“I’ll start on the dishes as soon as this episode is over.” “I can wait and finish that DIY project next weekend.” “I’ll use this coupon sometime when we need an easy dinner.”
These are all statements each of us has likely told ourselves in the past. With the added security of time, it’s easy to procrastinate and avoid actually following through on those promises.
That’s why it’s so important to inspire urgency through your company’s print marketing pieces. Potential customers sometimes need a nudge in order to take action. We’ve seen a number of tried-and-true strategies used to increase urgency over the years, so we’re sharing our best tips now to help your business generate more immediate action from consumers.
Provide Short Timelines on Offers
There’s nothing like a ticking clock to get people moving. For print marketers, deadlines can be one of the most helpful details to include in an offer to generate urgent action. It may seem like a nice gesture to give customers a longer time period to redeem a coupon or discount, but the reality is those people may forget about your offer before they have a chance to use it. Research has shown that the longer a customer waits to make a purchase, the less likely they are to actually follow through and make it.
When you provide an offer that expires in 10 days, your potential customers know they need to act fast if they want to take advantage. On the other hand, an offer that goes on for months gives customers plenty of opportunity to forget all about it, lose the mailer or move onto the next brand’s sale.
Consumers can be quickly sparked into action by the thought that a product they want or need may not be available to them if they wait too long. When your brand offers a limited amount of a certain product, service or discount, you create scarcity. Scarcity is what drives customers to fight over toilet paper during a pandemic and line up outside stores for hours on Black Friday.
Scarcity isn’t limited to global emergencies and national holidays, though. Purposely setting limitations on promotions tells customers that if they really want your product or service, they need to make it a priority. As you think about which potential offers will be most appealing to consumers, consider introducing a new service that will be available for a limited time only or passing out a set number of products at a discounted price. These strategies will get customers in your door quickly, and if they happen to miss your limited promotion, they may stick around and find something else they love anyway.
Craft Compelling Calls to Action
In order for consumers to know what they should do with your print piece, you have to spell it out for them with a call to action. The best calls to action are specific, well-written, simple and appeal to a need your customers are experiencing. No matter how great a discount your business is offering, a bland call to action like “bring your car in for a check-up,” will not excite customers.
To write a more attractive call to action, focus on writing a short message that will highlight the most appealing part of your offer. Then, make the phrase stand out on the printed page with larger text, eye-catching colors or a bold typeface. A compelling message like “Save $10 on your next oil change!” gives potential customers a clear reason to be excited about a promotion for a service they know they will need.
Though it may be tempting to fit as many appealing messages on a mailer as you can, avoid mixing messages in your marketing to keep customers from getting distracted. It makes sense that you want to give consumers as many reasons to buy from your brand as possible, but overcrowding your prints can actually be overwhelming and confusing for readers.
If you’d like customers to redeem a particular coupon on your mailer, for example, concentrate nearly all of your messaging on that offer. Using valuable space to also encourage them to try your new menu items, sign up for your reward program and buy gift cards will cause your main offer to be lost in the mix. With so many possibilities for action, the customer may struggle to narrow it down to the one you want them to take most. Instead of packing everything into the print piece, consider teasing additional offers that will be available on your website. Keeping the majority of your print messaging on one call to action makes it easy for consumers to take the next step and hopefully convert into a customer.