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Hooray, someone just bought their first product from your ecommerce store. Mission accomplished, job completed.

Or is it? We don’t think so…

Knowing that it is 5 times more expensive acquiring new customers than it is to retain existing customers, it’s a smart move to set up a system that nurtures and deepens the customer relationship.

Post-purchase emails: a smart way to retain customers and drive sales

Post-purchase emails are sent after someone has made a purchase. Initially, they are purely transactional. But when you extend their use beyond the practical details and updates about their purchase, you can really show your customers how much your brand cares about them.

According to a study of Klaviyo, post-purchase emails are amongst the most effective ones you can send as an ecommerce business.

“These types of emails see a 217% higher open rate, over 500% higher click rate, and 90% higher revenue per recipient than your average email campaign.”

With a solid post-purchase email sequence, you’ll be able to:

  • Share their excitement, set clear expectations, build anticipation and reduce uncertainties (which leads to less customer support enquiries).
  • Nurture and tempt your customers to come back and purchase a second time.
  • Start conversations with your customers and gather valuable insights in their buying behavior (and improve your segmentation based upon that).
  • Inspire and delight customers with new product recommendations and unique discounts.
  • Promote your social media channels.
  • Encourage participation into your loyalty programs.
  • Get reviews on autopilot.

In short, you’ll be able to build the foundation of a strong and long-lasting customer relationship.

Let’s have a look at the best post-purchase emails an ecommerce business can send to retain customers and grow relationships with them.

1/ Purchase confirmation email

When someone buys a product from your website, obviously they want a confirmation. This transactional email provides them with crucial purchase details such as a purchase number for future reference, all the invoice details and estimated shipping dates.

But these types of emails are usually overlooked. They are just… a practicality. A legal obligation of an e-business.

And that’s a shame considering that a purchase confirmation has the highest open rate of all email types. Even more, people tend to keep and read these emails for months after their purchase.

Our tip? Look at these brilliant examples below, optimize your own purchase confirmation email and stand out by offering a magnificent customer experience.

Tens

Tens - Post-purchase email

Why we like this email:

  • Simple and clean design that fits the Tens branding.
  • The intro is personal and makes the customer feel good about their order.
  • The order number is clearly visible.
  • They show product visuals.
  • All product, order and payment details are included.
  • They offer a way to contact their customer support.

Trainline

Trainline - Post-purchase email

Why we like this email:

  • It’s a simple email with minimal design.
  • The ticket collection code is shown at the top of the email. Perfect, this is the most important piece of information.
  • They added a time-saving tip: buy a mobile ticket next time. This is some really good personalized advice based on the type of ticket you ordered.
  • All the crucial order details and payment details are listed in the email.
  • There is a direct link to the user account where a customer can view or manage their booking.
  • Bonus points for adding relevant hotel suggestions. A perfect example of how you add even more value in a purchase confirmation email.
  • There are helpful links to the frequently asked questions and customer support.
  • Trainline turns new customers into newsletter subscribers by adding a opt-in call to action at the bottom of their email. Well done!

2/ Shipping confirmation email

Just like the order confirmation email, the shipping confirmation is often overlooked when it comes to marketing potential.

While their primary goal is to provide your customers with the shipping information, a package tracking link and estimated arrival date, they offer a great opportunity to establish a unique brand voice and build excitement around their latest purchase.

Amazon

Amazon

Why we like this email:

  • They come in with the most important piece of information: when am I going to receive my item?
  • They included the tracking link.
  • There’s a reminder of the product they have bought, the shipping address and the total price.
  • If you have changed your mind, they offer a link to ‘Your orders’ where you can return or replace items.
  • They added product recommendations to inspire you.

Fitbit

Why we like this email:

  • Their email branding is on point.
  • The tone of voice of the copywriting is personal, sweet and funny.
  • Includes a tracking link.
  • They added all the necessary information such as shipping address and product details.
  • They show a link to their customer support page in case you have questions or remarks.

3/ Product review email

Online reviews about your ecommerce store and products are important. Not only because they strongly influence buying behavior, but also because they have a positive impact on SEO and conversion rates.

“68% of online shoppers trust online reviews from peers.”

Source: Nielsen.com

Therefore, including a product review email in your post-purchase sequence is a solid way to get reviews on autopilot.

To make sure that you get the best results from a product review email, there are some things to keep in mind:

  • Timing is key: you want to make sure that your customer has actually received the product and that they have had the chance to use it. This means that the exact timing will depend on the product you’re sending.
  • Offer an incentive: if you offer a discount, free shipping or another incentive, your customers will be more willing to leave a review.
  • Make it quick and easy: no one is waiting for a survey with 25 questions. Ask simple questions and provide an easy rating system.

