Three Ways to Create a Sense of Holiday Urgency in Your Marketing

Guest post by Geoff Livingston. Geoff is an author, public speaker and marketing strategist.

Marketing during the holidays is a competitive battle for consumer dollars. How will your business stand out? One way is to create a sense of urgency.

Urgency gives people a reason to purchase quickly, effectively capturing a share of their holiday budget. Here are three reliable ways to generate a need to buy now with potential customers.

1. Promote Scarcity

When people consider a product or service, a limited inventory can trigger rapid sales. We see this all the time with toys and electronics during the holidays.

For example, “The new iPad Mini is here for the holidays, but we only have ten in stock. Make sure you get yours!”

Nintendo has done well with this strategy over the years, having several holiday seasons where finding Wiis were difficult. In fact, Apple masters this tactic year round with its high-demand products like the iPhone. The company sells millions of phones on opening day, and people still end up waiting weeks for the device to arrive, fueling conversation and demand.

Then, when inventory is exhausted, you can suggest other items that you offer to fulfill gift needs.

2. Shipping Deadlines

Many retailers offer free shipping as an incentive. In context, offering free shipping with order-by dates creates urgency.

You can ensure delivery by Hanukah or Christmas to create this urgency in your offer. For example, “Order by December 15 to guarantee free delivery by Christmas” is a classic Amazon approach to generating time-bound sales.

Similarly, once those free shipping deadlines pass, you can promote ground-priced and next-day delivery deadlines as well.

3. Flash Sales

We all know about discounts, and while those may help sales, they don’t create a sense of urgency. People know they can get the discount throughout the holiday season.

Instead, create a flash sale. For example, we’re selling 50 cutlery sets at 40% off on Friday only.

This is a good way to get people to your website or store and have them consider other or larger purchases. Best Buy regularly practices flash sales throughout its holiday season marketing.

If you have a lot of product you are selling, consider a flash sale a day for a limited quantity of products.

For more tips, check out Ian Lurie’s webinar on better holiday marketing.

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