If we asked you to read this article in two minutes or less because after that it will self-destruct, you’d probably want to read it quickly.

A similar result can be accomplished when it comes to your advertising. As consumers, we all love the victory of a good deal. This holiday season, get creative with your ads to make the person looking at them think twice about ignoring them because they have a sweet deal – but only for a limited time.

Below are some examples and suggestions you can use this holiday season to add a sense of urgency to increase your end-of-year sales.

Try using scarcity. If you’re using direct mailers, print ads or radio, why not create an ad that talks about how your security company is having an end of the year inventory blow-out? Note in the ad that availability is limited, or better yet note that the low monthly monitoring price or other offer is limited to 50 people, so customers had better sign up quickly because the offer will be gone quickly. 

It doesn’t have to be so gimmicky but at the end of the day sometimes gimmicky ads like this work. 

Or, if you’re doing Facebook ads within a radius of your service area, have your marketing team change the number of packages left each day or week so that those people who are constantly seeing your ad will note that the number of packages available is getting lower and lower. That’s a very easy change within your ad’s text to help create urgency.

Something we have used for our own clients is landing pages that have a countdown. If your website uses a CMS (content management system) tool like WordPress, you can easily download a countdown plug-in to add to any of your site’s pages. 

So, let’s say you’re giving away a complete security system with two dome cameras, available only for two days. You can simply set the counter for two days, pop it onto your website or landing page with graphics and a description and drive traffic. 

When you drive traffic to your site, visitors will see that if they want to purchase that sweet deal they’ll only have a certain amount of time. Think of Home Shopping Network — every single item they sell has a countdown timer and it makes customers ask themselves, “Do I really want to lose out on this deal?”

The countdown timer can be found for free in HTML or JavaScript by doing a simple Google search, copying the link and sending it to your web developer to start testing some ads with the timer.

Ads that generate a sense of urgency don’t have to be limited to the examples above. You can also create urgency this holiday season by using your database of existing customers to enhance your referral program. 

Most of our customers offer a $250 gift card to those happy customers who refer a friend, family or coworker who signs a monitoring agreement, but why not increase that referral just a little more – say, to $300 or even $350 – but only during the month of December? Everybody within this holiday month is in the mood of giving and cashing in on deals, so give it a try.

If you put a limited-time offer on your website, make sure you’re using re-targeting codes within your landing pages and website. This way, when someone sees your offer, you can follow a potential sale around the internet with ads you have created saying “Only two days left to get a free security system!” or “Only a few hours left to receive two wireless dome cameras; act now!”

One more idea is to offer a second security system at half price with the purchase of a complete system so that customers will be motivated to ask a neighbor or friend to go in on the deal. Be sure to set a lifespan for the ad or include a countdown timer.

Whatever advertising medium you use, there are ways to add a sense of urgency to your message. We’ve outlined just a few of those ways in this column. 

The holiday season is a great time to get your customers to “act now.” Shouldn’t you act now in adding a sense of urgency to your advertising and promotions?