Post-purchase emails encompass any messages that businesses dispatch to their consumers after a purchase has been made. These emails usually contain vital information about the purchase alongside promotional and educational content that drives repeat purchases and increases customer retention.
Order confirmation and shipping confirmation emails, for instance, are transactional types of post-purchase emails. However, it doesn't end there. You could incorporate thank-you notes and requests for reviews into your post-purchase email sequence. These emails' timing and content should be adjustable according to the duration since the customer's last purchase.
According to Sharon Goldstein, LimeSpot's CEO, post-purchase emails and SMS are an ideal avenue to re-engage existing customers and prompt their next purchase. Adam Kitchen, Magnet Monster's CEO, also stresses the importance of focusing on enhancing the customer experience rather than just driving additional sales.
Previously, only the most sophisticated ecommerce brands utilized post-purchase flows. However, the scene has changed. Companies like Shopify, Klaviyo, and BigCommerce have now democratized these once complex processes.
The increased accessibility has stirred significant consumer interest in post-purchase flows. It would be a significant communication lapse if customers have to wait for up to five days before receiving their package, or worse, not receive it at all.
Post-purchase flows become an optimal avenue to build customer trust as WISMO ("Where is my order?") inquiries make up a large fraction of customer experience tickets.
Most people perceive Amazon as the golden standard for timely deliveries. Small to medium ecommerce businesses may not command this level of trust instantly. Post-purchase flows can fill this gap, proving useful in conveying the status of orders, whether it's smooth sailing or there are disruptions. If a snowstorm affects your main warehouse, for example, you can utilize automated messages integrated with your tech platforms to update affected customers.
While post-purchase emails primarily inform customers about their orders, they serve an additional purpose. They can be used to educate customers about your brand, products, and why choosing you was the right decision, all contributing to increased customer loyalty and lifetime value.
Failure to send these emails is a missed opportunity. Many brands err by neglecting to follow up with customers post-purchase. Emails can encourage customers to return, reorder, provide feedback, and have a positive experience after a purchase.
However, it is important to ensure that the emails are effective. In order to succeed, it's important to customize emails and make them pertinent to the customer's buying experience. It's important to send them after the product has been received, and timing is key.
Additionally, the language used in the emails should be friendly and professional. It is also important to provide clear instructions on how to provide feedback or reorder. By following these guidelines, businesses can use emails to build strong relationships with their customers and increase customer loyalty. But they need to be done right.
Post-purchase emails, according to Klaviyo data, have an open rate almost 17% higher than the average email automation. If you want to understand these automations' performance metrics better, check out these post-purchase email benchmarks by industry from Q4 2022.
Order confirmation emails are more than just purchase receipts. They reflect your brand and are usually the initial post-purchase message your customers receive. Sending these emails reassures new customers while also establishing trust and fostering new and hopefully long-lasting relationships.
Graza is an olive oil brand. They send a nice email after you buy from them. The purpose of the email is to make you feel valued thanks to sentences like “You’re officially one of us,” or “You’ve got access to all the recipes from our kitchen (and our friends’ kitchens too)”.
Shipping confirmation emails are as crucial as order confirmation emails. They inform the customer when their product leaves the warehouse and starts its journey to their location. By infusing creativity into these emails, you can enhance customer satisfaction, improve post-purchase experiences, and establish a unique brand voice.
Check out this shipping confirmation email from Ritual, which includes social media images and information about their refer-a-friend incentive to encourage customers to socially engage with their community:
Delivery confirmation emails appease customers eager to know when their order will arrive. Especially if your store experiences long shipping times or shipping delays, these emails can offer extra reassurance for awaiting customers.
This delivery confirmation email from Princess Polly is a great example of how brands can use the last touchpoint in the transaction to build trust and create excitement among customers:
Bigblue Tips 💙
Avoid wasting resources directing customers away from your website. Yes, many automations redirect customers to USPS or FedEx tracking pages. Yet, confirmation emails can also steer them back to shopping.
The fashion brand FARM Rio sends a "track your package" email. But it goes a step further, guiding the user back to their website. There, customers encounter a pop-up form offering a discount in return for their birthday information.
While thanking customers can be part of your transactional emails, sending a standalone thank-you email shows customers that you value their business. This also offers a chance to tell your brand's story, highlight how your product stands out from competitors, and reassure shoppers about their purchase decision.
All Things Golden provides a good example of this approach in their email.
Morgan Mulloy, associate director of retention marketing at Avex Design, advises brands to “nurture, nurture, nurture! Show you care that the customer enjoys their purchase and provide resources in case they have any issues.”
If your product requires instructions or specific knowledge to use, consider sending a how-to post-purchase email. This type of email can cover topics like usage tips, assembly or product care instructions, potentially boosting repeat purchases and reducing returns.
Dossier provides a great example of this type of educational email. They offer tips on how to get the most out of their perfume, ensuring that customers use the product properly.
The period following a purchase is the perfect time to promote your brand loyalty or rewards program. Demonstrating to customers that they can earn rewards the more they shop with your store incentivizes them to return for future purchases.
This email from The Sill nails the post-purchase rewards email by showing customers what they can earn if they sign up for the program and continue to shop with the brand:
If customers love your product, the best thing they can do for your business is spread the word.
A post-purchase referral program promotion not only boosts word-of-mouth marketing but also rewards customers by offering them a discount on their next purchase. As you can see in this post-purchase referral email from ILIA Beauty, loyal customers receive a $20 discount code for their next purchase if they refer a friend.
Once a customer has had time to use their new product and is satisfied with it, they're more likely to shop with you again. And since you already know their product preferences, you can send highly relevant content to inspire them to make another purchase.
Beauty brand Wildling, for example, sends this email after someone purchases a stone used for facial massage, featuring an accompanying oil and offering a discount for a limited amount of time.