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Improve Your Lead Generation Results with Scarcity

By Josh  |  June 14, 2012  |   Online Marketing

Lead Generation with Scarcity

When it comes to lead generation, phrases like "limited time offer," "while supplies last," and "only XXX available" can be your best friends.

Why?

Because consumers (yes, even those in the business to business market), are afraid of missing out. No one wants to let a good deal pass them by.

So, by creating an offer with definite time and quantity limits, you're subtly motivating the casual visitor to convert into a qualified lead faster. In other words, if they're afraid they might miss out, they're more likely to click the button and fill in their personal information than they would be without the added pressure that scarcity creates.

Scarcity in the wild

In the consumer world, QVC uses scarcity to generate sales all the time. If you've ever flipped by their channels late at night, you've no doubt seen the timer counting down.

"Only 45 minutes left until this offer is gone forever," the host will say. Or, "only 4,500 units left! You better act fast!"

And people do.

And that's exactly why you constantly see smart, effective websites using the psychology of scarcity to their advantage.

Whether it's a webinar, eBook, or even a complimentary "business analysis" of some sort, smart marketers put very real limits on their offers.

Some will make their product available for only a very short period of time (like a week or two). Some will limit the number of people who can take part. All make their offer sound Very Important.

They make their customers afraid to miss out. And you can do it too.

Putting scarcity to work for your lead generation efforts

First, you need to decide what your offer will be. The key is to make it something you can afford to give away.

For a real estate agent, that might be a free guide on how to stage your home, or even an in-home market analysis.

For a home remodeling contractor, that might be 10 percent off some part of the job, or a booklet advertising "The 10 Smartest Remodeling Projects to Take on Today."

What the product is will depend on your business. Just don't give away anything that will hurt your ability to be profitable.

When using scarcity, proceed with caution.

The key to a successful lead generation program using scarcity is quality. For it to work, your offer must be seen as valuable. It must clearly be something that you don't usually offer, and that really won't last forever.

Dressing an always-available discount or product in time-sensitive clothing will only make you look, well, a little shady. And when it comes to marketing yourself online, trust is everything.

Give scarcity a try.

Although it might sound easy, mastering scarcity-based lead generation can be tricky.

You may have to test a few different offers. Your first idea might not be the winner you think it is. Just remember the psychology of scarcity has stood the test of time and is used by the top brands in the world for a reason.

Do you use scarcity in your online marketing?  If so, tell us how in the comments. We'd love to hear your story.

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