As business owners we’re always looking for ways to turn looky-loos into buyers. Two examples of great ways to use both exclusivity and time sensitivity are Gilt Group and Rue La La. My team here at VerticalResponse will tell you that I’m addicted to these sites and now I’m attempting to get them addicted! These sites sprung out of nowhere offering deep discounts on higher-end products and travel, and now have millions of people on their email marketing lists. What I love is that they also use email to communicate their daily sales and on their website have hard and fast dates for when a sale is over.

Here’s why I think they work:

1. It’s Invitation-Only – This leads to an exclusive feeling, leading to you wanting to share this with your friends.

2. They Reward You – Both sites give away money to you if you get a friend to buy. Rue La La gives $10 while Gilt gives an amazing $25. But if you think about it, in many cases that’s a small price to pay to acquire a customer.

3. They Want You to Share! – They encourage you to email your friends RIGHT when you first confirm your own registration after someone invited you.


4. It’s Time Sensitive – They clearly emphasize when each deal will go away.

So how can you put this to work for your business?

1. Start a Fan Club – Send an email marketing campaign to your best customers and advocates that is an invitation-only fan club email where you give them something for getting their friends to use you. If you can’t do strict cash or rebates, why not give heavy discounts on their next purchase?

2. Get On It – Make sure you direct them to a page where you tell them about the deal they’ll get, and encourage them to email their friends right then and there.

3. Time Sensitivity – If you’ve got time-sensitive deals for them, make sure you tell them when the deals are going away.


I found two pretty cool and free countdown clocks you can add directly to your site. You just fill in the copy and the date your deals will end and they spit out a timer for you to place on your site.

WidgetBox is the one and another one is My Flash Fetish.

Do you use exclusivity and time sensitivity in your business? How is it working for you?

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