Want to read more about gathering customer feedback via email? We’ve written a comprehensive post about this topic.

Casper

Casper - Post-purchase email

Why we like this email:

  • Simple design, yet clear branding.
  • Clear title and call to action.
  • They included a picture of the product.
  • They added a call to action to refer a friend (and get a reward). Those who are really happy with their purchase might be triggered to do so.

TradeGecko

TradeGecko - Post-purchase email

Why we like this email:

  • Fun visual and sweet title.
  • They explain why giving reviews helps them to make their business/service/product better.
  • Clear call to action.

4/ Product recommendation email

By analyzing the browsing and previous buying behavior of your customers, you can determine which type of products your customers fancy. Maybe someone is exclusively looking at discounted items? Or another person has been looking at a specific product category a few times?

This information offers the opportunity to show personalized and relevant product recommendations to upsell and cross-sell new products. As a result you are able to increase brand relevance, get more email engagement and grow your online revenue.

Evernote

Evernote_Accountrenewal_timely_bigdeal

Why we like this email:

  • The email features an amazing end-of-year deal. 6 months for free when you buy a year subscription to Evernote Premium or Evernote Plus.
  • It’s a limited-time deal which increases the urgency and exclusivity.
  • This email is a great example of how to upsell a service.

Dollar Shave Club

DollarShaveClub_Upsell_timely

Why we like this email:

  • Beautiful email design, perfectly in line with their brand style.
  • It has a clear and simple lay out. Easy to scan and understand.
  • Brilliant timing: this email was sent right after someone made a purchase and before the items are shipped. The buyer is in a happy shopping mood and might add some extra items to their basket before their first purchase is shipped.
  • The recommended products are complementary to the item that has been bought.
  • They repeat the billing and shipping address to make sure everything is correct.

5/ Product education email

Delivering consistent value to your customers is the foundation of a solid email marketing approach. By listening to your customers, learning what they care about and delivering educational content around those topics, you are able to show your brand expertise and position yourself as a source of information and inspiration.

Google Home Mini

Google - Post-purchase email

Why we like this email:

  • Clean, simple and fun design.
  • Their main goal is to get you started with the Google Home Mini.
    It’s an email filled with useful and actionable tips. Completely focusing on improving the customer experience.
  • They link to more information about specific features, offering an in-depth understanding of the device.

Samsung

Samsung - Post-purchase email

Why we like this email:

  • They personalize the big, eye-catching product visual based on which product a customer has just bought.
  • It’s a short and simple email with a clear call to action: get started with your new device.

6/ Replenishment email

Pet food, dental care items, alcohol, razors, contact lenses,… when you sell consumable or perishable goods, chances are that your customers will run out and need to restock at some point.

That’s where a replenishment post-purchase email proves to be a very effective solution to stay top-of-mind with your customers, and drive sales. It’s a timely and relevant reminder to get a fresh batch of whatever you’re selling. And to avoid that they will go shop somewhere else.

Lancôme

Lancôme

Why we like this email:

  • It’s a branded replenishment email filled with interesting product recommendations. They don’t only suggest to re-order the last product you bought, but they also offer other products, and even tools to find your perfect beauty.
  • They offer the possibility to subscribe to an auto-replenishment service based on set dates. Easy and convenient for consistent users.
  • They include 4 reasons to shop with Lancôme at the end of the email.

Clinique

Clinique

Why we like this email:

  • Short email with a direct call to action.
  • Although the product is mainly for men, it’s an email that is targeted at women. We love how they framed the message to attract women buyers.
  • They included a big product visual.

7/ Referral email

Email marketing is a great channel to nurture and deepen customer relationships. On top of that, with a smart customer referral campaign, it can even help you acquire new customers. Identify your best and happiest customers and give them a little push (and reason) to tell about your brand to their friends and family.

Maude

Maude - Post-Purchase emails

Why we like this email:

  • Clean design with a big attention-grabbing visual and title.
  • Short and clear explanation of how the referral process works.
  • There is a clear advantage for the customer.

Bombas

Bombas - Post-Purchase emails

Why we like this email:

  • Big eye-catching visual and title to attract attention.
  • Lovely color scheme that fits their brand style.
  • Fun and straight-forward copywriting.
  • Clear message and call to action.
  • Who doesn’t like free socks?

Setting up a post-purchase email sequence that makes sense

It’s a great idea for any ecommerce business to start sending these post-purchase emails. But it’s an even better idea to develop a strategic roadmap first.

