Have you ever been persuaded to buy a product or signup for an event?

Have you been seduced by a ‘limited offer’ message?

“Act fast! Only 2 places left!”

Or convinced by a ‘countdown timer’ ticking down?

“Sale Price: $27 – Hurry Offer ends today!”

We simply can’t resist these type of calls to action.

It’s a technique called scarcity marketing. And it’s hugely popular.

Look at these two examples of scarcity marketing over at Amazon:

#1 Limited supply scarcity marketing

Amazon displays the remaining stock number next to the product description to encourage customers to hurry and buy before stock runs out:

Amazon limited supply scarcity

#2 Limited time scarcity marketing

The Amazon Deal Of The Day section uses a countdown timer to highlight how much time is remaining on the sale price:

Amazon limited time scarcity

According to renowned psychologist and author Robert Cialdini, scarcity is one of the six principles of persuasion. While researching in his best-selling book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, he proved that perceived scarcity generates demand.

Applying these scarcity marketing tactics helps people make an immediate decision instead of sitting on the fence. As Amy Porterfield says:

Every time you promote something you want to make sure there is urgency built in. We all know it’s human nature to take our time and kind of stay on the fence as long as we can. You want to make sure your audience knows it’s GO time!

The truth is, we’re all afraid of missing out!

So, how do you add urgency to your WordPress site?

You use a scarcity plugin.

But scarcity marketing is not limited to e-commerce sales. You could use it to:

  • Build your mailing list faster
  • Launch your new service
  • Earn more affiliate commissions

In this post, we’ve rounded up a selection of the best scarcity plugins for WordPress so you can start boosting your conversions.

Thrive Ultimatum

Thrive Ultimatum

Thrive Ultimatum is a WordPress plugin that promises to boost your conversions by applying the most effective marketing principle: scarcity.

Thrive Ultimatum comes with a range of professionally designed templates. You can select from countdown timers, widgets and floating banners that are all focused on getting your visitors to take action.

Every template is customizable with the intuitive, drag-and-drop visual editor. Just click to edit any element, set custom colors, background images, custom fonts and much more.

It’s packed with features to cater for all types of campaign such as fixed day events and recurring seasonal events. For instance, 7-Day Offers, Christmas Special, and End Of Month Specials.

But perhaps the most powerful feature is the Thrive Ultimatum Lockdown.

Aside of fixed date scarcity campaigns, you’ll most likely want to create some ‘evergreen’ campaign. This is the type of campaign that runs all the time and targets new visitors.

(Bearing in mind that new visitors account for over 70% of website traffic, it makes sense to have a campaign running all the time in order to catch them.)

And that’s what the smart Thrive Ultimatum Lockdown technology does.

Every new visitor to your website has their own countdown and their own time limit. No matter when they arrive their timer will start ticking until it expires. After that, you can redirect them to a different landing page.

And the smart part?

The Lockdown feature ensures that the countdown will always stay true, even if a visitor switches devices, uses different browsers or clears their cookies.

Thrive Ultimatum Lockdown

Features:

  • Pre-made design templates which look good straight out of the box
  • Easy customization with the visual editor
  • Campaign Types: Fixed Date / Recurring / Evergreen / Multi-Page
  • Countdown Timer: Widget Area / Floating Header Bar/ Floating Footer Bar
  • Run multiple campaigns simultaneously
  • Multiple trigger types and time zones supported
  • Mobile responsive designs

Price: From $97 / Single site

Get Thrive Ultimatum  Review

Product Countdown WordPress Plugin for WooCommerce

Product Countdown

There’s nothing like a countdown timer to add scarcity.

People see a ticking clock and know they have to take action, or else miss out:

Product Countdown Example

This is exactly what the Product Countdown plugin does. It’s a powerful scarcity plugin created for WooCommerce. And it’s super easy to use.

With just a few clicks you can create scarcity-based countdown timers for your WooCommerce products:

Product Countdown Settings

The settings panel allows you to style each countdown as you wish. You can choose the positioning, color, and text of the countdown timer:

Settings

Features:

  • Add a popup window fixed to the top or bottom of the page, or place it inline
  • Select a fade in position (from top) for the popup window
  • Choose your own background and font colors
  • Option to add the current sales price and the current items in stock in your message
  • Option to add global or custom CSS for each countdown message

Price: $16

Get Product Countdown

Viral Signup

Viral Signup

Viral Signup is a unique WordPress plugin that allows you to create a limited signup form on your website.

