A Different Way to Use Scarcity in Your Marketing

Today we’re getting knee deep with direct response marketing (as usual).

We’re going to be talking about the deep strategies, the deep tactics, we’re going to talk about the stuff that others just don’t touch on.

Plus, I’m going to be brutally honest with you about everything in this post.

Today’s post could be worth it’s digital weight in gold for you.

Do You Misuse This Potent Marketing Strategy?

Because today, I want to talk about what I feel is a misunderstanding, a misapplication of one of the most powerful marketing strategies that we have at our disposal.

A strategy that gets used every single day online.

A strategy that goes back to the beginning of time, in terms of how it taps into, and leverages human psychology.

A strategy that has been taught by some of the smartest and sharpest marketing minds on the planet.

What am I talking about?

I’m talking about the principle of scarcity.

But, here’s the thing:

I’m going to prove to you that there is a better application of the principle of scarcity than what you see being used every day.

First and foremost, scarcity is this principle that the more scarce a product or service is, the more it pushes your prospects, your audience, or your tribe to desire it.

The more scarce a product or service is, the higher the perceived value of the product or service.

Often times when we see the strategy of scarcity deployed in a marketing campaign or a marketing funnel, one of the most common methods that we see used today, that we see all the time today, is the use of a countdown timer, right?

Like, how many times have you been to a webpage, have you gotten to a sales letter, or a video sales letter, or some offer page, or even an order form, and you’ve seen a countdown timer?

Countdown timers are wildly effective, right?

(By the way, they should always be used ethically, in the right way)

They just work…. and they work because they move prospects to act.

But here’s the thing: This is the thing I want you to understand above everything else you read here today.

Then I’m going to share with you a secret of how to ratchet this up a notch.

That countdown timer is NOT scarcity!

Scarcity is Not The Same as Urgency

A countdown timer is all about urgency.

There’s a difference between urgency, and scarcity.

In your marketing, you ideally want to leverage both.

Now, both urgency and scarcity are strategies.

And there’s a variety of different tactical ways that you can employ or deploy those strategies in your marketing, right?

Just like there’s providing social proof, that’s a strategy, right?

There are a lot of different ways that you can provide social proof.

And there are a lot of different tactical ways that you can show social proof; from comments on a page, to testimonials, to video views, to website visitors.

There’s a lot of different pieces of technology today that allow you to automate the demonstration of social proof.

The same holds true for urgency and scarcity…

What Makes Urgency Powerful?

Urgency is all about this idea that you’re conveying to prospects, that “time is running out”.

That their opportunity is running out…

That, the longer they wait, the more they risk missing out, and losing out on the opportunity.

Things like a deadline, for example.

Using a deadline in your marketing promotion or in your marketing funnel, is all about urgency, but a deadline is NOT about scarcity!

A deadline doesn’t make the opportunity scarce.

But a limited quantity does.

A limited quantity is all about scarcity, right?

Urgency + Scarcity = Winning The Conversion Game

It’s important for you to understand that a combination of urgency and scarcity (when used ethically and honestly) in your marketing, is the best combination.

Scarcity is about showing that the thing that your prospect wants, the thing that will solve your prospects’ problem or situation, the thing that will give your prospect the transformation, the outcome, the result that they want… that there’s a limit to it.

And that if they wait, they might miss out on the supply, right?

When you show that there are 8,000 people on a waiting list, and there are only 80 units of a particular product, that is leveraging scarcity, right?

Now look, the thing to understand is that scarcity always creates urgency.

But… urgency doesn’t always create scarcity.

When utilizing the strategy of scarcity there is always associated urgency that comes with it.

But, with urgency there isn’t always scarcity.

When you use a deadline, that’s leveraging urgency. Sure…

But, you’re still missing out on the ability to leverage scarcity.

The big thing many marketers misunderstand is that a deadline creates urgency, it is not the same as scarcity.

When you have 80,000 people on a waiting list, and you have 80 units of a particular product THAT makes the product scarce, right?

Clearly, there is a lot more demand than there is supply.

Therefore, it’s a scarce resource. Pretty simple.

That scarcity leads to additional urgency.

Now, all of that being said, I want you to think about how there are differences in the ways you can tap into urgency, and the ways you can tap into scarcity.

#1 Most Powerful Way to Use Urgency and Scarcity

Now, I share that with you because the best, most powerful way to leverage these strategies, is to incorporate an element of scarcity AND to have an element of urgency.

To have a good reason for your prospects to respond now, you need to show them what they stand to lose. They need to see and feel what they stand to miss out on if they wait, because of a deadline.

But you also must have a scarcity element.

Whether that scarcity element is a fast action bonus, or whether it’s something that they get if they’re one of the first 10 or 12 people to respond, or whether you expose them to something that they could get right now, or whether you have 10 units on hand and if they order right now they’ll get something special…

If you do ANY of these above tactics to create scarcity, they’ll walk out of your store or website (or whatever), with one of those units in their hands.

But if they miss one of those 10 units, then they’ll have to wait weeks, right?

That’s true scarcity.

Again, saying to somebody that “you only have an hour left to order” that’s urgency. Not scarcity.

You can say, “there’s only an hour left to order, and we only have five more widgets that will go out with these orders. Once those five are gone, they’re GONE!”

That incorporates both urgency, and scarcity.

Hopefully that makes sense.

What I want you to think about going forward is, when you’re engineering your offers (and you need to be strategically engineering all of your offers with precision) your job as a marketer is to create the most irresistible, superior offer that you possibly can.

You do that by thinking through each individual component of what makes up an offer.

The deliverables, right?

The features, advantages, benefits, price point, the terms, the premiums or bonuses, the risk reversal guarantee, and of course, the reason to respond now.

When it comes to the reason to respond now, we’re asking ourselves two questions:

What is the urgency element?

And what is the scarcity element?


IMPORTANT: Make sure that you’re always honest, you’re always ethical with the way that you employ those.

When you put together the reason to respond now, you should strive to always have an urgency element, and always have a scarcity element.

If you want more in-depth tactics on how to implement urgency and scarcity in your marketing that makes your prospects jump at your offers, check out E5 Camp right here.

E5 Camp is our in-depth training that gives you access to the sharpest minds in the world of direct response to take your business to the next level and beyond so check out E5… before we take E5 off the market. Remember, seating is extremely limited 😉

Talk soon,

Todd Brown