Do You REALLY Want Product Creators To Tell The Truth About Scarcity?

37 replies
I guess the common occurrence of marketers saying one thing and then not
keeping their word can actually hurt the guy who means what he says.

Case in point.

Friday, I ran a special for my list. I specifically said it would be for Friday
and Saturday only and then on Sunday, the link would be coming down.

Today, I am getting a number of emails from angry list members because I
actually kept my word.

There is a reason I am bringing this up so please bare with me.

So often, you'll come to this forum, or any forum for that matter, and hear
about marketers complaining because of false scarcity or other lies that
product creators tell to make more sales. They blast these people
constantly.

And yet, when you actually tell the truth and pull a link after a given
amount of time, you get blasted for doing it.

So I need to ask...which is it folks?

Do you really want product creators to tell the truth or, deep down
inside, are you glad when they say that something is only for a certain
amount of time or units and then, when you realize that you've waited too
long, you're still able to get it?

You can't have it both ways and yet, from what I have personally
encountered, it seems that some people do.

Your honest feedback on this is really appreciated.

Tell the truth...are you glad when you're able to get something even though
at that point in time you shouldn't be able to?
#creators #product #scarcity #truth
  • Profile picture of the author LB
    Steven, interesting point.

    The truth is that what customers SAY and what they DO are often so far removed from each other it's an interesting study in human behavior.

    It's like how very few people surveyed ever admit to reading tabloids...yet they continue to be top sellers.

    Or how a pricing survey (worthless) will have your whole list telling you that they'll buy the most at your lowest price...but then the facts are that higher prices often increase conversion AND lower refunds.

    Scarcity is good. It teaches your list that you mean what you say. Even the angry customers will be taught that they need to act next time you put limits on an offer because you aren't faking it. You'll make more money, build loyalty and your customers will view you as someone who tells the truth.
    Signature
    Tired of Article Marketing, Backlink Spamming and Other Crusty Old Traffic Methods?

    Click Here.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[946978].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Paul Hancox
    I think you're in a better position being honest with your deadlines, Steven. That way, the ones who missed out this time round, will ABSOLUTELY believe your deadlines next time.

    On the other hand, fake your deadlines... and the same people won't ever believe you next time round.

    P.S: Don't worry about pleasing ALL people
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[946979].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Pete223
      Very good question Steven...

      I think "extending" an offer for whatever reason, is very often,
      Part of the scarcity strategy!

      It takes various forms...

      "pushed a few days"
      "copies misplaced"
      "duplicate orders"
      "mistakes"
      "by popular demand"
      etc...etc...etc...

      Bottom line is, what is it doing to, well, your bottom line?

      Are you making more money?
      Is it affecting your "relationships" ?
      Do your subscribers/readers/potential clients see you differently?

      Some very popular marketers/companies always do it...

      SiteSell comes to mind with their "seasonal specials" (5-6 times a year),
      they are ALWAYS extended a few days!

      Must be adding to their bottom line more then it takes away from it!

      Kindest Regards,
      Pete
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[947009].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
    Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

    I guess the common occurrence of marketers saying one thing and then not
    keeping their word can actually hurt the guy who means what he says.

    Case in point.

    Friday, I ran a special for my list. I specifically said it would be for Friday
    and Saturday only and then on Sunday, the link would be coming down.

    Today, I am getting a number of emails from angry list members because I
    actually kept my word.

    There is a reason I am bringing this up so please bare with me.

    So often, you'll come to this forum, or any forum for that matter, and hear
    about marketers complaining because of false scarcity or other lies that
    product creators tell to make more sales. They blast these people
    constantly.

    And yet, when you actually tell the truth and pull a link after a given
    amount of time, you get blasted for doing it.

    So I need to ask...which is it folks?

    Do you really want product creators to tell the truth or, deep down
    inside, are you glad when they say that something is only for a certain
    amount of time or units and then, when you realize that you've waited too
    long, you're still able to get it?

    You can't have it both ways and yet, from what I have personally
    encountered, it seems that some people do.

    Your honest feedback on this is really appreciated.

    Tell the truth...are you glad when you're able to get something even though
    at that point in time you shouldn't be able to?
    Hi Steven,

    Who cares what we think on this issue?

    With all due respect, you don't have to ask us anything. You're a big boy, it's your business, and you know what you're doing.

    I'm not trying to sound like a jerk. My point is that you can't let other people dictate your ethics. By asking us, it seems as though you could be pandering - but why?

    That being said, I believe you did the right thing. Stick to your word and let those who didn't trust you to take the link down learn from their lack of belief.

    All the best,
    Michael
    Signature

    "Ich bin en fuego!"
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[947030].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
      Originally Posted by Michael Oksa View Post

      Hi Steven,

      Who cares what we think on this issue?

