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Getting a new customer is a big deal—it can cost a lot of money, and it usually takes quite a bit of time for small businesses. Returning customers, though, are a great way to boost your company’s ROI. That’s why you need to send post-purchase emails to your first-time buyers.

Post-purchase emails are your gateway to customer success. They improve customer experience, decrease customer complaints, and encourage customer retention. They can also improve your bottom line when used properly.

How post purchase emails improve your bottom line

One of the primary benefits of email is how easy it makes communicating with people. Rather than interrupting someone’s busy schedule with a phone call—which also takes a lot of your salespeople’s time—emails make it easy to follow up with first-time buyers after they make a purchase.

Post-purchase emails not only increase customer engagement, but they also improve your overall efficiency:

  • Your email subscribers are three times more likely to share your message on social media than people from other sources. Follow-up emails that include referral codes can increase engagement and drive new customers to your store.
  • Almost three-quarters of people want to receive promotional content through email, where only 17% want to receive it through social media. Follow-up emails that promote similar products may be more efficient than targeted social media ads.

Post purchase email campaigns offer you a chance to get feedback from your customers about your products or checkout process. They also give you the opportunity to market additional products and services to your customers.

13 post-purchase emails that increase customer engagement

Increasing customer engagement is one way you can build loyalty and customer retention with first-time buyers. From basic thank you and shipping emails to emails that offer targeted product recommendations, post-purchase emails are your ticket to repeat business.

1. Thank you emails

Aside from providing your customers with security and peace of mind about the online ordering process, thank you emails give customers a chance to review their order and learn about the next steps. Thank you emails don’t have to be complicated. Take a look at this example:

Thank you emails should be the first post-purchase email you send.

Source: Really Good Emails

With just basic order information and a link back to the website, this thank you email offers plenty of validation to your customer that their order is being processed.

2. Review request emails

Product reviews and customer testimonials are a great way to convert new customers that may be on the fence. When it comes to online reviews, 93% of consumers say they impact their purchasing decisions, but only 68% will leave a review if asked. Consider this review request email example:

Asking customers to review your products is a great way to encourage feedback.

Source: Really Good Emails

To overcome any hurdles people may have about writing a review, offer them an incentive for leaving honest feedback about your company or products.

3. Referral emails

Customer referrals are still one of the most effective ways to boost customer retention and increase the number of new customers you convert. People trust their friends and family, so they’re more likely to try new products or brands if they’re referred. This example shows an effective referral email:

Referral emails improve customer retention and encourage new customers to purchase from you.

Source: Really Good Emails

If you really want to increase engagement and sales, referral programs should offer incentives to both your current customer and your potential new customer. Incentives can be discounts or account credits.

4. Service update emails

Ecommerce platforms that offer subscription-based services have a lot of post-purchase email potential. As a service provider, you want people to know exactly what services you’re providing and what value they offer. Here’s an example of how to highlight your benefits in a service update email:

Letting your customers know how they’re doing inspires confidence in your services.

Source: Really Good Emails

You can make service update emails a routine part of an automated email campaign or you can make them milestone events that keep your customers hooked.

5. Reminder emails

With a few exceptions, when people buy products online, they generally have to wait for them. If your customers run out of critical items, they’ll resort to brick-and-mortar stores for their last-minute needs. Reminder emails encourage your customers to purchase ahead of time. Check out this example:

Reminder emails are good for the bottom line and convenient for your customer.

Source: Really Good Emails

This is a great way to use personalization to your advantage as well. Reminder emails can include recently purchased items as well as product recommendations.

6. New feature emails

Ecommerce stores that offer subscription-based services can use new feature emails to let their customers know about updates to their services. Highlighting new features encourages people to keep their subscription and could lead to referrals. Take a look at this new feature email:

Your customers will appreciate new features to their current services.

Source: Really Good Emails

New feature emails should include either a description of how the features will benefit your customers or screenshots of the features in action.

7. Itinerary detail emails

Companies that offer travel planning services or routinely host events can send post-purchase emails with details about their customer’s itinerary or a schedule of the event’s speakers. Details like this can improve your customer’s experience. Review this example of itinerary details:

Itinerary details give you the opportunity to market other services.

Source: Really Good Emails

When you send out emails with logistical information, use the opportunity to point people to local favorites or places they need to see. Offer people the option to upgrade, if available.

8. Account update emails

Service-based ecommerce companies measure results differently than ecommerce stores that offer physical products. Your customers, however, still value their dollar the same. Account update emails show your customers how much value you’re providing. Check out this example:

Your customers will appreciate knowing how their account is performing.

Source: Really Good Emails

Focusing on memorable dates—like account anniversary dates—and congratulating customers for their continued use of your services can encourage them to keep doing business with your company.

9. Confirmation emails

Like thank you emails, confirmation emails give your customers comfort in knowing their order was placed successfully. If your ecommerce store takes donations, confirmation emails may be the most effective way to let your customers know you received their contribution. Consider this email example:

A confirmation email can make your customers feel secure.

Source: Really Good Emails

It’s important to include a copy of their receipt in the confirmation, just in case they have billing questions in the future. You can also include a link back to their order on your site.

10. Product recommendation emails

Once a customer has placed an order on your site, you should have a substantial amount of data about them. You can use this information to draw insight into other products they might like. You can also recommend products that complement something they purchased. Look at this recommendation email:

Use product recommendation emails to offer complementary products and services.

Source: Really Good Emails

You don’t necessarily want to send these out often. Use A/B testing to find out the best time to capitalize on your current customers.

11. Shipping emails

While this may seem like a no-brainer, keeping your customers updated about their order status is critical to customer success. Your customers want to know when their order ships and approximately when they’ll receive it. They also want to know if there’s a delay. Take a look at this shipping email:

 Shipping emails ensure your customers are in the loop about their order.

Source: Really Good Emails

Most ecommerce platforms give you the ability to send tracking emails to your customers. Use these emails to keep your customers happy and reduce the number of order inquiries you get.

12. Product use emails

Rather than sending emails that promote other products, consider sending emails that let people know how to use what they ordered. Links to video guides can be practical, and tips for getting the most out of a product can increase customer retention. Consider this product use email:

Product use emails give you the chance to connect with your customers.

Source: Really Good Emails

If your product requires a technical manual or instruction guide, consider sending post-purchase emails with links to those in a knowledge or resource base.

13. New product emails

Your current customers are some of the most valuable leads you have. When you have a new product, they should be the first people you market to. Even if the product isn’t for them, they’re more likely to refer it to their friends and family if they’re happy with your company. Look at this new product email:

A new product email can lead to fresh business from old customers.

Source: Really Good Emails

Whether you’re offering a new mobile app or selling the latest tech gadget, post-purchase emails that focus on new products can encourage more sales.

Wrap up

While you don’t want to bombard your customers with a slew of post-purchase emails, a follow-up email campaign can be an effective way to keep customers engaged. Use these takeaways to get started on your post-purchase email campaign:

  • Post-purchase emails are more than just a thank you; they provide some value to your customers.
  • You can use post-purchase emails to relay information. Tips and how-tos offer insight to your customers.
  • Your post-purchase emails are part of a marketing plan. Send them when your customers are most likely to read them.

With the right tools, you can put together an effective campaign for post-purchase emails.

Looking for email marketing automation tools that boost performance? CM Commerce has an array of features to optimize campaigns for ecommerce stores.

This blog provides general information and discussion about email marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.
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