Recover Lost Sales With Back in Stock Emails

Kristen IndiharEcommerce

Recover Lost Sales with Back in Stock Emails

Running out of a popular product can cost ecommerce sites hundreds, if not thousands of conversions. Recently, out of stock items cost retailers $1.14 trillion dollars.

Luckily, there is a simple solution that can mitigate stock issues: back in stock emails. 

Back in stock emails leverage out of stock inventory to recover sales, build brand loyalty, and provide a better customer experience. 

In this blog we’ll discuss essential elements of a back in stock email campaign and the benefits of leveraging out of stock inventory. But first, let’s start with the basics.

What are Back in Stock Emails?

Back in stock emails monitor inventory levels and notify customers when their desired product is replenished and available for purchase again.

Don’t think these seem important? 65% of consumers have reported switching brands because an item was out of stock, demonstrating it’s crucial to have a plan when experiencing a stockout.

4 Steps to a Back in Stock Campaign

Although the strategy may seem straightforward, there are several steps in creating your campaign that make a big impact on getting shoppers back to your online store.

Monitor Product Availability

First things first, your site should be set up to monitor product levels.

Next, leverage items with low stock. Launch low stock alerts to create urgency and encourage shoppers to act quickly. Low stock alerts are a great initial strategy that helps shoppers get their product before it’s gone.

Notify Shoppers of Out of Stock Inventory

Once your stock levels reach zero, prompt users to enter their email so they can be notified when the product is back in stock.

You can place an out of stock form field in-page and allow users to enter their email at any time.

The same messaging can also be presented on abandonment. This ensures the original email prompt wasn’t missed, and shoppers can see how easy it is to get alerts about their desired product.

The notifications put shoppers at ease while allowing brands to collect new-to-file leads.

Send a Confirmation Email

If a user decided to give you their email, they should be aware their submission was successful. Let them know on-site that an email will be sent shortly. Then, send a confirmation email with product details like the image, size, color, and price so they know their correct product is being looked after.

Alert Shoppers of Product Availability

Once the product is back in stock, send an email immediately so they have a fair chance of getting the item. This is where a strategic email design comes into play to ensure the shopper’s interest is reignited and they return to your website to make a purchase.

Essential Elements of a Back in Stock Email

Although emails will vary from brand to brand, here are four key elements every company should include in their back in stock emails.

1. A Clickable Subject Line

Well thought out email subject lines are crucial. If an email isn’t opened, the body copy of that email doesn’t matter. The subject should be straight and to the point, so shoppers know exactly what the email is about. 

Here are some examples: 

  • Good news! Your item is back.
  • Back in Stock. Don’t Wait!
  • Hurry! Your item is in stock again. 
  • {product name} is back in stock!

2. Product Visuals 

Once your email is opened, it’s important to see the product above the fold. Sometimes it can take weeks or months for a product to come back in stock, so it’s important the shopper is reminded of their item immediately. Place the product image at a key focal point so they can get excited again about the item again.

3. A Sense of Urgency 

The last thing a customer wants is to return to your site to see their product sold out again. In the body copy, tell shoppers to act fast since the product could sell out again. This not only recovers lost sales, but provides better communication to keep customers happy. 

4. A Clear Call to Action 

Your call to action is another detail that can’t be missed. Make sure the CTA is above the fold so shoppers can get to your site as quickly as possible. You can even reiterate the CTA at the bottom of the email. 

It’s up to you whether your CTA takes shoppers to the product page or the cart page. Either way, here are some CTA examples:

  • Add to Cart
  • View Item
  • Buy Now
  • Shop Now

The Benefits of Leveraging Out-of-Stock Inventory

Email marketing revenue worldwide is around $9 billion dollars, proving how email can effectively transform abandonment into opportunity. 

Back in stock emails stop abandonment and prevent lost revenue using personalized solutions that demonstrate you care about shoppers’ needs. Let’s take a look at the other benefits. 

1. Prevents Comparison Shopping 

If shoppers know you’ll keep them in the loop about their desired product, they won’t go hunting for similar items on your competitor’s website. This is why the confirmation email is important so shoppers know they’re locked in. 

2. Captures Leads Without Incentives 

Capturing leads often requires an extra incentive like free shipping in exchange for an email address. Back in stock emails eliminate that need because you’re still providing value. In addition, you’re now connected with shoppers who are genuinely interested in your brand. 

3. Keeps Shoppers on Your Email List 

Even if you’re taking measures to reduce your unsubscribe rates, it might still happen from time to time. 

However, unsubscribes are typically not a problem with back in stock emails. Shoppers are on your list for a specific reason so they won’t opt out of your list. After a while, they’ll become accustomed to checking for your brand’s name in their inbox. 

4. Brings Shoppers Back to Your Site

Signing up for back in stock email alerts shows promise for long-term profitability. Considering purchase intent was high, there’s a good chance the shopper will return to your website to buy their desired product. If you provide a good experience, they’ll likely keep your brand top of mind to purchase again. 

5. Allows for Email Remarketing 

You also now have an idea of what products your leads are interested in. You can use dynamic product recommendations in a follow up email to show shoppers other items that could compliment their initial item of interest. 

Turning Out-of-Stock into Sales 

Although stockouts are not a good thing on the surface, you now have the tools you need to make the best out of a tough situation. By utilizing AI-driven technology, you have the power to turn lost sales into repeat, loyal customers. 

Optimizing Your Email Marketing Strategies

With new strategies in mind, it’s a great time to cross check the rest of your email marketing campaigns. Get a free download of UpSellit’s 27 Attributes of an Effective Email, or write to to learn how we can increase conversions through on-site solutions and email remarketing. 

27 Attributes of an Effective Email