How to Use Urgency for Marketing Blog Posts and Email Lists

Your blog is likely to languish in slow gains and losses. Passive marketing limits your potential to receive big gains. Sometimes as an individual forced to market your work, you will have to go on the hunt.

How to Use Urgency for Marketing Blog Posts and Email Lists

In order to make marketing work sometimes you have to light the touch-paper under somebody to get them to cross the line.

There is a Backstory to this Article

Sense of Urgency

You’d be surprised to know that I have published this article before and a common search theme that was yielding this result:

“Instilling a sense of urgency for renters”

Obviously, gaining money from lodgers and renters is a big issue for a landlord. You can ask for the money as loudly and as frequently as you want but you cannot physically make that individual pay until they are ready.

Ways you could step up the urgency as a landlord include:

 

Phase 1: Personal action

  • Writing a stern letter with threats.
  • Taping a notice to the door.
  • A face to face request.

Phase 2: Indirect action

  • Mild intimidation through hiring bouncers to stand outside the door.
  • Changing the locks on the door.

Phase 3: Extreme action

  • Approach a debt collection agency.
  • Take the occupant to court. The bailiffs will be paying a visit.

 

Each phase raises the severity of disharmony between the landlord and the tenant. The higher you go on the scale the less likely you are going to have a warm relation with the individual. The phases above are only hypothetical and certain actions have extreme responses. You have to tread carefully.

Behaviour

If you go about the relationship with your tenant in a stronger way from the start, they are less likely to let you down later. Being soft will allow the tenant to take advantage of your good nature.

Weak methods of dealing with a problem lead to extreme actions. If you follow a step from Phase 2 or Phase 3, don’t expect the response to be peaceful.

 

How Does this Relate to Blogging and Email Lists?

Urgency is used in many forms of marketing to condition interested parties into being expedient with their signup/purchase.

It’s the difference between saying I’ll do it tomorrow and I’ll do it right now. For sellers, doing it tomorrow means they won’t get a sale. Doing it right now is often the way to go.

 

Why are Buyers “Pregnant of Thought?”

There are different types of decisions for products and services.

The expense of a product/service can have a strong question factor. The psychology of a buyer is to question what they actually get and whether it is good value. In addition, for many entrepreneurs selling B2B (business to business), the question factor will involve;

  • How much money is saved?

Or

  • How much money is earned?

The bottom line is always money.

The psychological goal is to drive the customer into a frenzy of activity and there are a number of control levers to achieve this.

 

“Early Bird Savings.” Psychology

If a salesman can offer you a cost incentive attractive enough to pull you in sooner they will try their best. Setting a time limit to an attractive price has the ability of drawing in more of those on the fence.

 

“What am I doing wrong?” Psychology

Convincing people to make rash, in the moment, shooting off the hip decisions, involves persuasion.

  • Certain sentences, and words contained therein, act as triggers.

“What am I doing wrong?” is one these trigger sentences. People have complexes and insecurities about going about things in the right way so when this is challenged, it allows sellers a window of opportunity. To solve certain situations a product might be considered to remedy that problem.

 

“Don’t delay” Psychology

Simply asking someone not to dally may provide the necessary momentum to take action. Removing passive choices helps establish interest, but more importantly, action.

 

“Limited” Psychology

Setting a limitation to anything makes it more valuable than something with no perceived limit.

“There are only 15 spaces on this training course. Book early to avoid disappointment!”

 

Your Blog Post is Your Product

You can garner many ways to motivate:

Title

Start with the title. It’s where most Big Wig Bloggers do their biggest business.

What’s important with a title? It helps the audience decide whether this is a timely article they should read among the trillions of others.

Channel the bill board evangelist in you!

The title also links into your SEO, picking the right keyword which forms part of your title is essential.

 

Image and Colour Choice

Certain images and the colour palette used can evoke action. Common colours used for action on the internet are orange and blue.

Orange is often used on buttons, especially with regards to opt-in forms, payment buttons and other forms of action copy.

Blue is a truth colour associated with trust. Many social media platforms use the colour blue for their logos.

Humans interpret data quicker through visual cues than through writing alone. The inclusion of trust signs could be helpful in swaying deciders.

