TAM 059: How To Use Scarcity Without Being A Douchebag
In this week's Tactical 20, I talk about using scarcity in your offers.
Scarcity is a powerful motivator when it comes to selling and it is the subject in an entire chapter of Robert Cialdini's seminal book on selling “Influence, The Psychology of Persuasion”
However, we have all probably seen people online using bullshit fake scarcity to try to get you buy. They have a counter on their site counting down “last chance to get this price, two days left”. Then you go back a week later and the counter has reset and it just resets everytime you go back. Douchebaggery.
If you are going to use scarcity, and I suggest you do, how about just using it legitimately? There are plenty of ways you can incorporate real scarcity into your offers without being a dick.
Some examples of scarcity techniques you can use are listed below.
We Chat About:
- Price Reduction
- Price Increase
- Last Chance
- Limited Availability
- Limited Spots
- Special Bonus
- Added Bonus
- Partner Bonus
If you want to give Thrive Ultimatum a try, you can get it here.
The following video is an excerpt from a live Mastermind call for the Active Marketer Academy community.
The Active Marketer Academy is a private sales funnel and marketing automation coaching community for smart online business owners like yourself. It includes training, templates, checklists, shared automations and much more.
In addition, we run monthly live mastermind calls covering all the latest online sales tools and techniques. Click here if you would like to find out more about joining us on the inside.
Links Mentioned In The Show
Barry: Hi, it's Barry Moore back with another tactical 20 podcast.
Announcer: Welcome to the active marketer podcast, where we talk about how to design, automate and scale your business to the next level, using sales and marketing automation. You can find out all the tips, tactics and techniques you need to get more customers and sell more stuff over at theactivemarketer.com. Now, here's your host Barry Moore.
Barry : Hi, I'm your host Barry Moore and this is gonna be another tactical 20 podcast. The tactical 20 podcasts are all about giving you an actionable tip, technique or tactic that you can take away and implement in your business in less than 20 minutes.
In this week's episode we're gonna talk about the psychological influence of scarcity in marketing. Why are we gonna do that? Because thrive themes just came out with a new scarcity plugin called thrive ultimatum, and if you've been listening to the show for any amount of time, you know that I'm a big fan of thrive themes and their stuff, because they're constantly innovating, constantly bringing out new stuff, really quality software and quality themes. They've just come out with this new scarcity plugin, but here's the thing. A lot of people online use scarcity, in my opinion, use scarcity in a very douchebaggy way, right?
You do not have to be a slimy douchebag to sell. We're gonna talk about how you can use scarcity in your marketing without being a douchebag, in this week's episode. Why use scarcity at all? Well, scarcity is a very powerful motivator for people, in the book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Robert Cialdini dedicates a whole chapter to scarcity, and there's lots of studies that have been done about how scarcity works on a psychological level to get people to buy.
All of us are probably in that online space and we've seen people come out with false scarcity and bullshit scarcity tactics. You know, you go to someone's website and there's a countdown timer there and you're like, you have to buy in the next three days or this thing goes away. Then you go back a week later and it's still, you have to buy in the next three days or this goes away, you have to buy in the next three days or this goes away. The counter just keeps resetting every time you go back. That, I think is a very douchebaggy way to use scarcity. Number one and number two, it totally destroys your reputation, right? Your reputation is the hardest thing to get back once it's been damaged.
In this week's episode we're gonna talk about a number of different ways you can use scarcity in there without being a douchebag. Ways you can put legitimate scarcity into your marketing and into your products. I'm gonna outline eight different ways that you can use scarcity in your marketing without being a dick. Let's have a talk about a few of them. Price reduction is a typical scarcity tactic. That's the first one we're gonna talk about. We've all seen that that's when there's a sale on, and you know, the sale runs out at a certain amount of time and that's, you know, 20% off if you book before the end of the week. That works, obviously, absolutely it works. We've all bought stuff on sale.
