Read This Now! Best Practices for Promoting Time-Sensitive Offers

Act fast! Don’t delay! Time is running out! Reply Today! Ok, ok, we’re not going to pull this article offline in a few minutes—but if we were, we’d have to think critically about how to encourage our audience to read this right away. Fortunately, the insights we’re sharing here have “stood the test of time” and you won’t miss out on anything if you come back later to finish reading this. But since you’ve already started…

When Marketers Feel the Need for Speed
Wanting (or needing) customers to act quickly on a time-sensitive offer is a common enough marketing challenge. Marketers pick up the pace when they have to get their customers to pick up the pace—the pace of converting. This happens when you need to move excess inventory, push seasonal or end-of-season products, reach sales quotas, or when time is literally running out to sign up for an event.

And sometimes, you just need to get customers or leads to “pull the trigger already!” When time isn’t on your side, bring out the Big Guns, like these:

Wait, When? Put a Time Stamp on It
When using digital media, be explicit about the time sensitivity of your offer, whether you use static, creative cues or dynamic countdown timer. Say something like:

• “Order in 2 hours, 16 minutes”
• “Register by 11:59 p.m.”
• “Offer ends Dec 31st at noon”

Do This Yesterday: Create Urgency
While it’s generally a best practice to inject some degree of urgency into your direct response marketing offer copy, there are times when customers are wise to take it literally. Tell them, “Time is running out!” and “This offer won’t last forever,” because, well, this particular offer won’t last forever. Yes, threaten to take the offer away, because you will.

While Supplies Last: Impart Scarcity
A great way to create urgency is to convey scarcity, especially if what you’re offering is in short or limited supply. The idea is to evoke FOMO, the fear of missing out. For example, express the following, as they apply:

• “Only 100 spots left”
• “Special Limited Edition”
• “While supplies last”

Everybody Loves It: Use Social Proof
Now might be the time to tell your customers, “Everyone else is doing it!” Or at least point them in the direction of other customers who are sharing their positive experience with your brand. This might mean including a testimonial on your offer landing page or linking readers to a customer review site or case study. Another customer’s good word might be just the push they need to take action now.

Discover the other 5 Reasons Customer Ratings and Reviews Boost Your Sales.

Just Do It: Keep Your Message Brief
Get to the point. That is, your call to action. Make every word of copy count. There’s not much time to act on this offer, right?

Spread Yourself Thin: Tap into Multiple Channels
You may be already doing this, but you may need to double down as the clock ticks towards expiration. Let’s say you send out a postcard to promote your offer and have email and social media campaigns running concurrently. Assuming you’re paying close attention to response rates and how they stack up next to your goals, it might make sense to do a last-minute email or set of social posts that say “3 days left”… “2 days left” … “Final chance!”

If you’d like to learn more, don’t delay. Contact us today!