pressure which leads to conversions. In this article, you’ll learn how to create a sense of urgency using 11 strategies.

What Is Urgency In Marketing?

Marketing works when it tries to understand how an audience thinks and behaves. One of the psychological principles that spark action in marketing campaigns is urgency. Urgency, in simple terms, is a person’s sense to act immediately to avoid missing out. Think FOMO.

We’ve seen examples of urgency online: Ecommerce stores imposing time limits on discounted products. Letting customers see that others are also taking advantage of the offer. The list goes on.

Oftentimes, customers don’t realize the importance of an offer unless there’s an element of urgency to it. Which is why you need the right urgency tactics.

It’s important to remember as well that in the process of increasing buyer motivation, you should never sacrifice a positive experience. You can only achieve this by actively listening to their needs and putting yourself in their shoes.

How to Create a Sense of Urgency to Drive Conversions

1. Figure out what your audience wants then offer it.

Every business seeks more sales, and the best way to make that happen is to identify what your customers want. What do you know about their interests? What content are they engaging with?

The deeper you can get into their needs and challenges, the more likely you are to create a highly customized offer. The lesson here: If they’re not attracted to your offer, to begin with, then the best urgency tactics won’t work.

According to Neil Patel, data points like demographics (age, location, profession) aren’t enough to create messages that resonate with your audience. You need more than these to build a robust buyer persona.

2. Use a countdown timer to emphasize a deadline.

Countdown timers are used on landing pages and in emails to drive immediate purchases. They leverage the power of deadlines, giving customers the impression that they’re running out of time — and therefore they have to make a decision fast or else they’ll miss out.

At UpViral, we’ve just released a countdown timer feature that you can add to your giveaway or contest pages. This lets you display the number of weeks, days, hours, minutes, and seconds left before your campaign ends. See the screenshot of our countdown timer below:

Here are important considerations when using countdown timers for urgency:

  • Be honest about your deadline. Fake deadlines create mistrust.
  • Place your call-to-action (CTA) near the timer. This will remind them of what to do next.
  • Position the timer above the fold where people can easily find it the moment they land on the page.

3. Show real-time behavior of shoppers.

Why not let your customers do the selling for you? You could drive urgency this way by using a software tool that shows people who are making purchases on your website in real time.

If you’re an e-commerce store owner, then this strategy would be worth a try. It works its magic through social proof — a phenomenon where people follow the behavior of others, assuming that such behavior is correct.

Why does it matter? Stats show that 61% of consumers read online reviews before buying a product or service, and 63% are more likely to purchase if a website has reviews and ratings.

4. Trigger urgency by adding certain words in your copy.

Do you know what else can evoke feelings of urgency? The words and phrases you include in your marketing copy. Certain words have the ability to appeal to your audience and increase conversion action. The key is knowing what they are.

Here’s how to create a sense of urgency in writing by using these key words throughout your copy:

Deadline, limited time, today only, now, hurry up, clearance, running out, now or never, offer expires, countdown, bargain, one day only, minutes, seconds, save your spot, sale ends, and one day only.

You could incorporate these words in your headline, subheadline, call-to-action button, and other parts of your landing page.

Related article: 101 Marketing Power Words

5. Show out-of-stock items.

Image credit: Freepik

Stockouts are a reality of every business. It frustrates buyers and leads to missed opportunities. But this doesn’t have to be the case for you. You can turn the situation around by showing out-of-stock items and adding the label “sold out.” This motivates customers to look for alternative products in your shop.

The principle behind this: Loss aversion. It’s a person’s tendency to avoid losing, and then make decisions based on this fear.

When using this strategy, be careful not to show too many out-of-stock items or you might risk demotivating them. A few ones would be enough to trigger a purchase.

Another great suggestion:  

Leveraging loss aversion can also be done by showing which items are about to run out. In the example below, Package Free uses the label “low stock” on one of its products:

Image credit: Package Free

6. Highlight new products.

Who isn’t drawn to new stuff? The word “new” itself paints a picture of a shiny object that could help you achieve great things. Imagine the newest iPhone or the newest smartwatch.