Performing Split Tests is a great way of discovering which colours work best for your audience. Quicksprout.com uses a lot of Green.

QuickSprout Green

Shorter Sentences

Keeping it short and sweet is often the best way to keep people interested. Why ramble?

 

Keeping the Best Goods Above the Fold

The fold is an invisible perceptual line, the point at which a person’s eye will track when they initially land on the target page, article or email.

When creating a blog post you have to consider how you are going to hook your audience in within the first area of the fold. Writing up the top has to be on point whilst it can loosen as you scroll further down the page.

Things not to do in the fold area:

Place an image. Images can be distracting.

Waffle. You need to keep it short and sweet so that you can start getting to the goods.

Above The fold

BlogTyrant provided an excellent summary by means of infographic as a guest post on Problogger.net. Go check this out for more details.

 

Instilling a Sense of Urgency in Marketing Copy

 

Colour Convincers

Humans are predisposed to responding to bright colours in insects, snakes and frogs. It is part of a prehistoric defence system to prevent poisoning. The brighter the critter, the more poisonous they are.

Colours, as mentioned above, can be used in different ways to push and cajole actions. The colours of text and backgrounds are more important in marketing copy. Words are vital here.

See this interesting article by Helpscout on the Psychology of color.

 

Images: People vs Objects

The Images you use have a valuable currency. I wager that if I released this article without images, it would perform considerably worse than if I had included some images.

  • Response to certain advertising can be improved be adding or subtracting the presence of people. Sometimes a friendly face drives a bond between the advertisement and the customer.

On the flip side.

  • Running without the presence of people produces better results. Understanding the right symbolism for your product/service is important.

Do you want to be known for those scantily clad women with their vacant smiles or that wood grain monstrosity? Choose carefully.

See this interesting article by Hubspot on emotional advertising.

Testimonials

Beyond your copy, how on the level are you?

Testimonials answer that question in a unique way.

Many buyers perform research before committing on financial decisions. A product or service has to be assessed on its good graces which may mean leaving the page and seeing who else recommends it.

Testimonials already indicate those with allegiance to the product/service. These individuals are already satisfied and the product/service works for them.

Testimonials - Entrepreneur

See here for an in depth look on testimonials from Entrepreneur.com

 

Instilling a Sense of Urgency in Email Marketing

Email Marketing has some limitations in how you can play with it. An email is a one shot deal. There are a number of outcomes.

Outcome Result Email Response
Success Received, Read, Action Taken
Indirect Success Received, Unread, Action Taken
Failure Received, Read
Received, Read, Deleted
Received, Unread
Received, Unread, Deleted
Unreceived
Disaster Received, Read, Unsubscribed
Received, Unread, Unsubscribed

 

Setting the Right Tone

It is best to get into your main point quickly. You don’t have long before an email reader will switch off. Email is chronically bloated for many readers so time is precious.

A decision you should make is; how quickly do you want to ask the burning question? Ask that question too early and it might come across as brisk. Wait too late and you miss the boat.

 

Short Sentences and Paragraphs

Short sentences are a lot easier to read. Further improved layout can also set up reading a lot easier. Shorter paragraphs can also help.

Like that mentioned in Blog Posts, keeping your key point above the fold is important. When you reach scrolling fewer people will remain connected.

 

Use Formatting

  1. Bullet points and numbered points are useful to summarise.
  2. Underline, bold and italic can all be used to accentuate otherwise dull paragraphs.
  3. Breath lines “—”, colons “:” and semi-colons “;” can help save space but make sure you know how to use them properly.
  4. Strikethrough can also be used as a visual tool.
  5. Tables are useful when you have a lot of data to represent but a short space to do it in.

 

Number Psychology

Numbers can be used to stimulate interest, especially when they are the right numbers. A good way to stimulate a positive thought about the benefits of a product or service are to illustrate how numerically stronger they are.

Time = less

“My tax returns took 10 days to put together, now with Tax-Maiden I can get my returns up to date in less than 3 hours.”

Money = more

“I was able to 5X my earnings in less than a month using FurryGerbil.”

Kissmetrics provides an interesting article based on 5 Psychological Studies on Pricing that you may find very interesting.

