How to create scarcity with your emails? Well, just transform your emails into suspense novels – because who doesn’t love a good cliffhanger?
Having worked in the field of digital and email marketing for nearly ten years, I have seen it all. From the golden age of pop-up ads to the world of social media influencers, one principle has remained consistent: scarcity sells all the time. The tempting nature of a great offer that is quickly fading is obvious.
And if you’ve ever worried because of a “Flash Sale” or “Limited Stock Remaining” sign, you know firsthand how strong scarcity can be in influencing your purchasing decision.
I’ve been using scarcity strategies for a long time in my email marketing campaigns and they work incredibly well. Adding scarcity to my email content helped me to boost engagement and conversions, whether I’m promoting a new launch or sending out a clearance sale update.
In this article, I’ll discuss tried-and-tested methods for instilling scarcity in your emails. Plus, get a chance to explore the mighty WordPress email marketing tool that people use to achieve superior results with their scarcity email marketing approach.
How to create scarcity with your email? 9 proven email marketing ideas
Feeling that rush when you see “Low-in-stock” or “Last chance”?
As an enthusiastic online shopper, I get it. The fear of missing out (FOMO) kicks in and suddenly, you’re clicking “Buy Now.”
The main takeaway is that email marketers and brands are constantly thinking of innovative ways to use email to highlight scarcity.
It really works when FOMO is played in the online shopping business.
Take a look at the following tools if you’re looking for an email marketing tool that will make creating email campaigns simple and creating scarcity with your email easier.
- Mailchimp: It is the most popular email marketing SaaS tool. You can send 1000 emails each month using the free version.
- HubSpot: This email marketing tool is extremely powerful but can be a little complex if you’re a newbie in the email marketing field. Regretfully, there isn’t a free version and it can be very costly at $800 per month.
- Icegram Express: It is one of the easiest WordPress email marketing plugins to play with. It comes with both free and paid plans. This email plugin works as an email verification tool too.
- Constant Contact: This is also a useful email tool but it doesn’t have a free plan. The base plan starts at $12 per month.
I prefer Icegram Express WordPress email software because it has a minimalist interface and comes with amazing ready-made newsletter templates.
Now for inspiration, let’s explore nine top-notch scarcity email examples.
Email scarcity tactic 1 – Playing the number game
While sending emails about your business or ecommerce sales, it’s important to play with the numbers.
Here’s a scarcity-driven example of Mark’s Jewelry Studio email newsletter.
They boast a remarkable necklace collection in the newsletter, but here’s the real twist.
They introduced limited edition pieces, swiftly disappearing or nearing complete sell-out.
The number strategy is simple: the studio crafted only 50 of these necklaces, and it’s a sincere alert that these gems are swiftly finding new customers.
The progress bars—50%, 75%, 90% claimed—provide instant updates. They serve as the most critical scarcity elements in the email. They underscore the soaring demand as these necklaces get claimed rapidly by eager consumers.
Email scarcity tactic 2 – The waiting list phenomenon
As an email marketer, you have to apply crazy ideas to bring scarcity of top-notch value.
The waiting list tactic is vintage yet powerful. Many brands highlight the waiting list section just to ignite scarcity.
Consider this email newsletter, which has brilliantly put scarcity words into action.
Shoes Now has made two email newsletters.
In Newsletter 1, they subtly hint at the exclusivity of their shoe by mentioning it will disappear soon.
Then comes the real agenda. A waiting list with 600 people eagerly anticipating their turn to snag a pair. This not only creates a scarcity effect but also emphasizes the high demand for the product.
Now, in Newsletter 2, they crank up the urgency.
With only 10 pairs left, they boldly declare the imminent disappearance of the shoe. This time, the waiting list becomes a testament to the product’s popularity, as 600 people compete for the last available pieces.
The waiting list phenomenon, whether subtly hinted at or boldly declared, adds a layer of exclusivity and scarcity, making the product more desirable.
It aptly taps into the psychology of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and prompts subscribers to act swiftly before the opportunity slips away.
Email scarcity tactic 3: inventory clearing bait
If you’re in the online business or selling something on WordPress, there comes a time when clearing out old inventory is not just a necessity but an opportunity to shine in sales.
Sally’s newsletter is a stellar illustration of how to turn an inventory-clearing event into a lucrative offer for subscribers.
This newsletter brilliantly combines the urgency of a limited-time offer with the exclusivity of an inventory-clearing event.
By framing the Black Dragon watch as something special that needs to make way for new arrivals, it creates a sense of scarcity and value.
It entices subscribers to take advantage of the significant discount before it’s gone forever.
The scarcity countdown, “Only 20’s left,” serves as a clear call to action. It has the power to drive subscribers to make a purchase decision swiftly.