By creating a flowchart of your post-purchase email sequence(s), including timings, content and segmented target groups, you can avoid issues like:

  • Sending too many emails after purchase.
  • Wrongfully timed emails.
  • Addressing the wrong segment with the wrong message.

In short… you’ll avoid embarrassing email mistakes that might negatively impact your brand reputation.

Here are some pointers to take into account when you’re setting up a post-purchase email sequence.

Segmentation for post-purchase emails

You must segment your post-purchase emails based on the previous behavior of your subscriber, their profile data, the type of product they just bought and the source they have signed up for. Taking into account the specific situation of your customers will make sure that you’re sending emails that are relevant and effective.

Let’s illustrate this with some specific examples for each email type:

A first-time buyer needs to be addressed differently than someone who has bought multiple times from your store.

Which type of delivery did the customer choose? Fast shipping? Standard shipping? Show different shipping information based on their choice.

How did a customer find you? Via Facebook? Via Twitter? Ask them to share their review on the platform they have discovered you on.

Segment this email based on the specific product they have bought. Add products that complement or upgrade their purchase.

What did the person buy? Is it a complex product that needs additional information (assembly instructions, how-to-tutorials, background information about the manufacturing,…)?

Which type of product have they bought? And how many times have they bought it from you? If they are consistent buyers, why not add a discount? We’re sure they’ll appreciate that!

How many times did a person buy from you? Do you think they will recommend you to others? Identify your best customers and ask them for customer referrals.

When to send post-purchase emails?

Timing is everything. Make sure to think about when a specific email type should go out and how this email relates to other emails in your post-purchase sequence. You don’t want to end up sending 5 different messages in one week, overflowing your customers’ inbox.

Decide which criteria you need to take into account for each email of your post-purchase sequence. Obviously, the specific timings will change from company to company and from product to product. Here are some general guidelines:

Immediately after their purchase.

As soon as you have received the tracking code.

When your customer has received the product and has actually been able to use it.

Right after your customer has bought a product (when they’re in a happy buying mindset).

While your customer is waiting for their product to arrive.

There are several variables to consider when deciding on the timing for a replenishment email.

  • How long does it take before someone runs out in normal conditions?
  • Is there a logical pattern in the customers’ buying behavior?
  • Does the product have an expiry date?
  • How does your customer use the product?

Don’t wait too long before sending out this email. You want to get their attention when they’re still in a happy mood from their purchase.

What to send in post-purchase emails?

The type of content you send in post-purchase emails differs from email to email. Each piece of content you put in the email should support the goal of the email.

Here are some content best practises and ideas that you can use for the post-purchase emails:

  • A big and personal ‘thank you’ message.
  • Make them feel excited about their order. Let them know they made the right decision.
  • Show the product they’ve just purchased.
  • Include all product, order (and shipping) details.
  • Include the tracking code so they can follow their order.
  • Be clear about the shipping details. What can they expect?
  • Show an estimated time of arrival.
  • Do your customers need to pick up their product somewhere? Send them a map of the closest pickup points.
  • Show the product they bought as a reference for the review.
  • Create a simple and easy rating system like a star rating system or smiley faces.
  • Include a share link so they can post their review on social media.
  • Show reviews of other people. This will encourage them to contribute as well.
  • Offer a discount code for their next purchase when they leave a review.
  • Upsell: products that increase the value of their recent purchase.
  • Cross-sell: products that complement their recent purchase.
  • Positive reviews: what people say about these products.
  • Offer a guide on how to assemble the product.
  • Give tips on how to efficiently use the product.
  • Give tips on how to set up the product correctly.
  • Answer the most typical questions that customers have about this type of product.
  • Include instructional videos or posts with in-depth information about specific features.
  • Show the product that they’re running out of.
  • Add a discount deal if they order a new batch directly.
  • Add some product recommendations that are in line with their previous purchase.
  • Show testimonials from happy customers.
  • Tell them how much you appreciate their loyalty.
  • Ask them to become brand ambassadors. 
  • Invite them to a loyalty program.
  • Give them a discount or reward points when they refer someone.

Post-purchase emails don’t have to be boring

They can be so much more than purely transactional. Surf the wave of post-purchase excitement to build a strong relationship with your customers.

Add some personality in your post-purchase emails and make them fun to read. Keep it short and sweet. Be helpful. Delight your customers and make sure that they get the most comfortable post-purchase experience you can possibly offer. Before you know it, they’ll be back at your store, shopping for more.

Saluton can help you define, design and develop an effective post-purchase email sequence. Get in touch to schedule a call with our team.


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