When you first run a campaign, you will have established some goals you hope to achieve at the end of it. A lot of the time, this will involve capturing leads. The tricky part isn’t creating the offer, but creating an offer that is worthwhile in the eyes of the consumer. The starting point is usually creating an offer that the consumer will likely perceive as more valuable than what the consumer has to do in return to accept the offer.

However, there are also other ways that this can be achieved. One of the most common inducements is for marketers to use the element of scarcity. This is created by giving the impression that a limited supply exists or by encouraging a sense of urgency in terms of the offer. Scarcity has a great psychological influence on consumers – when there is a limitation placed on a product, service or offer, this scarcity creates a ‘fear of missing out’ which persuades the consumer to take action.

There are three main types of offers that use the element of scarcity; limited time offers, limited quantity offers or a combination of both.

Limited time offers are straightforward – the discount, eBook, webinar you’re providing is only made available during the period specified. These offers create a real sense of urgency because of the limited window of time that is open for consumers to accept the offer, encouraging them to act immediately. Essentially the message they receive is, ‘get it before it’s gone!’’

Limited quantity offers work in a similar way – ‘take the offer before it runs out!’ However, this offer can be distinguished from limited time offers because there is an added element of uncertainty in the fact that the consumer will not be able to ascertain when the offer will actually ‘run out.’ Because it’s difficult for consumers to know when the offer will suddenly become unavailable it gives the impression of exclusivity as well.

Offers which combine aspects of limited time and limited quantity are extremely effective. Groupon is an example of these offers where there is both a time limit on the offer as well as a quantity limit. These tactics, used in conjunction with discounts is a powerful combination. This is the sort of offer a consumer can’t refuse.