Marketing With Scarcity: How You Can Apply The Most Effective Selling Technique To Your Business

Growing up like everyone living in a Western country, with shopping malls and TV informercials, I was well exposed to the concept of the time limited offer.

Whether it was the 24 hours I had to order within to get the extra set of steak knives during the late night commercial, or the “Christmas Special” with discounted prices until the end of the holidays at Target, there was always something with time running out.

One of my favorite examples that everyone who has ever watched TV in Australia will know about, is the Rugs-A-Million closing down sales. Rugs-A-Million is a rug store that, if you were to believe their commercials, was either closing down or in liquidation all the time, hence they had “crazy prices”. The strange thing is they never seemed to close down, and every week a new commercial was up with yet another reason for the crazy deals.

Obviously as consumers we start to develop some skepticism towards these offers, especially if they prove untrustworthy and keep repeating week after week. However the concept of the limited offer is a proven selling technique, especially when done honestly with justification.

Scarcity Sells

During the early 2000s I was heavily into studying internet marketing. I was following all the popular online information marketers, and reading about sales and direct response marketing.

It was during this time that I learned about a concept called “Scarcity”, which put a label on all those limited offers I was exposed to growing up.

Scarcity refers to any limitation placed on a product or service with the goal of increasing sales through pressure placed on the consumer. The fear of missing out causes people to make the decision to buy. The limitation can be a time based deadline or a limited quantity, often mixed with some kind of perceived benefit for acting quickly, like a reduced price, a bonus item, or an increase in status (you got in, where others missed out).

While I had no doubt been influenced by scarcity selling countless times as a customer, I had yet to apply it to my own business. Although prior to blogging I had an e-commerce store and a services based business, I never applied scarcity to these offers. I played around with pricing structures that would change based on speed of delivery, but they were always available, there was no limit or deadline.

This all changed once I became an information marketer. When I started promoting affiliate products I experienced the power of a deadline first hand. It amazed me how as the closing time approached sales picked up. You could almost feel the sense of pressure as the last 24 hours would see a flood of orders come through.

Using Scarcity In A Product Launch

After affiliate marketing, the next step for me was to launch my own product. By this point I had studied plenty of launch techniques and was eager to put them into practice. Scarcity was mixed in with concepts like proof and social proof, rapport, story telling, risk reversal and the offer to deliver a powerful online selling machine.

Although all these concepts are part of a complete marketing process, it never ceases to amaze me how effective scarcity is. Based on the many launches I have been a part of, no other single concept is more powerful as a sales driving mechanism.

I became so accustomed to the online launch process that I developed a sense of intuition about how a launch would go. My intuition was also backed up by the numbers from previous launches.

It became apparent that during a complete online launch process with a time based deadline (usually closing down of the offer, or a hefty price increase after deadline), that in the last 24 hours the total number of sales would increase by at minimum 50%, and could even double.

For example, if a product was “open” for a week, and during the first 6 days I made 100 sales, then within the last 24 hours I’d make anywhere from 50 to 100 more sales. This happened every single time.

In fact, over time scarcity was even more effective. My first launches had 50% of the sales come through during the final day, where later launches would get closer to double the numbers on the final day. In one instance, I tripled the number of sales during the final 24 hours.

Although the launch process is becoming somewhat over-used in certain industries, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. Marketers still launch products using scarcity in similar ways, but with today’s popular tools.

For example, Webinar promos are a fantastic example of scarcity driven selling. A webinar offers the chance to teach and give away free value to a live audience, and then make an offer that’s only available during the Webinar, once again a time dependent limitation made directly to people in that moment.

Some of the most successful information marketers today are setting up automated webinar systems that include limited time offers throughout the marketing process. Webinars occur once a week or even once a day using automated delivery software, recorded presentations and email autoresponders. For the people who attend live, they receive a special offer that can only be acted upon during a preset time frame during the webinar or the days following it.

