5 post-purchase emails to boost customer loyalty and repeat purchasers
Think about the service providers you’ve developed a rapport with — a hairdresser, a healthcare professional, or the friendly face who greets you on your morning coffee run.
How do they make you feel? Welcomed? That you’re not just another number? Have they earned your respect or loyalty in some way?
When done right, email marketing breaks digital barriers and replicates similar feelings. Email’s superpower is its ability to re-engage. Smart Shopify merchants know it and use it to their advantage.
Specifically, they use post-purchase email automations to build loyalty and nudge buyers into becoming repeat customers.
We’re examining five post-purchase emails that any Shopify store can adopt by dissecting real examples, providing tips, and suggesting enticing subject lines.
What is a post-purchase email?
You might be questioning what constitutes a post-purchase email.
We’re not referencing order or shipping confirmation emails. Shopify already features such transactional messages.
Our focus is the follow-up email marketing messages intended to deepen relationships after the sale. They're a form of behavioral targeting and their aim is to foster an affinity for your brand.
They are, in other words, customer retention emails.
And for the most part, they are email automations. They're not newsletters sent whenever the mood strikes. They're deployed according to programmed post-purchase timing.
Why send a post-purchase email?
Keeping customers should be a priority for any Shopify merchant, as it’s five times cheaper than acquiring a new one.
Other stats show that the probability of selling to an existing customer is between 60% and 70%, while it’s just 5% to 20% for a prospect.
Let’s ditch the stats for a second and consider the human perspective. Once your shop receives an order, you’re ready to fulfill it and move on to the next. But from your customer’s standpoint, the experience with your brand is just beginning.
Seems foolish to disregard the customer — one who could very well become a repeat customer — right? Reaching out to them with an automated yet pertinent post-purchase email is a fantastic way to cultivate goodwill.
In fact, any email marketing automation carries extra might over promotional newsletters.
Because specific conditions — a subscriber’s behavior — trigger them, automated emails are innately tailored and highly relevant to the recipient.
Consumers want personalization. A report shows that 49% become repeat buyers when a brand offers personalized shopping experiences.
Post-purchase emails are one avenue for keeping customers around. There are other ways to improve customer retention for your Shopify store with email marketing.
Post-purchase email example #1: The product prep
We call this first post-purchase customer automation the “get ready” message. It’s sent after order fulfillment but before the customer’s product arrives.
Leverage it to 1) affirm the customer made a great purchase and 2) provide helpful information they’ll need. Hence, these emails are usually for specific products or collections.
Your product purchased automation (as named in Seguno) might consist of:
- A product how-to
- Care instructions
- Answers to frequently asked questions
- Recommended prep work, especially for high-priced or luxury items
Some brands focus most of their email automation program around this post-purchase variety because of the complexity of their products. Others leverage it in a looser sense to show different facets of their brand, like Juneshine does.
They use the post-purchase email to:
- Build excitement by encouraging interaction with its Spotify playlist
- Stay one step ahead with customer service by providing a Q&A page
- Solidify a good first impression through great brand images
- Invite the customer to join its online community
Here are two other suggestions to make the product prep post-purchase email pop:
- Include an animated gif if showing movement helps explain.
- Highlight your brand’s uniqueness. Perhaps it’s emphasizing that everything is 100% organic.
And a few post-purchase email subject line ideas:
- While you’re waiting …
- Care tips for making your new purchase last longer
- Guidelines for getting the most out of your ____
- Get ready for your new ____
- Excited for what’s coming your way? Some advice in the meantime
Post-purchase email example #2: The thank you
A dose of gratitude can make a big difference. Enter the post-purchase thank you email.
Seguno’s team of Shopify email marketing experts has worked with hundreds of brands. The post-purchase thank you email performs well, from mom-and-pop shops to the big dogs.
Lean on branding and highlight complementary or additional products; you can easily generate additional sales. They work with and without Shopify discounts or incentives, like free shipping, to spur the next purchase.
