Last Chance Emails Best Practices And Tips On Writing

How to make last chance emails

No matter how desirable your product is, your customers might forget about it, making you lose out on potential profits. Last chance emails help you avoid such situations by reminding, offering sweet deals and discounts, and emphasizing that the offer is short-lived and will be gone soon. It’s a win-win deal for all parties — your customers get a discount, while you get more sales.

In this article, we’ll talk about the most popular types of last chance emails, their place in the email marketing strategy, and how you can craft your own FOMO messages that will help you get more profit from your existing customer base.

What is the last chance email?

This type of email is sent directly to customers as a last-ditch effort to get them to buy the product. Last chance emails aim to get people to act on expiring offers, and they do it by triggering “fear of missing out”, or FOMO for short.

It is a powerful mechanism that may get people to feel anxiety or insecurity over missing something or being left out, isolated, from things everyone else is part of.

Most common types of last chance emails

Usually, companies send last chance emails close to the end of the deal. Depending on your business and audience, you may want to send it on the last day, 24 or 48 hours before the end, and in some cases, an hour or a few before.

Also, different situations need different messages. Here are the most common types of last chance emails and email marketing tips.

This offer expires

One of the reasons time-limited deals work is because anxiety fuels impulse. Like countdown timers on landing pages and in reminder emails remind your customers that time is running out and they have to act now.

“This offer expires…” message is versatile and can also be used as a win-back email — a type that you send to inactive customers with hopes to get them back onboard.

It works wonders for e-commerce and just as well for many other businesses. For example, here is how Elna Cain, a freelance writer and author of a course for writers, uses it to drive sales for her course.

A last chance email by Elna Cain

Elna starts with a reminder about her course plus some social proof of how good it is. She continues with her student’s success story (check out the basics of storytelling in our article here), and then suggests the reader can achieve it too. Finally, there’s a “special bonus offer, expiring today”.

Other customers are interested in…

The “Other customers are interested in…” type of last chance email works on two fronts. First, it suggests to the reader that products in the email are popular with other people, thus they might get out of stock soon. Second, it provides social proof that the products are worth their cost.

The “Other customers are interested in…” works better when your email list is segmented — you’d be able to customize and send more personalized emails then.

Customer’s testimony in Bose’s last chance email
Bose, known for its audio equipment & accessories, used social proof in the form of customer’s testimony in it’s last chance emails. Source: Really Good Emails

“It is now out of stock” followed by “It is back in stock”

This is a “…This product is now out of stock. It’s a pity, but no worries, you may still get it at the next opportunity”… type of message. It reminds people about products they might have wanted to purchase but postponed and ended up missing out.

A message about a lost opportunity calls upon the fear of missing out and works great for travel agencies and e-commerce. But it can and should carry value for the customers — give them an idea whether that product is going to be back and when; offer an alternative; or even simply a promise to let them know once it is back.

You could also offer to pre-order the product so that they get it as soon as it’s back in stock. This would book you some sales in advance.

“Out of stock” reminder is only half the trick — the second and most important half is the “Back in stock” message. This is the email that will actually get you sales — since people can only buy it if it’s available.

This approach works for both potential customers and promotes customer loyalty and retention of existing clients.

OFFHOUSE’s “Back in stock” last chance email
OFFHOUSE’s “Back in stock” features a number of products with images and buttons to directly purchase it. Source: Really Good Emails

Proven last chance email practices you can’t go wrong with

Using a banner with a discount

Banner sends a clear message that the reader can see immediately after they open the email. The downside is that some email clients may not show the image by default — in which case your potential customers won’t see the banner. This is why it’s best to repeat the same information in text after the banner and make sure the email still looks good even if the banner is not there.

AccessPress last chance email
AccessPress'’s last chance email starts with a banner that grabs attention and explains what it is all about in one glance. The text afterward goes into more details while also making sure all readers get the same information — whether their email client shows images or not.

Adding a countdown timer

Countdown timers help visualize the time that is ticking away. You can use an actual ticking clock.

You could also design a countdown email campaign — a series of three or more emails counting down to the deadline. Each email shows less time remaining, increasing the sense of urgency. You could also increase the discount with each next email — or do the opposite, decrease it if you sell popular limited edition products and want to maximize profit.

Last chance email with an animated countdown timer
An animated countdown timer in a last chance email

Informing about the limited edition products

Limited edition suggests the product is exclusive so that the person who has it can differentiate themselves from everyone else. The thought of owning something that only a few can get is the idea attractive to many. It can drive sales by itself and works even better in combination with other tactics.

Happy Human’s last chance email
Happy Human’s last chance email combines a “limited stock available” tactic with a discount. Source: Really Good Emails

Putting emphasis on scarcity

A limited number of tickets for an event, remaining spots in a valuable course, or items in stock create pressure and motivation to get them before others take everything away. It works even better in combination with limited time availability.

Neil Patel used these tactics for his Sales Funnel Playbook offer. He does not forget to add social proof by stressing how in demand this product is, telling readers it was all sold out in just a day.