Earlier this year, Leslie, Gideon and myself did an internal launch to our own audiences for our Become A Blogger 2.0 course.

We taught a live webinar and offered entry to the program for a $1 trial plus bonuses. We had an offer for those who joined at the end of the webinar and during the 48 hours that followed and one more for the week after until we closed the doors. This gave us three different limited time offers – the earlier you joined, the better the deal you received. Needless to say, the most sales came through at the deadline times.

Scarcity In Today’s Biggest Business Models

Some of the current trends in online shopping are heavily driven by the scarcity model.

Group buying is one prime example.

Services like Groupon have become super-popular because they take the scarcity concept and apply it as part of their core business model.

Deals are only available for short periods of time, usually 24 hours, and offer a hefty discount on regular price. That is all you need to drive sales. A very short deadline, a discount and a sense of exclusivity for those quick enough to pounce on the offer. Throw in the power of email marketing as a communication tool and you have one of the best business models I have ever seen.

I wish I came up with that.

Another business I wish I came up with that also has fantastic scarcity elements is eBay, or online auctions to be specific. An auction has a time and quantity based limitation. The countdown timer for the auction to end spurs bids that increase price. There’s one item and multiple people bidding for it, so there can only be one winner. This is like a perfect storm of scarcity, and thus eBay became a huge company.

If you’re selling online, I’d have a good think about about these scarcity elements demonstrated by Groupon and eBay and see if you can apply them to your business. Using scarcity in an environment where people have already expressed interest in your product, and doing it regularly, can drive a lot of sales.

Justification And The Buying Environment

Daily deal sites like Groupon work because they set the expectation of a discount environment. People sign up knowing what they are going to receive and Groupon works with retailers to come up with the deals.

Using daily deals like this won’t work in all industries, but scarcity will. You need to determine the best way to apply it, and how often to apply it, considering closely what the expectations of your customers are (remember how important Expectation Management is).

You don’t want to abuse this technique because it will damage trust. If people stop trusting you, they will stop listening to you.

It’s okay for Rugs-A-Million to become a bit of a running joke with how often they do closing down sales because they are a discount rug store. If they were a real estate agent, a regular “going out of business” sale on all their properties would not fit right – they wouldn’t have a good reputation and people would be very skeptical about the houses they were selling.

It’s important when you apply scarcity you justify it. You need to have a believable reason for offering a limited time deal. It might be because you have a limited number of product, or a limited number of seats at your event. Perhaps you are running a small beta trial for an early version of your product, or you are taking your product off the market (a genuine closing down sale).

Whatever you do, don’t mess with your audience. You know what your people expect and you know what your style is. Make sure your scarcity offers are congruent with your brand and the expectations you have set.



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Why Scarcity Works

Scarcity works because it forces action. You can’t be a fence sitter if the product is coming off the market tomorrow. If you want it, you have to decide now.

One of the easiest things for a consumer to do is put off buying something until later. I don’t need this now, or I’ll buy it when I get my paycheck or when I have the time to use it. There are endless justifications for not doing something, with good old procrastination being one of them, so you need to have a reason for taking action now.

You might think you are being “evil” and manipulating your audience, but if you believe in your product and know it will help them, using scarcity to make them get off their lazy butt and take action is a good thing.

Humans are human, we all have emotions and face the daily challenge of dealing with our problems. A good marketer knows how to sell to people using emotions, which when done in the spirit of mutual gain, means that everyone can feel good about a transaction. Of course you can’t please all of the people all of the time, but if you really consider your product something that can have a positive impact on people, you owe it to yourself to use all the selling techniques available to you.

Just remember, the online world is a very skeptical one, so abusing techniques like scarcity will not do you any favors. You might experience short term gains, but if you damage your reputation, it won’t last long.

Your next step is to consider how to make an offer for your product or service that includes an element of scarcity. Once you come up with an idea, please explain your plans as a comment reply to this article. Your ideas may help others come up with ideas, so be specific.