      With all due respect, you don't have to ask us anything. You're a big boy, it's your business, and you know what you're doing.

      I'm not trying to sound like a jerk. My point is that you can't let other people dictate your ethics. By asking us, it seems as though you could be pandering - but why?

      That being said, I believe you did the right thing. Stick to your word and let those who didn't trust you to take the link down learn from their lack of belief.

      All the best,
      Michael

      Michael, trust me...I have no intentions of changing the way I run my
      business. I just find it interesting that people say one thing but then
      when it comes down to it, many, not all, but many really don't mean it.

      And no, you're not a jerk. You're just telling it like it is.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[947089].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
        Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

        Michael, trust me...I have no intentions of changing the way I run my
        business. I just find it interesting that people say one thing but then
        when it comes down to it, many, not all, but many really don't mean it.
        In that case, yes, you're right.

        Darned if you do, darned if you don't.

        Shortly after I joined the Warrior Forum I made an offer to the first 10 people to respond. Well, the 11th person got pretty aggressive with me and I ask the WF what to do. They said don't give in, and stick to my guns. (Man, I was so new to some of that stuff). Needless to say, you all steered me right, and I haven't looked back since.

        ~Michael
        Signature

        "Ich bin en fuego!"
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[947107].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
          Steven, you already know the answer to this one...

          Stick to your guns.

          Wombat alert:

          Steve, I'll be happy to "bear" with you on this, but I won't "bare" with you. Sorry, that's not my team...:p
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[947185].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author jakesellers
    I think it's effective when it's not a crock. If I see a pitch page with a Javascript countdown timer, a price "guaranteed" until midnight, or any other gimmick to create a false sense of urgency I assume the product sucks and needs a gimmick to support it. If on the other hand it's a plugin, script or information that might be of diminished value if everybody on the block had it, and it's time or otherwise limited, it makes me think it might be nice to be one of the 500 people to get it, or if it's really going away Sunday I should get it while I can. Unless, of course, it appears to be a BS marketing formula and it's really 500 downloads or a week before just the name changes.

    It depends on the audience. If you're a magician, a non-magician audience will be impressed that you pulled the rabbit out of the empty hat, a magician audience will be observing how professionally you execute the trick and your style of execution. Same thing with marketing to marketers, we know what you're doing, and urgency has to be veridical or impressively crafted.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[947071].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Stephen Root
    Like my good pal Jeff Walker says, it's all about training your list. It will increase conversion % over time A LOT.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[947094].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author John.M.
    Banned
    [DELETED]
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[947492].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author kswr123
    I guess it depends.

    Why do we create scarcity? It promotes FEAR OF LOSS, which in turn activates our irrational buying decisions.

    Maybe people are just so used to seeing "15 minutes left" and thinking, "that's convinient, and i bet it'll still be 15 tomorrow", that they just don't expect it.

    I myself use a program to only allow a certain number to be delivered, but I guess with the whole 'set it and forget it' mentality on IM, and the whole 'make sure your page converts' malarchy, that people do both...

    IMHO lying to your customers (and let's not beat about the bush here, it's lying not marketing) is wrong, and I would not do it.

    Mubarak
    Signature
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[947498].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
      Originally Posted by Mubarak Waseem View Post

      I guess it depends.

      Why do we create scarcity? It promotes FEAR OF LOSS, which in turn activates our irrational buying decisions.

      Maybe people are just so used to seeing "15 minutes left" and thinking, "that's convinient, and i bet it'll still be 15 tomorrow", that they just don't expect it.

      I myself use a program to only allow a certain number to be delivered, but I guess with the whole 'set it and forget it' mentality on IM, and the whole 'make sure your page converts' malarchy, that people do both...

      IMHO lying to your customers (and let's not beat about the bush here, it's lying not marketing) is wrong, and I would not do it.

      Mubarak

      That was actually another part of my point. I don't think people really
      believe scarcity anymore because of all those sales pages out there that
      say "Only 48 hours left" or whatever. So they think that when you say a
      sale is only for 2 days, you really don't mean it.

      So in essence, it is because of the way that a good part of this
      industry operates (false scarcity) that makes it so that when somebody
      is actually telling the truth, they're attacked for it because in many cases,
      the prospect can still get the product that they want due to all the lies.

      It is that expectation that causes all the problems.

      I don't have a viable solution for this problem since you really can't
      enforce these false scarcity tactics, but I'd sure love for somebody to
      come up with one.

