The Power of Scarcity in Marketing


The reason we love a Christmas tree, is that we are just able to get it for a limited time, once a year. I know, there are many other reasons as well. But, think about it, if we could see that Christmas tree every single day of the year, it wouldn’t be that much fun, would it?

That’s how scarcity works in marketing as well.

If you want me to buy whatever you are selling right now, you need to tell me why I need to buy it right now, and why I can’t wait another day. The thing is, if you let people decide when they are going to buy, most of them will wait one more day. They’ll look around to see what your competitors are offering, and they might even forget about you. You need to give them a reason for buying right now.

Add scarcity to your marketing, and people will start to think about your product in a completely different way. They understand that they need to hurry in order to buy it.

Scarcity is usually about two things; it’s either about time or a specific number of products. For instance, you can add a time frame when it comes to a specific price (like a discount for 3 days), or you can tell your customers that you only have 100 items at a specific price.

This gives people a reason to buy right now.

A great example of scarcity

One of the best investments I have made for my business is Long Tail Pro. I use it every single day for keyword research. I paid $97 for it, and to me, that was a bargain. Like I said, I use it every single day. Now, for seven days, it’s on sale, with a 75% discount.

This is the link to the discount (


If you know that the price will be back at $97 in just a few days, most likely, you’ll end up buying it right now.

Are you using scarcity?

I believe that scarcity works in any business. But, it will only work if your customers understand that the price will go back up after the sale is over. Or that the product is actually removed. Scarcity makes your customers take action.

What’s your thoughts on scarcity, do you usually end up buying? And, do you use scarcity in your business?

1 year 3 months ago

Really great article! I think creating the scarcity illusion without any reality behind it can be harmful, but if done correctly, scarcity marketing can be a great tool to be able to take advantage of.

1 year 3 months ago

That’s exactly what I’m thinking David.

2 years 3 months ago

Great points you have made here, Jens. I feel the concept of scarcity is the same with everything. It depends upon the marketer how he takes full advantage of it. Thanks for this insightful share.

2 years 3 months ago

Thank you for the feedback. The only problem with scarcity today is that close to everybody is using it. This way it won’t have as much effect as it used to.

2 years 3 months ago

Hi Jens,

Great analysis. My blogging in seasons idea kind of uses scarcity, as it means I post less and each season runs for a limited number of weeks. I also like the idea of a short-term discount.

I think it can be overused though, as I’ve seen so many sales pages with “one-time discounts” that either end up being extended, or that focus more on the price than the value of the product.

What do you think of products that always seem to be on sale? I guess there’s a psychological challenge, as a sale feels like it makes things more affordable, when you could just drop the base price if the product is almost always on sale.

2 years 3 months ago

Your idea sounds great Ben.

It sure can be overused. I get hundreds of offers every single day, and close to all of them are using scarcity as a way to get me to buy. The one thing that works great right now is the dime sale, and we can actually witness the price going higher for every minute or for every new product sold. This way we understand that the faster we react, the cheaper the product will be :)

2 years 3 months ago

I love Long Tail Pro! Thanks so much for letting us know about it, Jens.

You’re right about scarcity. We want what we can’t have, basic human nature. I’m thinking Bill Dorman’s traffic probably has increased now that he barely posts. I guess that’s what happens when you become a celebrity. 😉

2 years 3 months ago

My pleasure Carolyn. You’re absolutely right about Bill, he is a celebrity and it doesn’t matter what he does from now on, people will be all over him :)

Kesha Brown
2 years 3 months ago

Yes, I’ve seen this tactic and know that it works (because I’ve purchased items like this!). Since this year I’ll be creating products, there will be opportunities where I can use this method. Stay tuned! :-)

2 years 3 months ago

I am looking forward to see your products this year Kesha. Let me know how it goes. I know that they’re going to be awesome!