But the problem with price reduction, is if you do it frequently, you're just training your customers to wait until there is a sale. They know that they can get your product, your service at a discount, if they just wait a little bit. If you're gonna run price reduction scarcity, I suggest you run it very limited fashion. Once a year sale, or maybe it's a Christmas sale or a holiday sale or something like that. But you don't run it all the time. People who ride that horse to death are Udemy. If you've ever bought courses on Udemy, you know they run a sale every couple of weeks, there's some discount going on.
They've just completely trained their customer base to not pay full price for anything. They know that if they just wait for a couple of weeks, there'll be another sale on, so that's what everybody does, right? Since I'm a seller on Udemy, I know that a vast majority of those sales are coming during, my sales are coming during one of those sale periods, where they're doing a promotion, you know, this week $20 off or this week 50% off, or whatever. Nobody, or I should say people rarely buy at full price, because they've been trained to wait for a price reduction. Use price reduction sparingly if you're gonna use it as a scarcity technique. The other technique is a price increase.
This works pretty well and I've seen it done a couple of different ways. You can say, right, price for this products or service goes up on the first of July, so you need to book now, there's only so many days left. Then the price goes up and it's never gonna go back to it's current state. So you're not training people to wait, you're training them to take for a sale. You're waiting for them to take action because they're gonna miss out. Loss aversion is a huge psychological motivator as well. People will more readily act to avoid pain than they will to gain a benefit. Loss aversion is super powerful. The other way I've seen a price increase work, is if you're running an event or something on a certain date, and you want to buy tickets now. They're cheaper now. If you wait a month the price goes up, you wait another month the price goes up. The closer you get to that event, for example, the higher the price gets.
The scarcity of that price is gonna run out in a couple of weeks, so you better get it now. Again, using a price increase instead of a price reduction in scarcity. Another scarcity technique you can use is last chance scarcity. If you have a product or a service or a programme and you're not gonna offer it anymore. This is the last chance to get this thing. It's a limited edition or whatever. They're not gonna have the opportunity to get it again, ever. Then you can use last chance as a bit of a scarcity tactic. Another tactic is limited availability and limited spots which kinda go hand in hand. Limited availability might be something like, you only open your coaching programme twice a year. You open it in January and you open it in July.
If you miss out on that spots, you're gonna have to wait six months before it's open again. There's only a limited availability to sign up or a limited availability to participate in a certain programme or service or product or whatever. You're using that as a scarcity technique to get people to buy now or in those particular windows. Then hand in hand with that is limited spots. Limited spots might be, I have a coaching programme, but I only take 10 people at a time. If you're not one of those first 10, then you just don't get it. There's some scarcity there, the programme doesn't, it might run all year long, but if you're not one of those 10, then you're not getting in. Or every time we run this, we're only opening it up to 20 people or whatever.
If you want to be one of those 20, jump in. If you're number 21, too bad. Limited availability, limited spots are two different scarcity tactics you can use as well. Then you can use added bonuses rather than a price reduction. You might want to look at using added bonuses, right. Rather than saying this product, for the next two weeks this product is 20% off, you can say, if you buy this product during the next two weeks, we'll throw in this other product for free. Or we're throwing this other service for free. Try and wrap some sort of bonus around buying, so that there's perceived value. An increase in value if they buy now, without an increase in price.
Those are typically kind of your own products that they might be able to buy separately, right. If you have $100 product, you got a $20 product. You can say, right, if you buy this $100 product in the next two weeks, we'll throw in this $20 product for free. They're getting $120 perceived value for a $100 bucks but you haven't reduced the price of the overall product. So you're not training them to wait for a price reduction. You're just giving them a little bit of an incentive to buy now.