      It would make things a lot easier for the legit marketers who actually mean
      what they say.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[947525].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
    Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

    Friday, I ran a special for my list. I specifically said it would be for Friday and Saturday only and then on Sunday, the link would be coming down.
    Actually, you talked about your 4th of July sale and said that it was a 2 day sale, that it would only be offered "today and tomorrow." The eMail didn't specify Friday and Saturday either. You did wish that they have a happy holiday "tomorrow" so that should have provided some hint as to the dates of the sale, but I think that is also easy to overlook.

    While I received the eMail on July 3rd, the eMail itself is not dated, other than mentioning the holiday "tomorrow." The only date is the date that I received it as shown in my eMail software.

    I understood that the sale was for Friday and Saturday, however, I think there is legitimate room for confusion. Someone who didn't receive it (or see or open it) until the 4th, could have naturally assumed the sale, being a 4th of July sale being run "today and tomorrow" only, meant that it was being held on the 4th and 5th, rather than on the 3rd and 4th. I think that could have been the cause of people being upset, more so than being upset that you kept your word.

    If you had clarified the dates better, if you had specified Friday and Saturday in your eMail, if you had specified July 3rd and 4th in your eMail, there would have been much less confusion because the duration of the sale would have been crystal clear. And, I'd bet you would have had fewer complaints.
    Signature

    Dan's content is irregularly read by handfuls of people. Join the elite few by reading his blog: dcrBlogs.com, following him on Twitter: dcrTweets.com or reading his fiction: dcrWrites.com but NOT by Clicking Here!

    Dan also writes content for hire, but you can't afford him anyway.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[947529].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
      Originally Posted by Dan C. Rinnert View Post

      Actually, you talked about your 4th of July sale and said that it was a 2 day sale, that it would only be offered "today and tomorrow." The eMail didn't specify Friday and Saturday either. You did wish that they have a happy holiday "tomorrow" so that should have provided some hint as to the dates of the sale, but I think that is also easy to overlook.

      While I received the eMail on July 3rd, the eMail itself is not dated, other than mentioning the holiday "tomorrow." The only date is the date that I received it as shown in my eMail software.

      I understood that the sale was for Friday and Saturday, however, I think there is legitimate room for confusion. Someone who didn't receive it (or see or open it) until the 4th, could have naturally assumed the sale, being a 4th of July sale being run "today and tomorrow" only, meant that it was being held on the 4th and 5th, rather than on the 3rd and 4th. I think that could have been the cause of people being upset, more so than being upset that you kept your word.

      If you had clarified the dates better, if you had specified Friday and Saturday in your eMail, if you had specified July 3rd and 4th in your eMail, there would have been much less confusion because the duration of the sale would have been crystal clear. And, I'd bet you would have had fewer complaints.

      First of all, Dan has a lot of class. He PM'd me privately first to discuss
      this with me and he brings up a good point.

      This is a classic case of not assuming anything.

      When I sent the email, I sent it on July 3rd. I know that all emails are
      time stamped, and thus assumed that everybody would understand that
      the sale was for the 3rd and 4th. But by not specifically saying July 3 and 4
      in email, this does leave room for confusion.

      Not only does Dan bring up a good point, but there's something else to
      consider.

      There are date and time lines that greatly vary from one part of the
      world to another. You could send an email where it's July 3 where you are
      but only July 2 somewhere else. That person could assume that they have
      3 days to purchase when in fact, they only have 2 as by the time July 4
      arrives where you are, it is July 5 where the person who sent the email is.

      It goes to show you that no matter how much you think you idiot proof
      your messages, you're bound to leave out pieces of information that could
      lead to confusion.

      I now know for future emails of this nature that I will not only specify
      dates, but I will also say "as of EST time" or whatever time it is.

      Somebody getting an email from somebody in the US who happens to live
      in Japan might be totally confused as to when the sale is going to be good
      until.

      Thanks Dan...a lesson well learned for the future.

      However, there are still people out there who don't care what the terms
      of the sale are. They expect you to honor it no matter what. And that
      was the reason for the initial post...trying to get a handle on what people
      really want as opposed to what they say.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[947550].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
      Originally Posted by Dan C. Rinnert View Post

      Actually, you talked about your 4th of July sale and said that it was a 2 day sale, that it would only be offered "today and tomorrow." The eMail didn't specify Friday and Saturday either. You did wish that they have a happy holiday "tomorrow" so that should have provided some hint as to the dates of the sale, but I think that is also easy to overlook.

      While I received the eMail on July 3rd, the eMail itself is not dated, other than mentioning the holiday "tomorrow." The only date is the date that I received it as shown in my eMail software.

      I understood that the sale was for Friday and Saturday, however, I think there is legitimate room for confusion. Someone who didn't receive it (or see or open it) until the 4th, could have naturally assumed the sale, being a 4th of July sale being run "today and tomorrow" only, meant that it was being held on the 4th and 5th, rather than on the 3rd and 4th. I think that could have been the cause of people being upset, more so than being upset that you kept your word.