I look forward to reading your responses.

Yaro Starak
Limiting Offers

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Yaro Starak is the author of the Blog Profits Blueprint, a report you can download instantly to learn how to make $10,000 a month, from only blogging 2 hours per day. You can find Yaro on Facebook, Twitter and .

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  • Rob

    This is timely for me, I have recently just been reading up on these kinds of marketing techniques. Hopefully one day I’ll have the knowledge and skill to make them work for me…

    At the moment things still seem really confusing and daunting!

  • Just now learning a litle marketing – thanks for a stategy that works!

  • One thing I could do with some of my timeless reports is what Disney used to do with their classic movies – Sell them for a set period of time and then put them back into the vault and not offer them at all for a long period of time. This strategy/tactic seemed to work for them. Seems like it’d be worth a test for me. 🙂

  • Ann

    Limited time offers work for us well.

  • JLM

    Hi Yaro
    I don’t like to use these technics because I don’t like when someone uses it on me… but I have to acknowledge that it is efficient.
    I used to work for a company, and at one time we didn’t have any stock anymore. This was the time where we made the most sales, because people just wanted it and couldn’t… so we had to put them on a waiting list, and when one product was available, it was now or waiting again…it proved very efficient…

    • I don’t mind these techniques when they are genuine. False scarcity is obviously not good, but if you really do only have 10 sets of a home study course left to sell, why not tell people that so they feel more compelled to grab one before they are gone.

      • As far as I know, saying that you are closing down when you are not closing down is illegal in Australia. I think the ACCC comes down pretty hard on companies who lie in advertising.

        Scarcity is really powerful but it’s important to be totally honest with the limitations being imposed, as you say.

        Great article Yaro! Really enjoyed it.


        • Yeah I’ve heard the same Ramsay. I think Rugs a million probably dropped the closing down sales, or maybe got clever with it, like said a certain distribution center was closing. When I googled rugs a million closing sale I saw quite a few discussions of this exact topic and whether it is legel to keep saying you are closing when you are not, which obviously it shouldn’t be.

          • Hi – I just listened to the video and they promise this is the last time they will say there are closing, but if you listen carefully they confess (as if it is in small print) there may be a couple more… could that be their loop-hole?

      • David Rooke

        Yaro, 2 questions, & know you and your team have been high up the latter for me:
        1. Isn’t one of the biggest reasons to sell Informational digital products that they’re unlimited and they don’t go bad like veggies and fruit? So what’s the honest scarcity sale for digital?
        2. “It’s important when you apply scarcity you justify it. You need to have a ‘believable’ reason for offering a limited time deal. It might be because you have a limited number of product, or a limited number of seats at your event. Perhaps you are running a small beta trial for an early version of your product, or you are taking your product off the market (a genuine closing down sale). So my question is Do you ‘search’ your head and your heart for a ‘believable’ reason just because scarcity works or do you have a true scarcity situation in your biz and you truely tell your customers? These were hard to ask.

  • So many things that can be done in marketing are borderline manipulative. Anything “good” can easily cross over into the “bad” category. It’s so easy for us to say, wow, this is a good technique or that’s an effective motivator and ignore what is truly best for our long term goals.

    Yep, we humans need nudges to make decisions and scarcity is one way to do it. But, before we look at it as a strategy or tactic, we need to carefully assess what we’re offering, how we offer it, and all the nuances involved and then find the scarcity that’s already there.

    I know that’s what you’re saying Yaro, but it’s so easy for us to just read “scarcity” and start with that and then try to make it palatable. No. That’s manipulative. We need to find the scarcity already there. Are we unable to handle more than “so many” customers? Is our time limited? Is our staff limited? Are we maintaining a strong policy because our offers rotate on a set schedule that we don’t fudge on?

