​​7 Tips to Write Back-in-Stock Emails (+ 12 Examples)

​​7 Tips to Write Back-in-Stock Emails (+ 12 Examples)
Ivan Kreimer Ivan Kreimer Nov 8, 2023 —  8 min read

It’s almost unavoidable to see some products go out of stock. Even though this issue is often temporary, continuing to promote products out of stock will lose you many potential sales.

One solution is to get the product back in stock as quickly as possible, regardless of how it impacts your profit margins. However, this is not the most sustainable solution.

Instead, you can get the buyers to wait, so you email them the news by the time the product is back in stock. Add some marketing into the mix, and you’ll quickly get back all of the lost sales.

That’s what back-in-stock emails are all about. If you want to learn how you can use them and how to run a profitable campaign with them, here’s what you need to know.

What’s so special about back-in-stock emails?

The idea of back-in-stock (or “back-to-stock”) emails is to rekindle a buyer’s interest in a product they couldn’t buy due to its lack of stock.

Since these buyers need to voluntarily sign up to get informed about the product's re-stocking, they are a highly engaged audience you can't ignore.

However, this doesn't mean they will buy once they receive a back-in-stock email—you still need to sell them the product like any other segment.

To send back-in-stock emails, all you have to do is:

  1. Add a signup form for every product that goes out of stock
  2. Create an automated campaign so you message them with the news when their product of interest is back in stock

According to Barilliance research, back-in-stock emails see average conversion rates of 14%. This means that in 14% of cases, these emails lead to a purchase.

Chart featuring different marketing emails broken down by conversion rates

Their research also found that back-in-stock email campaigns had an average open rate of 65.32%, which was almost 70% better than post-purchase emails, the lowest performing email campaign type analyzed.

Chart featuring marketing emails broken down by open rates

3 Tips for writing a back-in-stock email

Back-in-stock emails have only one goal: to inform the subscriber about the restocking. Your job is to show them the product, remind them why they wanted it, and persuade them to take action quickly. Here’s how you do it 👇

Showcase the product

In theory, you can send a back-in-stock email highlighting multiple restocked products. However, this will likely lower the email's performance and generate unsubscriptions.

Instead, you should only showcase the product the subscriber said they wanted to buy.

Uniqlo’s back-in-stock email example

You could potentially send a less segmented email when one of the most popular products is back. However, you should only do it if you know most of your subscribers want it.

For example, this is how Public Goods notifies customers of their bestselling candles being back in stock:

Public Goods’ back-in-stock email announcing that bestselling candles are back in stock

One exception to this rule is when you relaunch a seasonal product. In that case, you’re not saying a product is back in stock, but that a whole category of products is.

Email featuring a linen clothing collection re-stock

As a rule of thumb, show one product per email and personalize it based on the subscriber's preferences.

Remind them why they signed up

By the time you email your subscribers about a product’s re-stock, they will have likely forgotten why they wanted it in the first place. You must remind them why they signed up to get restocking news for that particular product.

First and foremost, focus on selling the product as if the subscriber hadn’t shown interest in it. Use copy and images much as you'd use in a product page.

Snowe designs their back-in-stock emails like product pages

It may seem like overkill, but as you saw previously, people can forget why they had signed up, especially if it’s been months since that happened. Showcase your brand and your product’s value proposition so you can reignite their desire.

In the previous example, you can see how important it is to use product images to highlight different parts of the product. Your images could include one with a flat background, another using the product, another emphasizing a technical feature, and so on.

An example of a restock email from the 686 company showcasing product functionality

Also, tell them that they signed up to get the news. A single sentence that says something like “the product you wanted is back.” Therefore, if they ask themselves, “why is this brand messaging me?” they’ll know why.

Back-in-stock email example from SONOS

Leverage scarcity

In many cases, products go out of stock due to their popularity. In others, it is due to seasonality or limited production.

Whatever the case, you want to leverage the intrinsic scarcity of the re-stocked product.

You can say something like, “buy this product before it runs out.” Alternatively, you can mention when it will be out of stock again or how much stock there is.

Although this exceeds the topic of this article, use scarcity only when the product is truly scarce. Marketers have earned a bad rep due to their abuse of “false scarcity” tactics; you wouldn't want your store to get such a reputation, so you should avoid it.

Seasonal products, like a New Year’s dress, are one such example of an appropriately scarce product.

Back-in-stock email featuring a sellout seasonal dress

Another case is when a product has limited available units, like a small batch of coffee or a plant species.

Bloomscape’s back-in-stock email example

To keep it simple, you can just tell them the re-stocked product is highly popular and that it’s likely to go out of stock soon (once again, if you know that's the case).

Everlane, an online clothing store, uses this tactic when bringing their bestsellers back to stock:

Everlane uses the scarcity principle in their back-in-stock email emphasizing that the product will sell out soon

One interesting way to use scarcity is to tell them you can only guarantee the stock until they add the product to the cart. This motivates the recipient to take action without the need for a discount.

Back-in-stock email motivating customers to make a purchase quickly

20 Back-in-stock email subject lines ideas to steal

One key part of any email campaign is to use subject lines that catch people’s attention. For a back-in-stock email, that’s most likely highlighting the good news the product is back and mentioning its scarcity.

