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Ashley GrantNov 16, 2023 3:36:15 AM7 min read

How to Create Urgency for an Offer Using Email

Nothing grabs attention like an urgent call-to-action. Marketers just like you can harness the persuasive power of email offer urgency by strategically emphasizing timely, limited offers.

When you establish scarcity, use countdowns, and give the sense that a swift action is needed, “email offers urgency” taps into your customer’s psychology. This ultimately leads to higher open, click-through and conversion rates.

Below we’ll explore specific tactics for how to create an urgency for an offer in your emails. Sounds good? Then, let’s get into it!

The Power of Urgency

Urgency is all about driving immediate action by tapping into our instinctual motivations. Implementing urgency strategies in your email campaigns can provide a potent boost to their effectiveness.

Here’s why urgency works - Scarcity triggers fear of missing out, or FOMO, prompting swift action to seize limited opportunities. Leveraging tools such as countdown timers and closing windows pressure readers to act before time expires. Social proof validates with peer examples that quick action is wise.

The key? Clear calls-to-action that provide obvious direction to capitalize on the urgency.

Crafting an Irresistible Offer

An offer is only as strong as its inherent appeal to your audience. Your offers need to be:

  • Relevant - Satisfying your customer needs/desires
  • Specific - Make the value obvious
  • Appealing - Enticing discounts/bonuses that compel urgent action, and
  • Simple - Avoid complex terms and conditions - if you confuse them, you lose them!

With a compelling offer as your foundation, adding scarcity and urgency will further elevate desire and response rates. But, you can’t rely on urgency alone! Instead, combine it with an inherently strong offer optimized to what your customers want most. That’s the recipe for email marketing success.


Grabbing Attention with Subject Lines

Good subject lines highlight the specifics like "Urgent Offer for Samanatha! Grab Our Best-selling Yoga Pants Today Only" and urgency triggers like "Last Chance for Our Summer Sale."

Keep preheaders ultra-short with just the vital details. Together, compelling headlines and previews grab attention in crowded inboxes and lift open rates.

Your subject line is the first and possibly only thing subscribers will see before deciding to open. To pique interest, incorporate elements such as specific details, deadlines, reader benefits, and triggers.

A couple of specific triggers are phrases like "Last Chance" or "Don't Miss Out." These signal scarcity and compel the reader to act.

Social Pilot recommends you use words like “urgent,” “breaking,” or “alert” in your subject line. They reported that using these types of words tend to have higher open rates. But, they also found using the words “discount,” “reminder,” percentage off, and even “free” actually had lower open rates. The reason could be that these words make a reader believe the email is spam.

Keep preheaders short and sweet - they should briefly highlight the core offer or deal to entice opens.


Driving Urgency with Limited-Time Offers (LTOs)

Imposing scarcity with short timeframes creates instant urgency. Keep your LTOs to 24-48 hours for plausibility. Use hard deadlines like "Ends Tuesday at 11:59 p.m.!"

Then, follow up last-minute with final reminders to re-engage and convert before the clock runs out.

Limited-time offers build instant scarcity by imposing a deadline. They convey that only decisive shoppers will benefit.

There’s a right way and a wrong way to offer LTOs though. For example:

  • Pick natural expiration points - The end of a season, a holiday weekend, etc.
  • Keep offers short - 24-48 hours max
  • Use hard cut-off times i.e. 11:59 p.m. EST

It’s also a good idea to restrict deal usage. Single use codes amplify scarcity. You can implement tiered levels of discounting as well to spur action.

Limited-time offers combined with clear calls-to-action can skyrocket email conversion rates by encouraging prompt action.


Incorporating Countdown Timers - Visual and Verbal Urgency for the Win!

In your email content, call out dwindling inventory or short time windows with bold fonts, bright colors and animated countdown timers.

For example, "Just 3 hours left to get this price!" or "Only 12 Discounts Remaining - Claim Yours Now."

Videos, gifs, and photos of ticking clocks reinforce the urgency visually.

Adding a timer that counts down in real time has also been proven to convey visible urgency in emails. The key is to place it prominently in the upper half of messages.