Email scarcity tactic 4 – The weekend sale stunt
Weekend discounts are a great method to highlight scarcity. Weekends continue to fascinate every customer, so you can’t pass up the chance to persuade them.
This is how it works: you post a weekend deal with limited availability (say for a couple of days) and include product discounts.
This classic email message uses a weekend sale stunt to hint at scarcity.
This newsletter follows a two-fold approach. It tries to create an immediate interest.
So, it introduces a new item with a sense of exclusivity – “Now In Stock” – creating an immediate interest. The mention of a 60% discount adds more weekend delight.
The second part cleverly introduces the “Weekend Sale” stunt.
By emphasizing “Don’t Miss Out!” in the CTA section, it plays on the fear of losing out on a great deal, particularly during the limited window of the weekend.
This tactic capitalizes on the anticipation and enthusiasm that weekends bring. The main aim is to encourage quick decision-making and boost sales through the perceived scarcity of the limited-time offer.
Email scarcity tactic 5 – Freebies alert
Who doesn’t love freebies? I am certainly aware that every eager shopper has an unwavering fondness for freebies.
If you want to build scarcity with your email, you can’t ignore this basic.
Freebies can come in many forms – you can give a free product or free service or free after-sales service.
To understand this more, take a look at this email newsletter below.
This newsletter uses the “Last Chance” tag to create a sense of email urgency. This immediately signals that an opportunity is about to slip away.
The repeated “Last Chance” serves as a consistent reminder, amplifying the email scarcity effect.
The offer of FREE shipping on orders above $50 serves as the perfect freebie. So, the email content also encourages shoppers to add more to their cart to reach the qualifying amount.
The inclusion of specific product prices, such as the $52 brown cardigan and $56 white pants, emphasizes the attainability of the $50 threshold. This is to push customers to explore and make additional purchases to unlock the free shipping benefit.
Here’s a cool idea – Icegram Express can be a helpful email marketing plugin tool (read testimonials) to create top-notch comparison newsletters.
Try Icegram Express (free download here) and take your scarcity strategy to a new level!
Email scarcity tactic 6 – Event or launch party schemes
Virtual events or product launch parties are crucial for any business. They give an extra edge to businesses and more to e-commerce entrepreneurs.
Email scarcity content often revolves around such themes. Event or launch party schemes into email scarcity content is a clever and strategic way to build connections, foster excitement and ultimately drive engagement and sales.
Below is a classic example of creating hype or celebration using events.
Firstly, the “Shop Now” and “RSVP Now” buttons present a dual call to action. They invite audiences to explore the new collection while also securing their spot at the virtual launch party.
The countdown timer used by Biome Glasses is the true scarcity element. The timer displays the days and hours until the virtual launch party. It communicates that this exclusive opportunity is momentary, encouraging subscribers to act promptly.
Email scarcity tactic 7 – Holiday vibes
Holiday-themed promotions are a time-tested and successful email scarcity tactic.
The Valentine’s Day-themed sample below nicely illustrates this tactic:
This newsletter cleverly combines the joyous sentiment of Valentine’s Day with a time-sensitive offer.
The central message of “Get 50% off till tomorrow!” instantly pushes the scarcity and urgency together.
The use of the discount code “Dickens50” adds a personalized touch.
The “Fill Your Cart” call to action (CTA) encourages immediate action. It is trying to allow readers to take advantage of the limited-time discount before it expires tomorrow.
Email scarcity tactic 8 – Pre-launch pricing deals
Pre-launch deals have become trendier in 2023. Many tech and WooCommerce brands are already employing this tactic using the legendary email marketing plugin, Icegram Express.
Here’s how it works.
Pre-launch pricing deals are an enticing way to generate excitement and drive early purchases. The idea is to put products (with limited numbers) at a discounted selling price against the actual price in your pre-launch event.
The following newsletter, for example, introduces a pre-launch offer for its VR Nitro Headset. This is how you set the stage for an exclusive deal.
The highlighted price of $199 is a clear contrast to the “Actual Price” of $599. It’ll immediately capture the eye.
The main scarcity kicker is the text at the bottom that says – only 9 left. So, you can’t wait for the sweet deal to expire.
Want to create similar newsletters for your online WordPress or WooCommerce business?
Get Icegram Express (check pricing) and excel in your email scarcity campaigns!
Email scarcity tactic 9 – The deadline storm
Any deadline, including the registration deadline, causes instant scarcity. I have seen many ecommerce businesses using this idea.
The Dribble newsletter that follows is an excellent illustration of how to emphasize scarcity by using registration deadlines.
The Dribble email newsletter brings urgency through the “FINAL CALL” headline, signaling that time is running out for potential attendees to register.
The mention of learning live with Brad Frost or accessing the workshop video recording caters to a broader audience. It can accommodate those who may have scheduling conflicts.
