How to Use Urgency Marketing for Ecommerce Success [2020 Update]


Urgency Marketing in Ecommerce

Creating a sense of urgency is indispensable marketing technique in ecommerce industry. In highly competitive market with multitude of irresistible offers for online buyers, it is a challenge to hold the ever decreasing attention span of online shoppers.

Urgency Marketing- Game Changer for Ecommerce?

The main purpose of Urgency Marketing is to encourage customers to immediately make a purchase as they interact with the brand. It works on the principle of ‘Buy Now or Lose the Deal’. Urgency Marketing is a great tool to maximize sales, catch the attention of existing customers and acquire new customers thereby increasing conversion rates. Ecommerce companies must use Urgency Marketing as a comprehensive digital marketing strategy spread across all marketing channels such as PPC, SEO, Social Media Marketing, Email Marketing and Affiliate Marketing.

How to Implement Urgency Marketing in Ecommerce?

Online Visibility Management Platforms like SEMrush can provide the Ecommerce companies the required marketing analytics and tools to successfully implement Urgency Marketing across all marketing channels.

But first, understand the psychology behind scarcity marketing.

Fear of losing something good (or perceived rewards) is deep rooted in human psychology. In urgent situations human brain frantically tries to reduce the risk of loss by making quick decisions to act on. Deliberate thought process, rationality and procrastination takes a back seat. It decreases the propensity of online shoppers to comparison shop or delay the purchase. Countdown timers and low stock indicators indicate scarcity which attracts impulse buyers.

A strong sense of urgency in your PPC Ads, Social Media Posts, Newsletters, SEO meta tags and on your landing pages can prompt users to quickly respond to your call to action without waiting too long, or making second guesses. Also, giving limited amount of time to use the discount offer makes shopper feel special.

Top 4 Points to consider while formulating urgency marketing strategy for ecommerce business-

1. Select specific product or category line for urgency marketing.

2. Choose a tracking mechanism to see the impact. SEMrush and Google Analytics can help you realize the impact of urgency marketing strategy. If is best if the product or category have previous sales history to make a comparison.

3. Set expiry limit of discount offers or rewards. You can also choose to implement SDD Strategy (Steadily Decreasing Discounts). Your percentage discount offers decreases with every passing day ie. During a 3 day sales promotion.

4. Everything can’t be on sale at all times with urgency. Customers see right through such gimmick. Make your urgency marketing tactic seem as realistic as possible.

Urgency Marketing Tactics for Ecommerce-

1. Create Urgency in PPC Ad Copies

Create a perception of scarcity in your Ad Copies to trigger urgent behavior. Scarcity bias makes your products/services appear to be of higher subjective value. To customers it should seem like you are quickly running out of stock due to high demand, or your discount offers and deal are valid only for a limited time. When people think that something of great value or an excellent opportunity would slip out of their hand, they would want it more.

SEMrush advertising Urgency Marketing
SEMrush advertising research tool

Use SEMrush Advertising Research  to have a bird eye view of the competitor’s PPC marketing techniques. You can see competitor’s best keywords, ad copies, SERP, and landing page URLs on single screen.  To maximize the benefits of extended text ads you can use SEMrush Ad Builder which allows you to build extended text ads based for your advertising campaigns. The build-in Ads research function makes it easy check latest competitor’s offers on ads and use them as templates for your Urgency Marketing strategy.

According to data collected by SEMrush, ‘now’ is the most popular word used in Ad copies. Call to action in your ad copies that create urgency and nudge the customers to make instant purchase are most effective.

Urgency Marketing in Ad copies

In your Ad Copy and product landing page use emotional triggers like ‘Limited Quantity’, ‘Few Left in Stock’ ‘Hurry free shipping Offer Until Stock Lasts’, ‘fast’, ‘quick’, ‘hurry’, ‘rapidly’ to create urgency and increase impulse purchasing. Scarcity bias would kick-in and you would see high CRT and conversion rates through impulse buyers, and people who were looking for good deals on the product.

 Use Countdown Timers in Ad Copies-

Ads countdown timer urgency

“Countdown” function available in Google Ads allows advertisers to dynamically display a custom countdown within ads. It introduces a count down by day, next by hour, and at last by minute. To use countdown timer, enter a “curly bracket” into either line of the ad copy. Select the “countdown” option and enter the details of your countdown event start and end date. You can enter the number of days in advance of the event you would like the countdown to start. To create urgency, it is best to start countdown no more than 3-5 days in advance.

2. Use Urgency Marketing in SEO

You can include urgency marketing in SEO in many ways-

a. Identify Intent using the SERP from tools such as SEMrush. If you are selling furniture, find out what people search for while buying furniture and which kind of keywords they look for to search for a deal. In the figure below you can see the search volume for the keyword “furniture deals”.

urgency marketing intent
SEMrush Keyword Tool

b. Combine Urgency Marketing with the high intent keywords and use them in your Meta Titles and Descriptions.

Urgency in Ad copies

In example above “black Friday furniture deals” stand out. Develop your SEO and content marketing plan to incorporate black Friday offers infused with urgency marketing. You can create a separate landing page in the days leading upto black Friday to attract users through social, email, SEO and PPC campaigns.

c. Create well-crafted coupons or limited-time-offers landing Pages for your ecommerce website. Content marketing through articles and content syndication can be used to promote the Lightening Deals.

urgency marketing in ppc advertising

d. You can include urgency card in your meta titles and description which calls online shopper to promptly get an online quote. To counter the shopper’s tendency to procrastinate and stir up their loss aversion behavior, insert phrases like ‘Act Now!’, ‘Order Today’ or “Get Best Deals Now”, along with urgency inducing keywords like ‘Fast’, ‘Quick’, ‘Hurry’, ‘Rapidly’, ‘Instant’, ‘now or never’, ‘don’t miss out’, ‘limited stock’, ‘prices going up’ ‘stock up and save’ etc.

e. Offer bundle packs along with limited time offers using keywords such as ‘What to buy with’. When customer purchase the bundle options they can avail a limited time offer such as a percentage off discount, cash back or free shipping.

urgency marketing strategies

3. Create Urgency with Social Media Marketing

Social Media can be a prime tool to boost your conversion rate through urgency marketing. While scarcity is powerful marketing tool on its own, social media validation and wish to fit-in with others takes it to another level. People oftentimes look to others to make sense of the situation and reach a decision.

