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Why urgency emails (sometimes) fail

There’s a big, fat mistake brands make when running promos in my humble, but correct opinion.

The mistake?

Overusing urgency.

Here’s what I mean:

During promos, it’s common for most of the emails to be urgency emails. They’re shorter and tend to be easier to pump out, which makes many people believe that they’re “better.”

But urgency emails often miss the mark, especially with colder members of your email list. Urgency emails work best for red, hot subscribers who were already planning on buying your product or service. For this group, the urgency email works great: It “forces” them to buy now instead of putting it off for another week, month, or longer.

But that’s about all it does.

Mayhap there are a few members from the colder corners of your subscriber list who might bite the bullet and sign up. But for most of these people? Urgency emails fall on deaf ears.


Urgency emails, especially when they’re overdone—which is a mistake many brands make when running promos—can be far more deadly to these cold corners of your audience.


Well, relying too much on urgency emails makes your subscriber list feel like they’re only a one-night stand. And this leads to burn out, lower open rates, lower read through rates, and less revenue in your coffers.

That said, I’m not recommending that you should never use urgency emails. They are effective. But like any other copywriting tactic, there’s a diminishing return on their effectiveness. And relying too much on urgency emails means you’ll have to continually offer higher and higher discounts to make sales.

That’s the bad news.

The good news?

There’s a way to run promos where you don’t have to rely too much on urgency emails.

In fact, whenever I run a promo for my clients, I throw in content- and story-based emails designed to move the colder corners of the subscriber list closer to a buying decision. Then, as the deadline approaches, I start throwing in more urgency emails.

The result?

My clients get the best of both worlds:

They’re able to maximize the effectiveness of urgency emails while also strategically using content- and story-based emails to grow the number of people who will act from an urgency email. This is the secret recipe for $100k product launches without sacrificing your relationship to your list, which is by far the most important revenue driver in email marketing.

Need help running your next promo? Hit reply, and let’s chat.


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