I lovingly refer to it as the “Crying wolf” tactic: pumping false urgency into promotional messages and CTA’s, thinking that’s enough to drive a buying decision. Depending on the trust and relationship you’ve built up with your customer base, this can be easily ignored or missed through the noise.

Here’s a snapshot of all the emails I’ve received recently with “Last Chance” in the subject line.

  • Last Chance For 30% Off + Denim Solutions!
  • Last Chance: Save 10% on AncestryDNA for St. Paddy’s Day
  • Last chance to buy all the things. Last chance to save on your new outfit.
  • Last chance for $50 in free search ads
  • Last Chance: Subscribe for ONLY $5
  • Last Chance: Your Free Hour Expires Monday @ Midnight
  • LAST CHANCE! TEN $5 Bucks MAC Deals
  • LAST CHANCE: We’ve sweetened the deal +3 Bonus Months!
  • Last Chance to Score 20% OFF!
  • Last chance: 20% off Wine&Dine
  • LAST CHANCE To Save 50% on ALL Winter Clothing!
  • Last-chance spring cruise deals + save on Europe LAST days! Your chance to win a free flight ✈
  • Last Chance! Up to 57% Off Rachael Ray Dinnerware
  • Last Chance — Spring Staples: 20% Off When You Buy 2 Or More.
  • Last Chance: Spy Goggles | And more on sale now!
  • Last Chance! Shop here instead. 15% OFF — today only! One. Last. Chance. Save up to 46% off our Fall Savings!
  • Last Chance: Save up to 48% this weekend
  • Last chance: Get free social media training plus 60 days of Hootsuite Pro
  • Last Chance: $1 for 30 Days of Unlimited Web Dev Courses
  • Last Chance to Save 15%
  • Last Chance, Act Today. Last Chance: 30% Off Ends Today!
  • Last chance: take $20 off $50 purchase + Specials end tonight! Last chance: get extra 20% off now!
  • Last Chance to Get 2 FREE Ties!
  • Last Chance to RSVP for Select-A-Seat at Citi Field this Saturday
  • LAST CHANCE: Save 15% Today!
  • LAST CHANCE! Save up to 50% on NFL Gear during the Spring Clearance Blitz!
  • Last Chance to join your favorite NHL stars in Las Vegas
  • Last Chance — save an extra 20% on sale online!
  • Last Chance! Parallels Desktop 10 Bundle Deal — 70% off — Less than 12 hours left
  • Last Chance! Hotel Sale Ends Tonight
  • Last Chance to Take $75 OFF Your $300 Order Last Chance to Get a $700 Gift Card
  • Last Chance to Get Your USA Hockey Hoodie for 15% Off at ShopUSAHockey.com
  • Last chance for bewitching deals! Fares from $59*
  • Last chance! Pay just $5/mo. for the Sharp AQUOS Crystal
  • Tick tock. Last chance to save!
  • Win a $100,000 Trip to Hawaii: Last Chance to Enter Again It’s Your Last Chance to Win a Trip to Austin

You can’t stand out when your subject line blends in

Here are a few ways to avoid being just another deleted email at 6:15am:

  • Heavy subject line testing across all deployments. No excuses. Data around responses/customer engagement need to dictate your best-practices. This needs to be done at the 1 on 1 level with each customer individually, not segments. That means implementing testing on both content and delivery time, and possibly the combinations of the two.
  • Know when to cut-bait. Cleanse your email list proactively based on your own engagement standards.
  • This one is fairly basic in modern CRM marketing practices: throw a first-name personalization in your subject line, as part of your testing. See if that spikes the open rate.

No matter how good you think your last-ditch offer is, there are 20 more co-existing with yours in your customer’s inbox. Don’t rely on hail-mary copy-writing at the end of the month to boost e-comm sales. Establish trust and credibility with customers well before you need them to buy. Consistently deliver value and incentives that are personalized and based on the data your customers are providing you implicitly or explicitly.