    Yep, as you say, it has to be absolutely real and it must be consistent or we’ll not only lose credibility, we’ll be sleezeballs. 😉

    • Right on Carmelo. The challenge is coming to grips with the variability of your user base, as one person’s evil manipulation is another person’s brilliant marketing.

      If you can reach a lot of people you invariably will upset some of them. The most important thing is to be congruent with your own style and goals, and then adjust from there.

      You offer some good advice for finding scarcity that already exists within how you are marketing, so simply surfacing these limitations, which are true, will work.

      Thanks for the input!

      • “Variability of your user base” – exactly, you can’t please everyone. Trying that will handcuff us into ineffectual blandness.

        When you say to be congruent with your style and goals, I take that to mean that marketing itself has to be an extension of who and what you are as a person and a business and can’t be the “flavor of the day.” That’s a killer.

        Btw, loved that video! They provide Australians with some good laughs (and rugs!) for sure. I didn’t see it when I was there – my son got to play four seasons of pro basketball at Dandenong. Love your country, Yaro!

  • Thanks for this, Yaro. The scarcity marketing technique does work; I have had good experiences as a buyer and as the seller.
    Just as you emphasised in this very informative post, this marketing technique should not be abused. Customer trust is important and the ethical line should not be crossed.

  • Good points. I have used scarcity with some success on a Thai amulet site we have ( I used to list the inventory available in a column next to the order button. I noticed that those I said “Only One Left” – sold more often. Reading this article, I’ll take another look at the site and try to use scarcity to my better advantage. Cheers Yaro!

  • I’m extremely conflicted about this. As a marketer, I’m well aware of how and why this works on human psychology. But as one of your other readers noted, I really hate when I see others try to use this tactic on me. I see right through it and it pisses me off. I’m hopeful, that as we evolve, more and more of us will become conscious of these types of things and they’ll become unnecessary. On the spiritual level, scarcity truly IS an illusion and if we all understood that, it would eliminate more than bad marketing from the world. Shouldn’t we be setting a better example?

    • I can see where you are coming from Tea, and I have had similar feelings in particular when I suspect I see false scarcity on information products, which are for sale again a week later.

      There are times when I believe it simply because of supply vs demand. For example the Toyota 86 car was recently released in Australia. I had followed the news about this car before its release and all the reviews were good. The price upon release was lower than expected and comparatively a very good deal, hence demand was huge.

      Toyota can’t release unlimited cars, they have to gauge supply and demand and produce what they think they need. Of course they can artificially inflate demand by limiting production, but sometimes production simply can’t keep up with demand.

      That’s why I was told if I wanted one from my local Toyota dealer there was a 3 month waiting list. I found this realistic, and although the scarcity in this case didn’t push me to join the list (I’m happy with my BMW) I felt it was reasonable – and in fact a good thing as it would make the people who got one first feel that little bit special since not everyone could get one as soon as it was released.

      It really depends on the product and the type of scarcity being used. I personally don’t see a problem if there is a genuine lack of supply that you tell people. Sure in the spiritual world abundance exists, but if you need resources to make things in the physical world, there will always be limitations.

  • Yaro,

    I totally agree with you. Scarcity is one of the most powerful selling tools there is especially when combining it with a list of customers that have already purchased from you.

    Even, if someone is just starting their business online or even offline, and does not have a large customer database or list, scarcity can motivate people to become first time buyers. And once somebody has purchased from you, if they have a good experience, then they are more likely to purchase from you again.

    At the very least, when someone purchases from you, it allows to you build a stronger relationship with that customer.

    Thanks for the in-depth article on scarcity.

  • Hi Yaro,
    I expected you to have a limited time offer at the end of the posting for people who commented within a certain period of time. : )

    Maybe you or your readers can use this idea in a posting.



    • Haha, no, nothing in this case David, though I would like to see people who leave comments give me examples of how they are currently using or plan to use Scarcity in their marketing.

  • I think it’s fine to use scarcity as a little push, as long as you know you are bringing value and that your customer new or old is going to be happy with your offer

  • Thanks for the excellent information as always Yaro. I plan on using this technique for my next product launch.

