3 Ways To Use Scarcity To Sell Books
Scarcity is a time honored principle in sales and marketing. Whether artificial or natural, it can be a great way to move products, including books. Scarcity is simply making a limited number of items available for sell, usually accompanied by a spacial rate for purchase. Scarcity can be natural: You order too many copies of your book and you need to move them, often at a discounted price to entice people to buy. Scarcity can also be artificial: Perhaps the best known artificial scarcity technique is the limited time sale. Your book is not limited by quantity available, but rather by time allotted to purchase it at a special price.
By: T. Eldidge
With this in mind, here are some suggestions on how you can use the principle of scarcity to move your books.
The two day sale. Actually, you can make this sale as long or short as you like. In my previous professional like, we ran scheduled sales like clockwork. We could predict with relative accuracy how much revenue each sale would produce. The delicate balance you need to strike if you want to run regular sales is running them close enough to capture revenue juice but separated enough not to make them so predictable that a sales announcement has no effect on buyers when they get the message. If people get your sales literature about a sale and there is no urgency to act, then you may be spacing your sales too close together. Of course, there could be another reason (ie, the price is not sufficiently low enough to cause someone to act). One thing we did when we ran sales is to add a countdown timer on the sales page. This seemed to boost sales enough to justify making the countdown a permanent thing on our sales page. Have you thought about running a two day sale for your books? If not, try it. Give yourself one to two weeks to promote the sale and build buzz. You may be surprised at how many books you sale.
Have a fire sale. People love a bargain. I just read a sales letter where the owner of a company ran an overstock sale. “My mistake is your gain” the sales piece claimed. He said that he produced too many DVDs and was letting the extra inventory go at a reduce rate. The interesting thing behind this is that the owner may have produced too many DVDs by accident or by design, to prepare for a fire sale. Either way, the sales message is the same. “I have too many DVDs and you can get a good deal at my expense.” You can have a fire sale too. How many times have you ordered books for a series of signings only to have extra copies left over? If so, runs a fire sale. The key is to communicate that you have extra copies of your book that you will sell at a special price, and once the extra copies are sold, the book price returns to normal. This is a great way to communicate scarcity.
Run a “Make Room For Mother-In-Law” sale. This is a version that combines both above sales. Authors are notorious at ordering cases of books to sale. How many times have you heard the story about the author with a garage full of book boxes? If you store your books in the guest bedroom, the why not let your prospects know that your mother-in-law is visiting soon and you have two weeks to move the books from the guest bedroom to make room for her? The sale will run until she arrives or until the books are sold out. This takes advantage of both limited time and quantity in the same sale.
Use your imagination and you can come up with your own creative scarcity marketing activities. As you try this technique, keep these suggestions in mind:
Communicate the sale early to build buzz
Communicate before the sale is over to let people know they only have a short time left to act before the sale is over
Test your offer, both in frequency and price, to find your scarcity sweet spot
When you are done, compare your sales to the sales of other specials you may have run. Use the results to make the next sale better.
I bet that if you start to experiment with the principle of scarcity with your book, you will be hooked. The better you get at implementing this principle, the more books you will find yourself selling.