      If you had clarified the dates better, if you had specified Friday and Saturday in your eMail, if you had specified July 3rd and 4th in your eMail, there would have been much less confusion because the duration of the sale would have been crystal clear. And, I'd bet you would have had fewer complaints.
      Aha! The plot thickens.

      Seriously though. It goes to show that there may be room to extend deadlines if there is legitimate confusion. However, if it was limited quantity, then that wouldn't apply.

      Also, if you're going to have a time-sensitive offer, then you have to be as precise as possible about the time it expires. In Steven's case adding the exact time it would expire, say 11:00 pm EDT on July 4th, would make sense.

      Probably not a bad idea for any honest marketer with a time deadline offer to be that precise.

      All the best,
      Michael
      Signature

      "Ich bin en fuego!"
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[947554].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Shaka
    Having participated in two of his workshops, I am very impressed with Kevin Riley and consider him to be a top flight guru with the rare ability to break technical information down into easy to grasp, bite size bits. However, going back a few years, Corey Rudl was the best internet marketing guru I have ever experienced. Besides his penchant for constantly testing all aspects of his promotions, his teaching style was easy going and effective.

    I believe a marketer should always stick to their word and build credibility with their customers even though there will be those who are disappointed. However, whether there is a time limit or a unit limit, hopefully the timeframe or unit limit will give people a reasonable chance to respond.
    For example I have had two offers mailed to me in the last tree weeks where the offer expired within 12 hours of my receipt. In my view this is too short. If the purpose of the offer is to build sales AND build goodwill then at least give potential customers a chance to respond with reasonable time or sales limitations.

    Just my opinion.
    Signature

    Every new day is a gift.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[947540].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
      Originally Posted by Shaka View Post

      Having participated in two of his workshops, I am very impressed with Kevin Riley and consider him to be a top flight Goober with the rare ability to break technical information down into easy to grasp, bite size bits. However, going back a few years, Corey Rudl was the best internet marketing Goober I have ever experienced. Besides his penchant for constantly testing all aspects of his promotions, his teaching style was easy going and effective.

      I believe a marketer should always stick to their word and build credibility with their customers even though there will be those who are disappointed. However, whether there is a time limit or a unit limit, hopefully the timeframe or unit limit will give people a reasonable chance to respond.
      For example I have had two offers mailed to me in the last tree weeks where the offer expired within 12 hours of my receipt. In my view this is too short. If the purpose of the offer is to build sales AND build goodwill then at least give potential customers a chance to respond with reasonable time or sales limitations.

      Just my opinion.

      Well, you bring up another good point.

      What's reasonable?

      For somebody who checks their email every hour on the hour, 2 days is
      certainly more than reasonable. But for somebody who checks their email
      once a week, 2 days is going to make for one very unhappy and
      disappointed prospect.

      It's a tough balancing act sometimes and no, I don't have all the
      answers. I've run specials for a day, two days or even a week. It never
      seems to matter what the duration is. Somebody is always unhappy with
      your decision.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[947561].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author MikeCollins
      I think some of your readers were mad because they assumed your deadline was artificial and wouldn't be enforced. We've all seen this tactic used so many times that we've been conditioned to expect deadlines to be extended again and again. They probably figured they'd follow up on your offer when they got the chance and were disappointed when it was no longer on the table.

      Stick with the firm cutoff. Better to be the one guy with credibility.
      Signature

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[947572].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author ExRat
        Hi Steven,

        That was actually another part of my point. I don't think people really
        believe scarcity anymore because of all those sales pages out there that
        say "Only 48 hours left" or whatever. So they think that when you say a
        sale is only for 2 days, you really don't mean it.

        So in essence, it is because of the way that a good part of this
        industry operates (false scarcity) that makes it so that when somebody
        is actually telling the truth, they're attacked for it because in many cases,
        the prospect can still get the product that they want due to all the lies.

        It is that expectation that causes all the problems.

        I don't have a viable solution for this problem since you really can't
        enforce these false scarcity tactics, but I'd sure love for somebody to
        come up with one.

        It would make things a lot easier for the legit marketers who actually mean
        what they say.
        I'll be blunt with you -

        Are you a successful marketer or a whinger?

        Do you find problems or solutions to problems?

        You say you don't have a viable solution, so presumably that's why you're asking here?

        So often, you'll come to this forum, or any forum for that matter, and hear about marketers complaining because of false scarcity or other lies that product creators tell to make more sales. They blast these people
        constantly.

