How to Create Urgency with Black Friday Email Campaigns

How to Create Urgency with Black Friday Email Campaigns

Yep! It is that time again. It is the perfect time to start crafting your Black Friday email campaigns if you haven't already. This year Black Friday falls on the 24th of November 2023. It's coming around quickly, right?!

With the volume of emails dropping through your subscribers' inboxes during Black Friday, you need to take BFCM very seriously and start working on your plans for email marketing as early as possible. 

Urgency can be one of the most powerful ways of driving people to convert. So no matter how you use email marketing throughout Black Friday, creating a sense of urgency within your emails is an essential ingredient for success.

This blog explores how you can drive the feeling of urgency in your email marketing, by using scarcity, FOMO and loss aversion to get those subscribers clicking and buying. 

Create a pre-teaser campaign 

One tactic to create urgency throughout your Black Friday email marketing is to do a pre-tease campaign. Customers love sneak peeks of what is to come and your loyal subscribers deserve to get an early look at the sale. 


A pre-tease campaign works by revealing enough information about your sale and products to catch your reader's attention but not reveal everything, creating a buzz for when the campaign launches. 

To add a sense of urgency to a pre-teaser campaign, you could include a countdown timer. You could show how long subscribers have until the Black Friday sale goes live. Using a countdown timer lets subscribers know exactly how long they have to take action, in this case how long they have until they can access the BFCM sale. Creating a sense of urgency in the run-up to Black Friday means that by the time the sale starts, subscribers will be ready and waiting to grab those deals as soon as they are live.


Another great way you could create urgency in your pre-tease campaigns using a countdown timer is, by giving subscribers the chance to sign up for early access and show how many people have done so already. This strategy applies Robert Cialdini's principle of scarcity. If we believe something is in short supply, we want it more. This means that subscribers are very likely to take action straight away as they do not want to miss out. FOMO alert. 

Add countdown timers 

Similar to the point above, another tactic to create urgency in your Black Friday email campaigns is to include countdown timers throughout your BFCM sale emails.

An email countdown timer is an animated GIF image that counts down to a specific date and time. The clock is refreshed every time the email is opened, increasing urgency. It shows customers that the Black Friday promotion is for a limited time only and to act now or miss out! Creating this urgency can increase clicks and sales. 


There are many countdown timers you can use to create urgency within your BF emails, such as: 

  • Start of sale countdown 
  • End of sale countdown 
  • Personalised coupon countdown 
  • VIP access countdown 
  • Free delivery countdown

For example, the email may include copy along the lines of "Be quick, our Black Friday sale ends in X hours. 

Use loss aversion bias 

Alongside a countdown timer, you can further create a sense of urgency among your email subscribers by using a loss aversion bias. Loss aversion is where a loss is seen by an individual to be more severe than an equivalent gain. Email marketers use loss aversion to build urgency and make the intended recipient act immediately. 

Examples of loss aversion marketing:

  • Last chance to buy 
  • Limited-time offers 
  • Count-down timers
  • Last chance to join 
  • For one day only 


Your subscribers will receive loss aversion emails every day, so if the readers think they can get the same offer tomorrow, they have no reason to buy from you today. When you use urgency (loss aversion) you take tomorrow off the table, this is because people feel losses more deeply than gains. Customers get serious FOMO, especially during holiday seasons like Black Friday so will not want to miss out. 

However, email marketers - be sure not to use loss aversion in all of your emails. When subscribers get bombarded with loss aversion marketing, they stop believing it is the last chance they can get a specific deal or offer so will stop opening the email. Also, make sure that you use it ethically to create real urgency around the facts. Never use any of these behavioural science biases to fool subscribers.

Scale down the % discount each day 

One of the most common ways to create a sense of urgency throughout Black Friday is to offer discounts. You could go that one step further to achieve increased urgency by scaling down the % discount each day. For example; Day 1 is 30% off, Day 2 is 25% off, Day 3 is 20% off and Day 4 is 15% off. This is another application of loss aversion bias. 


This is a great technique to emphasise urgency as a subscriber will not want to miss out on the best offer and are likely to take action if they know the following day the discount won't be as great. Consumers are always on the lookout for the best discount, so displaying that if they wait longer, the deal won't be as good as if they purchased now. This is a commitment to your word as a brand and it will drive urgency, clicks and sales. 

Wrap Up 

Creating urgency is super important during the Black Friday period. Not only to drive open rates and sales but to stand out from the rest in your subscriber's crowded inbox. Email marketers rely on creating urgency, Robert Cialdini's scarcity principle and loss aversion bias to give them the edge over the competition. Superheroes, make sure you are using these urgency techniques to stay ahead of the email game.  

Finally, don't leave your Black Friday email planning too late. Start now and give the team a shout if you need help

Looking for More BFCM Tips & Tricks? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Black Friday Email Marketing Campaigns.

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Our team of email marketing consultants are here to help you today

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