Sense of Urgency


Does using urgency in an order process increase conversion and drive more sales?

Whether you are a car dealership buying time on television to announce offers and discounts on all vehicles purchased before a particular date, or you’re an online company selling products, information products, subscriptions or courses, using a cut-off date will almost always increase sales.

However, while using urgency is a powerful promotional tool, it should not be used indiscriminately or without forethought.

When we were planning our tests on this topic, we kept the following guidelines in mind:

  • The urgency should be genuine and not simply created as a promotional gimmick. The growing sophistication of online audiences means that many people can and will recognize “manufactured urgency”.
  • Even the legitimate use of an urgent message will still be recognized as a promotional tactic. So if your message is not completely genuine and honest, you run a very real risk of losing the respect and loyalty of some of your readers.
  • The use of urgency on an offer page can be a very powerful tool, but is not something you can do all the time. If you do, you will lose credibility.

Therefore, when you are using the urgency tactic, take steps to maximize traffic to that page during the offer period. This may involve the use of promotional emails, offline PR, increased spending on PPC and whatever other traffic-building strategies work best for you

  • Understand that you can use implied urgency as well as direct urgency.

While simply adding an “offer expires on this date” starburst on your page may seem like a very simple way to boost sales, our own experience tells us that you will do better with careful and thoughtful planning.  See our brief on the subject here, Offer Page Optimization.


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