The Optimal Countdown Timer Campaign
"Five minutes!", my mom shouted. "We're out the door in 5 minutes!"
It was my brother's wedding day and everyone was in a mad rush. The worst part was that my sister was hogging the bathroom and I hadn't even taken a shower yet.
That 5-minute warning gave me a feeling of "Hurry, hurry, hurry!" This is an emotional response that gives a feeling of urgency. This is what a timer on your website does.
A timer creates an emotional reaction. It grabs the visitor's attention by saying, "You only have a limited time until this is possibly lost forever."
A timer gets hesitant visitors to take action. More action means more people buying your product. This is why timers are crucial.
Timers are a critical piece in scarcity marketing.
Thrive Ultimatum takes countdown timers and scarcity marketing to another level. Let's see how to ramp up the urgency using a practical example.
Imagine you have a website called Budget Traveller. For your site, you create and start selling a video course product called The Ultimate Guide to Travelling Light.
Here are 5 ways you can use countdown timers to promote your product.
#1: Get a Spike in Sales
To get a quick boost in sales, you can run a temporary promotion. For example: a 25% early-bird discount next weekend ending Sunday night.
On the sales page, we can write the discount and expiration date.
Because it's merely part of the text, a reader can easily skim over it. Even if he reads it, maybe he thinks, "How many days is that? It's Tuesday today, so..."
This causes the reader to calculate and use his logical mind. Scarcity is supposed to trigger an emotional response. An expiring timer triggers this emotional response.
An expiring timer creates a sense of urgency. Plus, it's animated, so a reader can't easily skim over it. There's a clear indication of how much time is remaining, so the reader's emotional brain stays activated.
If you can make visitors feel urgency when they can take action, you'll get better results. For this, it's best to place the timer near the Buy Now or call-to-action button.
Watch how to set up a timer on your sales page with Thrive Ultimatum.
#2: Give Hesitant Buyers an Extra Nudge
Having a countdown timer near a call-to-action button at the top of your sales page will work for hot leads. These people are ready to buy now.
But some visitors are cold leads and need more convincing. They might need to read more of the sales page. To deal with cold leads, you can place another Buy Now button near the middle and bottom portions of your page.
You can give cold leads an extra push by amplifying the urgency for the lower timers. Colors that contrast with the sales page will grab the visitor's attention.
Watch the video below to find out how to spur hesitant buyers into action.
#3: Get More Visitors to See Your Offer
Following the steps above can increase conversions for your sales page. Now that you have a high-converting sales page, let's get more visitors to it.
There are still people visiting other parts of your website. A visitor might read your blog article and find a lot of value in it. Then he ends up leaving without ever knowing you're selling something.
To cast a wider net and notify these visitors, you can put a sticky header on your entire website. This sticky header helps ensure all visitors to your website see the offer.
See how to present your offer on your entire website...
#4: Hide the Timer
You heard right. I know, it sounds counter-intuitive. The whole blog article has been about using timers and now I'm saying, "Hide the timer."...?
Showing a timer with too much time remaining doesn't inspire urgency. In fact, a longer decision time causes customers to postpone and never buy. Research shows that the optimal promotional period for online shopping is between 4-7 days.
In the beginning, it's best to present your offer without a timer.
This lets people know about your offer without them postponing their decision. Then with 4 days remaining, show the sticky header with the timer.
Check out the video below to set that sweet spot between hiding and showing a timer.
#5: Get Last-minute Buyers before Time Runs Out
So far, we have 2 sticky header displays: one without urgency that shows immediately and one with urgency that shows at 4 days.
But people are prone to banner blindness, which will cause visitors to ignore your sticky header on repeated visits. There are also last-minute buyers -- people that stay undecided until the very last minute.
Closer to the deadline, make the timer pop out by using loud colors that contrast with your webpages.
You can amplify urgency to get last-minute buyers while overcoming the banner blindness effect.
There's no time like the present to add scarcity to your website.
These are some of the situations and methods for using timers to give different people different levels of urgency.
How did I deal with my brother's wedding and need to take a shower? I grabbed a towel and rushed to the garden. There was the garden hose. I turned the water on and wet my hair until it was soaked like a full sponge.
There wasn't time to think after my mother's warning of "5 minutes!" This signal spurred me into action. A countdown timer on your website is a signal that urges your visitors to take action.
Let me know how you take action using countdown timers and scarcity.