A time-limited offer can be incredibly effective. They have a few problems, though. One of those is that people who miss the offer can feel disappointed.
There are ways to turn that disappointment into something that drives them toward buying quickly (which is a topic for another time). But in many cases that’s not an option. So, how do you avoid disappointing people with time-limited offers.
Here are a few ideas…
1. Make the time-limit personal.
How you set this up depends on what the offer is like. The most common situation is that people join your email list and get a time-limited offer immediately. The time-limit can be 10 minutes, 30 days, or something else. In any case, it’s a personal time-limit, so no one misses it because they found out about you too late.
2. Use “natural” deadlines.
What is a “natural” deadline varies from case to case, but it means a deadline that people instinctively understand to be reasonable. The most obvious ones relate to seasonal holidays. But for example, a Kickstarter campaign has a natural deadline (the end of the campaign).
If you can’t think of a natural time-limit, you can create artificial natural-feeling deadlines, too. For example, you can say, “I’m going to do 1-hour consultations—and nothing but 1-hour consultations—for the entire month of November. But after that, the minimum contract is 600 hours.”
Another option, “I set a goal for myself to generate $200,000 during the month of November. We’re three weeks in, and I’m only 65% of the way there, so for the rest of the month, you can buy any service or product you like at 20% discount, so I reach my goal.”
3. Run time-limited offers all the time.
This doesn’t completely negate the problem. But if everyone can take advantage of at least some time-limited offer, they probably don’t feel so disappointed they missed the previous ones.
4. Announce the time-limited offer privately.
Simply put, if someone can’t take advantage of an offer (because it’s already over or any other reason), don’t even let them know about it. For example, on an ecommerce site, make sure your homepage doesn’t have a huge banner saying, “75% off everything until YESTERDAY!”
More marketing ideas like this?
If you’d like more of this kind of advice (concise and to-the-point), that’s what my emails are about. Click here to get a weekly “Friday scribbles” email (and the occasional other email) with exactly this type of content.