If you want to increase the ROI of your email marketing, you need to optimize your efforts so that each message you send is aimed at driving sales.
In a sense, it means getting your email subscribers in a “buy now” mindset, so they are not only primed to make a conversion, but that they’re acting quickly–not waiting around and debating whether or not they want to move forward (AKA checking out your sale, seeing new items, etc.)
There are two main ways you can do this within an email context, and they involve both urgency and scarcity. We’ll look at both of them in detail so you can put them into action right away.
Why “Buy Now” Is Important
If your customers aren’t acting right away, they’re probably not going to act at all. One study showed that after five minutes, you’re 100x less likely to qualify a lead. Pair this with data that says the average email user only spends 10-15 seconds looking at an email after opening, and it’s clear that simple, direct messages are essential in email marketing.
You need to give your readers a clear reason to act right away, and provide a simple path for taking action. Next, let’s look at how you can use urgency and scarcity to do just that.
Urgency is a proven psychological tactic that makes people act quickly–usually because time is limited. Whether it’s a deep discount from a flash sale at your favorite clothing store, or an infomercial with a “call in the next four minutes” offer–these limited time offers cause us to think, “I want that…I better act now.”
Think about it: If you got an email that said you could get 20% off versus one that said you could get 20% off for the next 24 hours only, which offer would be more compelling? The one that’s not going to be around forever. Urgency demands our immediate attention, and kicks our brains into high gear for decision-making.
How to use it: Rather than leaving your email offers stay open-ended, put a shortened time frame on them to create a sense of urgency. You don’t want to overdo it, though. Overuse urgency and you’ll exhaust (or worse, annoy) your audience. Save urgency for those better than normal deals, and make them feel extra special.
Scarce items are seen as more valuable, appealing, and special–because they’re limited.
Research showed that in one situation, when participants were asked to rate two jars of cookies containing the exact same contents (both started with 10 cookies, but then one jar had 8 removed), the jar of scarce cookies were deemed as more valuable. Strange, right? Maybe, but not surprising.
People like to feel that they have access to something special and unique that sets them apart from others–hence why scarcity is such a powerful marketing tactic.
How to use it: Leveraging deals, event invites, and pre-release information exclusive to your email list is one way to remind them that as subscribers, they’re getting special VIP access. Or, if you’re not interested in restricting deals to this group of customers, think about how you can use scarcity in other contexts, such as limited edition products.
Make a Clear Path
When using scarcity and urgency in email marketing, it’s important to remember that you’re working with a very limited attention span. Keep images and copy simple, and use a single, clear CTA button that shows the reader how to act on the information/discount you’ve provided.
Make sure this CTA button leverages whitespace, is centrally located, and pops from the body of the email. You want to make it very easy for your reader to click through and convert once you’ve piqued their interest through your urgent or scarce offer.
Boost Email Marketing ROI
With the tactics outlined here, you can start driving sales from email in a very dramatic way.
Try a tool like Urgent Timer to really maximize your offers but remember: Use these angles sparingly, and only when it’s appropriate.
Have you seen any great examples of urgency or scarcity that compelled you to act quickly? We’d love to hear about what’s worked for/on you!
When she’s not assisting wherever she can within our organization, you can find her eating pizza, solving sudoku puzzles and hanging out with her family.
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