4 ways to use scarcity to get people to buy your shizz

Here’s how I’ve been spending my last few days in the US:

(Other than getting ready for my best friend’s wedding in be-yoo-tiful Groton Long Point CT this weekend…)

Buying all the things.

I’ve been shopping like an absolute maniac the last few days. And for someone who describes herself as “loves nice things but hates shopping”…that’s a real rarity.

I’m stocking up on all my American faves, because:

a) prices are SO much cheaper here than in England, and
b) there are some things that are just better in the US

I’m loading my cart up with things like:
– THE BEST organic lip balms
– the couple of dreamy items from Madewell, Anthro, and Everlane that I’ve been eyeing for months
– my go-to moisturiser
– this gorgeous vintage Chicago map from Etsy
– even boxed mac and cheese (because they just don’t do it the same in the UK)

And, real talk, I don’t need these items right now. I pride myself on being a thoughtful consumer who only invests in things that add real value to my life.

But there’s one main reason for the shopping binge…

And it’s the same reason people feel compelled to buy your products and services online…


These items aren’t so easy to get when I’m in England. So if I don’t buy them now, I’ll have to wait until the next time I’m back in the States, which won’t be for months.

Scarcity works by putting edges on your offer.

It makes people think that if they don’t act NOW, they’ll lose out on something big. And as my mac and cheese hoarding shows, the sense of FOMO is incredibly powerful.

Here are 4 ways to inject scarcity into your next offer:


1. Time scarcity


Whenever possible, add a limited-time nature to your offer.

For live launches, always set an official date when your cart will close. If you’re using an evergreen model, use a tool like Deadline Funnel to create an artificial deadline. (It works wonders!)

If you’re a service provider, consider adding a calendar on your services page showing your next availability. Showing you’re booked for a period of time sends a subtle message that you’re in-demand…and people should sign up now to grab their chance to work with you.

2. Quantity scarcity


Knowing there are only a few items available injects a strong sense of “gotta have it”-ness.

Quantity scarcity can be especially useful for premium levels of your program or if you only book a certain number of service-based packages per month, quarter, or year.

Pro tip: I like to use the wording of “Only X remaining” or “Only X left” rather than “Only X available” to showcase quantity scarcity. It’s a subtle but powerful difference!

3. Price scarcity


This is a great option for the first-ever launch of your product or a special one-time-only sale.

Knowing that they’ll never be able to get the program at this price again can be a strong motivator to get off the pot and sign up.

Proceed with caution, however. You can ONLY offer this price once. Don’t lie and make it seem like a special offer when it’s your standard pricing. People will catch a whiff of that fib real fast.

4. Bonus scarcity


Bonuses are a great way to double (or triple!) up on the scarcity throughout your launch.

Here are a few ways to do it:
– Offer earlybird pricing
– Use a webinar-only bonus
– Create a disappearing bonus that’s only available for the first 24-48 hours of open cart
– Make limited-time payment plans
– Add in an additional layer of personalized support if people sign up by a certain date
For all four of these scarcity options, you ALWAYS want to send out an email a few hours before the offer goes away.

Tell subscribers what they’ll be missing out on, why it matters, and remind them of the terms (either give the hard deadline or tell them how many items are still available.)

Don’t assume your audience has read the fine print on your sales page and already knows these things! Make it crystal clear what they’ll miss out on if they don’t take action soon.

Remember, most launches see the majority of sales come in the final 24-48 hours of open cart. Try one or more of these strategies in your next launch and watch the scarcity magic work for you!

Oh, and if you’re looking for inspiration, you can always go with the tried and true scarcity tactic: only available until Whit leaves the US. That one seems to be working for me. 😉

This post contains affiliate links — I ONLY share tools that I believe in! If you try it out, love it as much as I do, and decide to purchase, I may receive a commission.

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© Whitney Ryan LLC

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