What Your Marketing Strategy Can Learn from the Northern Lights

Give your eyes a break, listen to the audio version:


The aurora borealis is on 90% of BUCKET LISTS, but why?

First of all, let’s consider some facts: it’s only available in limited parts of the world

…at certain times of year…

…with clear skies

…and luck.

All those scarcity factors, build an intense desire around it.

People are DESPERATE to see it, and when they do, it’s like a rainbow orgasm of happiness.

But what in the hell has that got to do with marketing?

Just because it’s a natural occurrence, it doesn’t mean we can’t create the same PSYCHOLOGICAL effects on our leads, prospects and traffic.



Scarcity Tactics

scarcity tactics marketing

Scarcity marketing focuses on the exact same effect as the Northern Lights, taking away a consumers FREEDOM OF CHOICE.

In other words, when a product isn’t available, difficult to obtain or rare, its COOLNESS-RATING goes through the roof.

In 1975, a team of researchers (Worchel, Lee and Adewole) conducted a study on the value of cookies. They used two identical jars and a handful of identical cookies.

In one jar they placed ten cookies, and in another they placed two. Participants were then asked to value a single cookie from each one.

What do you think they valued higher?

You guessed it. Despite using the exact same jars and identical cookies, people valued the cookies in the jar with just two, higher.


Scarcity. Rarity. They’re harder to obtain.

And maybe, participants thought there were only two left in the jar because they tasted better (popularity).

The same principle applies in marketing.


Scarcity Marketing

scarcity marketing tactics 

Instead of focussing on discounts, offers and bonuses, you should prime your offers on URGENCY.

People have a natural psychological trigger called FOMO, and if marketing campaigns hit that soft spot, they’re sure fire winners.

So, what exactly is FOMO?


Just think back to the last time you saw a limited time deal for something that you didn’t really want to buy. You thought a lot harder about buying it, didn’t you?

That’s FOMO.

How about Black Friday?

Have you ever seen those crazy videos of people fighting for discounts? Here’s one, just in case you’ve been hiding in a cupboard the last thirty-years:


FOMO! At its maddest.

Those people are fighting, not because they’re desperate to buy a TV, they can do that any day of the week. They’re fighting because they have FOMO about the limited time offer (SCARCITY).

BTW: Einstein Marketer does not condone violence.

But…wouldn’t it be cool to drum up that sort of desperation around your product/service, without all the fists, head-butts and kicks?


How Can We Achieve It?

Let’s take a look at a few Scarcity Marketing Tactics…


Few Items Left

scarcity marketing tactics few items left

Remember those cookies?

When consumers know there are only a few products/services available to them, they go MAD for them.

Einstein Marketer regularly runs promotions for a Public Speaking client, whenever tickets sell down to a low level, we tell leads that there are only a few seats left.

And the last tickets disappear, FAST.

The keyword in any FEW ITEMS LEFT campaign, is the word NOW.

While you’ve got the FOMO injected in your prospects head, you must call them to take action, then and there.


Not later, or tomorrow, or soon. NOW!


Order Before…

scarcity marketing tactics order before

Ever been to a website, where it says, ORDER BEFORE 3PM FOR NEXT DAY DELIVERY?

Check out that same site at 9pm, and then go back and look at it at 2pm.

How many more times do you see that BANNER?

That’s a scarcity tactic.

Consumers think, ‘I can get it tomorrow if I order before 3pm? But I’ll have to wait 3 days if I order at 3.05pm?’

Order Before… tactics hammer the FOMO, logic and patience soft spots of consumers.

Take a look at your product/service, is there a regular ORDER BEFORE… tactic you can use?


Limited Bonuses

scarcity marketing tactics limited bonus

Does Einstein Marketer love the limited bonuses tactic? Do one legged ducks swim in circles?

Let’s pretend you’re considering buying the shoes from my feet (they’re nice, promise).

And I say, ‘if you buy them before midnight tonight, I’ll throw in a shoe-care kit, to keep them beautiful forever…

…but if you buy them in the next hour, I’ll give you my favourite pair of slippers for FREE too!’

When are you gonna buy those shoes?

We think you’ll take them IMMEDIATELY.

And because they’re totally awesome, and you’ve received incredible value, you’re probably gonna come back and buy your next pair of shoes from me.



Introductory Price

scarcity marketing tactics introductory price

So, you’re launching a new product/service? Maybe you’re rebranding an existing commodity?

How’re you going to maximise sales? Create a BUZZ around your new product? And get loads of QUICK FIRE positive reviews?

An introductory price.

Countless companies use this tactic, because it’s totally amazing.

It injects FOMO big-time and speeds up the buying process.

Many potential new buyers see promotions and consider buying them at a future date, but never get around to it.

The introductory price OBLITERATES that procrastination.

And, even better, we can run it before we even launch!

That means the mystical magical term: PRE-ORDERS.

And what happens when you buy something that you can’t get your hands on yet?

Anticipation, excitement, furore.

Those emotions can’t be held in. Pre-order customers will hit social media showing exactly how much they can’t wait to get it!

Free advertising, sweet.


Scarcity Marketing Tactics

scarcity marketing tactics

Einstein Marketer has shown you 4 incredible scarcity tactics that work a treat.

They are more, and you’ll find them on our BLOG soon…

…but for now, we’ll leave you to stew on our favourites.

Before we go, let’s leave you with a little thought, if the Northern Lights were seen everywhere in world, in any weather condition, all year round, how many bucket lists do you think it’d make?


Psychology’s gift to marketers.

Did you love this blog? Perhaps you’ve had an experience with a scarcity tactic? Leave a comment, or send us a message, and we’ll reply as soon as our Social Media Manager has stopped loitering around the office.

Director of Content at Einstein Marketer
Josh is the Director of Content at Einstein Marketer, previously working as a Content Manager, freelance copywriter and marketer. He writes, edits, proofs and strategises content for Einstein Marketer's agency and their clients, sharing the most successful tactics and strategies with his lovely audience. He hates writing in the third person, follow him on the social links (above) so he can get back to writing as himself.

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