Thursday, July 20, 2017

Is It A Scam When Marketers Use Time Sensitive Tactics?



Time flies, Is it a scam when marketers use time sensitive tactics?A few days ago, I had a person ask me this question on one of my Marketing Psychology discussion groups:

“Does it help your business to have those one-page capture letters that are time sensitive? 

They always prompt you to take action and hurry and buy the product they are selling you. 

Is this a good way to collect information from them [potential customers] or does it give your business a negative perception as some kind of scam?”

What A Powerful Question!

For new and even seasoned marketers, how this question is addressed typically indicates their level of success and whether they understand their prospects.

Keep in mind that what you sell to the marketplace is what it wants to buy not what you want to sell.

Before we dive into this question, think about the following information.  It will give you insight as to what decision is best for you, and it centers on…



 What value are you offering people that you’re asking them to make a decision based on time factors (a decision motivated by pressed time)?


Although many would give me an odd look, I say Money to an extent is not people’s most prized resource. Now don’t get me wrong. It’s a prized resource.

For many it’s considered a survival mechanism. However if you really think about it…time is a commodity that tends to hold a lot more value.

On the one hand, a basic reason points to the mere fact that once time is used up, there’s no way to get it back. Money on the other hand can be Duplicated and ‘Resuscitated’ if you apply certain investment principles. 

When it comes to TIME, once it’s gone it’s gone forever. It literally flies away. That’s why I take it seriously when it comes to putting content on this medium. I’m asking people to trust me enough with their most precious commodity and in so doing they will get a return in value. 

In the end, when it comes to marketing think about the amount of value that you are offering people. Is it worth their time? Is it worth it enough for them to be willing to open up their wallets and exchange their money for your services or goods?



The marketplace is full of ads and many use various types of persuasion principles.

In the question I used to open up this post, a basic yet fundamental principle was targeted and it centers on the use of Scarcity as a means to initiate a response from potential buyers.

You may be wondering…if it’s used by LOTS of marketers, should you use it?

I say or rather want you think about whether your advertisement is truly a time sensitive promotion.

Is it time sensitive or do simply want people to buy your stuff or maybe you want to just capture people’s information?



Essentially, be clear about your outcome.  What is your motive for using this principle of persuasion in your marketing?


If the information that you are offering is highly valued, and it will be offered to just a select number of people or for a select period of time, then using a time sensitive method is legitimate and an ethical means to offer your product or service.


Remember that you are asking people to trust you and your ability to follow through with your intention of only offering it to a limited number or for a limited time.


This act alone can transmute your one-time ‘buyers’ to REPEAT customers and these same people will be open to other valued content you may present in the future.


However if you’re using it just to “GET” people, then it can HURT your business because it’s starting off with trickery and lies for the mere purpose to just get them to raise their hands and whip out their credit cards to pay you.

Nowadays people want to BE SAVVY when it comes to their buying decisions. They have an idea that there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to certain types of marketing. You want to be a Smart MARKETER.  Case in point, you’re still reading this post.

Even if the content is great, people deep down will sense there’s more to a promotion. 

Just think back to the latest product launch.

The Smart marketers tell you, “Here’s some good stuff buy it from me.” No shame in promotion.

They use various types of psychological triggers not because they’re trying to scam you, more so because they are confident if you buy and apply the product/service, you will get kickbutt results. 

Are there bad marketers that scam you? Yes.

Do they use these same principles? Yes.

At the same time, there are many more master marketers who I’m familiar with that know they offer good and valuable information and these same people tend to use the scarcity principle and other persuasion strategies to promote their stuff.

Case in point, here are a few marketers of the past and present who are savvy when it comes to these principles: Sam Walton, Colonel Harland Sanders, Dave ThomasAnthony Robbins, Dani Johnson, Randy GageMike Klingler, Tom “Big Al” Schreiter, Ann SiegeSandi KrakowskiChalene Johnson, and Frank Kern (this guy even has labeled his opt-in box on Facebook, “Stop Thief!” then follows with this statement, “Thanks for liking me!”).

Are they bad marketers? No.

They are SMART Marketers. They know their stuff is valuable.