The critical element of scarcity is introduced by specifying that registration closes on 12/13 end of the day. This deadline can prompt interested individuals to make a decision on time.
The added incentive of saving 25% with the promo code DSBF25 serves as an extra push for subscribers to take immediate action. Overall, the email content looks perfect and makes the offer more compelling.
How to create scarcity with your email? Right vs wrong approach
The right way to create scarcity in email marketing campaigns
When using scarcity in my strategies, I’ve found that authenticity and relevance are key.
For instance, scheduling limited-time meetings in specific cities adds a genuine sense of scarceness.
It’s not just a sales tactic but a practical approach to efficiently manage time and resources.
Offering a limited number of spots for events or consultations not only creates exclusivity but also ensures a more personalized and impactful interaction.
So, I believe, the key is to align scarcity with a logical reason that enhances the overall value for the audience.
Consider the following right scarcity-building tips.
- Hosting exclusive webinars with a limited number of participants for a more interactive and personalized experience.
- Introducing limited-time access to premium content or features for early adopters.
- Offering personalized consultations for a select group during specific time frames.
It’s crucial to remember that, in order to produce exclusivity and achieve the desired outcomes, email sequences should be your first preference over individual emails.
Email sequences, scheduled over specific days, are deemed very effective in scarcity email strategies. They always provide an opportunity for ongoing engagements.
Check out these couple of email newsletters made with the right approach.
How not to create scarcity with your email marketing campaigns?
On the other side, I’ve learned that employing scarcity in a sales-focused or forced manner can lead to negative responses.
Bombarding initial cold emails with aggressive, limited-time offers might come off as pushy and insincere. It’s crucial to avoid situations where scarcity feels out of place or manufactured, as this can undermine trust and authenticity.
Here are some examples of the the wrong scarcity approach. Don’t ever do this to build scarcity in your email marketing campaign.
- Sending constant reminders about expiring discounts without considering the recipient’s engagement level.
- Creating false scarcity by artificially limiting product availability when there’s no genuine constraint.
- Using exaggerated countdowns or timers that don’t align with the actual urgency of the situation.
Do you want to make your next scarcity email campaign super successful?
Why scarcity is still relevant in email marketing?
Scarcity is just one among several influencing factors in marketing. Many authors have defined it as the most powerful factor, especially when you have something in limited numbers.
As an email marketer, I know how to use scarcity effectively to boost email open rates, conversions and sales.
Here are some reasons why I think scarcity is still relevant in email marketing:
- Scarcity has the right power to create a fear of missing out (FOMO) effect. Too much FOMO means more scarcity. When people see that an offer is limited in time or quantity, they feel more compelled to act quickly before it’s gone. This can increase open rates, click-through rates and purchases.
- Scarcity tends to add more value and exclusivity to your offer. When people perceive that something is scarce, they tend to value it more and want it more. This can enhance your brand image and customer loyalty. You can create scarcity by offering special discounts, bonuses or access to a select group of customers.
- Scarcity helps you stand out from the crowd and cut through the noise. Email marketing is a competitive field and you need to differentiate yourself from other marketers who are vying for your audience’s attention. By using scarcity, you can grab their attention and make them curious about your offer.
I like the way how Nirav Jain, founder of StoreApps and Icegram Express, puts it.
According to him, scarcity in email marketing campaigns enables online businesses to automatically create new connections. When it comes to fostering business relationships without requiring continuous manual labor, scarcity can be the best companion or technique for any marketer.
Outro: Let’s build scarcity
In this article, we learned that scarcity can be effectively used to amplify email marketing campaigns. Scarcity creation in emails can help entrepreneurs with increased conversions. The email newsletter examples shown above offer the following:
- Limited-time offers: Creating scarcity by offering time-limited deals or promotions.
- Countdown timers: Using countdown timers in emails to highlight the limited duration of an offer.
- Low stock warnings: Notifying customers about low stock levels to prompt quicker purchasing decisions.
- Exclusive access: Offering early or exclusive access to products or sales for email subscribers.
- Incentives: Adding incentives such as discounts or special offers to scarcity-infused emails to nudge prospects into making faster buying decisions.
Finally, scarcity should be applied judiciously and organically in email marketing efforts to avoid coming off as inauthentic or pushy.
A lot of businesses fail to do it the right way. I would recommend you to go gentle with it. Add more impactful elements if needed in your content. Pick a solid subject line that is driven by scarcity.
Genuine scarcity, when smartly used in email campaigns, can significantly improve engagement and conversion rates.
If you want to make the most of your scarcity email campaigns, try Icegram Express today. Learn more about Express here.
Read Icegram Express’s documentation to become a rockstar of scarcity email marketing.
Here’s one useful piece you must read to get started with an Icegram Express readymade template.