  • In my business scarcity sells. As a small artisan coffee roaster we sometimes get just 60 or 120 kilos of some fantastic and limited availability coffee. We tell our clients here’s what we’ve got, get it before it is gone. And they do. Because they love great coffee.

    In fact my green bean wholesaler called recently and said he’d sent me a sample of a great El Salvador SHG Santa Barbara Bourbon coffee. We tried it. Loved it (actually were over the top about it). And called the wholesaler about the price. Giving the price he said he had just six, 60kg bags left. I said I’d call him right back. The scarcity of the crop made me think I should buy all six bags, I knew my customers would love it, but I had to check my finances. Okay, I decided, I could afford it, but alas, when I called back someone else, driven on by scarcity, had bought all six bags — lucky dog!

    Use honest scarcity. Hopefully your customers will appreciate it as much as mine do. It makes them feel good to know they are one of the few people drinking a particular premium coffee that won’t come back around till next year’s harvest.

    • That’s a good example where scarcity really does apply. It sounds like that wholesaler should have upped the price on the coffee given the demand.

  • Ross

    Thanks for the reminder about scarcity.
    Going to add a “THIS MONTH’S SPECIAL – GET 20% OFF” to a website of mine.
    Then use it for every month, never take it down.

    Is that unethical ? I think its okay. As every month I could choose to repeat the sale, its just that I do not actually physically take it off the webpage and put it back up again. Will just stay like it.

    Or maybe it is unethical as I have never sold at the full price (with 20% added) as I am just making up the price.

    Going to add it, anyway. Think will increase sales by 30%.

    • It’s not exactly the kind of scarcity I would recommend, especially if you emphasize that it is this month only and then they see it again next month. That will upset some people and start to damage your reputation.

      Many retailers do this, but I wouldn’t. Perhaps you can consider offering monthly deals, but move it around on different products.

      What you don’t want to do is lie. If you say “this monthly only” and there it is again next month, well that’s a lie. Whether you are comfortable with that is up to you.

      • Jason

        Also, people will become conditioned to expect sales which in turn they react slowly.

      • Ross

        It’s for a resume service website, so hard to move promotion around. But I agree with your “month only” comment. “This month” wording would work. I am actually on the fence about putting it up now…. But need to do something as everyone likes to feel they are getting a bargain.

        Jason, I agree with you but with the type of site I have, I am not after repeat sales as such. Apart from WOM advertising which we get. People get a resume service and then 95% of them we never see them again.

        So if a person is on the search for a resume service and they come across 5 websites offering a similar service. We want them to action then and there. Before they use the CCard somewhere else. Scarcity along with other marketing tactics will help make them take action and place an order right then and there and not on someone else’s website.

  • The key, as you describe, is genuineness. If the product is good and will do what it proposes, then genuineness expedites a win/win transaction. Unfortunately there are numerous examples of shaky products combined with sophisticated marketing. After being stung good a couple of times, some of us make associate the marketing with the product. The difference is “Reputation over time”. I would buy a product that someone who had taken the time to develop an online relationship like Yaro, but not one from Mr just popped out of the woodwork.

  • Ross

    I think APPLE are great for scarcity, during there product launch.

    Yaro, what is the motivating factor to make people line up for a cell phone? I don’t know. Scarcity?

    Also, during product launch. Where does “Anticipation” sit?

  • Jason

    This was a timely post Yaro. Thanks.

    Aren’t all ‘sales’, not turnover, a scarcity tactic?

    I saw a shop having an end of year sale. Then a post end of year sale. Then a stocktake sale. Sale ends Sunday etc. only to see the unsold stock heavily discounted further on the Monday.

    Scarcity is legitimate in an environment where physical labour is limited. This can apply to a digital environment also requiring physicality to run the business – such as a service, or class etc.