If marketers’ objective is to just get you to buy, the longevity of their business would be short lived and they would have neither support nor fans. Therefore use of the scarcity strategy or any other persuasion strategy would certainly not have great or long lasting results.


Ultimately, it will present a marketer and his/her business in a negative light and for the most part people will perceive it as a scam.



Keep in mind that nobody wants to be fooled into making a decision. People are afraid of making a fool out of themselves. They want to make a safe buying decision from people they know, like and TRUST. Besides the fact that people like to buy only on their time frame, and their terms and not on yours.

In the end, there are other smart ways to capture people’s information especially if the offer you are presenting is not truly time sensitive.

There’s so much to say about this topic. I would love to dialogue with you about it.

What are your thoughts? Leave a comment below and please share this post.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Facebook comments:


5 Responses to “Is It A Scam When Marketers Use Time Sensitive Tactics?”
  1. Beth Hewitt says:

    Hey Miriam,

    Great post! I think it is important like you say, to really consider if you what you have on offer is actually time sensitive, or if you just want people to buy something.

    If the name of the game of the game is trust, I think it is wrong to say somethings urgent when it really isnt. I know it’s a marketing technique used by a lot of highly successsful marketers, but it can also be very annoying.

    I especially dislike, when they say it’s time sensitive only to ‘open the doors’ once again for 24 hours with an even lower price! Like that wasn’t ever part of the plan.

    But at the same time, I have seen many occasions when something really is time sensitive and it is OK to say that it is so.

    Thanks for making me think!

    Yours In Success,
    Beth :)

  2. Ligia says:

    Hey, Miriam,

    Scarcity and other techniques are used specifically to sell. And most of the time, the sellers aren’t really concerned about what you’re going through or what your real need is. They offer it to their whole list, and if you buy it, it’s money in their pocket.

    The biggest problem is that when someone is just starting online and his mentors send him offers, he buys them because he thinks his mentor is telling him to do so. And he does it because he trusts and believes the mentor he’s following.

    I fell on this trap myself because I had no clue what I really needed to be successful, and I wanted to make sure I had all the tools to do so. So, believed on those who were successful and were offering me the stuff to buy.

    One day, after I had bought a bunch of stuff, I heard one those gurus say that you have to be able to pick and choose from the stuff that is sent to you. Only buy when you’re ready for it and if you really need it. that guru said that. I felt really cheated. How on earth was I supposed to know If I was ready or not for those courses, software or…?

    To this day, I’m still paying the price for being so gullible. I believe that that’s part of what makes so many people give-up working online. They really feel that they were deceived or scammed.

    I’ve sorted it out, but I’m still here. I’m broke, but determined to be successful.

    Thanks for the post, Miriam!


    • Miriam Buhr says:

      It’s unfortunate that you experienced that interaction with your mentor Ligia. Nevertheless it happens to a portion of good people. Based on your comment, it seems that you’re still quite optimistic which is an awesome sign of being a determined leader.

      I like the ancient proverb which says, “Fall down seven times, get up eight!” I believe that failure is part of success no matter how you look at it. So avoiding it in a way is avoiding success. Being aware of what happens and how people use our emotional state to activate behavioral reactions is important.

      The ironic part is that it’s super common in our everyday lives than most people care to think about it. Growing bitter keeps you stuck…but learning from the experience…learning how you react, what emotions are triggered, what actually triggers those emotions is GOLD because then you can learn to detect when advertisements or people are trying to stir you up. That is the key!

      As for mentoring, it embraces and addresses areas like relationship techniques, character traits, track record counseling others, own personal success rate. What are the people that you seek counsel doing, saying, teaching, living and how do they treat others as they do all those things.

      All the answers are within but we also were not set on this earth to be an island onto ourselves. So we need each other to tap those answers and to shine a light on those answers which seem to be stored within…it’s a journey Ligia. We have to ask ourselves, are we wiling to live it full out irrespective of the perceived obstacles? Now that is a good question!

  3. Rita Xanax says:

    Hi Miriam!
    You write very interesting articles. You have a special way of thinking and give effective advices. Thank you.

  4. Sue Seward says:

    Great stuff Miriam! Appreciate the value you have to offer others!

    Enjoy the journey!

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!

CommentLuv badge