People tend to act on impulse, especially when we’re inundated with information every day.
Great marketers know how to capitalize on those impulses.
After all, we don’t want to drive more sales in the future — we want them now!
Therefore, we must convince our customers that they want our offer now as well.
That’s why urgency is a key ingredient of every marketing campaign.
Creating urgency improves your conversions, engagement, and ultimately your revenue.
So when performing conversion optimization on your outdoor brand’s website, think about how you can shift your visitors from “hmm, maybe someday” to “wow, I need this now!”
What Is Urgency?
Urgency is when a buyer feels like they need to act quickly.
Some would call it FOMO – the fear of missing out.
When your website visitors perceive urgency, they’re (a) anxious about missing an opportunity, (b) eager to reap the benefits of your offer, or (c) both.
Urgency Has Two Parts: Internal & External
Internal factors refer to how your visitor is feeling when they arrive on your site.
They’re often looking for a solution to a problem they need to solve.
They could have an internal deadline, e.g. “Our camping trip is tomorrow and I still need to buy a tent!”
Or they’re frustrated with something and they want a solution, e.g. “My hiking boots are falling apart. I want a new pair before my next hike.”
External factors are influences that you can introduce to the visitor.
When you run a special offer or time-limited sale, you’re giving them a sense of urgency. They don’t want to miss out, so they need to act now.
You can also instill strong emotions in the visitor so they’re more likely to resolve their frustration (e.g. “You know what, I am tired of lugging my kayak around. I need a collapsible one!)
5 Ways to Increase Urgency For Sales
So, how can you give your visitors the anxiety and emotional investment that will drive them to convert — and tap into their internal sense of urgency?
Here are some things to consider on your conversion optimization journey.
Note: Before implementing any of these ideas, remember that the purpose of creating urgency isn’t to cause panic or rush your customers. It’s to increase buyer motivation and overcome their objections.
All online shopping comes with an element of hesitation or skepticism. Urgency helps combat that.
Never sacrifice the customer experience for quick revenue gains. As you’ll see, pushing too hard for urgency can backfire.
#1 Show Stock Levels
Urgency and scarcity go hand in hand.
Let’s say that you’re browsing a bakery’s display case. You see lots of yummy muffins, pastries, and cookies.
Then you notice there is only one chocolate-chip cookie left.
Suddenly, that cookie looks unbelievably enticing. You’d better buy it, or someone else will get to enjoy it instead of you!
This isn’t just hypothetical. Studies have shown that when people see a limited number of items, they perceive those items’ value to be higher. Cue their FOMO!
If you sell products, you have a limited amount of stock.
This is a legitimate source of scarcity — eventually, someone is going to miss out. You can tap into this by showing your stock levels.
Look at any major e-commerce site, and you’ll see language such as “Only X left in stock” Yes, they’ll replenish that stock.
But psychologically, the visitor feels anxious when they read that. They immediately regard the purchase as urgent: “I’d better grab it before someone else does!”
Even if you don’t have physical stock, you can still have limits on your offering.
Let’s say you book consultations or sell adventure tour packages. Put a cap on those registrations and say “Only X spots left.” That creates scarcity that drives urgency.
Here’s an example of how booking.com uses urgency and scarcity to get you to book now.
#2 Allow Customers to See Other Buyers
Scarcity is a significant driver of demand.
But what if your stock levels aren’t limited? Or even if they are, will people feel the pressure to buy?
You can add a bit of social proof that doubles as a source of scarcity.
Show your visitors how many others are interested in the same product. This indicates that (a) you may sell out soon and (b) other people might get it instead of you.
It’s the perfect way to tap into peer pressure, FOMO, and perceived value all at once.
For example, many e-commerce sites will include a metric such as “X people looked at this in the last hour” or “X people have this in their cart right now.”
This tactic affirms the visitors’ interest (“hmm, other people also think this product looks good”), boosts the product’s perceived value, and increases the urgency to buy.
J Crew makes great use of this tactic by showing how many people looked an item in the last hour.
#3 Pick a Deadline
Deadlines are the perfect way to increase urgency. We all know how a firm due date can get us to launch into action!
So, pick a deadline for your offer, and display it to your visitors. Having a limited amount of time forces us to take action.
If you’ve shopped on eBay, you’re well aware of how deadlines get you motivated to buy.
You can use this tactic for both sales and limited-time offers, as well as to promote special deals.
Obviously, you don’t want to add a deadline to something that you offer consistently — return visitors can sniff that out.
Always link your deadline to something that’s actually time-bound.
Many outdoor brands will run small discounts or bundled offers that they can attach to a deadline.
This way, there’s always a legitimate reason for the rush, even if the products are technically available year-round.
#4 Use Urgent Colors
Don’t forget to consider color psychology in your conversion optimization.
Red, yellow, and orange can introduce a feeling of urgency. They’re warm, vibrant colors that we associate with alerts as well as feelings of happiness and passion.
In a study conducted by HubSpot, switching from the color of a call-to-action button from green to red increased a site’s conversion rate by an impressive 21%.
Of course, different colors work better on different sites.
Always test to find out which hues are best for you. What works for one site may not work for yours.
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#5 Use words like “now,” “hurry,” and “instant”
These words tell people to do something right away. They create a subconscious feeling of urgency that can be very powerful.
Express to your visitors that there’s no waiting around. Now is the moment to take action!
As I mentioned, many people have arrived on your site because something is weighing on their minds. Whatever emotions they’re feeling, reading words such as “now” and “today” amplify them.
This makes them eager to convert.
Try adding these words into your call-to-action (CTA) buttons and any language surrounding your offer.
Don’t overdo it, though; packing your site with urgent language can seem spammy and insincere.
Subtly add an urgency word to your offer language.
For example, instead of having your CTA read “Explore Kayaks,” test your conversion rate with “Explore Kayaks Now.”
In the example below, Rivian could have simply had the CTA button say “Configure.”
But instead they gave you a little nudge to act now by having it say “Configure Now.”
It doesn’t read as sales-y yet still creates a sense of urgency.
Urgency is a Double Edged Sword
When used well, urgency can help people overcome their objections and feel more confident when shopping online. Plus, it boosts their sense of FOMO and eagerness to take action.
In short, urgency decreases friction in the buying process — when done correctly.
When urgency is added to the point of being sales-y or spammy, though, it increases friction and makes your website visitors feel too anxious to convert.
Always test your urgency tactics so you can see what works best for you.
Remember, you’re not trying to trick your visitors into buying faster.
You’re trying to improve the overall customer experience — and that means honoring their desires and helping them solve their problems.
Now It’s Your Turn
I hope this growth tip kickstarted some ideas for your outdoor brand.
If you’re feeling generous (and a little smarter), please share it with your friends. 🙌🏽
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