How to Use a Limited-Time Offer to Speed Up Sales

Limited time offer inside a shopping cart

Consumers fear missing out, leading them to make purchases with less consideration if they feel that opportunity won’t last. Therefore, marketers will use a limited-time offer to speed up the sales cycle. Instead of needing eight or more touchpoints, consumers will purchase products on the first or second exposure.

Learn how to make effective limited-time offers that will grow your revenue.

Key Takeaways:
  • Limited-time offers inspire a fear of missing out in customers, which encourages an emotional response to your ad
  • Use limited-time offers to boost sales, reduce the sales cycle, and test new products.
  • Limited-time offers are ideal for holidays, special anniversaries, and celebrating loyal customers.

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Why Does a Limited-Time Offer Work in Sales?

A limited-time offer puts a time frame on special deals and promotions. This triggers an emotional response in consumers who fear missing out on the sale and will make an impulse decision. This fear is called FOMO, or fear of missing out. About 69% of millennials say they have experienced FOMO. Millennials are also the generation that spends the most money.

Some phrases you can use in your ad campaigns, pages, and call-to-actions to incite this fear of missing out and encourage a quick decision include:

  • Hurry Up/Last Day
  • While supplies last
  • One-time offer
  • Countdown clocks

These words will reduce the time you spend nurturing leads and move them to the decision phase faster.

OptinMonster limited-time offer pop up

Source: OptinMonster

How Limited-Time Offers Benefit Your Sales

Marketers use limited-time offers to meet four primary objectives.

Attract New Buyers

The average customer needs eight touchpoints before they make a purchase decision. That means they usually exit the page when they first see your ads or content. Then, they will continue leaving your ads seven more times before they will purchase from you.

However, if you put a ticking clock at the top of a page or tell them a deal won’t last, that wording will make them hesitate before leaving the ad, even if it’s their first interaction with your company. This tactic increases the number of first-time buyers because you can attract new buyers before they leave the page and find your competition.

Encourage Current Leads to Purchase

About 80% of your leads won’t purchase from your brand. Unfortunately, even though a consumer shows initial interest, they will get distracted, find other options, or never make up their mind on whether they want to purchase your products.

You can encourage these customers to decide by putting a timeframe on a special deal. Suddenly, they don’t have weeks or months to decide but must immediately make up their mind. This push can be the encouragement they need to purchase your products.

Test New Products

A limited-time deal works as a product testing method. You can use this dry run to see how popular a product is, what types of marketing consumers respond to, and what feedback you receive back. This data will help you permanently roll out the new product with more effective strategies to improve your sales cycle length.

Increase the Demand for Your Current Products

If you see a sales dip, you can boost your business by running limited-time sales. These can be the regular products you limit the supply of or the time when you sell them.

For example, Starbucks limits its popular Pumpkin Spice latte for a few weeks in the fall, boosting its sales as customers swarm to Starbucks cafes to purchase this specialty drink while it’s around.

Starbucks’s Pumpkin Spice Latte

Source: Instagram

Where to Share Limited-Time Offers

Some places to use limited-time offers include:

  • Email campaigns
  • Paid limited-time offer ads
  • Inside marketing content
  • Website pop-ups
  • Social media posts
  • Website widgets (Top bar and side widgets work best)

5 Limited-Time Offer Examples

Use these five examples to inspire your next limited-time offer campaign.

1. Recognize Holidays

Use holidays to inspire your limited-time offers. This product might only be available around the holidays, during special promotions, or holiday discounts. Some popular holidays are Christmas, New Year, Thanksgiving, Easter, and July Fourth.

However, you can also use any holiday, even obscure ones, as a reason to offer a limited-time deal. For example, Dunkin’ Donuts gives away a free donut with any beverage purchase on National Donut Day.

2. Celebrate Business Milestones

Celebrate your business milestones with special discounts and deals. For example, businesses recognize their anniversary, a social media follower milestone, or customer count. You can also celebrate new stores opening or recent hires with a limited-time deal.

3. Offer Annual Seasonal Products and Deals

A seasonal offer is an annual offer that comes during a specific time of the year. These specials last several days or weeks, like throughout summer or during the Christmas season, rather than a deal for a particular holiday. They are also usually the same deal each year, which customers come to expect and anticipate.

For example, Target celebrates back to school yearly with special sales and limited-time products that attract students and other consumers.

4. Provide New Customers with Unique Offers

Offering a special deal to first-time visitors to your website or in a welcome email is a way to speed up the sales process and reduce the chances of that lead going with a competitor. Limited-time deals might be special pricing, free shipping, or a coupon code.

For example, Verizon offers new consumers promotional credit when switching providers.

5. Encourage Loyal Customers with Special Offers

Customers like feeling appreciated. Offering limited deals for loyal customers is a way to encourage more brand loyalty. This can be an email offer thanking customers for being with you for a certain number of years, celebrating their birthday, or celebrating their anniversary.

This limited-time deal might be a free product, a limited-time discount, or a special deal. For example, Lidl offers limited-time deals and coupons for every purchase and additional gifts only available around the shopper’s birthday to celebrate customers who continue shopping with them.

Download our free eBook to discover the power of marketing automation for multi-location business.

Track Your Leads through the Sales Process

Improve your sales process further by ensuring a quick handoff between marketing and sales. You can also reduce the time between when customers express interest in your products and when you respond by automating the journey. 

MXTR is your solution for creating a seamless lead nurturing strategy so you can convert more leads and see more successful sales.

Schedule a demo to see how our lead management software improves lead nurturing.

Feature Image: istockphoto

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