        And yet, when you actually tell the truth and pull a link after a given
        amount of time, you get blasted for doing it.

        So I need to ask...which is it folks?
        You make it sound as if it has to be one or the other. Why not just do something entirely different? Why not just scrap the scarcity? Why not invent some kind of sales producing gimmick that's totally new? Why not just sell as many of your products as possible, without any gimmicks? Have you tested to find out if the specials and scarcity actually make any positive difference?

        So some of your subscribers complained. But presumably there are plenty who are happy, plenty who bought it...so why not just be positive about all of the good stuff and regarding the bad stuff - just accept that you can't please all of the people all of the time. No-one's perfect. So cheer up.

        Today, I am getting a number of emails from angry list members because I actually kept my word.
        Are you saying that you can see absolutely no way to turn this to your advantage? Are you saying that to you it's purely a negative? I would celebrate if people got angry because they couldn't buy my products. It means that you've got more things right than you've got wrong. Nice work.

        Hi sbucciarel,

        If it were me and there was no real danger of reducing the effectiveness of the product, I would simply email the angry customers back with a link to purchase it. Tell them something sneaky like you're my favorite customer so this time I'll do it for you. lol ... unless, that is, unless you object to making another sale.
        Of course, there's absolutely nothing else to consider except whether you object to making another sale or not. Obviously, if one is to consider themselves a proficient marketer, that's all that matters. Being someone who means what they say or sticks to their word is neither here nor there in the cut and thrust world of internet marketing to the numbers, where profit is the only meaningful yardstick and integrity is purely a smokescreen for the uninitiated.

        Signature


        Roger Davis

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[947602].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
          Hi Roger:

          It's good to be back. I missed you and how you force me to think.

          Let me address some of your questions.


          Are you a successful marketer or a whinger?
          Um...what's a whinger? Is that one of those fancy Brit words?

          If it means a complainer (I'm guessing here) I guess if I have to be honest,
          I'm a little of both. Some stuff does bug me especially when it seems to
          go against what I've been lead to believe. So many people complain about
          phony scarcity and yet when you do it for real, they get mad anyway.

          And yes, I know you can't please everybody. But it still makes me scratch
          my head when I run into stuff like this.

          Do you find problems or solutions to problems?
          I do both. I find problems and I always try to find solutions, but I'll be
          the first to admit that I'm not the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree
          and sometimes those solutions evade me.

          In other words, I'm human.

          You say you don't have a viable solution, so presumably that's why you're asking here?
          Actually, I was really only asking because I wanted to see how many
          people here REALLY want true scarcity or are they REALLY happy when
          that sales page is still up.

          Oddly, nobody yet has answered that question directly.


          You make it sound as if it has to be one or the other. Why not just do something entirely different? Why not just scrap the scarcity? Why not invent some kind of sales producing gimmick that's totally new? Why not just sell as many of your products as possible, without any gimmicks? Have you tested to find out if the specials and scarcity actually make any positive difference?
          The limited specials absolutely work without any doubt. Most of the long
          time members of my list know I mean what I say. But the problem is, I
          get so many new opt ins daily that THOSE are the people who get mad
          because they DON'T know me. As a result, whenever I do one of these, I
          get opt outs like crazy and when I check, they are ALWAYS from people
          who have only been on my list a very short time. So without a doubt,
          the long term members (they even write to me often) know I mean what
          I say and expect it but the new ones get hit with a bit of culture shock
          that they just didn't expect.

          Maybe a good way to prepare them for that would be with an introductory
          email letting them know that IF I ever run a special for a limited time that I
          really mean it. This way, they're prepared.

          See Roger, you're getting me to think already.

          So some of your subscribers complained. But presumably there are plenty who are happy, plenty who bought it...so why not just be positive about all of the good stuff and regarding the bad stuff - just accept that you can't please all of the people all of the time. No-one's perfect. So cheer up.
          As I said above, yes, many are happy that I limit things.

          Are you saying that you can see absolutely no way to turn this to your advantage? Are you saying that to you it's purely a negative? I would celebrate if people got angry because they couldn't buy my products. It means that you've got more things right than you've got wrong. Nice work.
          As I also said, you gave me an idea of how to prepare newer opt ins
          for this. Maybe an issue telling them a little about me and how I run my
          business.

          That way there are no surprises.

          Thanks Roger. You always give me good food for thought.
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[947625].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
            Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

            Actually, I was really only asking because I wanted to see how many
            people here REALLY want true scarcity or are they REALLY happy when
            that sales page is still up.

            Oddly, nobody yet has answered that question directly.
            See? Not everyone reads every word.

            I think, though, that there is a difference between scarcity and a deadline. Scarcity is (or should be) real whereas a deadline is typically artificial.

