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5 ideas for using scarcity in your email marketing

5 ideas for using scarcity in your email marketing

Scarcity marketing is not uncommon, mostly because of its ability to immediately motivate consumers. But for it to work in a way that serves your customers, you need to focus on using it in ways that are relevant to each individual it's reaching. 

Following are some of the ways you can do just that:

1. Pair scarcity with personalization

For example, when you want your audience to interact with your email marketing messages you have to show them why they should. Some brands will attempt to do that through low-stock notifications. But these only encourage a sense of urgency in consumers who care about them. This is why personalization is so important. 

If you know a customer has items in their wishlist that are running low or there’s a new product that your data shows they’d be interested in, tell them about it. This sort of transparency is necessary for any sort of scarcity marketing campaign; consumers are used to brands using scarcity principles in their marketing which means they won’t run to open an email right away just because you want them to — you have give them something that matters to them. A good rule of them when it comes to using scarcity in your email marketing strategies? Limited-time offers should not only increase conversions, they should benefit your subscribers as well.

In most cases, having a low number of products means customers only have a limited-time where they can successfully make a purchase. Using personalized information you can amplify your scarcity marketing strategy, promote the fear of missing out (FOMO), and encourage subscribers to move urgently. Pairing scarcity with personalization in your email marketing simply enhances the perceived value to your customers. 

2. Use specific language

Scarcity marketing tactics can be exercised in multiple ways, even through language.

How many times have you clicked on an email because it included certain keywords like “only,” “last chance,” or “for a limited time?" You’ve probably even done it with emails that you would’ve otherwise ignored, but there was something about the call-to-action (CTA) in the email subject line that piqued your interest.

That "something" could've been scarcity and FOMO.Humans have a desire to get out ahead of any havoc, and it’s heavily influenced by the fear of missing out. If an email marketing campaign is alerting consumers of a time-sensitive event, it’s human nature to want to find out more. 

3. Include exclusive offers

Exclusivity and scarcity are often seen side by side. 

Exclusive offers are typically meant for a select number of people and are only available for a limited period of time. It’s for this reason that they’re very attractive to customers. 

Let’s say you have new email subscribers who are still getting a feel for your brand. Incentivize them to take a closer look at what you’re offering by giving them a free gift simply for signing up to be a member of your email list. This is will show new subscribers that you appreciate them and it will influence these potential customers to take advantage of the discounted price.  

4. Leverage unique qualities

Just like every human has their own set of fingerprints, every brand has something that makes it unique. This might be the taste of its french fries or a catchy slogan. Oftentimes, it isn’t something overly complicated; brands simply need something that adds a layer of exclusivity and gives consumers something they can’t find anywhere else.

This sort of strategy works well across all digital marketing channels, including email. Let’s say you’re selling denim jeans and you want to spread the word to customers on your email list. What makes these jeans different from those sold by other retailers? Are they a limited edition product? Do they accentuate specific features on people of a certain size or shape? 

Limited availability products that can’t be replicated elsewhere are especially powerful marketing tools. Not only do they help your brand stand out from the many competitors sending marketing messages, but they help your customers feel as though they’re doing something cool (a simple way to leverage social proof, the psychology principle that humans follow the influence of others.)

These are the unique differences that will make your email subscribers remember why they enjoy shopping with your brand over others. It’s also a great way to boost sales and stay aligned with your brand mission or buyer personas. 

5. Add an element of uncertainty

The fear of missing out can happen long before your products become low in stock. 

Think about those items that your customers love: your best sellers. The more popular they are, the faster they fly off the shelves. It’s safe to assume that your customers will continue to love your products and it’s that potential scarcity that will prompt email subscribers to engage with your content.

Be honest with your audience and let them know that there’s no telling when the product will go out of stock, but that it’s sure to happen. This uncertainty can help to drive action. 

Using scarcity in your email marketing messages has a lot of benefits, one of which is its versatility. The five ideas above are meant to provide you with helpful avenues to meet your email marketing goals. You’ll be seeing immediate consumer action in no time.



Picture of Lindsay Keener

Lindsay Keener

Lindsay Keener is a brand journalist for Quikly. She covers stories that help to inform and educate consumer-facing marketers.

Picture of Lindsay Keener

Lindsay Keener

Lindsay Keener is a brand journalist for Quikly. She covers stories that help to inform and educate consumer-facing marketers.