Las Vegas Wins Again

  |  September 19, 2012   |  Comments

How playing hard to get can boost conversion rates.

Summer for me always includes a girls' weekend to Las Vegas, replete with pool time, too many piña coladas, and spontaneous dance parties with my besties. It also means searching for hotel rooms, nabbing the best seats for Thunder Down Under, and trying to get dinner reservations at the restaurant-of-the-moment.

This year, though, I ended up on hotel scouting duty and inevitably fell for the countdown timer scare tactic. I know, I know! I'm a marketer for God's sake. But it doesn't matter, because creating a sense of urgency is one of the most surefire ways to incite action by consumers.

And so, with just a little "Hurry! Only 1 room left!" - the Hard Rock won out over MGM.

More Often Than Not, the Thing That's Lacking Sells the Most

If you want people to take immediate action, try deploying strategies that create a feeling that there is an overall lack of something - whether it be time, quantity, or access to product(s).

One of the ways you can encourage a direct response from people is by creating a feeling of overall scarcity. People put a higher value on things that seem limited. How many times have you fallen (or seen a friend fall) for sales messaging like this?

  1. "Act Now! Only 6 items remaining at this price!"
  2. "Sign up today to be placed on the waiting list for our VIP access card!"
  3. "Hurry! You only have 3 hours and 14 minutes to take advantage of this deal!"

Try Playing Hard to Get

If you're looking to test new marketing strategies, try playing a little game of hard to get. A simple countdown timer integrated into the reservation system I was using to book a hotel in Vegas convinced me to make a snap decision and run with the Hard Rock Hotel, even though our group had decided that MGM would probably be our top choice.

How it happened? I'm still not sure. But something in my brain fired when I saw the limited quantities; I panicked and hit the buy button for the product I felt I could lose out on.

Did we have a great trip? Of course! Were the girls upset at my choice? Never! Did I spend any more money than I planned to? Nope.

But…did the Hard Rock win my business over a competing hotel that seemingly had more to offer? Absolutely.

3 Ways to Seal the Deal With Engaged Shoppers

When you've already gone through all the effort to attract site traffic, create engaging content, and segment your shoppers - it only makes sense that you'd ensure a tight finish to your sales cycle and close the deal with powerful marketing techniques.

Here are three ways to drive more conversions and start hearing your own customers say, "Signed, sealed, delivered, I'm yours."

  1. Seasonal or time-based offers. Tie in a sense of importance around holidays and seasons. Look at old marketing campaigns that have worked for your organization and get creative to find new ways to tie them into upcoming time-sensitive events.
  2. Reinforce retargeting display ads with onsite messaging. Use a retargeting vendor that can reinforce your retargeting or acquisition display ad campaigns with branded onsite messaging. Once a visitor lands back on your site - driven by a successful retargeting ad - you can create the opportunity for them to see highly-customized messaging targeted just for them.
  3. Use a countdown timer. With ad creation technology getting more and more automated, it's becoming more feasible for retailers to use tools like a countdown timer to convince customers to convert. Play around with different time frames to see which ones work best for your brand.



Aubrey Beck

Aubrey is the director of marketing programs at Salted Stone, a digital marketing agency in Southern California. She specializes in brand strategy and inbound marketing, working with emerging tech companies and B2B providers to identify their voice and create revenue-driving content plans.

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