We all know that time-limited price discounts and "limited supply" messages communicate a sense of direct urgency and increase sales.
But you can also create a significant jump in sales with implied urgency.
We recently interviewed an executive from one of the low-cost leaders in the computer parts industry. With sales of tens of millions of dollars a year, and slim margins, he was always on the lookout for ways to increase sales.
Here is what he told us about how they increased sales with implied urgency.
"We were looking for ways to drive more sales by using our email list more aggressively. One idea we had was to create a page each week that showed the best prices on the 10 most popular computer parts and gadgets. We were completely open and honest about it. Our own company was the lowest-cost source of most, if not all of those 10 products. However, if some other retailer offered a better price on one or two of the items, we included them on the list.
"Then we sent a weekly email to our list and named it 'The Lowest Price Survey.' We listed the prices and provided links to the site.
"The real key to the success of this program was that we date-stamped the list. That is to say, we said something like, 'As of 6:04 a.m. this morning, these are the lowest prices for these products on the web.'
"The date stamp wasn't a deadline, but it did imply that these prices might not last. This approach might not work well for every retail business, but in a business where consumers are cost-conscious and aware that prices can change day to day, it worked extremely well."
During the 48 hours after they sent each of these weekly emails they would see a spike in sales of approximately 10 percent.
"As we approach the 'back to school' and fall seasons it is worth looking beyond the obvious ways to communicate direct urgency and look for more creative and imaginative ways to imply urgency.
You'll find a full archive of our test results, and analysis within the MarketingExperiments.com Research Archives."
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