As a business owner, you’ve probably researched upselling techniques or launching a new website. But how much thought have you given to your post-purchase emails?
Most sales teams will agree that email marketing is one of the best methods for acquiring new leads and making conversions. It’s true that emails are great for initiating contact and engaging prospective customers with enticing offers. Better yet, it’s completely free.
However, just because emails make the perfect sales tool, it doesn’t mean you should stop using them once the deal is done. In fact, the post-purchase period is crucial for ensuring customers feel valued.
In this guide, we look at how to create effective post-purchase emails that help retain customers, improve brand image and drive further sales.
What exactly is a post-purchase email?
As the name suggests, a post-purchase email is sent after someone has bought something from your business. A key part of your email marketing strategy, they offer a chance to say thank you and give important updates. But these emails shouldn’t be generic. In fact, they have real value for both the business and the customer when done right.
Post-purchase emails can be set up as automated campaigns that are sent at different stages of the customer’s post-purchase journey. This includes the moment directly after the purchase, during the shipping process, and in the days/weeks that follow.
Post-purchase emails are one of the most effective emails you can send. Why? Because the customer has already made a purchase, and they might just buy again. The visual aspects also make them more appealing than receiving a sales call in the middle of the day.
Post-purchase emails are both transactional and sales-related. For example, a transactional post-purchase email could be an order confirmation, while a sales-oriented post-purchase email could help to upsell or cross-sell new products or services to existing customers.
What should be included in a post-purchase email?
Of course, there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to post-purchase email campaigns. Nonetheless, there are some common features you should try to include in all of your post-purchase emails:
- Clear branding including logos, fonts, and color schemes
- Well-written, well-designed, and scannable
- Eye-catching and enticing visual aspects
- Clear call to action
- A recognizable email signature
- Customer’s name
As well as including these features in your post-purchase emails, here are some things to avoid:
- Filling your emails with too much text, as viewers will most likely scan the content
- Cluttering it with too many images
- Using the same tone of voice for different post-purchase email campaigns; some will require more urgency
Consider investing in proofing software to speed up the design of your post-purchase emails. It streamlines the process and ensures that the images you use are aligned with your brand.
The secrets of an effective post-purchase email
Get the timing right
Wondering when to send a post-purchase email? Straight away? After several days? Next week? The answer depends on the type of post-purchase email you’re sending.
For example, an order confirmation should be sent instantly to assure customers that their order was successful. Similarly, if you’re letting a customer know that a previous purchase is back in stock for reordering, an email sent late might mean the item is out of stock again.
Make sure it fulfills its purpose
There’s a fine line between providing customers with valuable emails and spamming them. Making sure your post-purchase email fulfills its purpose is key to making it effective. For example, an existing customer wouldn’t want an email with a discount code for 20% off their first order.
If you have data at hand, use it to segment customers based on their purchasing history. This way you can avoid sending emails that are irrelevant to certain groups within your customer base. For added support, you could integrate a customer portal software tool to let customers log in and view the latest updates whenever they want.
Personalizing an email is one of the best ways to increase open rates. From adding their name to the subject line to sending related products based on past purchases, personalized communication makes customers feel special.
What’s more, businesses that use personalization across multiple touchpoints claim to see a 300% or more ROI.
The benefits of post-purchase email campaigns
Post-purchase email campaigns help customers feel valued and well-informed. This can be enough to encourage them to return to your store and make more purchases.
What’s more, post-purchase emails say a lot about your brand. They show that you’re reliable, go the extra mile to provide updates and new offers to customers, and understand your customers’ needs. These are all things that will lead to a positive brand reputation.
So, where do you begin in creating effective post-purchase emails that capture the buyer’s heart? Let’s explore 5 types of post-purchase emails and how to get them right.
5 types of post-purchase emails
1. Order confirmation email
One of the first things most people do after making a purchase is to check their email inbox for an order confirmation. By providing it on time, you’ll show your customer that they can trust you to provide the service they need.
The confirmation email should be creative, exciting, and on-brand to leave a lasting impression. It’s a chance to give the customer transactional information while introducing them to your brand and its values. What’s more, thanking a customer for their order is one of the easiest ways to build a new customer relationship.
To ace the confirmation email, you should:
- Automate it to be sent as soon as the order is processed.
- Use the customer’s name and say thank you.
- Provide shipping information and details for reassurance.
- Let them know about future plans or developments.
- Offer a discount on their next order.
- Use storytelling in your emails to share your brand’s values.
- Include visual content to grab the customer’s attention.
2. Shipping confirmation
The shipping process can be the most stressful part of the buying journey. A shipping confirmation email provides customers with a digital copy of shipping details and any other necessary information. This process can be automated and personalized as well.
The best shipping confirmation emails include links to real-time delivery updates. If your online store integrates with delivery services, pick one with a tracking service to give the email maximum value for the customer.
Again, remember to reinforce your branding on these types of confirmation emails to keep your business at the top of customers’ minds.
3. Reminders and updates
Sometimes a gentle reminder is enough to encourage inactive customers to make another purchase. You could, for example, remind the customer that they haven’t logged into their account for a while and offer them a 20% discount code.
Whatever the reason for sending a reminder or update, try to put yourself in the shoes of the customer. Imagine why they might have stopped engaging with your brand, and ask yourself what you would want in return to come back.
4. Upselling new products
Existing customers are more likely to buy from your business again if a new product is put in front of them. Upselling emails provide the perfect opportunity to sell new and improved products to customers at higher rates.
Post-purchase emails offer a non-invasive and relaxed approach to showing new products to customers. Instead of cold calls from a salesperson or a pamphlet sent through the post, emails can be read at a time that suits the recipient and when they’re more likely to absorb the information. For example, let’s say you’re emailing ecommerce subscribers about your new product; you could provide all the information customers need with links to the website to find out more.
Ideas for upselling post-purchase emails include:
- Providing a button to add new products to an order
- Emailing updates about new software releases and packages
- Telling customers when a new version of a product is out and running a price cut
- Including detailed product information and guides. For example, you might need to recap the meaning of ML data pipeline for customers buying an analytics tool.
5. Surprise rewards
Nothing captures a buyer’s heart more than a reward sitting in their inbox.
Rewards can range from free gifts and discount codes, to giveaways, holidays, and store cards. The best rewards should go to your most loyal and long-serving customers, or customers who have promoted your brand online and left positive reviews.
For example, if a particular customer has been ordering the same product regularly for months, send them a personalized email with a reward explaining that it hasn’t gone unnoticed. It’ll go a long way towards making them feel valued and increases the likelihood of them recommending your business to others.
An invaluable sales tool
It’s clear that post-purchase emails can add value to both your brand and your customers. Carefully planned and targeted post-purchase email campaigns can work wonders for your overall profits while keeping marketing costs relatively low.
The ongoing engagement built with these emails provides a pool of returning customers, increases customer loyalty, and boosts your competitive advantage. Remember, it’s free to send an email, so post-purchase emails should be one of your primary sales methodology strategies for boosting sales and revenue.