Scarcity is ‘the desire to have things we can have less of’. As a marketing principle, it is applied frequently, especially in the B2C environment. Whether you operate in B2C or B2B it is a powerful psychological principle that can significantly reduce buyer decision-making times and increase conversion rates.

We will start by demonstrating some ways company’s use scarcity:

  1. FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) – As a mobile generation that on average checks 58 times and spends 3 hours, 15 minutes per day looking at our phones, most of us are suffering from this!
  2. Time-Sensitive offers – With online count-down clocks, limited stocks and a pop up telling us how many people are currently viewing the product you are viewing, our rational thinking often disappears as we rush our decision making to make quick purchases.
  3. Limited editions – With the latest trends and seasons come limited-edition versions of products or services, buy now or maybe never again!
  4. Limited tickets – For events, concerts, meetings, a limited supply of tickets is a surefire way of selling-out quickly and creating impulse desire.
  5. Exclusive clubs – We love being part of ‘exclusive clubs’ (‘exclusive’ is a popular word amongst marketing professionals!). These and loyalty schemes often achieve high levels of repeat custom and customer loyalty.

One of the most interesting examples where I have seen scarcity practised was the ‘10,000 club’ experiment. This exclusive club was launched and the only information shared about it was it would only ever have 10,000 members… no benefits, no advantages, no information about what it would do or involve. So, what happened?… 10,000 people signed up in no time at all!

So how can you apply this to your business? There are many ways that we can apply the principle of scarcity into our business to reduce buyer decision-making times and increase conversion rates. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Creating loyalty schemes or exclusive clubs – A brilliant incentive and way of retaining clients and encouraging them to repeat purchase.
  2. Limiting available places to events – Whether paid or free, this is a way of creating urgency, especially as available tickets reduce.
  3. Putting a time limit on a quote – Often this is not applied to a quote or is hidden away in the small T&Cs. Highlighting an expiry date of a quoted price forces a decision to be made and takes back the power of the situation.
  4. Limited capacity – If you have a strong order book, highlight this with proposals to create urgency from the decision-maker. Many company’s wrongly assume when they signup, work will begin almost immediately. Highlighting lead times and capacity at the time of proposing creates urgency and reduces sales pipeline times from lead entry to converted customer.

We applied scarcity to sell over 70 tickets to Fruitful Marketing’s first, free quarterly seminar in September 2017 (where we won a retained client who still works with Fruitful Marketing today) and to achieve a sell-out for our first ever paid training session, conducted in partnership with Moxie Business Marketing, in October 2019. If you would like to discuss scarcity further or if I can help you improve leads, sales and conversion rates by applying psychological principles into your marketing please email me directly at

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