You up for a little roleplay?

You are?

Don’t worry, if things get a little too weird, just say the word “floccinaucinihilipilification” and we’ll stop…

Imagine that your favourite guru launches a new course…

You read the email, devour the sales page, and grab a towel to wipe up your drool.

It’s PERFECT – everything you wanted (and more!)

You look at the price.

When you regain consciousness, you sit down, steady yourself, and look at the price again…

It’s definitely “uncheap”, but still great value.

You want in.

You decide to check your bank balance…

When you regain consciousness…

You COULD buy it now, but you’d be eating beans until next week, when the payment that client promised you comes through.

You decide to play it safe and wait until next week.

After all, what’s the rush? You’ve quadruple checked the course deadline, and it isn’t for a couple of weeks, so you’re good.

You set an alarm on your phone, your watch, and write a reminder on your grandmother’s forehead so you can secure your place when the money comes in.

Two days before the payment is due, you get an email from your guru…


Turns out, despiite the deadline not being for another two weeks, the guru – without any mention – was limiting the course to only 50 people, so has closed the doors early.

How do you feel?


If the guru had let you know about the scarcity – the limited number of places – you’d have gone the “living the beans life for a week” route to make sure you didn’t miss out.

But because they DIDN’T tell you, you’ve missed out.

More than that, you feel like you’ve been robbed and cheated.

“If only they’d said…”

A lot of business owners struggle with scarcity.

I get it… no one wants to feel like a slimeball.

Here’s the thing about scarcity…

It’s only slimey and sleazy if you’re using FAKE scarcity tactics, like the “we’ve only got a limited nunmber of these digital courses in stock – when they’re gone, they’re gone!” brigade.

If you have something with genuine scarcity (a time-sensitive offer, limited number of places, or fast acting bonus), it’s your duty to let your customers know about it.

No need to hype it up – just be honest and use your words:

“The deadline to secure your space is tonight at midnight.”

“Next time I offer the course, it will be more expensive.”

“This is your last chance to get my daily feedback on your emails”

There’s nothing sleazy about scarcity.

There is however a lot sleazy about being a lying, cheating, shameless, scammy marketer who is happy to con money out of people to make an extra sale.

I go deeper into “sleaze-free scarcity” in “Sent.”, my email writing course, including sharing the three words that will always keep your pitches on the honest side of the tracks.

Coincidentally… those three examples of scarcity above?

They all apply to “Sent.”

The deadline IS tonight.

Next time I open the doors, it WILL be more expensive.

This IS your last chance to get daily 1-2-1 feedback on your emails.


I’ve NOT put a hard limit on the number of spots, so as long as you click the link below before midnight tonight, you won’t be disappointed by a “SOLD OUT” message:

Got questions? I’ve got answers (as long as it’s not Geography, I was always a bit pants at that).

John Holt

P.S. As an email marketing pro, I SHOULD have a “THIS IS YOUR LAST CHANCE” email scheduled to go out later…

However… the fact I used the word “SHOULD” in the last sentence tells you everythig you need to know…

I might send you an email later… I might not.

I just wanted to let you know in case you’re one of those folks who – like me – wait until the “LAST CHANCE” email to decide.

This might be your last chance.

Here’s the link again to find out more about the course: