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Ways To Use Urgency Psychology To Improve Conversions
By Neil Patel, Marketingland.com
Hurry! Act now! Only a few items left! Contributor Neil Patel
explains how these words and others tap into deep psychological
motivations and drive conversions.
Sometimes, the best marketing moves are those rooted deep within human
psychology. In fact, the greatest marketers are those who have the most
in-depth knowledge of how the brain works.
One of the key features of the human brain involves urgency.
Urgency is one of the most powerful aspects of human
psychology. According to behavioral psychologists, urgent situations cause
us to suspend deliberate thought and to act quickly.
Why Does Urgency Matter?
If you can create a stronger sense of urgency on your landing
page or websites, then you can successfully spur people to do what you
want them to do on your page (i.e., convert).
Urgency causes people to act quickly. Many of the problems that affect
conversions are issues of cognitive friction – people think too hard, wait
too long, or simply don’t respond to our calls-to-action. Raising the
urgency level cuts through a lot of this delay to create a significant
improvement to conversion rates.
How Do You Create Urgency?
Here are some of my favorite methods:
1. Scarcity - Scarcity is one of the
most powerful sources of urgent behavior. The scarcity bias states that
when a person thinks that something is running out, they want it more.
Scarcity can be created by the producer. If you create a product or
service, you can intentionally limit the amount that you produce or
deliver in order to raise demand. It’s as simple as that. If you say that
you only have “four more left,” the desire for that resource will increase
due to the fact that it is running out.
2. A Clock, Timer Or Countdown - In
our modern industrialized world, the clock is the symbol of time. More
specifically, it is the symbol of passing time. If you remind users that
time is passing — that the clock is ticking – it raises the urgency level
and compels action.
We as marketers can use it to raise anxiety and urgency, thus compelling
users to respond to our call-to-action.
3. Difficulty - One counterintuitive
way to increase urgency is to make it difficult for people to act. The
theory of effort justification states that people value something greater
if they worked for it harder.
Thus, if you had to work extremely hard to earn $50, you would value that
$50 more than if someone simply walked up and handed you the money.
The same is true in the conversion funnel. If people have to work hard to
take action, then their urgency level automatically goes up in order to
overcome the difficulty and accomplish the objective.
4. Loss Aversion/Catastrophe - The
National Geographic show “Doomsday Preppers” is a fascinating study in
human psychology. It shows us people who are acting with incredible
What is causing such urgency? They have a belief that their lives will be
in danger due to some huge calamity or catastrophic situation. They act on
this belief, and they act quickly.
If your marketing pitch makes it seem as if the user is going to lose
something by not responding, then you are triggering the loss aversion
response. If you can warn them of the “catastrophic” results of not acting
now, then they will be more likely to experience urgency and act promptly.
5. Competition - People love a good
competition. Competitive situations are prime opportunities to unleash the
urgency instinct and get people to act. Online games or sharing contests
easily provoke a sense of urgency in the participants.
6. Time-Related Words -
There are plenty of words that you can sprinkle throughout your copy
to increase urgency:
Now, Fast, Quick, Hurry, Rapidly, Close, Approaching, Never,
Seconds, Again, Over, Instant.
Words like these cause the mind to think urgently about time, thus
improving a person’s likelihood of converting.
7. Appeal To The Responsiveness Instinct
- “Act now!” It’s one of the most often-repeated phrases in marketing
In my opinion, it’s overused. It does, however, point to a very important
urgency-inducing reality: If you tell people, “You’re a prompt and
responsive person,” they will think “Yes. I am.” This subtle push towards
urgency causes them to act quicker than they normally would.
8. Unpleasant Conditions Or Situations
- The fact is, negativity increases click-throughs and response.
When a person finds themselves in a negative situation, they automatically
respond with greater urgency. Even the reminder of a negative situation
can kick the brain into urgent mode.
This principle is a parallel to the pain principle, which many conversion
optimizers overlook. Anything unpleasant or negative about a marketing
pitch is seen as a source of friction. In reality, however, it’s the
negative feel or painful situation that creates urgency and compels
9. Pulling The Offer Away
- One of the most effective urgency-inducers in sales is the takeaway.
When you threaten to take an offer away, people are more likely to act in
You can do this easily with a line like, “This is the last time we will be
offering this class,” or “This webinar will not be recorded; Please sign
However you choose to implement the urgency principle, you’re virtually
guaranteed to see some powerful results by using it. Urgency is something
that people have a hard time responding to rationally, let alone
cautiously. By compelling action right away, you gain an instant
psychological upper hand.
Direct Mail Checklist for 2015
By Grant A. Johnson, Chiefmarketer.com
Direct mail as an effective medium has been declared dead more times than
Brett Favre has retired from football.
Yes, advertising mail volume has decreased. Around 85 billion pieces are
sent through the USPS yearly. However, consider that 167 billion
emails are sent daily.
While the decreased mail volume is bad for the USPS, it’s a good sign for
recipients and users, because it means better targeting is being employed.
It means less clutter in the mailbox, thus your offering is more likely to
be seen. It means you should use, or again consider using direct mail in
your marketing mix.
