Using countdown timers to clinch the sale
Using countdown timers to clinch the sale
So you’ve sent out an email detailing your latest offer, which you KNOW is exactly what your subscribers and wider audience are looking for – but they’re not buying. What gives?
The problem (likely) isn’t you.
Your tech is all hooked up, the buttons work, the email copy was spot on, the sales page made the outcomes and benefits very clear…
The problem lies in human psychology.
Why should your subscribers take action NOW? Why not tomorrow? Or next week, when they get paid. Or even in 6 months, because first they’re going to try and do it all by themselves, because surely it can’t be that hard.
As humans, we love to put things off. We love to talk ourselves out of things.
It’s why I have no idea what’s for dinner tonight. This morning when I thought about it, I came to the conclusion that dinner was very much a ‘later’ problem and decided to write this post instead. I could have walked to the kitchen and gotten something out to thaw, but I didn’t. Nobody was whining in my ear about being hungry, so actually getting up and taking action was on the bottom of my to-do list.
There was no urgency.
The reason you see timers on all those launches and sales offers is because urgency works.
Yes, your subscriber can acknowledge their pain, they can visualize a future where you’ve made everything better and they’re skipping down the yellow brick road of happiness, but getting them to actually take that step and saying ‘now is the time’ requires a deadline.
Otherwise, the same outcome is available whenever – which means never!
In fact, if you don’t leverage urgency for some subscribers, they’ll go to your competitors (who offer the exact same outcome but with a deadline) and become buyers there.
The no-frills countdown
There’s a 99.99% chance your landing page platform has a timer you can use for this. Simply drag it over as a building block, tell it the date and time you’re counting down to. Tweak the design and colour and you’re good to go.
Don’t forget to include a statement about what happens when the timer hits zero. Does the sale disappear? Does a bonus disappear? Does the price go up?
With these no-frills timers, any change that happens after zero needs to be made manually, so maybe don’t set it to go to midnight or you’ll have a late night ahead of you.
[clickToTweet tweet=”As humans, we love to put things off. No countdown timer? Say goodbye sales!” quote=”As humans, we love to put things off. No countdown timer? Say goodbye sales!”]
The evergreen countdown (unique for each subscriber)
If you’re offering a small priced goodie after opt-in (called a tripwire), these countdowns are what you need – purely because they let you set a different start time for each subscriber. You can even set them to start only once that unique subscriber has opened an email or not until they visit a specific webpage. The timer software adds a tiny cookie to their computer so that even if they close the window and re-open it, the timer is still going.
At some point during your funnel, you may also like to offer your new subscriber a welcome discount or bonus. Since this type of timer has a different countdown for each subscriber, it’s invaluable for taking subscribers through that big first step to becoming a buyer. And of course, once you’ve they see how great you paid offers are, they’ll be more inclined to buy the next level up 🙂
Budget option: Countdown Dynamite – It’s a WordPress plugin you buy outright for around $9. It’s actually what I use on my own tripwire page.
Full countdown with automatic lockdown at zero
These full-featured countdown timers allow you to choose whether you’re counting down to a set date/time for everyone, or if unique subscribers get their own start trigger. What makes them extra special (and worth paying for) is that when the countdown hits zero, the deadline cost comes into effect immediately. The page automatically redirects to one without a sale price, without a bonus, or even to one saying cart is closed. You have complete control over what happens at zero.
Some of more robust countdown timers even let you change the messaging depending on how close to zero you get. For example, with Thrive Ultimatum, you can start the countdown with a gentle ‘offer expires in xxx’ message, and then with 24 hours to go, change your message to ‘last chance, don’t miss out!’ or ‘There’s still time to order before Christmas’
Even if your subscriber tries to click an old link, maybe sneakily trying to get your goodies at sale prices, the lockdown remains in force and redirects immediately to your default page.
You don’t have to lift an extra finger because you’re leveraging urgency like a pro.
Here, I’ll show you:
Adding a countdown timer to your emails
Sometimes it’s a great idea to mirror the countdown inside your sales email – after all, not everyone will be persuaded by your golden words and click through to see the timer on the sales page. Including the words ‘only available for 24 hours’ is generally effective, but actually seeing a countdown ticking away in real time can be a much better motivator.
Unfortunately, there’s a huge gap in the market here when it comes to getting a perfect match between sales page timer and email timer. Deadline Funnel is, to my knowledge, the only one catering to this need at the moment.
The only other option is to use a dedicated email timer and make sure you’ve got the countdowns matched as close as possible.
The app of choice at the moment is MotionMail. It lets you create standard timers for free (no evergreen, sadly), but it does include small text that says ‘powered by Motionmail’ unless you upgrade. (I’m sticking with free)
I put together this quick tutorial where I create a timer and add the code to my ActiveCampaign.
(This post contains affiliate links for products I use myself or recommend.)