The value of urgency in sales copy.

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If you’ve watched the movie ‘The Secret’, you’ll remember that Joe Vitale commented that ‘the universe loves speed’.

His point was that when you have the inspiration to take action – take it.  Don’t procrastinate, don’t dither, don’t delay.

Statistics bear out this philosophy: successful people usually make decisions quickly and then carry them out.  Less successful people tend to take a long time to make up their minds and then are prone to change their decision frequently.

When you’re selling something, and of course, when you’re writing sales related copy, it’s as well to remember that information as well as examine why people would hesitate to take action on your offer.

One of the major reasons for lack of action is fear.

  • Fear that the money or time invested will be wasted… irrecoverable.
  • Fear of making a mistake.  Fear of making a fool of oneself.
  • Fear that the purchase won’t live up to ones expectations.

Another reason is confusion. A buyer who feels confused about any part of the transaction will naturally hesitate.  People cannot take decisive action if they’re not sure of

  • what to do
  • when to do it by
  • what the benefits are
  • what the risk is

When crafting sales copy, it’s important that we deal with these issues properly if we’re to maximize conversion and profits, as well as avoid buyer’s remorse and the subsequent returns.

As I’ve often stated, dealing with potential fears by providing the correct assurances, proof and guarantees is essential.  Spelling out the rewards the buyer will enjoy once they own the product or service is also essential.  We all already know that.  However the one area where I see many sales pitches running into problems is in the area of time lines.

Setting a clear and irrevocable time line is essential. First of all it provides a time frame for action in the mind of the buyer.  Secondly it helps to keep offers contained.  There’s nothing worse than making an offer today and having someone take you up on it in the future when it’s no longer convenient or appropriate.

However the most important of these issues is the buyer’s time line. The further away the deadline, the longer the buyer will hesitate to make a decision.  They will invariably put off making the purchase, even if they’d decided to make it the instant they read the copy.  After all, there’s no hurry, they can go back and review the offer next week or next month… right now, there are more pressing issues demanding their attention.  And the longer they wait, the less important the product or service becomes – simply because the delay has allowed other, perhaps much lesser issues come between the buyer’s original desire and the necessary follow through action.

Setting a realistic time line is important. It has to be long enough for the buyer to receive and review the offer, yet not long enough for them to delay in making a decision.  A week to ten days is usually more than enough once an offer has been received.

Am I talking about putting undue pressure on the buyer? No.  I’m not advocating the kind of hype that insists a buyer make a decision this second or forever lose the opportunity.  While I’m sure that this ‘scare’ tactic can be effective in creating immediate action, I’m also sure that it creates more returns than necessary and for buyers who struggle with quick decisions, it usually results in a ‘no’ decision rather than a ‘yes’.

What I’m talking about is a time line that creates an urgency to make a decision within a specific, yet reasonable time frame. Some of the ways you can sweeten the offer is by offering bonuses or rewards for quicker decisions.  For example: order by a specified date prior to the offer deadline and receive either a discount or an additional added value item.

Team this approach with a guarantee and not only do you win over a slightly hesitant buyer, but you remove the fear, you add an incentive and you close the deal.

Because urgency is added to the offer, but not undue pressure, you’ll find your returns are less and your credibility is also higher.  The buyer doesn’t feel threatened and has a higher likelihood of purchasing from you again in the future.

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