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How to Express Urgency in an Email? Tips & Examples

Samavia Malik

Are your emails compelling enough for your subscribers to act? If you know how to express urgency in an email, you’re more likely to convert subscribers into paying customers.

It isn’t just a marketing tactic but has deep roots in human psychology because urgent situations compel the human brain to take action instantly.

So, how do you create a sense of urgency in your emails? It all relies on how you present information to your target audience. 

Let’s walk you through the process and examples for your subject lines, email content, and Calls-To-Action (CTAs) to get your audience to act promptly.

Why Is It Important to Express Urgency in an Email?

Communicating a sense of urgency through your emails is essential. According to a recent study when a person feels a sense of urgency, they stop thinking as much about a subject as they should and focus on an action-oriented state of mind.

Hence, this principle should be kept in mind while incorporating content that helps nudge your audience to act right away to boost email openings, conversions, and potential sales. 

Consider the below helpful tips to get your subscribers to act quickly. 

Create a Sense of Urgency in Your Subject Lines

Every component of your email needs to have a sense of urgency, including your subject lines. And the secret to doing that is your choice of words. Here’s a rule of thumb you should follow:

Use urgent language to tease your reader

Use urgent language to bolster what’s inside your email.

For instance, if your email focuses on a flash sale that offers recipients a great discount, your subject line should tease the reader with that information.

Your subject line could be “Act fast and save 30%” or “Time-sensitive offer on our hottest sneakers.” Here’s a list of email subject lines using urgent words for you to copy:

  • Act fast and save 30% on footgear 👟
  • Act now! Your place in line is going…🏃🏿
  • Discounted rates end at midnight!
  • Ends tonight! 15% off your favorites
  • Clock’s ticking ⏰ 30% off on 100+ items!
  • End-of-season clearance - prices too low to last!
  • ⏳Don’t miss out on this hottest deal⏳
  • Last day of sale.
  • Hurry! Avail 10% off now
  • Last chance to get 20% off!

Look at the below example from Modernica that uses the subject line “ENDS TONIGHT! Shop Black Friday Deals” to create a sense of urgency in its email.

Email example from Modernica

How to Express Urgency in Your Email Content?

Here are three ways to prompt a sense of urgency in your email copy and design for conversions.

Set a deadline

One of the most effective ways to create a sense of urgency in the body of your email is to set a deadline. Whether offering a hot summer deal, giving away concert tickets, or asking your subscribers to RSVP for a conference, you’ll get more conversions by setting a deadline.

Adding a countdown timer is one way to do that. It creates a sense of urgency and persuades your customers to take immediate action. Unlayer has a collection of email templates with countdown timers already embedded in them. All you have to do is set a deadline and you’re ready to go. 

You should also reward subscribers for taking advantage of the offer within that limited time. For example, give your customers an extra 10% off if they buy your product within 24 hours or offer an exclusive discount on event tickets.

An example from Restream perfectly incorporates a countdown timer in their email and asks their customers to avail 20% off within that time slot.

Email example from Restream showing a countdown timer

Pro tip

Don’t make the deadline too long. A week-long sale may not be a good option to create a sense of urgency. You should try a two-day sale, a 24-hour sale, or a flash sale that only lasts for a few hours.

Give a solution

When someone is facing a problem, they want a solution real fast. If your company offers a solution to a common problem, your subscriber’s need to take advantage of that opportunity kicks in, and urgency takes over.

For instance, your company is offering a one-week relationship management course for corporate employees.

Here’s what your email can look like: “Tired of dealing with unproductive employees? Stop arguing and start communicating now. Our one-week relationship management course will mend your relationship and boost your productivity.”

After reading this email, any manager with a broken business relationship will feel a sense of urgency to take this course.

Here’s how MOO perfectly creates a sense of urgency for their customers and offers 30% off on stickers, notebooks, business cards, and accessories.

Email example from MOO offering discount on multiple products

Offer something scarce

When you give the impression of scarcity and set a deadline, your customers will act. Is a hot item from your brand back in stock? Or are you selling a limited edition item?

Use this tactic to trigger a sense of urgency for conversions. Maison Louis Marie offered its customers a limited edition holiday candle and ensured that the words “Limited Edition” are there in the body of the email to grab readers' attention.

Email example from Maison Louis Marie promoting a limited-time candle

Convey a Sense of Urgency Through Your CTA

Space is very limited in your CTAs. So, word choice has a huge impact here. You should create a sense of urgency with two to five words.

Combine an active and urgent word

Words like “Shop” and “Act” are active words that can encourage your subscribers to make a purchase. Combine that active word with an urgent one. For instance, “Shop Now” or “Act Fast.”

Here’s a list of phrases for CTAs employing the combination of active and urgent words. Feel free to copy them.

  • Quick! Reserve your seat today
  • Claim your coupon now
  • Start saving now
  • Reveal your deal
  • Act before it’s too late
  • Don’t miss out
  • Sale ends soon
  • Book now
  • Get started today
  • Sign up now

The below example from Upside knows how to express urgency in emails. They get started with the subject line, “ACT NOW: Bose offer extended while supplies last!” instructing customers to act immediately.

They also create a sense of urgency in the email body by using the phrase “Book Now” in the CTA. These words are sure to evoke emotions right away, boosting your sales.

Email example from Upside showing convincing CTAs

Use warm colors

The best colors for CTA buttons are red, orange, and yellow to create a sense of urgency. 

The red color evokes excitement, passion, and urgency, while orange and yellow colors are associated with warmth and alertness. Conveying urgency through different colors in a CTA leads to people taking action. Plus, these colors stand out from the rest of your email copy, making them prominent and easily readable.


Don’t forget to sync the color of your CTAs with the other design elements of your email.

Look at the below email example from Collin Street Bakery, employing warm colors in their email design.

Email example from Collin Street Bakery with prominent CTAs

Wrap Up

As you go about crafting your email, look for areas where you can enhance your wording or design elements like CTAs, countdown timers, etc., to create a sense of urgency.

It’s essential to go through each component of your email. Once you know how to express urgency in an email, and are happy with creating a perfect one, send it to your target audience and see those sales rolling in.

Create Emails That Prompt Urgency

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