            Scarcity is used to increase the value of a sale, while deadlines are used to increase sales.

            As a buyer, scarcity is important because it means I get something that only a limited people will also have. So, if you tell me you are only selling 50 units, I want to know that you stopped selling at 50 units, not 51 and certainly not 100. That is because part of the value of the product is its scarcity.

            On the other hand, a deadline does not give the product additional value, in most cases. The only value to me, as a buyer, is the money I saved by buying at the sale price. Scarcity is not involved here because the product will continue to be available at the higher price.

            As a buyer, I am harmed if you sell 55 copies of a product you told me you were limiting to 50 copies. But, I am not harmed if you sell additional copies of a product at the sale price after the sale has ended.

            By that same token, as a potential buyer, I would be more likely to ask you to extend a sales price to me after a sale that I missed, rather than ask you to sell me the 51st copy of a product you said you would limit to 50 copies. With the former, you get an opportunity to make an additional sale that you might not otherwise make and, since the point of a sale is to increase sales, why not ask? (Another reason is that unadvertised deals get made all the time.)

            I mentioned that, in most cases, a deadline does not give the product added value. The exceptions are deadlines that are combined with scarcity. That is, if you say that, after a certain date, you will discontinue the product and never sell it again, then that's adding scarcity. It may not be in a predefined number of units, but it is scarcity because, after the deadline, the product will not be sold at any price. In such a case, if you were to sell to other buyers after the deadline, you are harming buyers who purchased before the deadline. So, in that case, the deadline must be firm.

            Otherwise, when you're just dealing with deadlines on sales, being artificially set to begin with, I think there is room for flexibility because it is not a scarcity issue. I don't think you want to extend a sale into perpetuity, because there you risk a credibility issue. "Oh, it's always on sale!" But, to extend a deadline a bit for a few stragglers, I don't think there's a big issue there.

            But, by the same token, sales don't have to be flexible at all. If you miss out, you miss out. Sellers aren't under any kind of obligation to offer a sale price, so they can be as flexible or as firm as they like.
            Signature

            Dan's content is irregularly read by handfuls of people. Join the elite few by reading his blog: dcrBlogs.com, following him on Twitter: dcrTweets.com or reading his fiction: dcrWrites.com but NOT by Clicking Here!

            Dan also writes content for hire, but you can't afford him anyway.
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[948047].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    Well, most of the products that marketers say are scarce, aren't really scarce at all. There is actually an infinite amount of them since they are merely a digital product rather than something tangible.

    I've purchased a couple of things that actually did get removed when a certain number was reached because it was software and the creator didn't want the market flooded with it. It would reduce it's effectiveness for the people who did purchase on time.

    If it were me and there was no real danger of reducing the effectiveness of the product, I would simply email the angry customers back with a link to purchase it. Tell them something sneaky like you're my favorite customer so this time I'll do it for you. lol ... unless, that is, unless you object to making another sale.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[947551].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author JeffLam
    Hi Steven,

    You definately win hands down here. What you did was definately right, big guy!

    What's more, you can use this 'It is sold out now, but reopen again later' as an opt in pitch to customers who would want to buy your product but missed out on it to get in your list!

    Win-win for you.

    Jeff
    Signature
    *********************
    Secret Technique Effortlessly CATAPULTS YOUR Opt-In Rates By: 100%..200%..Even 400% Higher!
    >> Interested? Click to find out more.. <<
    *********************
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[947594].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
    Actually, I was really only asking because I wanted to see how many
    people here REALLY want true scarcity or are they REALLY happy when
    that sales page is still up.

    Oddly, nobody yet has answered that question directly.
    I REALLY want true scarcity.

    ~Michael

    p.s. Maybe having a poll would have elicited more responses?
    Signature

    "Ich bin en fuego!"
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[947656].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Kurt
    I would bet that if you say you are limiting sales for any reason, the FTC (for Americans) wants you to do exactly that. And you let folks know that you'd be breaking the law, and your word, not to stick to it.

    I've found the best solution to be to anticipate this reaction and have a second deal prepared. It shouldn't be quite as good as the original, but a good compromise and a good, solid "special". This is good business on a lot of levels.
    Signature
    Discover the fastest and easiest ways to create your own valuable products.
    Tons of FREE Public Domain content you can use to make your own content, PLR, digital and POD products.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[947674].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author ahlexis
    As one of the people who got in on the deal, with this particular product I like the scarcity. I like the fact that this is not out there where tons of people know about it! Makes it easier to take advantage of the system as you have presented it for those of us who bought it.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[947693].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author ExRat
      Hi Steven,

      As I also said, you gave me an idea of how to prepare newer opt ins
      for this. Maybe an issue telling them a little about me and how I run my
      business.

