Want to Create a Shopping Frenzy? Use the Scarcity Principle in Your Emails.

Learn how to use Scarcity principle in your email campaigns.

Marketing Psychology
March 23, 2023
Want to Create a Shopping Frenzy? Use the Scarcity Principle in Your Emails.

You probably have been using the scarcity principle in your emails unintentionally. Like the last time when you sent a limited stock email. Or, when you ran a flash sale. Maybe, the countdown timer you added to your email?

Scarcity goes by many names–FOMO, Exclusive, Limited-time, Invite-only. 

But, it all stems from a fundamental principle: when something is hard to get, people attach a lot of value to it. 

The feeling of competing for scarce resources is a highly motivating factor. The more we can’t have something, the more we want it. 

How to use it

We often use the scarcity principle (along with visual triggers like countdown timers) to create a sense of urgency or exclusivity and to motivate customers to act quickly before the deal expires or the product becomes unavailable. 

Here are some examples of campaigns you can send using the scarcity principle:

  • Limited-time offers: Offer items at a discounted price for a limited time to encourage customers to make a purchase quickly
  • Limited edition products: Create a sense of exclusivity around a product or collection by making it a limited edition to increase its perceived value
  • Limited quantities: Letting your customers know that a product is in short supply to create FOMO
  • One-time offers: Telling customers that an offer or deal is available for a short time and won't be repeated
  • Exclusive events: Giving customers the opportunity to participate in an exclusive event or experience
  • Early bird offers: Offering discounts or special deals to customers who act quickly 
  • Pre-orders: Allowing customers to pre-order an item that is not yet available
  • Limited-time access: Offering customers membership or access to exclusive content, resources, or a community for a limited time


True to their brand’s style, True Grit Texture Supply hits the nail on the head with this psychedelic email letting users know that the trip is ending soon.

The “Sale Ends Tonight” stands out in the elegant design, encouraging shoppers to take advantage of the sale before it ends.

This pre-order campaign from Bachan’s is a pretty good example of how you can instill a sense of exclusivity in your shoppers. The offer implies that they’ll be the first to receive the product when it comes in stock on top of an additional discount.

Taking the scarcity meter up a notch, they also add a time expiry to their pre-order.

Magic Spoon has created a community of brand loyalists with their multi-flavor breakfast cereal. 

“Magic Spoon is my adult life and kid life smashed into one fantastic box of cereal.” reads one of their reviews. Naturally, when they launch limited edition flavors, the hype is real. 

It’s like people standing outside 3 nights before Apple launches a new iPhone but for cereal.

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