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Scarcity and the Holidays

Written by Ryan Ambrose  · December 10, 2008

Want an example of the limited time offer? The holidays.

They use these a lot in the offline world, such as for Christmas. It’s just around the corner and everyone is buying. Someone throws the occasional sale, and after Christmas, they throw a few more to get rid of what they didn’t sell before Christmas. These sorts of limited time offers are an example of a tactic called scarcity.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the tactic, scarcity is about limiting something good with regards to your product or service in some way. It’s useful because it helps shake the “let me think about it” crowd out of their indecision and gets them to buy for fear of losing out. That’s why the holiday sale scarcity tactic works so well. You have a believable reason to use it and a cutoff date that is not up for negotiation all at the same time.

How else can you use scarcity to help sell your products, get opt-ins, or anything else you want to accomplish?

  • You could cut the price, but only for a for a few days.
  • Limit the entire distribution of your product to just a specific number of people.
  • Offer a freebie with your product, but only for a limited time or a limited number of people.

It works, but there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Don’t fake it. Any scarcity you create should be real. If you give a cutoff at a specific date or number of people, make sure it’s certain.
  • To generate enough scarcity to sell, don’t give people too much time. No one cares if a cutoff date is months away, but just a few days? That will make them jump.
  • If you want to generate scarcity with a limited time offer or distribution offer freebie, which works for both paid products and affiliate sign-ups, make sure the freebie is worth getting and compliments the primary product or service in some way.

Scarcity sells if used correctly. Every holiday sale ever held is scarcity in action, and it can work for you too.

Seriously, how do you make a beautiful, sellable ebook? Find your answers today with The Ebook Walkthrough!

My name is Ryan Ambrose, and I’m one of the co-authors of Can I Make Big Money Online.

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3 Responses to “Scarcity and the Holidays”

  1. PraShawn on December 11th, 2008 3:14 am

    I think the scarcity tactic is hell of a tactic, To pursue the doubty crowd it takes certain authority with convincing power to let them know they are the ones who are overstanding and overseeing the outcome of their decision and they will realize what will happen if they miss out the product.

  2. wilhb81 on December 14th, 2008 4:55 am

    It’s very true, Ryan. Most of the businessmen using this tactic to bait the consumers to spend their money, and the success rate is up to 80% or more!

  3. Paul on December 16th, 2008 3:29 am

    I’m sure this is a very good tactic, but I have to say that you really need to make sure that if you say an offer will only last for a certain time then it really ends then. Too many times I see the same sales page is there after this date, but this time with it automatically ending in 1-3days from now. It is a great way to lose potential customers if they come back and see you lied to them.