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Back-In-Stock Email: How To Win Customers Away From Competitors

Email Marketing

What if I told you your email can get you $1,888.39 of revenue in just 72 hours?

I’m not pulling your leg.

In fact, this is the exact amount Bare Performance Nutrition (BPN) got from its campaign:

Open rate
Click rate
Sales conversion rate
Revenue (in 72 hours)
13.0% 0.6% 15.7% $1,888.39

Want to get this result for your business? 

Of course you do. 

In this blog post, you will learn how to create a restock email that customers can’t help but click to buy.

Ready? Let’s dive in.

What Is a Back-In Stock Email?

Your business can always be better. 

Even if it’s growing at a steady pace, chances are you have customers slipping through the cracks.

To put it bluntly, you’re leaving money on the table!

This is where a back-in-stock email comes in — it recovers some lost revenue by notifying customers when a high-demand product is brought back to the store and available for purchase.

The goal of this email is to:

  • Win customers back with products in high demand, 

  • Increase the number of touchpoints between you and these customers, which convince them to return and buy from you, and

  • Foster a deep connection with them and add delight to the experience.

Want to begin right away? Download this Back-In Stock Email Checklist to start right fast.

Click here to get the 13-Point Back-In Stock Email Campaign Checklist

How To Create a Restock Email Campaign

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Stage 1: Prepare Site

First things first, don’t remove your out-of-stock product page and show customers (and search engines) a 404 page. 

If you do this, you negatively impact the user experience and your website’s organic rankings.

Instead, leave it on the store and do this:

  • Include an "Out of Stock" or “Unavailable” label and

  • Place a call-to-action (CTA) button to give customers the option to leave their email address (e.g., “Email me when this product is available”).

1. Do a 301 Redirect

Not bringing the product back? 

Do a 301 redirect to a similar page to prevent link equity loss and get a second chance to make a sale. 

2. Always Focus on User Experience 

Make sure the “out of stock” label is visible on the main shop page. 

You don’t want customers to realize it’s unavailable after they have read the description on the product page and are ready to buy.

Let’s use Book Depository as an example. Noticed how there’s a CTA button called Notify me under this unavailable book?

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The Notify me button directs customers to the individual product page. 

Pro tip: This is only for customers who are ready to buy (bottom of funnel).

Use a Click Trigger pop-up for the CTA button!

This way, when customers click the button, they’re immediately prompted to fill in their email address without needing to click through to the product page.

See how fashion brand Ellysage does it:

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When users click “Join waiting list,” a pop-up appears:

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Ideally, you also want to target customers who are in the “comparison shopping” stage (middle of funnel). The image and name of the product should still lead to the individual product page.

3. Build Your Email List

In this click trigger pop-up, place a checkbox below the email field for customers to opt in to your email list (e.g., Opt in for news and promotions).

Screenshot showing google search results

Take this chance to build your email list and nurture these subscribers for future email campaigns. Make this field optional.

Stage 2: Create Email

It’s time to put on your creative hat and write your restock email. There are three components to a successful email: subject line, body copy, and CTA.

1. Write a Great Subject Line

Remind customers why they are getting the email. 

For example: “Back in Stock: [Product Name] Limited Stock, Hurry!” 

To boost your clickthrough rate (CTR), include words that convey urgency like: 

  • Hurry

  • Limited time

  • Don’t delay

  • Selling fast 

2. Maintain Interest in Body Copy

  • Use images thoughtfully. Take fashion stores, for instance. They use pictures of models to help customers visualize how the products look. Your pictures have to serve a purpose.

See how Lindy Bop does it:

Screenshot showing google search results

  • Customize content, especially for items that come in different styles. 

Show the exact color, flavor (if you run a Food & Beverages ecommerce), or model your customer picked to make your email personalized.

Like this example from Alo Yoga:

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  • Use scarcity and urgency. Urge customers to act now as the product may sell out again. Make it clear if there’s only a limited amount of stock. Use repetition in your headline and body copy to reinforce the urgency.

Take Clever Training.

The fitness gear company first alerts customers in its subject line Back in Stock! Tacx Bike. It then highlights scarcity (Limited quantities) and urgency (Don’t miss out) in the body of its email:

Screenshot showing google search results

  • Include similar products recommendations. There’s a chance customers may lose interest in the product over time. Consider the BPN approach — showcase other products your customers may be interested in toward the bottom of your email:

Screenshot showing google search results

3. End With an Epic CTA

Craft a compelling CTA to encourage customers to act immediately.

Go a step beyond “Shop Now.” 

Use value-based call-to-action words and phrases like “Elevate my wardrobe” (for fashion) or “Feel my best” (for fitness).

Stage 3: Send Reminder

Now that you’ve created an effective restock email, it’s time to amp it up with these two tips to further optimize your campaign.

Are your customers not taking any action?

Schedule a reminder email to be delivered one week later. Ideally, this reminder email should be different from your first email.

If the first email is unopened, use a different subject line. If it’s opened but with zero clicks, edit the body or CTA copy.

10 Back-In Stock Email Examples

Let’s explore the following 10 back-in-stock email examples — curated from FAM, Really Good Emails, and Milled—to see how these steps look like in practice:[*][*]


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Subject Line: Good news! We’ve restocked

Why It Works: 

Positive framing works and Uniqlo proves it.

