Growth tacticS

Creating a Sense of Urgency with Limited Availability


Using the scarcity principle to create a sense of urgency and increase conversions.

Creating a Sense of Urgency with Limited Availability

The scarcity principle is a powerful tool for marketers to use to increase conversions. By creating a sense of urgency and making something that was once accessible inaccessible, marketers can tap into the human desire to not miss out on something. This is a tactic that many travel services use to remind people that plane tickets and hotel rooms are inherently limited in supply. Airbnb has a few messages to trigger this feeling. One is to tell users that the place they’re looking at is a rare find. This feels like a compliment and warning all in one: you better act soon before someone else takes away your discovery. The other message that Airbnb commonly uses is “this home is on people’s minds.” By showing how popular the home is through view count and a not-so-subtle stopwatch, Airbnb nudges users to book soon, before tens of thousands of other people take action first. The hint of competition also makes scarce resources seem all the more attractive. Step-by-Step:

How to implement
  1. Identify the product or service that you want to create a sense of urgency around.
  2. Create a message that conveys the limited availability of the product or service.
  3. Use visuals such as a stopwatch or view count to emphasize the limited availability.
  4. Test different messages and visuals to see which ones are most effective.
  5. Monitor the results and adjust your message and visuals accordingly.