Someone recently sent me a link to an information product suggesting I look at their sales letter.
It was a typical “make money online” pitch with a well-dressed guy sharing his story of how he went from zero to hero using strategies and methods that he would share with us at the designated price. There was the big house, the pretty girlfriend and the sports car.
Ooh. I’m impressed. (Note the touch of sarcasm, please.)
Among the bombastic over-the-top headline, the photos of him living his “dream” and the BUY NOW call to action, something else caught my eye.
I noticed that he was using a scarcity tactic, declaring that there were only fourteen (14) units available at the existing price.
As I stayed on the page, the fourteen changed to a thirteen. Oh no! He was selling out right before my very eyes!
I hung around a couple more minutes and the number changed to a twelve. Then an eleven.
If I didn’t take action soon, I was going to miss out on the opportunity of a lifetime.
Just for the fun of it, I cleared my browser cookies and reloaded the same page. What do you suppose I found?
That’s right. There were only FOURTEEN units left at the stated price.
If I was on a schoolyard playground, I’d probably chant “Liar, Liar, pants on fire!”
But since I am more mature than that, I’ll just call shenanigans. BIG TIME shenanigans.
Look, there is nothing wrong with using scarcity as a sales method, as long as that scarcity is REAL.
When we sold our Instant AdSense Templates product several years ago, we shut down the sale when we hit our quota. They weren’t available any longer.
And when I offered the Link Sizzler software to my customers, stating that the price would increase based on a predetermined number of units sold, we raised the price when we hit each milestone.
Scarcity is a very effective motivator when used ethically and with integrity.
But this particular marketer had neither ethics nor integrity. The countdown clock was a manipulative tool that had no bearing on the actual sale of the product.
It’s not difficult to find people using this tactic. It is done all over the web for hundreds of products.
Why do people do it? Because it works. Many potential customers believe that they are going to miss out on the product if they don’t hurry up and buy it. It causes them to feel pressured to buy on emotion without thinking about what they are doing.
If you are selling product online, please adhere to the highest standards of integrity. Not only will you be doing your customers a service, but you will build a stellar reputation for yourself.
Now hurry up and comment because their are only 14 comment slots left!
But comment anyway, please.