How to get off the marketing hook of time scarcity pressure

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time scarcity preasure - marketing pitch

Hey, I’m not against of marketing which is indeed helpful.
I’m against of manipulative selling pitches.

Because pitches are something that make you buy some product NOW, even if you regret about it a bit later.
And if you wait for a while, measure it twice, you may realize that you do not need that stuff. Or you may find a better deal.

I’m an idealist from many perspectives, and I believe that marketers should help people (e.g. to choose the right thing to buy) and not to abuse people’s weaknesses, even if such truthful strategy brings marketers less money in short run.

Scarcity is one of the most effective tactics for marketers to make you (a potential customer) buy anything. At least, it is still effective.

Even if you do online marketing yourself, you (as a customer) still may get fooled by the marketing pitches like time scarcity pressure.

Examples of time scarcity pitches

– countdown of a deal (e.g. “offer ends in 1 hour…in 59 minutes…in 58 minutes…”);
– new visitor offer (e.g. “only new visitors can buy it with XX% discount, don’t close this page, buy it NOW”);
– limited time offer (e.g. “offer ends on the 30th of February”);
– etc.

Why are they pitches?

Because marketers who use them want you to act now or ASAP. Because marketers know if you go away with a thought that you will look around, you are unlikely to return because:
– you may find a better deal;
– you may find the same or similar deal in other place and you are lazy to come back to them;
– you may decide you don’t need it;
– you may decide you need something else.

That’s why they want you NOT to go anywhere else and buy the stuff right there and right then.

But you may need time to make sure whether you do really need to buy that thing at that place. So you need to get rid of that time-scarcity factor imposed by marketers.
And be able to come back to the product any time later offer and get the product with the advertised discount.

And here is a pitch-buster trick that you need to have in your arsenal against lousy marketers

From technical point of view almost all (see further why “almost”) such time-limited offers are based on your browser cookies. The website you visit saves cookies in your browser and next time you visit the website it knows that you are a returning visitor.

So, if you like a product that has a time-limited offer pitch and you want to take your time and look around before buying it, then just bookmark the page with the offer and go away to do your other business.

If one day you decide that you do want to buy the stuff, then just:

– open a browser,
– clear cookies in it (or clean cookies specifically for that website),
– or open another browser (e.g. if you usually use Firefox, open Google Chrome with cleared cookies)
– and visit that page; the time-limited offer will reset as if you are new visitor again!

And now about “almost”

Not all time-limited offers are marketing pitches.
One of the exceptions is a first lunch or a pre-lunch of a product. It makes sense because the owners of the product may need to make money as soon as possible before they can go on with developing a follow-up product or pay the bills that are due etc.
Or season/holiday discounts are also the legit ways to attract new customers.

Questions? Or any disagreement?

P.S.: Here are more related resources regarding scams for your self-study:
Don’t be scammed by online business ‘coaches’
Business Opportunity Scams
Red flags of frauds
Sales page with all tricks highlighted in an ironic way.

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  1. Michael,

    …. but I love scarcity! lol

    Found your blog from a comment you made on Quick Sprout. So keep up that off site marketing!

    I would love to know more about what you’re working on.

    Hit me up on twitter or something πŸ™‚


    • Hey Rob,

      Scarcity is often over-abused as a marketing method. The point is that when people realize that they are fooled, they loose trust in what you do, thinking that you want to make them buy with this louse trick.

      And loosing trust is bad, especially when you have actually a good product to sell.

      So, I personally believe, that trust (with understanding real motives) and healthy long-term relationships are more important than making quick money on innocent people who easily swallow the bait with marketing gimmicks.

      Thanks for leaving a comment!

  2. It may be a shady practice, but you can’t argue with its effectiveness. While you shouldn’t mislead with regard to what the product does, you need to provide an ultimatum to get many off the fence. After all, if your product really it that valuable, you’re doing them a favour by cajoling them into buying!

    • Jeremy, thank you for your first comment!