Keep in mind, however, that mail works best in conjunction with a
multi-channel strategy. Mail, like almost all marketing tactics, is less
effective today as a single-channel, stand-alone option.
Every one of the dozens of digital campaigns my firm did last year that
incorporated direct mail showed a nice spike in web and landing page
traffic compared to running digital banner ads alone. It also helped boost
conversions and lift ROI.
For 2015, here is a quick checklist to consider in your direct mail
1. Understand your segments.
This means varying your copy to different segments based upon what your
data indicates. You also need to treat your current customers and past
customers differently than your prospect base. Your list is still the MOST
critical factor to your direct mail success.
2. Integration is key.
When and how you use your direct mail in an integrated campaign is more
critical today than ever before. When the timing is right, the results
will reward you. Also consider mail as a multiple touch option.
3. What’s your offer?
Direct marketing is about getting a call-to-action right away. In order to
elicit that response you need to create relevance to your segments. Offers
create the relevance and give the target audiences a reason to respond.
Have compelling offers.
4. Test, Test, Test.
Testing has evolved. I prefer to test and prove what works in the digital
portion of a campaign first, because you can get to that conclusion much
faster, and use that intelligence to make the direct mail more effective,
knowing what messaging/offers works with what segments, being more
relevant with your direct mail from the onset.
5. The cheaper format is usually less effective.
The tendency is to look at direct mail as a cost rather than an
investment. Therefore too many users try self-mailers and postcards when
they should be using a classic direct mail package with a letter.
The targeted demographic will influence this decision for sure, but don’t
rule out a package because it costs more. It usually tests through to
provide a much greater ROI than cheaper printed options.
Use direct mail wisely and you will see it is still an effective,
persuasive way to drive business to your company and help you out smart
Grant A. Johnson is the founder of Responsory,
a Johnson Direct LLC Company. He can be reached at Grant.Johnson@johnsondirect.com
Tips For Making Your Postcard Mailing a Success
By James Ritchie, bizjournals.com
Postcards yield formidable results, even in the digital age.
At first glance, the postcard campaign looks like one of the most basic
forms of marketing. You just print them up and send them out.
But when done effectively, there's nothing simple about it.
Postcards can yield formidable results, even in the digital age. Direct
mail's average response rate is 4.4 percent, compared with email's rate
of 0.12 percent, according to the Direct Marketing Association.
But it's best not to think of postcards strictly as “traditional"
marketing. An effective campaign links the mail to your online efforts.
“Overall, the postcard becomes the conversation starter, and driving
them to the web is where the audience converts, signs up, becomes a fan,
joins an email list," said John Garcia, managing partner for Baldrica
Advertising and Marketing in West Palm Beach, Fla.
Here's some advice to keep in mind as you prepare to share your message
with the world via postcard.
1. Make the right impression.
A piece of direct mail gets only the briefest instant to connect with a
potential customer. Consider splurging on an oversized card or on
thicker or textured paper, especially if prestige or sophistication are
part of your brand.
“If someone is flipping through the mail and it looks like an
inexpensive print piece or it's not different and vibrant, the postcard
might end up in the trash," said Samantha Owens Pyle, owner and chief
strategist of Green Apple Strategy, a Nashville, Tenn.-based marketing
and branding firm.
2. Keep it simple.
A postcard doesn't let you tell people what your brand is all about. It
just allows a start.
Choose an image for your postcard that is eye-catching but relevant,
advised Rob "Spider" Graham, CEO of Trainingcraft, a provider of digital
advertising, marketing and sales consulting and training solutions. And
select your fonts wisely — no Comic Sans if you're targeting bankers,
“There's not much real estate on a postcard, so the idea is to start
telling an engaging story on the card and continue it online," Graham
Pyle suggested keeping the look of your postcards consistent with that
of your other ads.
3. Give people something to do.
This is where old meets new to form “tradigital" marketing. Your call to
action might be a landing-page URL, a Twitter hashtag, or a QR code.
Your audience might end up with a discount, a giveaway, or more
information about your product.
Garcia advised having one “direct response offer," such as a coupon or
discount, on the postcard itself, along with two or three offers
available only at the website.
4. Know your audience.
The real secret — and challenge — of postcards is knowing where to send
them. Savvy marketers know who their audience is, and they realize it's
usually not just one group. For example, a clothing retailer might cater
to both men and women.
Fortunately, it's become easier to customize your printing so you don't
need to send the same postcard to everyone. You can even segment your
“It's about the quality of the list," Pyle said. “I'd rather you reach
out to 500 targeted people than 5,000 en masse."
5. Think function, not just form.
When you bring in your mail, the address side faces up. The main text on
a postcard is on the other side, where it risks never being seen. It's
an easily solved problem.
Graham said: “Putting some of your messaging on the side where the
address goes is incredibly important."
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Nine Ways To Use Urgency Psychology To Improve Conversions
The Direct Mail Checklist for 2015
Five Tips For Making Your Postcard Mailing a Success
Mike Borkan's Links - Web sites you probably
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