As always, you want to keep the subject line short and concise. You’ve got limited space, so you must make the most of it.

The following 20 subject lines are ideal for any back-in-stock email campaign:

  • Good news! Your item is back
  • {product} is back in stock. Don’t wait!
  • {product} is back in stock. Only {stock} available
  • {product} is back in stock until {date}
  • Your item is back in stock. What are you waiting for?
  • Hurry! {product} is in stock again
  • Just in time for the holidays, {product} is back
  • Finally back in stock!
  • Back by popular demand, {product} is back
  • The wait is finally over
  • We’ve got something special for you
  • You said you wanted to know about this
  • We thought of you when we saw this
  • Don’t let this new stock get away!
  • Check out what’s finally back
  • Back in stock—{product}
  • The Limited edition {product} is back. Hurry up!
  • Lucky you. That sold-out item you wanted is back!
  • You said you wanted it, so we brought it back
  • Thanks for waiting, {product} is back in stock!

Ideally, you want to use dynamic text replacement so that the product the recipient subscribed for shows up in the subject line (that's what the “{product}” in the previous examples is meant to do). If the product is limited by a date or a certain stock amount, mention it.

Remember that the rule of thumb for subject lines is: the more specific they are, the better they will perform.

3 Tips for running a back-in-stock email campaign

Writing a back-in-stock email is only half the work. You also need to learn how to get people interested and run a campaign successfully. That’s what you are about to see.

1. Allow people to sign up for back-in-stock news

Each ecommerce platform has its own features and apps for notifying buyers, so you should first find out what’s available for your platform. For the purpose of this article, we’ll use Shopify as an example.

Unfortunately, Shopify doesn’t have in-built capabilities for signing up visitors who find an “Out of Stock” message. That’s why you want to install an app specifically for this purpose.

There are dozens of Shopify apps you can use. Three of the most popular are:

Note: We can’t vouch for any of these apps. Also, we’re not affiliated with any of them. These are just some recommendations; please, do your own research before installing any of them.

For example, this is how the Back in Stock notification forms work:

Pop-up back-in-stock notification form

These apps allow you to add an opt-in form so that you can notify those passionate buyers once the product is back in stock.

2. Create a tag and campaign for this segment

Whatever email service provider (ESP) you use, you must create a campaign so that you can message the right subscribers. To do this, you want to skip lists and use tags instead.

Tags are parameters that categorize subscribers based on specific actions (or “events”) they take — in this case, it’d be signing up for stocking news. This shouldn't be hard to do as every major ESP, such as ActiveCampaign, Getsitecontrol, and Klaviyo uses tags.

With tags, you can automatically create campaigns that send emails when you restock a product. To show you how you’d set up a back-in-stock tag and a campaign, we’ll use Klaviyo as an example.

Klaviyo offers an event by default called “Subscribed to Back in Stock. Any subscriber who gets tagged with it will automatically be added to your ”Back in Stock” campaign (or “flow,” as they call them).

Then, you add a “Back in Stock Delay“ so the recipient only gets a message after restocking their item of interest.

Finally, you can use pre-built templates to send the email automatically. Alternatively, you can write and send one manually based on a specific set of dynamic event variables (these will depend on your ecommerce platform).

Example of back-in-stock email automation in Klaviyo

With this setup, subscribers will get a unique back-in-stock email for each re-stocked product they were interested in.

3. Prioritize your VIPs

To keep your back-in-stock campaigns simple, you want to email every subscriber tagged as interested. However, you could prioritize your best customers, so they get the news first and buy the products before they are out of stock again.

You can call this group the “VIPs,” and they include:

  • Past customers
  • Customers with the highest average order values
  • Customers who belong to a loyalty program

Banana Republic brings it notorious necklace back in stock – email announcement

You can handle this segmentation with any of the previous ESPs. All you have to do is tag your buyers according to what you consider a “VIP” status and add them to your back-in-stock automation.

For example, Getsitecontrol allows you to tag subscribers based on their subscription preferences and email interactions. You can then use multiple tags to build a segment and send out a back-in-stock email broadcast to everyone who will be interested in it.

If you don’t know how to do this, check how to add a tag to a campaign for your chosen ESP.

5 final tips to run successful back-in-stock email campaigns

To close this article, I want to share five final tips that can boost your campaign's performance. Although these tips are applicable for any other email marketing campaign, you'll still find them helpful:

  • Don’t mix a back-in-stock with other campaigns — make it all about the re-stocked product and nothing more
  • Add a compelling CTA — a must-do for any email marketing campaign
  • Incentives aren’t necessary — unless discounting everything is your main selling strategy or value proposition
  • Social proof is always good — if you can, add testimonials and customer review stars from past customers
  • Add the product directly to their cart — yes, you can do that, and it can work just as it does for some retailers

Ivan Kreimer is a freelance content writer for hire who creates educational content for SaaS businesses like Leadfeeder and Campaign Monitor. In his pastime, he likes to help people become freelance writers. Besides writing for smart people who read sites like Getsitecontrol, Ivan has also written in sites like Entrepreneur, MarketingProfs, TheNextWeb, and many other influential websites.

You're reading Getsitecontrol blog where marketing experts share proven tactics to grow your online business. This article is a part of Email marketing section.

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