The subject line Good news! and the headline You’re in luck motivate customers to take the desired action. They’re promotion-oriented words.

The subhead, That sold-out item you loved, reminds them why they’re getting the email. The CTA, Gimme, is strong and creative.

Uniqlo ends off its email with outfit recommendations to target disinterested customers.


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Subject Line: 

You Asked, We Listened.

Why It Works: 

Eberjey starts its restock email with a subject line that leaves a small curiosity gap. It entices customers to open the email to see what it's about.

The headline “You loved it so much, we brought it back” reinforces the desire customers had when they wanted to buy its pajamas. 

The lifestyle brand also uses scarcity (Selling fast), urgency (Don’t wait another second), and power words (best sellers and super-soft) in its copy and navigation category (i.e., CTA) to close the sale.


Screenshot showing google search results

Subject Line: 

Your slides are here

Why It Works:

Personal goes a long way and UGG knows it. The subject line “Your slides are here” creates excitement and reminds customers that this popular product is finally available for purchase. 

Urgency is also used here (Get yours before they sell out again).

Plus, the photo of the model wearing the slides adds a human element—it tempts customers to buy what she’s wearing.


Screenshot showing google search results

Subject Line: 

OMG! It’s back in stock. The Crying Unicorn Candle

Why It Works: 

Here’s a cool copywriting tip: speak in your customers’ language.

Firebox grabs attention by using a slang phrase, OMG. 

Known for its quirky branding and unique niche market (i.e., selling to an "imaginative" audience), the tone of voice used here is on point. 

What’s particularly interesting is the wide range of categories at the bottom of the email — notice how there’s something for every customer?

Firebox does a great job at tying its restock email with special occasions (e.g., Father’s Day) to reach a wider audience.

Kaufmann Mercantile

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Subject Line: 

Back In Stock: Japanese Cypress Wood Bath Mat Now At Kaufmann Mercantile

Why It Works:

Clarity beats clever. 

And Kaufmann Mercantile is an excellent example of this approach. Just read the first few lines. It’s direct and clear.

It would be even better if a CTA button is added after the first paragraph (e.g., Buy it now, Get your wood mat today).

As you scroll down to the end, you see it’s signed by the founder of the company. 

Granted, this email is probably written by one of the company’s employees. Still, it’s an extremely powerful way to make customers feel like the company has their best interests at heart. 

James Clear

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Subject Line: 

The Clear Habit Journal is back in stock! (And a discount code!)

Why It Works: 

Of all the emails in this list, James Clear’s is the only one that’s text heavy — and it’s a breath of fresh air.

The author of the bestselling book Atomic Habits employs a combo of copywriting tactics: incentive and scarcity.

The incentive, a 20% discount, shows up in several places (e.g., How to get an instant 20% discount, Use the discount code HABITS20 at checkout to get 20% off).

James also uses scarcity multiple times to convert customers on the fence:

  • …sold out immediately

  • …expecting these to sell fast again

  • …should act quickly

Williams Sonoma

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Subject Line:

Now Back in Stock

Why It Works: 

Do you offer special perks that provide added value? If so, highlight it in your copy. 

In this email by Williams Sonoma, this special perk (free shipping) is placed above the scrumptious picture of their popular cookies.

The retail company also uses exclusivity (Be the first to know) and urgency and scarcity (Hurry — quantities are limited).

If you don’t want to showcase product recommendations in your restock email, do it like Williams Sonoma ($70 discount for sandwich press) — draw attention to your latest promo!

Bare Performance Nutrition

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Subject Line: 

Milk N' Cookies Whey Protein IS BACK!

Why It Works: 

BPN immediately stops customers in their tracks with the bold headline, It’s Back. This email is further boosted with clear benefits:

  • Build muscle

  • Improve performance

  • Weight loss

Right below the CTA button is a glowing review from a satisfied customer. This is a form of user-generated content that also serves as social proof

BPN uses it to spark an emotional trigger in customers and make them feel confident about their decision.


Screenshot showing google search results

Subject Line: 

FYI…That beauty you’ve had your 👀 on is back in stock

Why It Works: 

Thanks to the generous white space in this email, customers can’t help but zoom in on Sephora’s restocked product.

The 4.5 stars rating gives customers confidence about buying it. 

Unlike most emails in this list, Sephora puts the price upfront. This saves customers the extra step of clicking through the email just to see the price. #UserExperience

Once again, we see scarcity being played here. The microcopy in the preheader, Get it before it’s gone, compels customers to act fast.


Screenshot showing google search results

Subject Line: 

Back in stock: best-selling vintage from France

Why It Works:

Food52 places its CTA button Shop Now in two places—and for good reason.

They target two types of customers.

The CTA above the picture targets customers who are ready to buy; the one below targets those who may have lost interest and need to be convinced to act.

Food52 also uses exclusivity and power words in this email. The words best-selling, lucky for you and one-of-a-kind urge customers to buy right away.

Create Your Back-In Stock Email Today 

Now you have no excuse to leave money on the table. 

With these tactics and successful real-world examples, you know how to create a restock email that recaptures sales. 

Ready to start your email campaign on the right foot? 

I’ve created a 15-point checklist categorized into these three main stages:

  1. Prepare site.

  2. Create email.

  3. Send reminder.

Use it to reclaim those potential lost revenue!

Download The 13-Point Back-In Stock Email Campaign Checklist Today!