How To Use Urgency & Scarcity To Boost Your Sales (In A Completely Credible & Non-Scammy Way)

Mar 28, 2024

The text in the brackets above is a direct consequence of how too many businesses have used urgency and scarcity. So, now we have a distrust for the credibility of such methods, not just among customers…

But also among course creators who believe these two are somehow inherently scammy. And shouldn't be used by legitimate & honest businesses.

This just isn't true.

Don't let the bad apples strip you of two such powerful weapons. Because they can be used honestly and in a way that benefits both you and your customers.

Today, I want to show you how you can do this for your course business. And help you start using urgency & scarcity to boost your profit starting today…

Without any negative effect on the way people perceive your business.

Let's dive into it.


Myth Debunk: Urgency & Scarcity Are The Same Thing

Before I show you practical ways to use both in your course business, I have to address this myth. 

Too many gurus use the terms interchangeably. And yes, both are very powerful because they encourage people to take action so that they don't miss out.

But the fact is there's a key difference between the two:

Urgency is a function of time. Meaning you won't be able to get something after a certain time passes. For example, a one-time upsell offer, a bonus expiring after the end of the week, etc.

Scarcity is a function of quantity. Meaning there's a limited amount of something. For example, a limited number of books, spots in a live training, etc.

Take one look at the definitions, and you'll notice urgency is much easier to use and, therefore, much more common in course businesses. 

Scarcity is a bit more difficult to apply to a course business. But it can be done efficiently in some cases.

Let me show you the best, non-scammy ways to use both, starting with urgency.


3 Top Ways To Use Urgency In Your Course Business

There are more options, of course. But in my experience, these three (and especially the first two) are both easy to apply…

And can get great results.

So, let’s break them down:

1. Availability.

This comes down to making your offer available up until a certain deadline, which can vary based on when a prospect enters your funnel.  

For example, you can have a special launch offer that goes away after the launch period.

Or a limited-time offer triggered by a certain action the prospect takes.

Or whatever comes to mind, really. Your imagination is the limit here.

The key thing to avoid being scammy is to really adhere to the availability limits you’ve set. 

So, no “because of huge interest, I’m extending this offer” moves. Or letting someone in just because they ask. Or any other exceptions.

What you say should be carved in stone. Honor it, and your urgency methods will continue to work in the long run. Your reputation will get a boost, too. 

2. Discount.

Your course and offer can be available all the time…

But you can have special discounts available only at certain times. And even let these times make up virtually all of your sales.

Yes, I know the gurus go on and on about not discounting your course because you will devalue it. Or that if you must offer discounts, you should do so sparingly.

My bottom line was the victim of this narrative for longer than I care to admit. Then I realized a simple fact:

I love discounts, and they are often the nudge I need even when buying products I perceive as high-value. And we are all accustomed to time-limited sales in every market (clothes, grocery stores, etc.).

So, I tested this assumption in the course market by offering discounts every once in a while. 

And yes, almost all sales for “Piano In 21 Days” came during these discounted periods…

Even though we have the offer available at all times.

But sales went through the roof because of the approach. And such discounts became the best method of urgency for my business. Plus, most of my students who tested the approach got similar results. 

So, don’t let the gurus stop you from using a profitable approach before you even try it. Test it and then make a final decision.


You could have the offer available at all times…

With various bonuses that are available only in short time spans. 

If you have bonuses your customers have demonstrated a desire for — this method can work well.

And, in my experience, once you have a solid bonus that’s proven to drive urgency sales…

You should use it over and over again as long as results follow.

Yes, I know I’m going up against most gurus again. Because the usual narrative is to keep urgency and FOMO sky-high by rarely (if ever) repeating bonuses.

Yet my business and my students who tested reusing the same “golden goose” bonus continue to reap the benefits of not following said advice.

Yet, in my experience, method 3 usually doesn’t work as well conversion-wise as the previous two. But results always depend on the discount, offer, and bonus in question…

So, assess your unique circumstances before choosing any of the three methods. And don’t forget you can combine them too — a discount + bonus combo can work really well.

The bottom line is to not be afraid to get creative.

With that said, let me introduce some scarcity methods you can try.


2 Top Ways To Use Scarcity In Your Course Business

As I’ve said, scarcity is more difficult for us course creators to pull off. Yet, I have seen the following two methods get amazing results:

1. Limited supply of seats/slots

It’s simple, really. Set a fixed number of students that can get your course…

And stick to that number without fail.

Just don’t run fake counters or anything like it. Imply there’s demand only if it really exists. If you aren’t sure there’s enough of it to create such scarcity…

Don’t use this method.

Also, the method lends itself better to coaching programs where you can really only work with a set amount of people. For digital courses, the limit is neither believable…

Nor does it benefit you to limit the number of copies you can sell.

2. Limit the supply of bonuses

This method mostly applies to physical products. Like books, shirts, material, etc.

In these cases, you can create legitimate scarcity. With results depending entirely on the desirability of the bonus in the eyes of your target audience.

For digital bonuses, the narrative doesn’t make much sense. Unless the thing you’re limiting is your time. 

So, you can offer only a certain amount of one-hour consultations, personalized reviews, etc. It all boils down to choosing things that are truly scarce…

And not trying to create scarcity out of thin air just because it helps your cause. 

People will notice if you do this. And the reaction won’t be good for your long-term perspective.

So, to sum up, scarcity options are limited for course creators. Therefore, it’s not mandatory to use one.

But I definitely recommend having at least one urgency booster in your offer. 



If done right, urgency & scarcity can do wonders for your bottom line without negatively affecting your reputation.

Heck, if you stay true to the limitations you set — your reputation & credibility will improve along with your bottom line.

So, here's to using the five methods above to create real urgency & scarcity that get you more profits while ensuring your customers reach their desired outcomes sooner and at better terms.

I'm rooting for you.