The “thanks for your purchase” email can create a more personal connection. The next time that customer needs something, they’ll think of you.
Any post-purchase thank you email is beneficial, but we’re partial to the personal note. It’s a strong card for independent Shopify merchants to play.
They’re easy to make. But more importantly, a simple message is the digital equivalent of a handwritten note. You’re showing that real people — with entrepreneurial dreams — are behind the brand.
Here’s a stripped-down post-purchase thank you email example from Animals Matter.
The email is genuine, with a brief note of thanks and a customer service offer from the company’s president. (Not shown in this screenshot, but the email includes her contact information.) The signature reinforces that this isn’t an impersonal retailer.
If you take the personal note approach, it’s wise to:
- Tell the customer why the purchase matters. Spell out what their support means to your business. Segue to your company values and mention your unique selling proposition.
- Address the customer by their first name.
Wait a day to a week from order placement before sending the email. It’s best to give your customer some breathing room and ensure that their purchase is being processed.
The post-purchase thank you email is equally ideal for first-time buyers and repeat purchasers. Consider creating different messages based on purchase history.
Here are a few post-purchase thank you email subject line ideas:
- A heartfelt thanks for choosing us
- Your purchase means the world to us
- Gratitude in every byte: thanks for your purchase!
- A small token of appreciation for your support
- Because you trust in us …
Seguno has pre-built Shopify post-purchase email automations for new and repeat (second-time) purchasers.
Post-purchase email example #3: The review request
At a surface level, it’s easy to presume that the post-purchase review request email solely serves the Shopify merchant.
Indeed, brands have a lot to gain, acquisition effort-wise, by asking customers for a review. Most consumers (86%) trust ratings and reviews as an authentic source of information. So collecting endorsements via email is integral to building social proof and collecting user-generated content (UGC) for use in subsequent email marketing.
But the post-purchase review request email can also empower customers, evoking notions that they have a small stake in your company.
How would you respond if a brand told you that sharing your opinion would help other shoppers? It will push some to write a positive review when they had no intentions.
Of course, it will motivate others to relay their dissatisfaction and give you a chance to make things right. Review requests are a fantastic tool for gathering customer feedback that’s indispensable for identifying improvement opportunities.
Let’s take a look at how Casper asks customers for reviews.
Casper’s review request email example is brief and dons a clean aesthetic. A direct headline, clear copy, and easy access to submitting a review are enough. No reason to clutter it with promotions or product highlights when the goal is to attain a review.
There are two things to know before adding a review request message to your email marketing automation lineup:
- You need an app to collect product reviews. Seguno integrates with Judge.me, Junip, Loox, Shopify’s app, Stamped.io and Yotpo, all available through Shopify’s app store.
- Reviews aren’t appropriate for every product, like gift cards, so make exclusions.
Send review request emails relatively soon after the product is delivered. (And certainly not before arrival.) You want to capitalize on the excitement of receiving a package while giving the customer time to use it.
About two days is an ideal default. Some merchants find success by waiting longer — up to a week after delivery.
Here are a few review request post-purchase email subject line ideas:
- [First name], how’d we do?
- We’re all ears, so tell us what you think!
- Your opinion matters. Share it!
- Wanted: feedback on your recent purchase
- Wanna be an influencer? Leave a product review
According to a Yotpo study, you should include your store name in the email subject line and ask a question to get more reviews. See what other email subject line tweaks are advantageous.]
Post-purchase email example #4: The replenishment reminder
The “it’s time to reorder” post-purchase email is a no-brainer customer retention effort for Shopify stores that sell consumable items.
Think body care essentials, makeup and dog food — any product that gets used up and eventually requires replacing.
Sending a refill reminder serves two purposes:
- It’s equivalent to saying, “we’ve got your back” if you’re running low and didn’t notice, or life has sidetracked you from reordering.