 

In Closing

It can be easy to be skeptical. We all live in a more capitalist society than we ever have. Even countries that were under the grip of a control against capitalist ideas have buckled (Namely the PRC, The Russian Federation, Cuba). Selling is inescapable. We have to sell ourselves when we undertake an interview. That CV/Resume is our advertisement.

We have all witnessed at some stage, very ‘salesy’ emails and websites. There are videos along this line that annoy, they are the adverts we skip or block on YouTube. As I mentioned in my original version of this article:

“Videos that work this way are particularly annoying because the fervour feels about as comfortable as a shark tied to your back.”

In hindsight there has to be some balance. Patience is a virtue, that said it may not put dinner on your plate.

Don’t try, be too passive in your approach, don’t expect the results.

 

The Salesman

I drew comparison between the new salesman, desperate to make a sale, and the old practiced hand. The older salesman knows how to close, the younger salesman can end up fouling their chance. In terms of relating that to blogging and email marketing, you face danger by experimenting as you go.

The saying goes that a good product or service will always sell itself. As a marketer you’ve just got to make people aware of it. Using blunt force is less agreeable than being subtle. When you don’t know what you are doing, you are more likely to be blunt.

Time imperatives can be used as a useful aid. The problem that marketers face is that selling service has an intangible value when viewed without trial.

 

Urgency Responses Work Well With

  • Book Sales
  • Online Courses

Time limits work great with book sales because on platforms like Amazon you can run promotions with scaled price drops. Through some trial, error and the right tools, you can run your own discounts on your own products in this way. Email marketing, using time limited discount codes and other smart moves can allow access to urgency marketing success.

Online courses, especially those guided by a live tutor, are naturally going to have a limitation. When creating courses they have a shelf life. From my own experience working with an airline, yield management comes into the fore. When you are working with limited resources you manipulate the prices to ensure you fulfill the capacity of the resource. Membership comes with limitation as a pre-requisite. You have to pay to play.

Limiting a class size maintains quality. You can squeeze at both ends with your marketing. Offering an “early bird” up front, followed by offering a “last chance” at the end. That might not engender much activity in the middle of the campaign however. Limiting a class size allows you to plan for all the resources you need in order to perform the class to a high standard. This means that you can charge more up-front.

 

Blogging Urgency

Urgency in blogging depends on the topics you write about and the words you use. In my landlord/tenant scenario at the start of this article there is application to blogging. The less personal the action you take, the more likely you are to damage relations between yourself and the respondent. In the scenario, it is quite possible that in phase 2 and 3, the tenant could trash the property in a rage. Such retaliation could relate to disparaging comments and negative reviews elsewhere, the kind of knocks you could do without.

 

My Request

If you found this information useful, please share it because BlogPrefect.com needs your love.

You can find BlogPrefect on twitter by clicking this sentence. Twitter is my favourite destination but I do also reside at Google+. Facebook is less of a resting spot for me despite it being the best sharing tent on the Internet.

If you have questions feel free to send me a message at headboy [at] blogprefect [dot] com.

Comments are welcome and I can take a bruising but watch your Ps and Qs. Need more, let me know!

 

Image Credits

Featured image from Pixabay by Oscarhenao

 

Cavalry Charge Image within Image from Wikipedia

QuickSprout Image courtesy of QuickSprout.com, used for illustrative purposes only.

Above the Fold Image courtesy of  The Blog Tyrant by means of Problogger.net. used for illustrative purposes only.

5 Comments How to Use Urgency for Marketing Blog Posts and Email Lists

  1. Ahmad Imran

    Jackson, although we agree on many topics, this is the one where I would respectfully disagree and put my point forward.

    Creating sense of urgency is very “salesy” – hurrying the customer/reader to make a call or take an action.

    While I fully agree that it works and this is how the world operates and also all big wigs are doing the same as well, I feel that as an inbound marketer and a thought leader, you give your reader a chance to think, review and make his/her own call at their own pace.

    This is how you get real respect and real trust.

    Yes you may lose him/her in the short sight.
    Yes they may not sign up to your email list right away.
    And yes they might not return back ever again either.

    But there is an equal chance that next time when they feel more inspired, they become a more loyal and dedicated fan of yours.

