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March 13, 2016
Guides  |  8 min read

How to Create Urgency in Sales

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Greg Jenkins

Many small business owners often ask me about how they can increase their sales and response to the content they publish. It's often not a simple answer as there are many factors at play, but if I had to pick one, it's to drive urgency in your messaging and content. I'll explain why along with advice on how to do this easily with CustomerHub, our membership site platform for Infusionsoft users. 

A few years ago, I purchased a Mercury Mountaineer and I distinctly remember the interactions I had with the gentleman who was selling it to me. He told me how I was lucky to be considering that vehicle at that particular time because there had been a family in that same morning looking at the same Mountaineer. He said they had applied for financing, but hadn’t yet made a formal offer. I had been shopping for weeks and had test-driven many other vehicles, but there was something about the idea of losing this particular vehicle that motivated me.

Later that afternoon, as you might guess, I purchased that SUV.

What examples can you think of that demonstrate urgency in action? It's everywhere: one-day sales, end of free trials and limited stock are just a few ways that companies create urgency for consumers. 

The concept is quite simple - act now or lose out. It works!

The key to create urgency in sales

There is often an outside factor which drives you to make a decision quicker than you originally intended. You can find everyday examples of this all over -- when you are shopping for anything from small purchases on Amazon to larger commitments like flights and hotel rooms.

Sales professionals know that most people are more motivated to act by what they could lose rather than by what they could gain.  

If you aren’t creating a sense of urgency in your marketing, then you are missing valuable opportunity to create urgency in your sales process.

The caveat here is that if you say an offer is that you need to stick to your word. If you regularly say you only have five seats remaining for an event and then you suddenly “find” room for an additional 30 people, you will quickly earn a reputation for misleading your audience and your promotions won’t carry much weight in the future.

How to create urgency in your sales using Infusionsoft

So, here's a practical scenario that will give you a better idea on how and when to add urgency with Infusionsoft and CustomerHub. You have membership website with instructional golf videos that helps people improve their game. You give people one month to access your site free so that they can experience the videos get a sense for your high-quality content and advice. This also allows them to make an informed decision about whether or not a long-term membership will be beneficial. When the guests sign into to your membership site, you want to present a dynamic countdown letting them know how many days are left. As they approach their final five days of the trial, you want to encourage them to upgrade to a paid membership. This part tends to be a little technical, but once you set everything up, you'll have a scalable membership site that automatically sells itself. Also, there may be other solutions out there that work just as well, but I'm going to be focused on leveraging Infusionsoft and CustomeHub. 

With CustomerHub, you’ll want to create Partials for the last five days of the trial. Each partial should only contain something simple like “5 days left” or “4 days remaining, act now to keep your subscription going!” You can create one for each day of your free trial or for the last 10 days -- or even one for each hour of the last 24 hours, but for simplicity’s sake, let's stick with the last 5 days. Now, the trick is getting only one of the partials to show up at the right time for each person. To do this, you’ll want to give each partial a unique permission. I’ve created Member Groups for each of my partials, and named them with a convention that makes sense to me. Doing it this way allows me to apply the appropriate permission to each partial and ensure that the contacts are only added to that membership group on the day that it makes sense for them (e.g., days 25-30 of their free trial). Once you have built the Partials, and made them accessible to only the appropriate Member Groups, you’ll want to configure the campaign that signs them up for the free trial and applies the appropriate countdown tags. This is accomplished inside Infusionsoft using the Campaign Builder


In this Campaign, you’ll want to create some way for your prospects to register for their free trial, and once they register, you’ll add them to CustomerHub and email their login credentials so they can access your excellent content. The framework for something like this varies, but here's the basics of what you might want. Here is a peek at the inner-workings of mine if you want to build your own.


I’ve also added a few emails to be sent toward the end of the free trial encouraging them to upgrade to a paid membership. If this is the type of thing you want to do, you ought to download the pre-built campaign from the Marketplace, Add New Members to CustomerHub. This will give you a good starting point and then you can make the tweaks to it that you need.

Now that the basics are set, it's now time to turn our membership site into an automated customer-acquisition machine! We said that we wanted to give a dynamic countdown within CustomerHub to drive urgency to upgrade. In a 30-day trial, on the 25th day, we need to give them access to the partial with the indicating they have 5 days remaining and then the next day remove access to that partial and give them access to the one indicating they have 4 days left. And so on, and so forth. The Partials we created are controlled by Member Groups and those are tied back to Tags in Infusionsoft, so all we need to do is apply and remove the appropriate tags on the appropriate days and we’re all set! Here is how that process would look on its own:


Since this is being triggered the same time someone obtains a free trial, we can build simultaneous start triggers to deliver their access, as well as start the timers for the Member Group tags that will trigger the countdown. The important part here is that people only have access to one partial at a time, so if they log in on any of the last five days (or each of them), they’ll only see the partial that corresponds with that day. I’ve used images for my countdown to express how many days remain, but you may use something simpler, like plain-text telling them how much time they have left. In fact, I encourage you to include a call to action that asks them to register before their trial runs out otherwise they will lose access to your incredible putting and chipping videos. Whatever your call to action is, this is a perfect time to spell it out and make it easy for them by giving them a direct link to an Order Form to upgrade. There you have it. In summary, it's five steps to success:

  1. Create the Partials, and place them where you’d like the countdown to appear. (I used the sidebar.)
  2. Create the Member Groups in CustomerHub.
  3. Build a free trial Campaign within Infusionsoft that creates users in CustomerHub -- or install it from the Marketplace.
  4. Add the timers and tags to give them the appropriate access at the appropriate times.
  5. Watch the principles of urgency work wonders!

To help you understand how it all works seamlessly, here is a quick tutorial on Jing to demonstrate what we did. It can't be embedded, but you can watch the recording here.

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