Shipping deadline email examples

Nudge your procrastinators and hard-core bargain-hunters into action with a gentle warning that they're about to miss out on a shipping deal.

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Some people don’t need to be prodded into buying. They’re the ones who wrap up their Christmas shopping before Black Friday, the early birds who click on your special offers as soon as they pop into the inbox.

And then there’s the rest of us, who sometimes need a little shove, no matter how much we love your brand. Or we’re bargain-hunters who want to wait until the very last minute to see if you sweeten an offer. We’re the people who need to know the clock is ticking and we could lose out if we wait too long.

That’s why shipping deadline reminders should be part of your ecommerce email marketing repertoire.

Shipping deadline strategic recommendations

A shipping deadline email needs two basic elements: the deadline and a link to prompt shoppers to return to your site and buy. The link can go to your homepage or to a dedicated landing page you set up for a specific purpose – to promote a specific merchandise array, for example.

Provide as much detail about the deadline as possible

Time zones are everything! Your subject line can say “Free shipping ends tonight,” but your message content should specify whether that means 8 p.m. ET or 8 p.m. PT. This Stuart Weitzman Outlet email lays out all the facts a shopper needs to avoid missing out – which can cost you sales and customers.

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Keep distractions to a minimum

What jumps out when you look at this SAS email? For us, it’s the big red square in the middle with the shipping deadline (including day, hour and time zone). The gold banner with the FedEx order deadline and delivery date is pretty eye-catching, too, but it doesn’t distract from the essential information.

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Always give customers something to buy

The deadline is the headline, but product recommendations give shoppers something to click on. In this color-drenched message, Baboon to the Moon wraps its shipping deadline details around an eye-catching product recommendation and then leads readers down to a curated gift guide. (Love the contrasting green CTA buttons.)

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Give people a heads-up on the deadline

Not every foot-dragger is a procrastinator. If you have a special shipping offer, or if your products have a little longer consideration cycle, send a heads-up email a day or so ahead of the deadline. PaperStyle’s 48-hour notice gives creators a little breathing room – just enough to come back and finish up quickly.

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Shipping deadlines aren't just for holidays

If you use free shipping to spur buying on other occasions, such as a new-product reveal, a shipping-deadline reminder gives you another way to remind shoppers to come back, browse and buy. Lunya adds a Mother’s Day CTA for early-bird shoppers, but the message itself isn’t an obvious Mother’s Day promotion.

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Dial down the FOMO

A hard-core “Fear of missing out” message isn’t always the best way to persuade customers to act. Daily Harvest’s order-deadline reminder uses a gentler approach, starting in the subject line: “It’s not too late.” But it follows good shipping deadline practice by listing the order deadline and delivery window prominently below the hero image.

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Shipping deadline implementation details

Deadlines—as the name suggests—are all about a firm date on the calendar. Use it or lose it, buster! Take advantage of custom fields and profile attributes in your ESP in order to trigger campaigns based on a deadline to communicate that shipping cut-off are imminent. Here are a few tips:

Add urgency with a countdown timer

Kendra Scott’s countdown timer is a deadline triple threat – it covers the shipping incentive, freebie offer and loyalty bonus. Note how the shipping reminder includes 3 key details: delivery date, offer code and expiration date. The email also repeats the deadline offer in the boilerplate shopping information below the product suggestions.

Create a shipping reminder that doesn't look like one

Check this Function of Beauty email closely … it doesn’t look like a shipping-deadline reminder, does it? That’s because the deadline is implied in the deadline to buy this last-chance product. Pretty sneaky! Don’t be afraid to get creative with your shipping reminders – they deserve the same love as your other special interest emails.

Add a shipping deadline to your cart abandonment emails

Your shipping deadline can also be the extra incentive you need to persuade more browsers to come back and check out their carts. This Potpourri email lists the shipping offer and deadline in the subject line and then leads with it in the message body, along with the qualifications. Maybe test this in your cart-abandonment emails?

Use animations to attract attention

Minimalism works! The animated GIF PacSun uses to promote its shipping deadline stands out better when it’s the star of the show, as it is in this email. The website links below the image don’t get lost, though, thanks to generous use of white space.