7 ideas for creating a sense of scarcity in email marketing

Mailrelay , Invited guest @ Mailrelay

Today I would like to discuss with you an interesting concept, and how we can apply this strategy in email campaigns. This is the concept of scarcity, something that always attracted us, as human beings, because for most us, something scarce always has more value than something that is abundant, accessible or easy to get.

From the smallest things to the most exclusive and expensive products, in many cases we can see how deliberate scarcity is used to increase their desirability.

There are many examples, for instance, the other day I was buying a magazine for my little boy, the magazine included a gift, an envelope with a very nice Figurine, Giochi Preziosi shopkins.

correo masivo

It also included a sort of catalog with all the figures that Could be found if we buy other magazines and a caption:

  •  Common
  •  Rare
  •  Ultra rare
  •  Special Edition

You can imagine that the ones that most children want to get  are not those identified as common, and it is not that they are so different.

We like something rare for the exclusivity it conveys, to differentiate ourselves from others, to stand out from others, this sensation is part of the Human nature. If there is little of something, this should be good, also, if there is too little then it should be pretty good.

See the example of mobile telephony manufacturers,  companies such as Apple, sell devises such as the iPhone that are only available to some, due to its price, which ends up distinguishing them from other people who can’t purchase these devices.

Expensive  watches of over 6,000 € , can be purchased by just a few people, if you buy one of them, you are not looking for a tool to know what is the time, because they are devices that indicate the visual status of these people, to demonstrate to others that they can afford to pay for these products.

Even with cars, a company recently created an ad that said something like this, “you want everything, an economical, low-consumption car and Totally exclusive “? This ad demonstrates Once again, the idea of scarcity and exclusivity, asking people to buy something that other users won’t find.

Although it is a false sense of scarcity, for example, in the case of this Car, I don’t believe they have just a few cars of this model. At Mc Donalds we can see products in limited promotion, “Enjoy today because tomorrow it may no longer be available”!

Or Amazon.com “we only have 1 in stock. Buy Before it is too  late! ”

Can this strategy be used in email campaigns?

Yes, it can be used and it is a very good strategy.

In fact, it is very likely that you are already using this strategy as Part of your email marketing. For example, if on your blog you offer an ebook that users can download, to encourage the suscription, you are offering something that

Not all people can have, only the users who signs up. We have the first way to make email marketing more exclusive:

1) Offer something that users can get only if they subscribe to your newsletter in the same strategy, you can go further and create material that readers can only receive by email:

2) For example, mini-courses and content that subscribers receive through email, and are not accessible in the blog

Now, we have created a scarce resource that will have more value because There is no other way to get it. If you don’t want to use this content only for subscribers, because it is difficult to create new content, and you want to make the most of this material, you can:

3) Send content first to subscribers.

This is something that can also be used as a strategy, you can offer the content first to subscribers, this creates a sense of exclusivity that can be used to attract more subscribers for your email campaigns.

And we can go even further and send certain content, discounts, offers, etc. Only for certain subscribers. For example the most ” faithful” subscribers, who always open the emails, who always click to visit the landing page:

4) Reward the most active subscribers with offers and Special content, created just for them.

These subscribers can be easily located using the advanced filters available on our software  and you can target them in this way.

Thus, it will be possible to create a special connection with the subscribers who always are interested in your emails. And what is best, by targeting these subscribers and sending the newsletters  first to them, it will be possible to improve your sender score Reputation, which will increase your delivery rate.

If you do this on your blog, your subscribers can register so that you can:

5) Create different campaigns, such as Gamification!

For example, those who have opened all the newsletters during the month receive a Special content. Those who have opened more than 10 emails in the last 2 Months could receive a discount for the next purchase.

There are many ways to do this and if you add limitations, for example the 3 subscribers who clicked more often during the last 3 months, you will be creating competition and scarcity in something so simple as an email.

In addition to improving your engagement and reputation  another aspect that you can use is “temporary shortage”:

6) Set deadlines in email promotions

For example sending an email marketing campaign with a promotion, and setting

A deadline for uses to take advantage of this promotion,or set.

7) Limited Products

Allowing a small group of subscribers to access the promotion.

Therefore, by limiting the time and quantity available, it is possible to generate a sense of scarcity, increasing the pressure so the subscriber understands that he should buy as soon as possible.


Trying to create something unique for your email campaigns could seem contradictory, but it is not. What is plentiful and free Is not attractive, what is more exclusive is much more interesting.

And in many cases, you just need to create the illusion of scarcity, It doesn’t even have to be real.

Do you have more ideas? Share them  with us!

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