How To Convey A Sense of Urgency Without Sounding Melodramatic

Melodramatic copy: “If you don’t buy our product, all your problems will get worse and your life will be terrible. Act now, or else!”

We’ve all run into sales pages like this with over-the-top, sensationalized copy that’s basically a load of fluff, to put it nicely. Most savvy consumers know better than to fall for these types of histrionics, though.
Establishing a sense of urgency is an effective marketing technique, however. You just have to keep the drama and pushiness in check.

How To Create Copy That’s Urgent And Authentic, Not Theatrical Or Pushy

Copy that’s theatrical or pushy can do more than just turn people off. It can actually offend and demonstrate a lack of respect for your audience.

For example, “Don’t you love those online sales letters where the ‘offer expires’ date just happens to be—shock—today! Come back tomorrow and the javascript has magically updated the offer automatically,” says Brian Clark.

Your customers are smart, and thinking they’ll fall for these types of tricks insults their intelligence.


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A sense of urgency can’t be manufactured. It can’t be disingenuous. And it shouldn’t push people to buy your product. Rather, the sense of urgency you create should prevent people from waiting to take action. Even when people are highly interested in a particular item, they often still want to “think it over,” or “sleep on it.”

Therefore, when you create a sense of urgency, it should be aimed at combating procrastination and urging people to take action. It shouldn’t feel like you’re badgering or pressuring people into doing something they’re not sure they want to do.

According to Clark, your copy should “be of service to the prospect, rather than your own self-interest.”

Use Time-Sensitive Offers And Limited Stock

If you don’t want to seem like a snake-oil salesperson, two effective strategies for conveying a sense of urgency are running time-sensitive offers and mentioning the quantity of a product left in stock. The offer and number-count must be real, however, and not just a ploy (as in the example mentioned earlier).


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Just bear in mind that even when you implement these strategies honestly, your prospects can still smell your attempt to stir them into action. This is especially true for time-sensitive offers, which are clearly manufactured.

“What that means for you is an understanding that you’re not being covert,” says Joel Klettke. “Your customers are playing chess with you, and they know the move you’re making.”

Remember: Urgency Is NOT Persuasion

Klettke goes on to say that you shouldn’t mistake urgency for persuasion. If your audience simply does not want your offer, then no amount of urgency can change that. You need to couple urgency with a powerful, compelling pitch that convinces your audience of your offer’s value.
According to Klettke…
joel-klettkeWinning a conversion takes two things: A feeling of desire (‘I’ve got to have this thing!’) and a nudge that refuses to allow the lead to [procrastinating] (‘But I’ll get it later’). Your sales copy is the hook, and urgency is the tug on the reel.

In other words, just slapping big ‘Buy Now!’ and ‘Limited Quantity!’ stickers all over your landing page ain’t gonna do a darn thing especially if the copy that makes up the body of your pitch is a wet noodle. But likewise, belief in your product or solution doesn’t guarantee you’ll get a sale.”

Provide A Bonus Or Additional Incentive

As a final suggestion, if it doesn’t make sense to create a time-sensitive offer or use quantity countdowns, you can tag a time-sensitive bonus onto your offer or provide free shipping but only if customers act today, for example. This way, your original offers still stand ploy-free if your prospects want to think it over. But if they act quickly, they’ll be rewarded with a perk.

How do you create a sense of urgency surrounding your products or services? What do you think about the tips and suggestions detailed here?