      That way there are no surprises.

      Thanks Roger. You always give me good food for thought
      Excellent. Glad to be of help. Now no more whingeing or it's back to the naughty step with you!
      Signature


      Roger Davis

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[947809].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
        Originally Posted by ExRat View Post

        Hi Steven,



        Excellent. Glad to be of help. Now no more whingeing or it's back to the naughty step with you!
        Naughty Step?

        Roger, am I going to have to get a British dictionary to understand you???

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[947866].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Scott Allan
    Hi Steven,

    My opinion is that unfortunately in this instance you are a victim of your own integrity. What I mean is that with so many of the marketers online using the scarcity tactic, and so few following through as you did, people just don't believe it as they once might of.

    Ive lost count of the amount of times I have missed out on a "special offer" only to get in touch with the owner of the program to be told "yeah, I'll sell it to you, just dont tell anyone, here's the payment link" I mean they want my money, right ?

    On the few occasions where I have been turned down the reason generally is, that they gave their word on their salespage that only so many would be sold or it was for that weekend only, sorry. I have actually found it works more to their long term benefit as far as me being their customer is concerned.

    A) I know that this person/marketer isn't just after my money, anyone's money. He/she is offering a service or product to their buying community which would add value to them because it is genuinely limited.

    B) I'll bloody listen next time they have something I want and they use the scarcity tactic, so much so I will be one of the first in line to buy.

    Far be it from me to offer you advice Steven, but I would take this as a positive. Those that missed out this time will be first in line next time when you offer something they want and you say "good for today only"

    Thanks

    Scott Allan
    Signature

    Stuff n Junk

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[948449].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Franck Silvestre
    Whenever scarcity is there, I must say that I will give MORE attention to the sales page (if it is something I'm interested in), to see if there is something that can BENEFIT my business.

    If I can't find anything, I'll just leave the scarcity for others.

    Franck
    Signature
    Former Body Guard, Now REAL Traffic & List Building Coach
    >> HOT WSO: Six Figure Solo Sellers <<

    Winson Yeung said: "...Definitively A++ recommended WSO"
    Kevin Riley said: "Franck, glad to see you bringing out MORE and MORE GREAT stuff"
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[949119].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Steven, I didn't answer the question directly either.

      I don't like real scarcity. I don't dislike it, either. It either just is or it is not.

      What I like is consistency. I want to be able to count on people doing what they say they will do. Boiled down, I like to be able to trust people.

      In this case, I think you have an opportunity.

      Dan Rinnert had a good point about the dates, one I hadn't considered either.

      Now you have a chance to go back to people, explain the possible ambiguity, and have a one-day 'make-up' sale so those who missed out due to confusion can buy.

      You're not breaking your word; you did end the sale. You're also not thumbing your nose at those people who missed out and wanted your stuff badly enough to complain about the deadline.

      Whatcha think?
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[949394].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
        Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

        Steven, I didn't answer the question directly either.

        I don't like real scarcity. I don't dislike it, either. It either just is or it is not.

        What I like is consistency. I want to be able to count on people doing what they say they will do. Boiled down, I like to be able to trust people.

        In this case, I think you have an opportunity.

        Dan Rinnert had a good point about the dates, one I hadn't considered either.

        Now you have a chance to go back to people, explain the possible ambiguity, and have a one-day 'make-up' sale so those who missed out due to confusion can buy.

        You're not breaking your word; you did end the sale. You're also not thumbing your nose at those people who missed out and wanted your stuff badly enough to complain about the deadline.

        Whatcha think?

        John, in this case, because there was understandable confusion (my
        not putting any dates) it might be acceptable to maybe run the sale
        for one more day with a very definite time frame.

        If I do, an explanation is due my list so that they understand why I'm
        doing it.

        I'll have to give it some thought.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[950252].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
          Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

          John, in this case, because there was understandable confusion (my
          not putting any dates) it might be acceptable to maybe run the sale
          for one more day with a very definite time frame.

          If I do, an explanation is due my list so that they understand why I'm
          doing it.

          I'll have to give it some thought.
          Steven, rather than run the sale for one more day, you might want to make it a separate event. The confusion (and your desire to be fair) is the reason why. One day, no more, and stick to your guns again...

          FWIW
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[951346].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author kswr123
    Um...what's a whinger?
    somebody who whinges and whines like a 4 year old brat girl who has rich-ass parents and cries because for the first time in her life, she cannot get what she wants...


