People Want What They Can’t Have, Including Bagels!

I remember a funny story about picking up my dad from the hospital with my mom.

We went to a bagel shop, and I was amazed. I got this bagel with plenty of cream cheese, capers, and smoked salmon. The bagel was amazing and reminded me of fond memories in Northern Virginia where amazing bagel shops are frequently found in virtually any strip mall.

The truth is, it isn’t always possible to get a good bagel with everything on it! Where I live out in the swamps of Eastern Virginia, it is virtually impossible. 

It’s easy to take something simple like a bagel shop for granted. And, more importantly, this hankering for a bagel made me think about the following:

Why do people want what they can’t have?

Well, I think it’s human nature! We turn on the emotions of curiosity, desire, and fear of missing out with a strong sense of urgency when something is kept from us.

And this is a helpful thought for your sales copy you can use to your advantage!

I’ve got a few FANTASTIC tips for this!

  1. Use Limited Quantity! This flips the “fear of missing out” switch. People will say:”Oh, they only have a hundred of these! I’ve got to get one before they run out!”
  2. Use a deadline! This turns on the urgency switch. You can say:“Hey! This is going to be available until a specific date!”Deadlines are unbelievably powerful tools to motivate people. Remember that 10-page book report you didn’t even start on until the night before it was due? That’s the feeling of urgency I’m talking about!
  3. Limit it to a certain number of participants! This one flips the scarcity switch again, but for a different reason. This type of scarcity is best when doing 1-on-1 coaching, services, or something considered scarce because of limited available time. When people see that your offer has a limited number of participants, that creates fear of missing out (as well as some competition to beat out the other guy) and desire to act quickly. 

They’ll be afraid they’ll miss something great!

Scarcity and time deadlines are powerful!

Take, for example, OFA Copy Hacks.

The cool thing is that since that’s a companion product to the One Funnel Away Challenge, I had built-in deadlines for that.

There was a deadline for when you could sign up based on when the challenge started.

And there was another deadline for when the One Funnel Away Challenge ended.

But there is a problem!

When the time deadline passes, or you run out of whatever your quantity is, then you’re kind of screwed from a marketing perspective because nobody can buy anymore.

Maintaining Authenticity and Integrity

If you’re going to be authentic, then you must stop selling it once the deadline has passed. 

To prevent losing this valuable leverage because of a date on the calendar, one of the things I like to do is create emotional pressure in my sales copy. That way, there’s no calendar deadline, but there is a deadline in the customer’s mind to get rid of pain or gain pleasure. 

That’s how you make a genuinely evergreen offer.

For example, you could say:

Hey, if you don’t get this handled right now, what’s that going to mean to your family?

What is that going to mean to you?

Is this going to keep you [in the negative circumstance] that you’re in right now? Are you okay with that? 

This will get you LEVERAGE!

You’ll be able to use that “emotional deadline” to motivate people to buy virtually forever.

When you do that, your marketing can be GENUINELY evergreen!


Think about this…

All powerful and effective sales copy creates EMOTION in people!

Combine that with the fact that People want what they can’t have! and you’ve got a powerful 1-2 punch to create emotion that motivates them to action.

Next time you write copy, think about my bagel story and identify that “yummy cream cheese covered bagel” your audience really wants! Then wrap that bagel up with some urgency and scarcity, and you’re going to get some sales.

Oh, and if you want some inspiration, you can join my Sales Copywriting and Content Marketing Hacks Facebook group! I’ve got some extra-cool tips in there for your sales copy!

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