  • Nowadays consumers don’t fall prey to scarcity so easily as before.

  • Thanks for the very interesting information on Scarcity. I agree that it is a good strategy to use if it is genuine. But if it is manipulative and not honest, then it would undermine our reputation. People won’t trust us in future. For me, I sell digital products and there is no limit to the copies I can sell. But I will offer discount for a limited period to promote my ebook. Then it will be back to the original price.

  • I, too, have a problem with this. While I don’t have a problem with limited special offers (like getting it for a special price because you are watching the podcast) I always feel the “better get it now before it’s gone” technique a red flag for me. It makes me leery and I don’t trust it. I understand how this could work, but for me it would be hard to do.

    • I like the “limited seats” use of scarcity. I can only give my full attention to 12 women in my groups at a time because I provide a 30-min coaching call to each participant each week during the four weeks, so there is literally a scarcity of seats for each course/coaching group.

      It’s also perfectly ethical and congruent to use the countdown timer for sign-ups for courses that have a specific Start date. It drives home the notion that they will have to wait several weeks or months before the course is reopened (which, as long as it’s TRUE, is not only ethical, it’s informative and will decrease the chances of people being unpleasantly surprised at it no longer being available to them.)

      Yaro drives home the point that it has to be real and congruent to your business.

  • I’m not yet there to apply this particular technique. But I definitely agree that this is a good one. I first have to write an e-book about music and then, when suitable, apply scarcity technique. At least will keep this idea in the back of my head.

  • It is a good technique, now I understand why all telecommunication company here in Nigeria are always making phrases like “limited offer”, “this offer last for xxxxx ” and at the end of those deadline they will still extend the offer. But however good scarcity technique is, it not recommended for all business strategies. I think I have to ponder over it, if it can be of more benefit to me and my customers.
    Thanks Yaro for the Article

  • Great article, love those replies. I am just getting started with my website, will be able to use some of those ideas.

  • Just saw this Video.
    Does this really work in Australia ??
    Germany must be a non-western country 🙂

  • Hi Yaro!
    Great blog post.
    Genuine scarcity selling definitely works. Though we’ve been using it in our fashion store for the sales etc, I will definitely train my salesmen to now use the part about ‘they don’t know it till you tell them’ for specific items like a particular piece, or a certain model that’s about to finish.
    Another thing that we found works is telling customers that so-and-so item is really selling well. Don’t know the technical term for that, but it does work all right.

  • Hi Yaro
    That carpet sale video was ‘so in your face’ – brash, overthetop , it would never work in England, wouldn’t get past the Advertising Authority anyway!
    Crass – but if it works in Australia, and they shift the stock – then what the hell?
    Bet they can get rid of any carpet they can get hold of – scarcity?
    They say there’s a mug born every minute LOL
    German Shepherd Dogs-Don’t You Just Love Them!

  • I won’t say that you can only visit my blog for a litimed time only today,
    only tomorrow you might have forgotten about the existence of my Blog,
    and that would be missing out big time.

    ‘So Bookmark it today before it’s to late!’ 🙂

  • I use it on my blog to sell a book – $9.99 for a limited time – it’s not working that well but it might because my traffic is not targeted enough … maybe?

    Very interesting article and comments, and I laughed at the video – pretty funny! Thanks for a fun and interesting stop Yaro!

  • Interesting approach Yaro, definitely something to try out. I think there are so many frauds on web environment and most users would ignore when they see a “… for a limited time” banner but it can be pretty profitable when necessary steps are taken to convince buyers about reliability. Thanks for the article, feels good to read different ideas and all the brainstorming below them. Regards.

  • Thank you for such an interesting post. It would be interesting to see how your theory of scarcity would apply to a service-based company. In this situation, there really is no running out of services. I suppose you could offer a limited time service or a limited time deal on services. This is a great post that really makes you think!

    • Oh I think services are more likely to run out than product. I mean if you are a consultant you only have so many hours in the day. For example when I did private coaching I offered 5 spots maximum.