    Because ethically, you have not pushed them to make a decision. Your job as a blogger and influencer is to educate and empower your reader to take their own decisions.

    Yes it sounds wrong and yes it sounds “against the norm”, but right now, this is where I stand :))

    I know things may change in the future but right now, this is my stance. Sorry for the rant, I hope you didnt mind that. A different perspective for your readers.

    Something which would be interesting to see for me too in the future – how much I change and become conventional marketer?

    I think I will never be.
    Ahmad Imran recently crafted…My Story of Personal Blogging – Days 601 to 700My Profile

    Reply
    1. Jackson Davies

      Hi Ahmad,

      I don’t entirely agree with “push” marketing either. I believe that in many ways it is why consumers are becoming fatigued and spending less. Amidst all of these claims and this urge to convert we have to respect that people need time to think. I have seen many influential bloggers place caveats in their marketing to try to imbibe some sense into the person they are trying to convince. By selling somebody a product or service that really isn’t a good fit for them, you stand the chance of alienating them for ever.

      I made a bad choice in the early days of my blogging by purchasing Market Samurai. Market Samurai is a very clunky tool to use in my view and I felt that how it had been constructed was cheap and more of a bolt-on to a system that already functions within Google. Needless to say that has put me off buying marketing tools. There is something to understanding the process.

      From my observation of Reasontouse.com, there is no distinct product on sale. From what I can garner, you are still in the audience building stage of your IP’s life-cycle. I would imagine that as you reach a maturity, you will find that your audience provide you with ways to fulfill product/service needs and you may change the way you go about marketing.

      Nobody wants to be a “conventional” marketer. I believe it is important to stay strong.

      I thoroughly agree that you shouldn’t do everything that the incumbent tells you to do. I have seen evidence of big wig bloggers giving bad advice in the past to beginners because they’ve reached a point where “they think its right”. Some marketing activities are not easy to pull off with small or non-existent traffic sources. Eventually you strike on what works best for you.

      I take pride in not using adverts on my site and going against the classic situation you find with 90% of websites on the Internet. I don’t enjoy adverts haunting me through my cookies around the web.

      Generating friction is a contentious issue, I know. We had a little chat about this before so I know that you are opposed.

      I like to tinker so I will be introducing some very mild forms of friction just to say that I’ve tried it. If they don’t work out, I’ll be removing them.

      Finally in terms of ethics, my hero Pat Flynn, works on the notion that he only promotes what he has used and has full faith in. Ethically he can be rest assured that he is promoting items that he knows will provide true benefits. He always leaves the option open.

      I have had a long opportunity to provide Bluehost in an affiliate sense but have chosen not to. The reason I cannot fully support it is because it isn’t “the best” host option available. After I signed through an affiliated sponsor back in the inception of this blog I was satisfied with the offerings. After recent renewal I don’t feel I’m getting as good value as I initially received and may be considering an alternative before the next renewal. I am satisfied that I didn’t push this to others and tie them to a service that may not have suited their needs.

      Reply
      1. Ahmad Imran

        You are very right Jackson (and a great observation as well) that I am not at that stage yet. At some stage, I will need to be pushy as well within reason. It would be interesting to see how I manage that process.

        Perhaps I didn’t convey myself very well. It was never a pick on your write-up. What you have written is absolutely right and works but it is interesting to know that there are a few mad people like me who can think differently :))

        Thanks for taking time to read and respond in detail. Cheers.

        Reply
        1. Jackson Davies

          Hi Ahmad,

          I respect your right to have a different view, it makes a great platform for debate and strengthens my ideas for and against.

          The truth is, and this is something I left out of the article, a good product or service sells itself. You don’t have to chase people down. Many prestige businesses never advertise. Buyers already know they are good. Saville Row is a good example of a street you can visit in London and know you’ll get a quality suit. It doesn’t even matter which tailor you buy it from.

          It is important that people who don’t conform exist. At some point the old ways may no longer work. You have to have a plan B.

          I’ve professed a number of times in articles that one size doesn’t fit all and stand by that. I’ve seen too many clone sites in Blog Prefect’s niche that just copy without any real thought on why it worked.

          I always have time for you Ahmad!

          Best wishes!

          Jackson

          Reply

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