Ecommerce companies can employ below urgency marketing strategies on social media.

a. Launch Early Bird Offers– Issue special discount to first few buyers and add a condition “offer valid until stock lasts”. Such offers appeal to the responsiveness instinct of the shoppers and the push towards urgency makes them react quickly to your CTA. For example, create a promotional post on social media with a discount offer for first 100 buyers.

social media urgency marketing

b. Launch social media contest and Giveaways– A good competition infuses urgency instinct in the buyers. Social sharing contests, quiz and Giveaways provoke participants to act immediately. When people work to qualify for offers, it increases importance and perceived value of the discount. Customers feel special with a feeling of accomplishment. The higher the difficulty level for qualifying, the more customers try to accomplish the goal. Simply handing offers and discounts to customers reduces its value. Ecommerce companies can also take this opportunity to clear items from stock or promote sample packs.

giveaway urgency marketing

Ecommerce companies can ask customers to follow their fan page or like, comment and share the post. Additional conditions can be to visit their website and take a specific action.

c. Use social media tracker from SEMrush to track and reveal your own and competitor’s best-performing social posts. You can also track mentions and the hottest trending topics in your industry to formulate effective urgency marketing offers on right products or categories. Check the highest engagement rates across multiple social media platforms, and obtain details about likes/dislikes, views, shares and comments to create a report and measure success of urgency marketing in your social media campaigns.

Social Media tool urgency marketing

4. Create Urgency in Email Newsletters

Element of urgency must be included in email marketing campaigns. Starting from newsletter signup form to timely promotional emails and subject lines should push the customers to act sooner than later. It increases open-rate and engagements of the promotional emails.

a. Newsletter signup forms can have offers for buyers if they immediately sign-up for the newsletters. For example – Sign-up for Newsletter Now and Get 10% Off! It is good idea to have a countdown timer in your newsletter sign-up form.

The pop-up for newsletter sign-up can have special offers for first 50 users to make shoppers feel special.

email marketing urgency strategy

Newsletter sign-up page can also be sprinkled with interesting and engaging quiz or spin-the-wheel game. This not only distinguish you from your competitors but also increase the newsletter sign-up rate.

newsletter with urgency marketing

b. Use catchy subject lines to encourage users to act quickly to avoid losing the benefits. Human psychology works such that the desire to not lose something is greater than the desire to gain something. The principle is called loss aversion. The email subject line should trigger loss aversion response in users by making it seem as if the user is going to lose something special by not responding to the CTA in the email promptly.

When users are warned of bad consequences of not taking immediate actions, they are more likely to experience urgency. Send emails which warns the users about the expiry of the offer. Request them to hurry up or loose the deal forever. A greater urgency is triggered due to alarming situation. The reminder of a negative consequence or unpleasant situation can kick the customers into urgency mode and compel them to act.

Use email subject lines to create urgency such as-

email subject lines urgency marketing

c. Use Marketing Calendar – Use SEMrush Marketing Calendar, to map out all your marketing campaigns be it email, social, ppc or seo. Decide the urgency marketing strategies and share the plan with your marketing team. This collaborative tool by SEMrush can help ecommerce digital marketing team to comprehensively plan and execute Urgency Marketing campaign in synchronization across all marketing channels.

marketing calendar urgency SEMrush

5. Create Urgency on Landing Pages

a. Urgency in Website Banners- Offers on your ecommerce website banners should mention a clear expiry date of the offer or at least have ‘Limited Time Offer’ to create shopping urgency. Website banner can also use SDD Strategy (Steadily Decreasing Discounts) to showcase percentage discount offers decreasing with every passing day ie. During a 3 day sales promotion.

urgency digital marketing ecommerce

b- Selected products can have icons such as ‘Selling Fast’, ‘Limited Stock’ icons to show scarcity. A countdown timer on product pages displaying the time left to buy the product on sale increases urgency to buy the product before the sales period ends. Shipping offers can also be included for example – ‘Buy This Product within 1 Hour for Free Next Day Delivery’.

countdown urgency marketing

A progress bar showing how many items are left in stock, or how many people have claimed the deal so far increases the perceived value of the product and creates a sense of urgency.

Amazon’s deal of the day and Lightening Deals are great examples of successful implementation of urgency marketing.

c. Pop-ups with promo code and countdown timer –

ecommerce urgency marketing popup

Promo codes on website pop-ups with countdown raises the anxiety and urgency level which compels the customer to take action. Ecommerce companies can also use urgency marketing in exit pop-ups to close the deal before customer bounces out of the website. You can use software like Mailerlite to create countdown timer offers on landing page and email newsletters.

d. Red Color Symbolize Urgency – Red Color is believed to implying urgency. Flash Sales, Hot Deals, Selling Fast, Limited Time Offer and all the words that reflect urgency should be red in color. Studies suggest that ‘Buy Button’ with red color produced highest conversion rate. Use red color in your urgency marketing tool kit to grab the attention of potential customers and prompt website users to convert.