  • When using scarcity in your marketing its important to stick to your limitations. If you say this is limited to the next 50 people, make sure that only the next 50 people can get it. In other words, make sure the scarcity is genuine.

    When you enforce your limitations, you increase your ability to persuade people’s decision to buy. Remember, selling is all about trust. Using false scarcity will only damage the trust you have built with your audience.

  • Great tips. It always becomes more effective when you truly offer value to the limited offer.

  • dimitris

    Hi Yaro! Very interesting post.

    I am an owner of a website and the true is i am using scarcity and it works.

    The point for me is to keep the same amount of work BUT without using this tactic

    any ideas would be appreciated

    P.S. I could use scarcity 1 time per user sign up in my newsletter but i really dont know if it works

  • I like how you mention about thinking in the long term when using scarcity marketing. Anyway, for your reference, AppSumo is really good with this. They use scarcity marketing for every deal they promote!

  • Hi Yaro,

    The scarcity method has felt like a double edged sword to me for years. I understand intellectually the psychology and the results. I personally have responded to a buyers rush set up at a live event – literally sprinting to the back of the room to be one of the first 10!

    At the same time, as I have studied the science of human design and come to understand the different ways that people are hard-wired to make decisions, I have a problem with scarcity marketing too. Psychology, we know that people are more apt to take action to avoid pain than to achieve pleasure – which is why the fear of loss aspect of scarcity marketing works so well. We also know, and the statistics you shared show, that people in general habitually wait until the last minute to take action, and thus we must create that “last minute” for them.

    Within this article you keep returning to the concept of integrity and trust. Riding the line of setting up a time expectation set and creating just the right amount of pressure without causing prospects to feel angry or annoyed is clearly an art. I believe it has to do with two things: The relationship that is in place with the prospects and the prospects own unique decision making profile.

    For me personally, I never make decision under pressure. Never. I am designed to allow decisions to flip back and forth, like a mental spring..exploring intuitively each option until the movement stops and I am crystal clear. If I feel pressured at all, I will choose “no”. Others are designed to act immediately on their first gut response. Still others are designed to gather information from confidants prior to deciding. Thus, when structuring a marketing campaign that utilizes scarcity, one must allow for a variety of customer processes and time frames.

    For me, that it the only way to do this with integrity. I have been on the receiving end of salespeople who become aggressive and belittling when I don’t respond to their time limited tactics. I lose all respect quickly for them and their programs.

    You spoke about mutual gain and not messing with your audience. You also gave an example of a time limited offer that has steps…each one giving the consumer a bit more time to make the decision, while taking away a bit of the discount, etc… For me, this is the scarcity method that feels like it has the most integrity, yet sets up that “last minute” that people often require.

    This combined with a solid relationship built through providing value over time, takes away the potential “icky-ness” of the time limited sales set up.

    Thanks for this thought provoking article Yaro.
    I think I’ll remind my list that the offer I made them for this month, does indeed expire at the end of the month!


    • Thank you for your contribution.

      I think scarcity can be done well and honestly if there is a real reason for something to be scarce. For example a live course with live coaching calls that you only do during a certain time of the year. I have no bad feelings about using that sort of scarcity as a marketing trigger because it’s genuine – I really will only be doing the live calls then so if you want to be on them, get off the fence and join us!

      As you said though, trust comes into this a lot. If you trust the source you are more likely to feel any time sensitive pressure is genuine and not just a trick to get you to buy now.

      Good luck with your promotion too!


  • Scarcity can definitely boost a conversion rate! Thanks for the great post. While I’m used to use scarcity in flash sales, discounts, etc, I still need to improve on the product launches.

  • […] they’re delicious, it’s not the flavor that’s making these pastries fly out the door. It’s scarcity. If you don’t get in line by 7:30 a.m. you probably won’t get one, and once they’re sold out […]

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