Hand in hand with that is the special bonus. The special bonus might be something, this is a powerful tactic. It might be something that they can't get any other way, right. You might say, right, if you buy this product in the next two weeks, we'll throw in these recordings from our private coaching event last month for free. There's no way to buy those videos or those recordings from the coaching event. The only way to get them is if you buy now. Even if you wanted to buy those recordings as a separate thing, you can. The only way to get it. Not only is there an extra perceived value to that product, but now there's some exclusivity as well as scarcity. There's only a two week opportunity to get these recordings and everybody else couldn't get them even if they wanted to, so there's also that exclusivity as well as scarcity built into that special bonus.
An added bonus is something that somebody could buy on their own if they wanted to. But we're bundling it in for free. A special bonus is something we're bundling in that that they don't have any other way to get as well. Very powerful, there's kind of two psychological factors that work with that special bonus. If you don't have anything to give away, then you might want to look at our eighth scarcity technique, and that's a partner deal, right.
If you don't have an added bonus or a special bonus to give away, you might want to partner with somebody else who needs a little bit of a boost to their list or they need a little bit more exposure and they might work with you, and they say, right, in return for giving me the names and email addresses of people who buy your product, I'll throw in this free thing into your package. I might be selling something and then Tom, he's got a product that he can bundle in with what I'm selling and he throws it in for free as a partner bonus. For him, he gets the names and email addresses of all those people he buys, so he gets a little bit of access to my list, and my people get an added bonus for free, that I don't have to create myself.
There are eight different scarcity tactics you can use without being a douchebag. Some genuine scarcity you can build into your products and your services and your sales. There's a price reduction, which I think you should use sparingly. There's a price increase or a tiered price increase. There's the last chance offer. A limited availability offer, limited spots offer. Added bonus, special bonus and a partner deal bonus as well. Those are all kind of tactics that you can use. How do you go about what's the nuts and bolts of going about and actually implementing those tactics into your website. That's where something like deadline funnel or thrive ultimatum comes in. Where you can build a number of different types of scarcity campaigns into your website.
You can have date based scarcity campaigns. This might be around an event, as we said. Or a sale period. The sale runs until the 30th of June. You can set that as a solid date. But the other groovy thing is you can run genuine evergreen scarcity campaigns where someone who's a new visitors to your site, they have had no interaction to you, you might put a scarcity campaign to new subscribers, that says, right, you can buy this product in the next two weeks or the next seven days, two weeks is probably too long. The next five to seven days, if you buy this product for the next seven days, then we'll throw in this extra thing for free. This added bonus, or this special bonus for free.
Your normal website subscribers who are coming and they're there all the time, they don't see that. But anyone who's a new subscriber to your list will see that evergreen scarcity campaign at the end of that seven days, at the end of that five days, that scarcity campaign goes away and they don't see it again. Those are some tools you can use to incorporate scarcity tactics into your website. If you want to find out more, head over to the show notes for this episode, which will be at theactivemarketer.com/59 and on that page you will see a little video walkthrough of how you can implement scarcity campaign into your website, using thrive ultimatum. Which is just an example. There are other scarcity plugins out there, but there'll be a little video there at the show notes that walks you through exactly how to do it and you can see that it's not as hard as you might think it is.
There you go, eight scarcity tactics that you can use. My challenge to you is go sit down, grab a piece of paper and get away from the computer, sit down and figure out which one of those eight scarcity tactics you can apply straight away into your business. Thanks for listening everybody and again, head over to the show notes at theactivemarketer.com/59.
All right, that's our tactical 20 podcast for this week. If you have any questions or any topics you'd like to see covered on future tactical 20 podcast, you can always send me an email at barry B-A-R-R-Y @theactivemarketer.com and let us know what you'd like to see. Also if you head over to the show notes for this episode and just leave a comment or leave a comment in any of the episode show notes. Tell us what you'd like to see and we'll make sure we cover it on an upcoming episode. Get out there and design, automate and scale your business to the next level using sales and marketing automation. See you next week everybody.
Announcer:Thanks for listening to the active marketer podcast. You can find the show notes and all the latest marketing automation news over at theactivemarketer.com