If you understand some of the mysteries of human psychology, you’re well on your way to becoming an ace email marketer.
One of the most exciting aspects of human psychology for marketers is how urgency affects motivation.
If you’re looking to build your email list, creating a sense of urgency and playing on people’s fear of missing out (FOMO) can be effective. No one wants to miss out on a great deal that’s going to vanish shortly.
However, creating a time-sensitive offer that converts is harder than it sounds. You can’t slap on a shade of red or add a countdown timer without a sound strategy. You have to be inventive with your copy and tap into this human psychology.
Want to know how to do that? Let’s get started, we don’t have much time!
As a psychological trigger, urgency causes us humans to act fast. It’s a time-based concept embedded in our brain that makes us feel uncomfortable if we don’t act right away.
According to research, humans put urgent tasks before more critical tasks that are not time-sensitive. Just because the task is deemed to be more urgent!
Scarcity value works the same way. It’s another psychological trigger that causes us to assign more value to those things that are scarce (or rare, like diamonds or gold iPhones).
And then there’s FOMO, which is the short version of Fear Of Missing Out. If something is running out of stock, we begin to panic and weigh up the pros and cons of splashing the cash. FOMO can make a person feel dissatisfied, resulting in action.
When it comes to marketing, adding elements of urgency, scarcity and FOMO speeds up the buying process.
Of course, what you’re offering has to add real value to their lives. It must solve your customer’s problem.
Urgency is great to use in emails, but there’s one catch. Studies have shown that, while urgency can work in marketing, it can also backfire if you don’t follow up the offer by showing people what to do next.
Here’s how to use urgency in newsletters and have it solely benefit your email success.
The most straightforward way to create urgency is to use time-sensitive phrases. These phrases work because they put the prospect under pressure.
If your audience doesn’t act within X amount of days/hours, they will lose out.
Time-sensitive phrases don’t have to be too clever or complicated. Keep it super simple, like “only 2 more days left to register for this webinar!”
At the same time, you don’t want to sound too pushy.
Here are some examples:
Here’s an example:
To tap into your customer’s FOMO, communicate that you’ve got great products available today, but that they might be gone tomorrow. There are some simple yet effective phrases you can use in your headlines, body copy and call to actions.
Examples of headlines that express scarcity:
Express Next combines "don’t miss out" with an exciting background image that further heightens peoples’ fear of missing out.
Udemy uses urgency when announcing their one-day-only Cyber Monday sale. They even include a countdown timer to make the urgency more visual.
Of course, you have to be creative and not generic with how you fit these phrases into your copy.
For example, check out what BirchBox did below with an item of theirs that’s tricky to get hold of. They made sure to include the phrase “Limited time,” but they also included a benefit, which is that it’ll motivate people to stick to their New Year’s resolutions.
A deadline is a combination of the two psychological effects we’ve discussed so far — scarcity and urgency.
When you add a deadline, people know they’re up against the clock. It’s important that you get specific too, by adding both the date and time. The more specific you are, the clearer the prospect is about how much time they’ve got left.
It’s a good idea to experiment with how long in the future your deadlines are. For example, does a really tight and aggressive deadline (such as a day from now) work better than a deadline two weeks in the future?
Longer deadlines can work better than you might think because, as each day passes, more sales begin to trickle in.
Take a look at the furniture store, JOYBIRD. They create urgency by presenting a tight deadline coupled with a great offer of 20% off the entire site.
If you find the right balance of presenting a killer offer with a reasonable deadline. more readers will act!
You already know to use action-oriented words in your CTA. What’s more important is the way you combine them with verbs and other phrases.
It’s a good idea to give the recipient a sense of ownership by writing in the first person (as mentioned earlier). For example:
“Hurry! Book your reservation today.”
A better alternative is:
“I don’t wanna miss out — give me my eBook now!”
Here are other action words you can use within your newsletter.
For a complete list of useful action words, click here.
People don’t always know they’ve got a problem in their life until you highlight it. The best way is to highlight it and then introduce the solution — and then demonstrate that they don’t have much time left to fix it!
Think about it: If a person has just been told they’ve got a major problem on their hands; they’ll want to solve it fast. And that’s just what you’re going to do.
Use your copy, then show the person their problem and follow-up by pitching your product as the perfect solution.
You could write something like:
“Sick of working with a team that just doesn’t get along? Stop fighting and boost your communication today. Our team management app will mend office relationships and improve productivity and your bottom line. Sign up today for a free trial!”
If the solution is compelling, people will want to use it ASAP.
From now on, whenever you write copy designed to get people to take action, take your time to read through it and look for areas where you can create a sense of urgency, scarcity — or both.
Everything matters, from your headline to your sub-headlines; from your copy to your CTA. Keep things simple and direct but be creative with how you word things. Make your emails pop with visuals and language so that your conversions rocket.
What are you waiting for? Act now!
Deana is an internet marketing specialist at Point Visible, a digital agency providing custom blogger outreach services. In her free time, she enjoys listening to music and singing karaoke. Also, her day just can’t start without a hot cup of coffee.