Neil Patel’s last chance email
Neil Patel’s last chance email about his Sales Funnel Playbook offer puts emphasis on scarcity.

Jacob McMillen, a six-figure copywriter and an author of The Internet’s Best Copywriting Course, uses a combination of scarcity and limited time to sell his 1-to-1 coaching session. Hinting that it might never be available again adds even more pressure and desire to grab it while it’s still there.

Jacob McMillen’s last chance email
Jacob McMillen uses a combination of scarcity and limited time to sell his 1-to-1 coaching session.

Best last chance email subject lines to try out in your campaign

Subject lines often determine if people open your emails or send them to the trash folder. Luckily, there are a number of templates you could use (that work great for others).

  • Last chance…
  • Only [X] hours left
  • Price jumps by [X] tonight
  • Last day
  • Your [X]% OFF deal ends soon
  • Get [X] with [Y]% OFF (next 36 hours only)
  • Up until [X]: Try a [Y] for FREE for 30 days
  • Almost gone!
  • You are missing out
  • These items are going to run out soon
Last chance emails subject line examples
The subject lines for the last chance emails straightforwardly transmit what it’s all about.

When crafting a subject line for your message, remember these few things.

  • The shorter the better. Your readers may be using smartphones and the long title won’t show on it fully. Keep it under 9 words and 60 characters.
  • Use emojis to stand out and convey meaning (but only if they fit with your brand’s style). It will save you space (one emoji instead of multiple words or characters) and attract your readers’ attention.
  • Make sure your preheader compliments and explains the subject line. Preheader is a text that comes after the subject line when an email is viewed in your inbox.
Preheader text after the subject line in the inbox
Preheader text comes right after the subject line in the inbox, and, if it’s short, the email’s body text may show next.

Top last chance email examples that actually worked

SAXX Underwear

SAXX Underwear makes comfortable men’s underwear and loungewear with proprietary designs and cool patterns. Their products have a number of unique features, and the trademark is what they call a “ballpark pouch” — a 3D hammock of sorts, that is meant to hold men’s manhood in place while limiting chafing and perspiration.

The last chance email from SAXX Underwear
Source: Really Good Emails

The last chance email from SAXX Underwear immediately captures attention with a big red banner. It then goes on to explain why this is the last chance — since any later and the purchase won’t arrive in time for Valentine’s. The email also cuts out extra steps — it shows the products right there so that the reader can choose and go on to buy.

Valley Cruise Press

Valley Cruise Press is an art and design-focused press label specializing in limited edition pins, patches, books, and other accessories. They “have been making cool stuff and sharing good designs since 2014”.

Valley Cruise Press’ last chance email.
Source: Really Good Emails

Valley Cruise created a beautiful artistic design, consistent with their website. They use exclusivity tactics by offering a discount to newsletter subscribers only and added a limited-time availability tactic by selling for only one day.

Grammarly

Grammarly is an AI-based writing assistant that reviews spelling, grammar, punctuation, clarity, engagement, and delivery mistakes while also offering specific suggestions to help you improve your writing.

Grammarly’s last chance email
Source: Really Good Emails

Grammarly gets straight to the point with a big bold 50% offer on the premium plan and makes it immediately clear that readers need to act quick — the offer ends today. The email goes on to compare the free and premium plan and make it clear to the reader what they would lose if they don’t act.

Goodreads

Goodreads is one of the world’s largest sites for readers and book recommendations. It also has a community, and in its database, there are both paid and free-to-read books.

Goodreads’ last chance email

Goodreads’ “last chance to vote” email uses a clear subject line, explains the details with a beautiful banner, and then shows the books with their covers.

Bob Bly

Bob Bly is a top-level copywriter and author of 100 published books on copywriting and marketing. Here is the last chance email he sent to his subscribers promoting a free webinar. It goes without saying that Bob Bly should have marketing resources to create any type of impressive email with banners and whatnot — however, he opted for plain text to persuade his subscribers. And in his case, plain text is enough.

Bob Bly’s last chance email

Bob Bly uses plain text only for his last chance email yet the message is still clear and persuasive. He combines tactics: training is exclusive, and available spots are limited. Plus, he adds a big fat bonus for attendees: a free library of swipe files useful for his audience — marketing professionals.

Wrapping up

Last chance emails take advantage of the FOMO mechanism to create a shopping urge and to nudge your users to buy now. They try to create a situation where people buy on impulse, without having time to deliberate for long.

Apply these proven tactics when crafting your own last chance emails.

  • A banner with a discount. Immediately grabs attention and makes the offer clear in one glance. Make sure to repeat the same information in the text under the banner since images might not work for all email programs.
  • A countdown timer. Makes it obvious that time is running out and adds a sense of urgency to act.
  • Limited edition. People like to feel they are unique or that they own something unique. Limited edition products that only a few could own call out to this wish. You could offer a discount exclusive to your subscribers or add a bonus only for them if your products themselves do not have a limited edition.

Have you tried sending last chance emails yet? How did it go?

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