      You are right. It’s still effective. But not everything that is effective is worth doing. It depends.

      For example, if simplified, there are two types of selling practice:

      1. “Harpoon-style” – you aim at closing a sale (or making visitor to subscribe etc). Then some kind of pitches aimed at “acting right now”are worth doing. But don’t everdo it with your audience (that’s why you need to feel your audience.)

      2. “Net-style” – you let visitor get to know you closer and closer, with each new piece of content you give them “cookies” (e.g. valuable content). And one day the visitor will buy your product without any pitches and shade practice. It is more advanced and long-term strategy and is more effective for some audience.

      The purpose of my post was to show people that in most cases time scarcity factor is just a trick. Anyway, if the product is really good, a visitor can buy it later with the same discount.

  3. I with you Michael. This sell pitches is killing me sometimes. Marketing is very helpful and it’s effective to but I think people have to change their strategy and technique of marketing. Anyway keep up buddy good post. πŸ™‚

    • Bhavesh, thanks for your comment. I agree with you that marketers need to change their strategy. At least for the target audience that have analytical kind of mind, because they detect such pitches and neglect them.

      However, many people still react much more emotionally than rationally and still swallow the baits of simple stupid marketing pitches vigorously. But I believe people become smarter and can smell the rat better and better.

  4. That is not marketing at all! I hate to say this, but those are some very shady techniques that are quickly being flushed down the drain.

    I don’t see those techniques working well anymore. People and traffic have gotten smarter and they know how weak these pitched really are.

    When I see this, I try to look for other products that prove the same purpose.

    Thanks for the post!

    – Samuel

    • Thanks, Samuel, for your comment.

      I agree with you that people have become smarter, but still a lot of people fall for such shade tactics.

      The reason why they work is simple – most people are emotionally-driven rather than logically-driven.

      Even rational people may be hooked by these ‘shady tactics’.
      For example:
      – rational people know that they need a product.
      – they have been looking for some time, found some options, but can not decide what is better.
      – they get a time-limited offer with good discount.
      – they think – it’s time to act, anyway I need a product. And here is not a bad option with a good price. I think I will buy it now.

      Their rational brain betrays them speaking emotionally in a rational language (“stop looking for a perfect product, you have already spent enough time”.) And they buy the products, being in fact hooked by a time-limited offer.

      Whereas the rational brain should have said – “Alright, forget that there is a time-limited discount. (eliminate the time-scarcity factor). Imagine this is its permanent price. Is it worth buying this product for this price? Or better to buy one of the products I have seen earlier? Or look further?”

      It especially true for markets that have a lot of products that look the same. And people need to spend much time, which they usually don’t have, on researches. That’s why marketing tricks like ‘time-limited discounts’ still work.

  5. I’m totally with you. I really hate those manipulative marketing schemes where the ad is totally different from the product. Seeing that, I’m even less likely to want to purchase the product.
    If anyone’s going to sell me something, just be honest about it. Dishonesty makes me into a raving critic.

    • Thanks for your comment, Troy.
      I feel the same way.
      Unfortunately, still a lot of good products are spiced with such marketing manipulating tricks. Probably, this is kind of old-school marketing recommendations that need to be adjusted now. Otherwise [smart] people may turn off with disgust even from the good products that are being sold this way.

      • Hi,

        Troy is right I have to agree with him. Many marketer are still use his old junky style for marketing. Instead, with a new technology and current marketing trick. Thanks for sharing this content Michel. πŸ™‚

        • Yes, it makes sense.

          By the way, different marketing approaches can be targeting different people.
          For example, if there is an innocent naive person looking for something in the Internet, then simple tricks can work to make him or her buy the stuff.

          But if a person has some experience, then more truthful or sophisticated ways of persuasion could work.

          Thanks for the comment, Hiten.

          • You are right Michael. I think every sell person have to change their marketing strategy after every two – three person. It’s look a different and increase sells person’s creativity also. πŸ™‚


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