    Hey, I didn't call you a whinger...
    Signature
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[950133].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Akogo
    Who wouldn't feel relieved that you've given them a break? It may turned them into loyal customers for any future offers you announce to them. However, if you set a limited then the question is will they believe you next time? It is up to you how strict or fair you want to be with your business practices. Sounds to me you're better off sticking to your word.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[950237].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
    Good point to raise Steven - I'm the same way, if I set a deadline I mean it. I also do this with WSOs and also get messages when I pull them asking if people can still get the offer.

    For me it's more to do with only wanting to deal with people that will actually take action, so if they can't see the value and decide to buy - I'm not interested in taking them around the houses trying to show the value.

    That's not normal since most IMers are using this stuff to try and get more sales, whereas I'm not really trying to maximise my sales, just quickly get to the action-takers since I value my time and prefer to interact with people that will actually do something for their business.

    On the other side of the coin - I do think many IMers overuse the scarcity tactic for promotional effect and I tend to delete (without reading) most emails that have any sort of scarcity headline. I get emails all the time saying things like "last 24 hours", "Final notice", "Last chance" etc...

    Since I travel almost constantly I can easily go a few days without going through all my personal emails, so anything with a deadline makes me think "I'm too late anyway", "I don't have time to check it out now, so I might as well delete it" (In this case they may have lost a sale because I'd check it out later if it was of interest to me), or "ok, I'll just have to miss out then since I don't need anything right now so I don't care what the offer is"

    So, I can see several sides of the same issue but I don't really consider it an important consideration for me personally - except when I make a time-limited offer because I intend to stick to it.

    Andy
    Signature

    nothing to see here.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[950505].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Ben_Curtis
      Originally Posted by Andyhenry View Post

      On the other side of the coin - I do think many IMers overuse the scarcity tactic for promotional effect and I tend to delete (without reading) most emails that have any sort of scarcity headline. I get emails all the time saying things like "last 24 hours", "Final notice", "Last chance" etc...
      Andy
      I do exactly that as well, unless I see the email is from a handful of people whose word I trust because they have proven themselves. I'd rather work with someone who keeps his/her word, even if I miss the deal of the decade.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[952196].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author WilliamM
    Steven,

    I think it is great that you kept your word. I hate scarcity tactics and avoid marketers who use them.

    However, there may be something that you can learn about your subscribers. Maybe a lot of them do not read their email on the weekend. If that is the case, you might want to think about starting the special on a different day. If you run it over the weekend, alert your subscribers to the upcoming special early in the week. You may also want to remind them of the special a day before it starts.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[950603].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
      Originally Posted by WilliamM View Post

      Steven,

      I think it is great that you kept your word. I hate scarcity tactics and avoid marketers who use them.

      However, there may be something that you can learn about your subscribers. Maybe a lot of them do not read their email on the weekend. If that is the case, you might want to think about starting the special on a different day. If you run it over the weekend, alert your subscribers to the upcoming special early in the week. You may also want to remind them of the special a day before it starts.

      That's actually not a bad idea. A pre warning kind of email maybe a few days
      earlier.

      Hey, I'm learning a lot from this thread.

      Who'd a thunk it?
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[950630].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author yourreviewer
    Steve,
    Would it be helpful to point out these angry emails and reopen your offer for a very short time period, maybe a day and by doing that you are not pissing off the customers who missed the initial offer and also keeping your word?
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[950668].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author James Seward
    Hey Steven,

    I definetely prefer the guy with the credibility! I am sick of false promises and read sales letter that say "I will only sell 10 packs of this" and then they sell 100's of them.

    I think you made very clear that you were running a special on specific days and if they missed it is their fault! Anyway you can always make the same offer again but with a higher price this time (this way you would give people the opportunity to get your special again but paying a little more because they didn't take advantage of your first offer).

    Best
    James
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[951521].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Paul2008
    Total noob to WF posting here... but I've been involved in ecommerce services and developing pricing and promotional campaigns. I've found that scarcity in a digital service or product is somewhat unbelievable... the 'we only have 20 copies of this digital file/product' is just not compelling or building long term value. However, the angle of pricing a product/service at a sale price, revolving around a specific campaign, with specific start and end dates, has worked quite well for myself. For example, 'Summer Special Offer, First Week of July, from July 1 to July 7th, at 40% off' would be more appealing.. and then put the price back to full price for at least a couple of weeks before running another special.

    Perhaps that isn't answering the scarcity question you posed, but again, how can you have scarcity in a digital offering? It just doesn't make sense unless you are limited by some licensing arrangement or something.

    And angry emails aren't that at all. They are potential customers who are ready to buy when you run your next promotion. Treat them as such Have multiple emails / website messages announcing the promo, when its running, how much longer it will be running... and then a final offer to buy, then end it.

    Thanks for reading.

    Paul2008
    Signature
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[951564].message }}

Trending Topics