The Psychology of Selling: How To Increase Sales With Scarcity Marketing Strategies


Why FOMO is your greatest selling tool…

Hey, it’s Alex! Today I’m going to talk about one of the key components of a compelling sales offer – scarcity!

It’s a term used commonly in economics for when demand is greater than supply. In marketing, it’s the principle of making products or services seem limited in someway, and therefore harder to obtain…

And don’t we always want what we can’t have?


FOMO is the real deal people and is the precise reason we use scarcity in sales and marketing. It gives your prospect a reason to buy NOW, because if they don’t, they could miss out.

We see scarcity used in marketing all around us.

When you’re booking a hotel and it says, “Only 2 rooms left at this price”. Or when you get an email about a 24-hour seat sale on your favorite airline.

It’s there because it works very, very well… and, if done right, it doesn’t seem hypy or pushy.

So, in order to have a compelling and effective offer, you should absolutely be including some form of scarcity in your sales messaging…

But it’s not the ONLY thing you need to have. And don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. Whether you’re looking to start a freelance copywriting business, or scale your existing business with copywriting, be sure to join my newsletter to get fresh tutorials straight to your inbox.

Ok so, there are 4 types of scarcity that I frequently use in my sales offers, and I’m going to go through each one right now, along with some examples.

Type #1: Price Scarcity

This is a good ol’ fashioned limited-time discount.

We see this during sales at our favorite shops, or online with seasonal promo codes and coupons, or during early bird and happy-hour specials. The bottom line: Get it now before the price goes up.

Now, there’s one thing that’s really important to remember with price scarcity and this is the difference between it being done well and not…

You need to have a REASON for the limited-time discount. Sure, you can randomly offer your product or service at a discounted rate, but if you explain WHY it’s happening, you’ll create more trust and buy-in from your audience.

Maybe it’s an early bird discount, or seasonal promotion or holiday deal.

Or maybe you’re looking to fill a class quick or make a bit of extra money before going on vacation. It really doesn’t matter WHAT it is, or how insignificant it seems, but when you give a reason why, your scarcity is more likely to fly.

And I’m curious to know – what brands and companies have you seen that use price scarcity really well? Comment below!

Ok, moving on to…

Type #2: Quantity Scarcity

This is exactly what it sounds like… a limited quantity of what you’re offering.

This type of scarcity works very well with physical products, where there actually IS a limited number of units in inventory, or with exclusive experiences like coaching, events or masterminds (live or online) where you’re capping the attendance in order to maintain a certain feel and intimacy.

Of course, you can still use it for digital offers but because everyone knows there’s no limit when it comes to making digital copies, you just need to offer a good explanation for why you’re limiting sales.

Maybe your support team can only handle so many orders, or your product includes a component that requires your time, which is limited. You get the idea.

Type #3: Premium Scarcity

If discounts aren’t your thing, or if you don’t want to limit the number of sales you make, you can always use scarcity by offering limited-time bonuses. The goal here is to temporarily upgrade the value of your offer by including premium products or content along with the main sale.

Nearly every sales offer I write includes bonuses and, a little hint, the value of the bonuses should be equal to or greater than the value of the main product.

And that doesn’t mean what YOU feel the value of your product is, but what your ideal prospect would happily pay for the solution you’re offering.

The greater you can stack the value with bonuses, the more effective the scarcity will be. You can either:

  1. Start with a bunch of bonuses that all disappear after a certain time frame or…
  2. You can continue to stack daily bonuses throughout the promotion period that are available for a limited time, say the next 24 hours, or to a limited number, say the next 100 people who buy.

Type #4: Offer Scarcity

Unlike price scarcity, where your prospects are expecting an impending rise in price, or premium scarcity where bonuses disappear, or quantity scarcity where you only have a certain number of products or spots available…

Offer scarcity is when you’re launching or re-launching a product or service for a limited time, after which it will be completely unavailable – at any price. Or in other words, the offer is closing.

This will often happen in the info-marketing world when products are “taken out of the vault” during a once-a-year launch and made available for a limited time.

Offer scarcity really trains your audience to buy when you tell them to buy, because they know if they wait, they might be out of luck.

When writing sales offer, I often like to use a combination of different types of scarcity. I’ll say something along the lines of… “You have 3 days left to get your product now at a 50% discount, along with your 5 free bonuses, before it’s put back in the vault till next year. When we do release this offer again, it will be at a higher price and the bonuses will be gone.”

So, those examples include price, premium AND offer scarcity.

But even if you’re just using one of these 4 types, you will drastically increase your sale conversion rate.

Just remember to be legit. Don’t use fake scarcity or your audience will figure it out fast! The point of scarcity is to reward fast action-takers and let your people know that when you say “sale” you mean it.

So just be cool, k?

Alright, there you have it. The 4 different types of scarcity! Please leave a comment and share if you found this post helpful, and be sure to stick around for more posts from me every week! Until next time, I’m Alex. Ciao for now!

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4 Comments. Leave new

  • Amelia Irwin
    May 5, 2021 12:03 pm

    How would you offer scarcity for a service which is free to the end-user/client/customer?
    basically, I offer a free venue finding service for corporate clients I earn my money from commission from the hotels and venues where I book my clients’ events. So to my end-user my service is totally free… How do I create scarcity around that? Any advice or suggestions greatly appreciated!! thank you.

    • Alex Cattoni
      May 12, 2021 3:03 pm

      Do you only work with a select number of clients a month? Do venues book-out? As someone who runs events at hotels, etc – the scarcity of knowing the hotel might book out or I might not get the best deal if I wait is great scarcity!

  • Sandeep Muraraka
    March 26, 2023 7:09 am

    What type of sales strategy I should use in selling products on holesale basis.


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