top of page

How To Use Urgency & Scarcity To “Ethically Force” Your Customers To Buy Now (And Thank You After)

Alright, last article we chit-chatted about deadlines. Now let’s talmabout what makes deadlines work:

Urgency & Scarcity

Urgency and scarcity are the backbone of all sales promotions. Otherwise, your audience doesn't have an incentive to buy now — unless they’re in excruciating pain.

But here’s the thing:

Even if your customers are in excruciating pain that only your product can solve…

They Might Not Even Realize Your Product Can Help!

That’s why urgency and scarcity are powerful tools for boosting your conversions. And they’re the whole reason deadlines work.

Without urgency and scarcity, nobody would buy anything. Ever.

Here’s why:

We live in an anxiety and distraction-filled world. Everyone has pathetic attention spans. And it’s only getting worse with the internet.

Check your Instagram feed right now and notice how many advertisements you get.

Or switch over into your Promotions Tab on Gmail and see how many emails you have sitting there trying to get your attention.

Not to mention all the other potential distractions that are a couple of clicks away.

Urgency and scarcity work hand-in-hand to “jolt” these distractions from our peripherals so your customers can focus on what’s right in front of them: your product and offer.

Since I covered scarcity in-depth last article, I want to focus more on urgency because they’re two similar, yet different concepts.

Scarcity means limiting a certain amount of something. It’s quantity-based. Think TV deals on Black Friday.

Urgency means persuading someone to act now — instead of next week or next year. It’s time-based. Think Black Friday in general. And urgency is extra important when you’re meeting your leads for the first time. In fact, in the bizness world, researchers found that...

Leads are 21x more likely to do business with you if you respond to them within the first 5 minutes!

While this applies more to sales, it’s true in marketing as well.

This is an example of urgency in action.

Before we dive into the different ways to create urgency, let’s discuss why it works so well (and why it backfires sometimes).

The Psychological Reason Behind Why Urgency Works

Urgency taps into a common human “anxiety” called FOMO – or the fear of missing out.

FOMO is a powerful “performance enhancing drug” when running sales promotions and selling through email.


Think of it like this:

Remember back in high school when someone had a party and you missed out? Then, the next week at school, you heard alllll about how awesome and fun the party was.

This is FOMO in action.

People don’t want to miss out on stuff that improves their life — whether it’s a high school party, a supplement, or a service.

FOMO fills you with pain. And it goes back to something we discussed in the “Twist The Knife” article, which is:

Humans Are More Psychologically Motivated By Avoiding Pain Than Gaining Pleasure!

FOMO fills them with this pain that gets them to whip out their wallet and type in their credit card.

Before I reveal a few ways to create urgency in your email campaigns, I want to give you a warning:

Marketers get a bad rep because too often we inject false scarcity and urgency.

And customers can “sniff out” fake scarcity and urgency a mile away!


Nothing is more important than your relationship with your list!

It’s more profitable to sacrifice short-term sales if it means building a relationship with your list.

Fake scarcity and urgency create these short-term sales. But it's at the expense of beheading your relationship with your list.

You can see this with alternative health and supplement companies who are always running sales.

Or websites that trick you into thinking you only have 15 minutes to buy. With the countdown clock ‘n all.

Your potential customers aren’t stupid. So don’t treat them like they are.

Not only will it backfire, but they’ll tell their friends and family to avoid your company like the plague too.

Negative word-of-mouth is no bueno.

Don’t worry, there are ethical ways to pump up your sales with urgency. (And we already discussed how to do this with scarcity in the last article, so I won’t mention it again.)

Let’s dive in…

Ethical And Honest Ways To Create Urgency In Your Emails

You don’t have to be a slimy, greasy marketer to inject urgency in your emails. Especially when you use one of the ways mentioned below.

Remember, urgency works because you’re tapping into people’s FOMO.

Here are some ways to do it:

1. Social Proof

Without any proof, people won’t believe your claims.

In fact, one of the greatest direct response marketers of all time, Gary Bencivenga went as far to say that...

Social Proof Is The Most Important Aspect Of Any Campaign!

Gary said this in his $5,000 Farewell Seminar he gave after he retired. Many esteemed copywriters claim it’s one of the best (if not, the best) copywriting trainings on the planet. Since Gary retired shortly before, he spilled all his best secrets. And this was the most important one.

Proof is also the reason why companies like P90X became a billion dollar company after their first infomercials fell flat on their head.

The difference?

They used before and after pictures in their second infomercial campaign and sales went from near $0 in sales to doing over a billion dollars.

And social proof taps into the FOMO too.

Best part?

Social proof is probably the easiest way to write emails.

You can share testimonials and case studies about your products. And people will be itching to try them themselves.

Social proof was one of the driving factors for the $100k launch I had with one of my supplement clients.

And while your results may vary, it’s all but guaranteed it will pump up your sales more than any other aspect.

Another easy way to add social proof is to talk about how many customers are buying your product. This taps more into the scarcity part — especially if you have limited inventory.

Alright, let’s get into another ethical way to create urgency:

2. How quickly (and easily) your products solve your customers’ most dire problems

If you have a product that can help your customers solve their most pressing pain, they won’t be able to delay buying.

Of course, this varies from product to product. And relies on you having a deep understanding of your market.

But this is another easy way to create urgency.

You can simply take your best testimonials and case studies and turn them into an email.

Not only are you demonstrating (instead of selling) how your products work, but you’re also tapping into the social proof and FOMO aspects we already talked about.

And the last way to create urgency:

3. Disappearing Bonuses

Again, we discussed this in the last article.

So I won’t go into nitty-gritty details here.

But here’s what you want to do:

Offer certain bonuses for a certain amount of people. Let’s say 20.

Once those 20 people buy your product, remove the bonuses.

You can create as many bonuses as you’d like for this.

For example, you can have 3 different bonuses. And you can remove one bonus for every 20 people that buy until all the bonuses are gone.

This triggers your customers' FOMO like nothing else.

And this works extra well when you mix it with solving an excruciating pain and backing it up with social proof.

Try this in your next promotion and see how it works.

Methinks you’ll be surprised at how effective (and profitable) it is.

If you’d like help using urgency and scarcity to “ethically force” your customers to buy today instead of putting it off...

I offer consulting services and a done-for-you ghostwriting system I call Profit First Emails.

You can set up a discovery call with me using the link below:

But I don’t always have more room for new clients on my schedule.

If the link above doesn’t work, I’m not accepting new clients. In that case, join my waitlist and you’ll be the first to know about when a new client spot opens up:

(Psst, did you notice the FOMO in action? Good!)

John Brandt

8 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Unboxing the Sonos Beam Zyn sent me

I just checked my email after an extensive editing session of 24 emails and found an unusual email: UPS sent me an email saying that a package had been delivered. “Hmmmm, I don’t remember ordering a p


bottom of page