Like featuring items that are out of stock, make sure to highlight those that are also new. A study in 2008 explained that new stuff triggers the reward and pleasure region in our brains. 20 volunteers played a game in which they were shown different pictures, and the researchers noticed that in most cases, the volunteers selected fresh pictures over the old ones.

7. Follow-up with email marketing.

Never forget email marketing. Sending follow-ups may be an age-old marketing technique, but it works. Well-written follow-up emails can close deals and build stronger relationships with customers. They also differentiate you from competitors who don’t do it.

How do you write a follow-up email to create a sense of urgency? Consider these tips:

  • Remind them of their interest in your product. Recall their free membership of your service or abandoned shopping cart, then communicate the value that your product can provide.
  • Use urgent language in your email subject line. Incorporate those urgency words or phrases discussed earlier in this article (deadline, limited time, today only, now, hurry up, clearance, running out, etc.)
  • Add objectivity through reviews and recommendations. If you already have reviews and testimonials, include them in your follow-up emails. Or you could name drop a celebrity that has used your product or service in the past.

8. Eliminate risk (or anxiety) as much as possible.

Some people are sure that they want something; however, they can’t seem to pull the trigger in a buying situation. Perhaps they fear the possibility of regretting their purchase. After all, nobody wants to make a poor decision.

The key to removing that perceived risk is to first acknowledge them. Then you can address it with strategies like money-back guarantees, adding an FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) page on your website, and sharing customer success stories or case studies.

Also, you’ll want to ensure that your website is working as it should. Speed up your pages. Check how it looks across mobile devices. See to it that your forms and call-to-action buttons are fully functional. Add customer support options in case they experience issues.

9. Imply urgency by using certain colors.

When retailers mark down items, they put a big sign “SALE” in red color. Different colors evoke different emotions and therefore, impact their behaviors. That is why brands carefully choose colors for their logos, signages, and other marketing materials.

Check out this color psychology wheel below by Conversioner:

Image credit: Conversioner

Red is most effective for driving immediate conversions, which is why it’s used on CTA buttons. It stimulates excitement, energy, passion, action, and desire. Green and blue are also commonly used for buttons, but they’re not as impactful as red.

10. Build trust with your audience.

Businesses are always finding ways to bring in sales. But to create a sense of urgency, it’s also important to first establish trust. Fortunately, there are plenty of opportunities to make your audience trust you more:

  • Be available to your customers. You don’t have to be around 24/7, but make it possible for them to reach you and leave a message through various means — chatbots, email, and social media.
  • Position yourself as a valuable resource. Always share what you know — your unique insights and experiences that could help your audience solve their problems. Consider collaborating with other experts to build on the knowledge you share.
  • Showcase the results you bring. This goes back to the social proof principle. We do this at UpViral by interviewing our users in our weekly Co-Pilot shows and turning their success stories into in-depth case studies that people can learn from.

11. Consider retargeting ads.

Retargeting ads are a great way to push prospects to take the plunge. Retargeting is based on the mere-exposure effect, in which people tend to like or prefer something as a result of seeing it more often. It’s all about repeated exposure.

So, even if people don’t avail of the product on your website right away, following up with a retargeting ad keeps you on their minds. But just because the mere-exposure effect works, doesn’t mean you can be boring.

Spice up your ad by writing actionable copy, using words that drive urgency, and using relevant imagery.

Create a Sense of Urgency Now

Learning how to communicate a sense of urgency is something that every business should do well. The right urgency techniques overcome barriers to purchases and optimize conversions.

When putting together a lead-generating giveaway or referral campaign using UpViral, don’t forget to follow some of the tips we shared in this guide — start with audience research, send follow-up emails, incorporate keywords/phrases, and display a countdown timer ⏰ (our new feature)!

That’s it for creating urgency. If you would like to give UpViral a try, you can learn more and experience it for 14 days by clicking here.