How to Use Urgency to Hack Your SaaS Conversion Rate

  • Written By:
    Ann Smarty
  • Published On:
    September 13th, 2021
  • Read Time:
    5 Mins
  • Category:

Every SaaS platform is always looking for new ways to increase conversions.

One of the most effective ways to boost your revenue is creating a sense of urgency.

Here’s how you can do that:

What is Urgency in Marketing?

Urgency is often used in marketing to cause people to act quickly. The tactic aims at overcoming a so common issue of cognitive friction – consumers start weighing all pros and cons, wondering about alternative solutions or simply start thinking too hard (while waiting for your page to load).

Urgency (in ecommerce and SaaS marketing, often used in conjunction with scarcity) is used to show your site users that a product or a special deal will expire soon. Fundamentally, urgent situations prompt people to act quickly and scarcity triggers anxiety which forces us to act fast too.

As buying journeys are becoming more complicated, and consumers are getting used to comparison shopping, urgency is even a more important tactic than it was a few years ago. You need to convince your site users to buy prior to leaving your site, or they may be lost forever.

Urgency is often used in conjunction with another well-known marketing term – the fear of missing out (FOMO).

The Psychology of Urgency

One of the main psychological concepts behind this marketing tactic is called the “mere urgency effect”. The concept predicts that human beings will perform a less important task, when it is merely characterized by spurious urgency.

Spurious urgency stands for an illusion of expiration.

This rule works even when another task is dominating in terms of payoffs. To translate this into marketing terms, your customer will buy a more expensive product if you make it look more urgent.

The mere urgency effect documented in this research violates the basic normative principle of dominance—choosing objectively worse options over objectively better options. People behave as if pursuing an urgent task has its own appeal, independent of its objective consequence.

Another psychological study shows that shorter deadlines work better for provoking action. However the study also claims that you need to be careful with setting too short deadlines as those make your customers feel inconvenient

…shorter time limits create a greater sense of urgency thereby leading to higher purchase intentions. Perhaps giving consumers more time leads only to moredelay and, in effect, the shorter time limit causes the promotion to gain priority on consumers’“to do” lists. However, caution is needed since, as was shown in Study 2, too short of a time limit can also increase perceptions of inconvenience, leading to lower dealevaluations and ultimately lower purchase intent.

Another research talks about loss aversion, a psychological concept describing the human being’s tendency to avoid losing anything.

Now, like with any other marketing tactic, this one shouldn’t be overused, lest it stops being effective.

Create Urgency in Your SaaS Marketing

No wonder, when used in moderation, urgency is claimed to be the fuel for your whole marketing strategy:

Urgency in marketing
Image source:

There are multiple case studies proving the efficiency of the tactic in marketing. One of the most convincing one is detailed over at CXL. The described A/B testing experiment has demonstrated a sharp increase in conversions for the variant that communicated urgency:

Urgency A/B test
The conversion rate of Variation B was almost 3 times that of variation A.

There are lots of ways to create an illusion of expiration for your SaaS platform, including:

  • This is an obvious one but this would be hard to miss. Announce limited-time discounts, special offers, etc.
  • For new feature releases, announce a limited alpha / beta. This offer can be limited to a few days or plans (or both). This is also a great way to get niche influencers on board to use your product.
  • Announce upcoming price increases and invite your free trial or freemium users to upgrade until it is too late (make it exclusive for current users without going public with that offer)
  • Set up a cart abandonment email notifying your customers that their cart is about to expire, or the selected plan price is about to increase.
  • Make sure your landing page is fast and provides great user experience

For each of these tactics, you can also use email marketing to target your existing users. PayKickstart offers a variety of email marketing integrations including Getresponse, Mailchimp, ConvertKit and more.

Creating Urgency with PayKickstart

Countdown times are known to do wonders when it comes to your conversions and sales. In the test described above, Marcus Taylor reports a whopping 332% increase in sales after adding countdown timers.

Another case study by Neuroscience Marketing reported an increase in revenue by 9% after adding a countdown timer.

PayKickstart users can easily benefit from the tactic by utilizing “Countdown timer”. To set the tool up:

  • Set up your sales funnel (or make sure it is already set up)
  • Navigate to the settings of that sales funnel
  • Find the specific product that you are creating a sense of urgency for
  • Click the checkout options
  • Enable the scarcity feature:
countdown timer
Enable your countdown timer using PayKickstart

When setting up your countdown timer, you will need to create a short copy reflecting the urgency. A few ideas to phrase it:

  • last chance
  • don’t delay
  • save today (only)
  • offer expires
  • ends soon
  • hurry
  • one day only

You can choose one of the three available timer types based on the urgency you are creating:

  • Cookie Based: The tool will track each of your site users and show a custom time depending on when they left
  • Evergreen: The timer will restart after it is done.
  • Date/Time: The timer will count down until the specified date and time.

It is a good idea to experiment with each of these types.

Additionally, you can customize the position and colors of your timer.

For WordPress-powered landing pages, there are a few great free plugins that will help you instill a sense of urgency.

Monitor Your Progress!

Like with just about any conversion optimization trick, there’s nothing definitive here. What works for others may ruin conversions from your page, so by all means monitor your conversions.

Finteza is a great conversion analytics and monitoring solution allowing you to keep a close eye on your conversions and segment those insights by traffic source or a certain demographics:


Urgency is an effective marketing tactic that should be used in SaaS marketing. When experimenting with the tactic, keep in mind that you need to maintain a fine balance between making your customers feel in a hurry to buy from you and making them feel rushed and inconvenient.

Strategic use of urgency can boost your SaaS conversion rates. Good luck!

Share this post:

Ann Smarty

Ann Smarty is the Brand Manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas, as well as co-founder of Viral Content Bee. Ann has been into Internet Marketing for over a decade, she is the former Editor-in-Chief of Search Engine Journal and contributor to prominent search and social blogs including Small Biz Trends and Mashable. Ann is also the frequent speaker at Pubcon and the host of a weekly Twitter chat #vcbuzz

Read More About Ann Smarty

Subscription growth hack (by PayKickstart)

Facebook Group - 3,932 members

Visit Group

Want to keep reading other related articles?

5 Ways to Improve Your Checkout Experience for Higher Conversion Rates

Combine ClickFunnels With PayKickstart To Create the Ultimate Selling Machine