Tailoring Urgency Through Segmentation - Get Hyper-Targeted

Avoid spamming everyone with the same urgency messages. Use segmentation to tailor urgency to different user groups based on past purchases and behaviors. Match messaging to their interests for higher relevance.

Use what you know about subscribers to get super-targeted with urgency signals

You could profile engaged users and send them first dibs on offers close to expiring. You can also check past purchases and activity then highlight urgency for stuff that aligns with their interests.

Give nearly-expired deals a last call specifically to re-engage inactive subscribers. It may also be a good idea to test if certain groups respond better to flash discounts versus gradual price drops.

Tailoring language, offers and deadlines to user data allows personalizing your approach to generate maximum response across all your audience segments.

Porch Media Group reported marketers that take the time to segment their email lists have seen as much as a 760% increase in email marketing revenue!

Test personalized subject lines for subscribers with expiring offers

Adding the name of your recipient in your subject line and/or personalizing the subject line could increase your open rates. Oberlo reported that when you personalize an email, you can generate up to 50% higher open rates than emails that are not personalized. Personalization makes people more compelled to open your correspondence because it feels more like it was written directly to them.


Leveraging Social Proof

Showcase testimonials of satisfied customers raving about an offer and stats on how many have purchased. Mention things are selling out fast due to high demand. Herd mentality kicks in when people see peers jumping on a deal.

Here are some examples similar to those we’ve seen companies use:

  • "This deal is flying - over 500 folks have already grabbed the discount!"
  • A testimonial - "I bought within minutes of getting the email! So glad I acted quickly."
  • "Just 15 discount codes remain, don't miss out!"

Seeing positive actions and peer confirmation builds trust and motivates readers to follow suit and act now.


Optimizing Urgency Through Testing

Try different tactics in A/B tests and watch the data to pinpoint what gives your list the biggest boost.

Test subject line phrasings and urgency triggers, vary discounts or perks being offered, and play with countdown timer visuals and durations.

You can also add or remove social proof elements, and use personalized versus generic copy.

After you start testing, double down on what lifts open and click rates based on the data. Refine and iterate to continually improve momentum. Urgency optimization is an ongoing process! There are always new ways to enhance urgency in your campaigns.

Maintaining Ethics and Compliance - Keep it Ethical

While urgency works, it’s important to maintain ethics in all of your email correspondence. Total honesty in representing offer details and benefits will help build trust with your audience.

This means:

  • Using accurate timers - don't indefinitely extend "limited" offers. No one will ever believe things are urgent if you keep extending the time.
  • Disclose all restrictions/requirements. People don’t like to feel there’s a chance they were swindled. Make it clear who qualifies for your urgent offers.
  • Be transparent about who you are and where subscribers came from
  • Follow all email regulations and anti-spam laws, and
  • Ensure urgency provides real value, not just pressure

Effective urgency combines persuasion with authenticity, transparency and fair dealing.

The Power of Now in Email Marketing

Urgency is one of the most potent tools email marketers have to capture attention and drive desired actions. When properly implemented, it can provide measurable boosts to campaign results.

Here’s a quick recap of our key lessons for effective email offer urgency:

- Craft inherently appealing offers before layering on urgency signals.

- Use limited timeframes, countdowns and visuals to convey swift action is needed.

- Personalize messages and tailor urgency to customer segments for maximum impact.

- Reinforce with social proof from happy customers.

- Continually optimize and refine approaches through testing.

As competition continues growing, urgency will become even more critical for breakthrough performance. Marketers who strategically incorporate urgency will reap the rewards of higher conversions and sales.

The future is all about reducing friction and accelerating purchase velocity. Urgency taps into our hardwired desire for immediate rewards. With compelling reason-giving and ethical practices, urgency in email marketing can become an invaluable asset for success.

The time is now to deploy these strategies and capitalize on urgency. Don't let another day pass you by without prompting your audience to act quickly and decisively.

And, when you’re ready to simplify your email sending needs, we hope you will consider SendX! Click here to sign up free and learn what we can do for you.

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