Time seems to be an omnipotent and omnipresent invisible creature, don’t you think?
Famous psychologist Philip Zimbardo (the brain behind the Stanford prison experiment) says happiness and success are rooted in the way we orient toward the past, present, and future. Time serves as a calibrating factor in our lives and can have an impact on our success or failure.
Also, time flies and heals. We spend or save it, waste it, kill it, or run out of it.
Time makes us hurry, plan things, sometimes to buy compulsively.
And we’ve reached an essential word for our current topic: “buy”.
When you mix “time” and “buying” you get countdown timers.
Now, it’s “time” for me to introduce the FOMO concept.
Fear of missing out or FOMO is a psychological trigger humans can’t help responding to. FOMO brings in anxiety in us. Our brain messages us that something exciting and interesting is happening and we’re missing it. We can miss an experience someone is showing off on social media or a Black Friday deal.
FOMO became incorporated in lots of marketing techniques. It works because we’re a risk-averse species. We don’t want to put ourselves in a position where we miss an opportunity and regret it.
Which are the most popular FOMO marketing techniques out there?
- Using a celebrity endorsement
- Making use of social proof (reviews, case studies, etc)
- Bundling products as a special offer (eg: phone service + mobile phone)
- Organizing a contest or a giveaway
- Using “running out of stock” messages – this technique makes use of Cialdini’s scarcity principle
- Setting a deadline for a promotion – we’re conditioned from an early age to respect deadlines, and we make impulsive buying decisions under the pressure of a ticking clock.
When deadlines combine with countdown timers, it’s gonna get really powerful. They will create a sense of urgency, boost sales, and drive engagement.
Advice: don’t be manipulative. Be honest, else, you’re going to alienate your more savvy shoppers.
But where can you place countdown timers?
- Website hello bars
- Website pop-ups
How to Create WordPress Timers Using Plugins
- Head over to Plugins -> Add New in your WordPress dashboard
- Search for a timer/countdown timer plugin in the search bar
- Select the plugin that has the best reviews and click on “Install now”. The button text will switch to “Activate”. Click on it.
Now we have two options. Some plugins will show up straight in the dashboard, with some submenu items where you can make the configurations you need. Others will have a setup option from the Plugins menu. This means you’ll need to head over to Plugins -> Installed plugins and look for the plugin. Select “Settings” from underneath the plugin (some of the plugins will require from start to Upgrade, meaning there’s no free plan). Follow the instructions for the setup.
This particular plugin (Countdown timer ultimate) has a circular shape and uses shortcodes.
When I selected “Add timer” I was prompted to the settings page.
It all looks intuitive.
After filling up the details, I headed over to the “Countdown timer” item in the menu on the left.
And, here’s my shortcode for the timer. All I have to do now is paste it wherever I please. Here’s the result!
Now it’s time for you to create yours!