When doing cold outreach and getting people to sign up to your application, we know simple outreach doesn't work.
Here are some tips on using scarcity to gain users and more than triple your sign ups.
1. The “Waiting in Line” Approach
While walking down the street, have you ever seen a line of people waiting outside a store, concert hall, etc? Your immediate response is to crane your neck to see why there's such a long queue. Generally, what’s going on in the back of your mind is, “That’s a lot of people, whatever is going on must be cool. What am I missing out on?”
By announcing that your app has a waiting list, you create a sense of popularity. When there is only standing room left, people feel almost desperate to get in now.
2. The “Limited Supply” Approach
Reward attendees that sign up first. After all, they're going to be spreading some positive vibes about any special treatment they receive. A particularly smart move is to allow people to pre-register for items or services that will only be available in limited supply.
For example, when planning its launch strategy, Connect.me allowed users who signed up early to pre-register usernames instead of merely giving an email address.
3. The “Make Money from Scarcity” Approach
Why not validate your idea and make some extra cash at the same time? You may find success in selling beta versions of your product at a discount. If you have a product that's ready to go, that is. Allowing a select few people into your beta - in exchange for immediate payment - you gain a significant amount of monetary validation for your idea.
4. The “Countdown” Approach
When the clock is ticking, a sense of urgency leads people to make decisions faster. Use this approach when you have cemented a specific launch time. Be sure that your timer counts down to the very second of your launch. By putting a countdown on your landing page, you promote the idea that people need to sign up soon or forever lose out.
5. The “$1*Buyers Per Sale” Approach
This approach to creating a sense of urgency is highly effective. In this approach, buyer #1 pays $1 for the product, buyer #2 would then pay $2, and so on. Simply add on $1 for every 1 buyer and you've created a ripple effect that keeps new buyers coming in for more. The first buyer walks away on top of the world with the best possible deal. The last buyer feels comforted by the belief that the product is worth every penny, if only because so many people have made a purchase before them.
As the price goes up, people are compelled to 'buy now' to avoid paying more and more as each new buyer causes the price to increase.
6. The “Refer for Earlier Access” Approach
This approach is an offshoot of the “Waiting in Line” approach. If you want to project the idea that your app has more traction than it does, try an approach where you don't need to inform people of where they are in the queue or how many others are in line with them. Essentially, when someone pre-registers, they are motivated to share a referral link with their contacts. The more referrals they have under their belt, the closer they'll move to the front of the line.
Forkly.com made this particular method quite popular during one of their own launches.
7. The “Social Contest” Approach
This is another approach that rewards people for referrals. There are several different ways to do this. You may be successful in combining it with the approach above, and making each pre-signup worth a specific number of entries into your contest. Be sure to give away something related to your product - the end goal is promotion of your brand, after all. Give away something like a lifetime membership, as this will guarantee the use of your product and a spin-off of referrals as well.
8. The “Your Friends Like Us and So Should You” Approach
Think of this as the "birds of a feather" approach. It's generally much easier to convince a person to sign up if their friends have signed up too. Using Twitter or Facebook logins to accept pre-signups makes this approach even easier.