Earlier this year I was searching for a hotel in Southern England. After scanning a few sites, hotels were slowing filling up over the two-week search period I was looking at.
One of the sites I had visited started using some smart scarcity tactics. So good in fact that I placed the booking right there and then.
After I made my booking I thought I must have been previously tracked by a cookie for marketing.
Had I been presented with some fake numbers about how many rooms were available at in my location, at “that price” and how many other people had booked?
Either way I had booked my room. I made a note to return to the hotel site in a few weeks and see how legitimate their marketing efforts were.
When you work in the world of online marketing, it’s hard not to look at what other companies are doing and how they entice you to spend.
TOP TIP: Success leaves clues, study and learn from marketing strategies used in your industry.
Messages, pop ups, notices and warnings all help towards conversions. We wouldn’t see them if they didn’t work. This is how you can learn ways to increase conversion from the big boys.
Since the early days of marketing online, little countdown timers have often been seen being used on the sites of many companies large and small. These timers clearly worked, but how truly and ethically were they used?
The persuasion technique is one of the oldest tricks in the book. Why? Simple; because it worked.
However, if you use scarcity, make it legit!
There’s nothing more annoying than purchasing a product before the countdown period expires. Only to discover you go back the next day and still buy at the same price.
There are so many ways to use scarcity it doesn’t have to be a countdown timer.
Travel agents have started adding scarcity to show available seats. I don’t know if the seat spaces get filled up or the price of the seats goes up, but this scarcity tactic encourages people to book up quicker if they want the flight.
The European budget airline Easyjet, shows you how many other people are looking at the same flight:
They also show when the last booking was made:
British Airways step this up another level by showing you how many seats are left on a given flight. This may come across as useful flight information, but it’s also a smart tactic to increase sales.
The Ethical Countdown Timer
We receive many feature requests for countdown timer ideas.
We decided to code an additional feature into the OptimizePress countdown timer to help you build scarcity and a sense of urgency.
The countdown timer redirect feature.
Using the “Countdown Timer Redirect Feature” you can make offers to website visitors and when that offer expires, you can automatically redirect the customer to another page on your site or any page on the web.
The countdown timer Redirect URL feature will switch the page when the timer reaches zero.
Create Urgency In Your Marketing
After you have written your marketing message into your content and built up the emotional connection with the user, it’s time to create a sense of urgency.
The emotional connection and the urgency in your message should create a feeling that the user must act now to avoid missing out on something important.
This is where you can be selective in your choice of words to help create that feeling.
Here are some persuasive words to add urgency into your headlines, content and call to action buttons:
- Nearly Full
Using a mix of the words above you can produce some urgent phrases like act now, fast results, instant access, offer ending today, limited availability and only 100 seats left.
You get the idea.
People want to be part of something; they don’t want to feel left out. By incorporating these words and phrases into your sales copy, you will create urgency in your marketing message.
Countdown Timer Uses
Here are some potential uses for the Countdown Timer element on your pages:
- Countdown until webinar starts
- Countdown until webinar replay is taken down
- Flash sale/offer starts
- Offer ends (free shipping, bundle deal)
- Product launch
- Website under construction
- Earlybird ticket events
- Affiliate offer launch
- Redirect to the start of a live event/webinar (EG Live Hangout)
You can even add a countdown timer to your email confirmation pages like Ramit does here:
How To Setup A Redirect
To create a URL redirect all you have to do is add the URL of the web page into the Countdown Timer Redirect URL field shown here:
Default Countdown Timer Styles
We have three different OptimizePress timer styles in the countdown timer element:
Some of our new templates in OptimizePress version 2.4 include some custom CSS designed countdown timers that you can use on other pages.
Editing The CSS Timer Code
If you wanted to change how the timer looks you could freely edit the existing CSS code.
This CSS is found in Page Settings > Other Scripts > Custom CSS.
The screenshot shows an example of the highlighted CSS code you can edit (obviously you need to know a little CSS).
If you wanted to use one of these timer styles on another OptimizePress page you can just copy the .countdown-timer styles and paste it into your new page.
The style used for the custom countdown timers is Style 2:
Countdown Timer Examples
Here are some examples of the countdown timer after changing the CSS:
Depending on the design of your page, you could easily tweak the CSS to match that of your design.
If you like CSS and want to get technical be sure to read our OptimizePress CSS hacks post. Its shows examples of CSS code you can copy and use on your sites.
Now, setup the URL redirects on your offer pages and don’t worry about having to wait up until midnight to take down a webinar replay.