Should you add urgency to increase conversions? The method has been proven to work when applied properly and yet many businesses avoid using this tactic or aren’t using it effectively. As a top web development company, we wanted to share our insights on how and where urgency should be used on your website for optimal effectiveness.
Urgency is one of the more powerful psychological influencers in a marketer’s toolbox. It’s not that you are trying to trick or fool a consumer into a purchase, more that you are trying to ensure they make a decision right now which can lead to more conversions.
In today’s world information overflows and overwhelms us often to the point of delay because we simply over think things. By using the concept of urgency you are looking to bypass the delay and help them make a decision about converting right now.
The primary benefit of this concept is direct conversions. The indirect benefit is less conversions for your competition. It stands to reason that if a consumer is going to convert and all things being equal between products and services between you and your competition then it is just a matter of closing the deal first rather than giving a consumer time to waffle and eventually end up converting with someone else.
- Loss Aversion – Fear of losing out, loss aversion, FOMO, or however you want to state the idea is a way to provide urgency. For example if you are shopping for a jacket and you find one that you really like how much pressure will you feel if there are thirty left on the rack in your size? Most likely there is not much pressure. However what if there is only 1 left in your size?
Suddenly that loss aversion is right at the forefront of the decision making process. If you go to a few other stores and don’t find anything comparable this particular jacket could be gone and you would lose out. For marketing you can use loss aversion in emails, newsletters and on-page CTA’s to sign-up or opt-in where people don’t want to miss out on special offers and discounts. Amazon uses loss aversion by having messages like “only 4 left” when inventory gets low on a particular object.
- Lack of Time – This is a fairly common concept however it has been overdone so often that in some circles it loses its effectiveness. For example, car sales regularly have “Big” sales around holidays like a 4th of July Sale that you need to act now on because time is running out. However when the timing of the sale is over 10 days how effective is that really for creating urgency? Even worse is that they have “Big” sales every month under every banner imaginable from St. Patrick’s Day Savings to Mother’s Day Specials.
For websites this concept is more easily demonstrated by adding a countdown timer for sales and special deals. This can either be a timer showing how much time is left on the deal or a quantity counter showing how many items are left before the deal runs out. In both cases they should be used with a low quantity or short time frame remaining to actually instill urgency.
- Urgent Copy – Another popular tactic is to weave in urgency within your content. By using words like “now,” “quickly,” “hurry,” or phrases like “time is running out,” can add pressure subtly to someone which then increases the likelihood of converting. They key with this idea is not to overdo it and instead focus on key areas of copy to apply urgency.
The Value of Testing
A very important aspect of making changes to your website to help boost conversions is taking the time to test. While we have provided ideas that can be applied to many types of business, they should still be tested before implementation to ensure that the changes garner the maximum effect.
For example, if you start adding urgent copy you are going to want to test various words and phrases, position of those words on page and within copy, and the best amount of urgent copy to use. By taking the time to test before making changes you are more likely to reach optimum conversion rates from the start rather than trying various concepts out in a live environment which can be hit or miss.
The bottom line is that you should add urgency to increase conversions. It is a tried and true method to help motivate consumers to make a decision, which sometimes is the difference between them converting with you now or with a competitor later.