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Date Driven Deadlines vs Limited Quantities: Which is the Better Pass Pusher?

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Rob Webb over at Liftopia recently sent me some pretty fascinating data. For a while now, resorts have been able to take advantage of their platform to setup tiers of pricing based on quantity. Only X available at 20% off, then Y available at 15% off, etc. For the most part, resorts have thought about this idea strictly in terms of lift ticket sales.

However, being the innovate, data-driven company that they are, I had heard they were working with a resort or two on a season pass promotion that involved this same idea.

Deadlines
Now, we’ve seen what date deadlines can do for pass sales. As a quick refresher, the data I’ve pulled on this showed that for an 8 week promotion:

  • 0.9% of sales came in the first 24 hours
  • 29.8% of sales came in the last 24 hours
  • 5.1% of sales came in the first week
  • 54.4% of sales came in the last week

Each of those campaigns used a big email blast to announce the start of pass sales, but it wasn’t until the last minute that people acted.

So, let’s look at the data Rob sent over from their experiment. The one on the top used a date deadline. The one on the bottom used a limited quantity for motivation. Both of these sales did around $350,000 in revenue.

Pretty incredible difference. Instead of sales trickling in for 31 days, the entire “supply” sold out in less than 48 hours with 85%, think about that, 85% of their pass sales coming in the day the sale began!

A Second Voice…
Let me quickly lend my voice to the belief that these sorts of “quantity” deadlines work. A product I was marketing a few years ago sold for $300. One promotion I ran was just like the typical season pass, “the price goes up December 1.” The result was, as expected, a trickle of sales for three weeks with a small spike at the end.

The next year, I did a promotion that used copy like this:

“We only have 50 available. When they’re gone, they are gone. I have no idea when they will sell out, it could be a few hours, it could be a few days. Our next batch will be read in few weeks and the price will be higher.”

I expected similar sales. After all, the batch was the same size as the previous promotion, so even with this new quantity limit, I didn’t expect much change in behavior.

Instead, we completely sold out in 36 hours. Deadlines work well. But, for the right promotion, quantity limits work wonders.

Published November 5th, 2012 by Gregg Blanchard.