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3 Design Strategies for Last Chance Emails

3 Design Strategies for Last Chance Emails

When your sale is ending tomorrow, or it’s the last day to register for your event, or your shipping deadline is hours away, how do you get readers’ attention? With inboxes more crowded than ever, it’s no easy feat. We gathered dozens of last chance emails to see which design strategies brands are using to get those last minute conversions. Scroll through for three design strategies and email inspiration for your own last chance email campaign!

The best email design, directly in your inbox.

#1. Show readers what they’re missing by showcasing your product

Last chance emails are often short and to the point. If you’re in a hurry, creating a simple typographic design to drive home your message can totally do the trick. However, if you’ve got great photography of your product, you might choose to go ahead and showcase it! Let readers see your product and entice them to click. Here are examples of brands that have done just that, each in their own way.

Ursa Major

Subject: Hours left to save 10%

ursa major last chance sales email

Instead of using a typical product photo of its face wash, Ursa Major uses this clever shot to emphasize that time is running out. In a simple inverted pyramid structure, this final hours email message is short and sweet and easy to digest quickly. We like the big font size and quick-to-spot blue CTA button, too.


Subject: LAST CHANCE – UP TO 70% OFF

reformation last chance promotion

In this last chance email from Reformation, the brand uses a well-formatted photo grid to highlight which products are on sale. Instead of cluttering the email with a ton of CTA buttons, each image is linked. The result is a minimalistic design that communicates in a clear, appealing way. Plus, the opener is a GIF:last chance sale gif


Subject: Last call for these savings on Nest Hello.

nest last chance email example

Here, Nest’s last call email uses a lifestyle photo as its hero image, followed by product photos. Plenty of white space makes this email feel modern and light, and those blue CTA buttons pop!

#2. Grab attention and create urgency with animation

Another last chance email design trend we spotted is the good ol’ animated GIF. GIFs can be particularly effective when it’s the final countdown, helping to grab readers’ attention in those final moments. Here are how 3 brands used GIFs to create urgency and add a little delight.



koio final hours email

This email from Koio is super sleek and simple, and the playful copy evokes a friendly vibe – (It’s good to be friendly when you’re nudging your customers!) Here’s the animation in action:

koio final hours email gif


Subject: Last Chance (To Choose What You Pay)

everlane final hours email

Here’s another procrastinator-addressed email from Everlane. The beautiful text (serif headers + sans serif body) and color-blocking effect give this end-of-sale email a modern vibe that instantly stands out. Here’s the GIF:


The GIF might be a bit bigger than it needs to be (pro tip: it’s better to reduce the size of your GIF to up your chances of having it land in inboxes seamlessly), and we’d also suggest making the text live and the button bulletproof. Color-blocking is easy to do with inbox-friendly HTML background colors, so even without a last chance email template this message could easily be replicated and improved in BEE!

Rag & Bone

Subject: Last Call for Overnight Shipping

rag and bone last chance email campaign

Are you noticing a trend in how straightforward and to-the-point these last call emails are? If you want to get readers’ attention, keep it short! Case in point: This black and white email design from Rag & Bone is chic and effective in its simplicity. Here’s a look at the animation:

rag and bone last chance email campaign gif

#3. Add a dynamic countdown timer to drive home the point

We can’t talk about urgency in email design without talking about countdown timers! Timers are a great way to really show customers how time is slipping away—and they aren’t complicated to include. In fact, we’ve curated a few free resources for adding a dynamic in-email countdown timer: Check out our tutorial and video on how to do it. And here are a few examples from our inbox:


Subject: LAST CALL: Get 1 free month

classpass last chance email marketing

We love the look of this inspiring email from ClassPass. The message is bold, the text is large and easy to skim, and the user-generated content in the second module is a nice touch. Plus, yet another blue CTA button totally pops in this email! Here’s the countdown timer in action:

classpass last chance countdown timer

The timer in this email is a GIF (not dynamic), so it won’t actually count all the way down. The effect is similar; readers get the idea that time is running out. However, it’s also really easy to add a dynamic timer that counts down to a specific date and time set by you. (Check out how to do it).


Subject: Final countdown — 30% off ends in 5 hours!

thinx last chance email copy

This last chance email from THINX uses a super bold HTML background color and live text to shout it out, plain and clear: This offer is ending! The countdown timer shown here is also a GIF, like the one from ClassPass. GIFs work in a jiffy, but you don’t need a design background to create a dynamic timer using a free web tool—something to consider!

Now that you’ve seen all these last chance email examples, are you ready to design your own? Try showcasing great product photos, grabbing attention with an animated GIF, or creating urgency with a countdown timer. If you’re not already using BEE, sign up for a BEE Pro free trial to get access to product promotion email templates, countdown templates, thank you templates, and more. Happy designing!

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BEE Team