For instance, you could specify that there are only 1000 copies of your beta product. Each time a copy is sold the number decreases, and the plugin would display the remaining number available. The limited supply will convince new visitors to get a copy before they run out.

Viral Signup Limited

The plugin also has an optional referral element. When this is enabled, the user is given a unique link to share and bring referrals in return for something extra. For example, you could offer a discount when a user gets three new referrals.

Viral Signup Referral

The Viral Signup scarcity plugin is super easy to use. Once installed, configure your campaign settings, and place the generated shortcode where you want on your website.

You can choose from four modes:

  1. Simple: A basic signup form without any limitations
  2. Simple + Referral: A simple signup form followed by referral sharing
  3. Limited: A signup form with a limited amount of slots/invites
  4. Limited + Referral: A limited signup form followed by referral sharing

Note: You have to decide which mode you want to use because the plugin only allows you to create one form per website.

Features:

  • Change colors, text sizes, text alignment, and positioning to style your signup form
  • Write your own text for any part of the plugin, including the submit button
  • Insert your own link for users to share
  • Users can share referrals via Facebook, Twitter or other places with their unique link
  • Specify the amount of referrals needed to achieve the bonus offer

Price: $17

Get Viral Signup

Page Expiration Robot

Page Expiration Robot

Page Expiration Robot is a free, scarcity countdown timer plugin for WordPress.

It focuses on three types of scarcity marketing offers:

#1 Evergreen Scarcity:

The evergreen scarcity plan runs (and expires) on autopilot all day every day. When a new visitor lands on your page, the countdown timer displays the remaining hours/minutes on the promotion, urging them to buy now before it runs out.

If the same visitor returns after the timer has run out, then the offer would display as expired. If a new visitor arrives, then they would start a new countdown.

Page Expiration 1

#2 Event-based Scarcity:

The event-based scarcity plan allows you to set an expiration date and time for your offer. This type of plan works best around seasonal promotions like Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday. When the date and time has expired, you can set your page to expired and set up a redirect to another page instead.

#3 OTO Scarcity:

The One Time Only scarcity plan is just that. A visitor will only have one chance to take advantage of the current offer. If they leave the page or refresh their browser, they’ll never see the offer again. And if they attempt to return, they are redirected to an ‘offer declined’ page that you specify.

For Page Expiration Robot to work, it needs to remember visitor actions between visits. It does this by using browser cookies on the free version or IP address on the premium version.

Features:

  • Integrated with beautiful live countdown timer designs
  • Automatically redirect expired visitors to any URL
  • Show special messages and images upon expiration
  • Choose from 400+ timezones
  • Set visitors to expire by Cookie
  • 100% mobile-friendly and responsive countdowns

Price: Free

Get Page Expiration Robot

V3.1.8 – This is the last free WordPress plugin version.

V3.1.9 – Page Expiration Robot will be moving to a SaaS platform from 17 October 2016. There is a special offer for the first year of $1. After that, the annual premium is $197.

Final thoughts

Using scarcity as a marketing technique is a proven way to increase sales and boost conversions.

Each of these WordPress plugins can help you introduce scarcity:

  • If you’re running a Woocommerce site, then the Product Countdown plugin will give you a simple but effective way of displaying time limited offers.
  • Viral Signup provides an easy way to incentivise signup forms on your website.
  • If you’re looking for a free plugin, then Page Expiration Robot is your choice. But as they are moving to web based solution then this plugin will become redundant.
  • Without a doubt, Thrive Ultimatum has the most features. Even though it’s the highest priced plugin, it does provide good value for money and is well-supported.

If you want to skyrocket your promotions, then try adding urgency with one of these powerful scarcity plugins for WordPress.

Posted by David Hartshorne

David Hartshorne is a freelance writer helping solopreneurs and small businesses build their online presence through friendly, engaging and shareable blog posts. When he’s not checking out the latest digital marketing tools, you’ll find him chilling out in Spain with a gripping thriller.