- You’re nudging the customer to return to you versus searching for the product or an alternative elsewhere.
We like Lume’s replenishment email example.
The “running low” message, accompanied by vibrant product images, is simple but does what’s needed. Adding other recommendations doesn’t hurt, either.
For your product replenishment email, determine the product’s buying cycle. When used as recommended, how long should it take to deplete the product? 30, 60, 90 days? More?
Automate the email to trigger two to three weeks beforehand.
Here are some reorder subject line ideas for customer retention:
- Reorder and keep the good times going
- Time to replenish your favorites
- Reorder now so you don’t run out
- Due for a restock? Exclusive savings inside
- Can’t live without ___? Replenish today
Post-purchase email example #5: The customer win-back
We’re wagering that many customers haven’t made a purchase in a while for the typical Shopify store. And many are one-time buyers.
Or, a lot are potentially one-time buyers.
Email marketing intervention can move a one-timer — and repeat purchaser alike — off the sidelines and back to experiencing your brand.
We call it the lapsed purchaser email. Many know it as the customer win-back email.
Lapsed purchase messages tend to have a particular formula. They’re along the lines of “We miss you,” “It’s been a while,” and “Come back!”
There’s nothing wrong with any of those approaches. However, be careful not to insert a passive-aggressive tone that guilts the recipient.
Upbeat, positive language is a better game plan for customer retention. Emphasize the relationship you already established and underscore the importance of every customer to the business.
Here’s a peek at how Bare Minerals goes about the win-back email.
While the brand leans on “we miss you,” it adds a touch of playfulness. “Friends don’t let friends go without their beauty fix” — that’s fun, without the cringe.
Bare Minerals also entices with an incentive, which is a common hallmark of the reactivation email. A word of caution, though: Be delicate with discounts in a customer win-back strategy. You may inadvertently train your customers to wait for discount codes if they know you’ll always offer them. And that’s a problem if your margins can’t support it.
Prevent coupon abuse by using unique discount codes. Seguno’s app — the Bulk Discount Code Bot — does the heavy lifting for non-Seguno email marketing users; otherwise, the ability to make unique codes is built into Seguno.
If you strongly believe an incentive will move the needle, go minimal or offer free shipping when the customer reaches a spending threshold. Remember, your brand is familiar to these people. Many happy customers don’t need a significant discount to sway their purchasing decision.
Our other recommendations for the lapsed purchase automation:
- Feature what’s new. Update the email automation each quarter to showcase seasonal products or new collections.
- Reserve space for spelling out what makes your brand awesome. We sound like a broken record, but differentiating yourself from competitors is paramount.
Some customer win-back email subject line ideas:
- We want you back! Can we tempt you with an offer?
- [First name], we miss you
- Your return is our delight. Let’s make up for lost time.
- Discover what you’ve been missing
- Something special awaits … unlock your comeback offer
Like the replenishment email, you must weigh the typical buying cycle to determine the right sending time. But unlike the order reminder, you’ll want to wait until the anticipated purchase time has lapsed and trigger the email automation just on the outside edge of it.
A typical timeframe is 60 to 90 days after the last purchase. Adjust based on your product inventory. For instance, a store with higher price points probably wants to delay communications.
Find your post-purchase email strategy
The best post-purchase email automations stimulate customer interactions that lead to customer retention. The first step to getting there is carving out your post-purchase email strategy.
Each email we covered isn’t always suitable for every shop. Decide which post-purchase email messages make sense for your brand and aligns with your email marketing strategy.
Create and activate them. Expand one into a multi-message post-purchase email automation if it feels right. Then test, see how they perform and adjust.
Check in every so often to ensure messages aren’t aging inappropriately. Remember the quarterly updates to the lapsed purchaser email? All active email marketing automations deserve refreshed and relevant content.
Follow this advice to build trust for your brand and lay the foundation for customer affinity. Loyal customers won’t venture to Amazon or consider your competitors. They’ll return to you.
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