Post-Purchase Email Flows: Convert One-Time Buyers Into Brand Advocates

Post-Purchase Email Flows: Convert One-Time Buyers Into Brand Advocates
Smiling face
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Linkedin
  • Email

In this blog, we explore the crucial role of post-purchase emails in eCommerce. Post-purchase emails go beyond mere 'Thank You' notes, and are pivotal in maintaining customer engagement and enhancing their journey with your DTC brand. Learn the key components of a successful post-purchase email, including personalized greetings, detailed order confirmations, and tailored product recommendations, etc. We also dive into the strategic timing of sending post-purchase emails to maximize impact and engagement.

Don't forget to scroll to the bottom for real-world examples that illustrate how we crafted post-purchase emails for our customers. These emails have significantly boosted conversions and driven their brand growth.

What is a Post-Purchase Email?

In eCommerce, post-purchase email flows are a series of automated emails sent to customers after they've completed a purchase. The primary goal here is to keep the communication lines open and enrich the customer's journey with your brand. But, remember it's not just about saying 'Thank You.' These emails can serve various purposes, from asking for customer feedback to recommending related products.

In this blog, we will understand what are post-purchase emails, how they could boost your eCommerce conversion rates and examine a few examples that we've used for our customers.

Let's dive in!

What Are The Components of a Post-Purchase Email?

Crafting the perfect post-purchase flow is like creating a masterpiece; every element plays a crucial role in engaging the customer and enhancing their experience with your eCommerce brand. Let's break down these components, ensuring your post-purchase emails hit all the right notes. (Not all of these components need to go into every email because you can create post-purchase email campaigns for a number of reasons).

1. Personalized Greeting: The Art of Acknowledgment

Use customer data to personalize the greeting. Instead of a generic 'Dear Customer', use their first name. This small detail fosters a personal connection (although there are many more ways to personalize emails using data from your ESP).

Example: "Hello [Customer Name], Congratulations on purchasing [Insert eCommerce Object Name]. Here're the details of your recent purchase"

2. Expressing Gratitude: More Than Just a Thank You

This is a good opportunity for you to introduce your brand tone. So, go ahead and express genuine appreciation for their purchase. Reflect your brand’s voice – be it professional, friendly, or playful.

Example: Here's how you could write an email if you're a small DTC brand:

"We're a small brand selling to hundreds of folks like you.

So, the moment we saw your purchase, we did a team high five, and sat down to write this email. (No, this is not a bot!)

We want you to know that your support means the world to us..."

DON'T MISS: How to Create a Post-Purchase Email Sequence

3. Order Confirmation: Beyond the Basics

This is one among a number of confirmation emails that you can set up. Clearly summarize the purchase. Include order number, itemized list of products purchased, total cost, and any relevant order details.

Example: "Order #12345: [List of Products] - Total: $[Amount]. Shipment #67890."

4. Shipping Information: Setting Expectations

Provide detailed shipping information, including carrier, tracking number, and estimated delivery date. If possible, link directly to the tracking page. That way, your buyers needn't look up the delivery partner's website to track their package. Remember, it is about putting yourself in your customer's shoes and imagining what they'd expect from you.

Example: "Hey [Name], Congratulations on your first purchase.

Your package is on its way! Track your order here: [Tracking Link]. Expected Delivery: [Date].

And, whilst you await your order, feel free to browse our store [Insert store link]!

Don't forget to reach us at [Customer Support] or chat us for any queries."

5. Product Use and Care: Enhancing Experience

Include tips on how to use or care for the product. This is immensely useful if you sell simple household items like cosmetics or complex goods like treadmills etc. This can be general advice or specific to the item purchased.

Example: "To get the best out of your [Product], here’s a quick guide: [Tips]."

6. Feedback and Reviews: Encouraging Engagement

Politely ask for feedback. Mention how it helps improve your products and services. Provide a direct link to where they can leave a review. Remember not to send your audience a review request email on the first post-purchase email. Give them a week or a fortnight's time to make sure they've used/experienced your product/service.

Example: "We’d love to hear your thoughts on [Product]. Your feedback helps us grow: [Feedback Link]."

7. Cross-Sell/Up-sell Suggestions: Curated Recommendations

Up-sell and cross are often under-utilized opportunities in eCommerce email marketing. Offer suggestions based on their purchase history or items in their cart. Make sure these recommendations are relevant and useful.

Example: "Based on your recent purchase, you might also love [Related Products]. Take your pick and don't forget to reach us if you've got any questions."

DON'T MISS: The perfect cross-sell doesn’t exist so do this instead

8. Exclusive Offers: Incentivize Future Purchases

Provide a special offer or discount for their future purchases. Make this offer feel exclusive and personalized to the recipient. For example, inserting the buyer's name in the code will make it extra

Example: "Here’s a [Percentage]% discount for your next purchase, just for you: [AlexTenOff]."

While discounts are great, we suggest not to overdo them so that you become labeled as a "discount-only" brand. Read the below post to know why:

DON'T MISS: Discounts work, but you need to consider this

9. Loyalty Program Invitation: Building Long-Term Relationships

If applicable, invite your loyal customers to join your loyalty program. Highlight key benefits and how it enhances their shopping experience. Besides, loyalty programs needn't just be exclusive ones that you've launched for your eCommerce brand. It could be joining a community on Facebook or on WhatsApp. You need to be creative in finding ways to engage your audience.

Example: "Join our Loyalty Program and enjoy exclusive perks like [Benefits]. Sign up here: [Link]."

10. Social Media and Contact Info: Keeping the Conversation Going

This is a must-have that's true not just for post-purchase emails flows but others as well. Provide links to social media profiles and customer service contact details. This encourages ongoing interaction.

Example: "Follow us on [Social Media Links] for the latest updates. Need help? Contact us at [Contact Info]."

Don't let this interaction go waste. Look into your customer service tickets and find the most-asked queries. Answer these on your product page itself so that you could reduce calls/chats to your customer service. Besides, while sending post-purchase emails, you could go a step further, and name the customer service rep who'll be at hand to assist them in case of need. Of course, it may not be possible for small brands, but it assures buyers that there's a real human who's willing to help them.

11. Friendly Sign-Off: A Personal Touch

End with a warm, friendly sign-off that reflects your brand’s personality.

Example: "Thanks again for shopping with us! Warm regards, The [Brand Name] Team."

In weaving these detailed components into your post-purchase emails, you're doing more than just communicating; you're creating an immersive brand experience. Each element should be crafted thoughtfully, keeping in mind the brand's voice and the customer's journey. This level of detail not only demonstrates your commitment to customer satisfaction but also sets the stage for a lasting relationship with your brand.

DON'T MISS: How to create an epic Post-Purchase Flow in Klaviyo

When should you send post-purchase emails?

Let's delve deeper into the nuances of timing your post-purchase emails, tailoring our approach to the unique rhythm of your customer's journey. The objective here is to strike a perfect balance - being informative and engaging without overwhelming your customers.

1. Immediate Post-Purchase Email: The Immediate Acknowledgment

  • Timing: This email is sent within an hour of the purchase. The buyer has just placed the order and is expecting an acknowledgement in her inbox. Given the online frauds that happen, buyers are often wary of buying from small DTC brands. So, the psychology at play here is: "I just bought an item, where is the proof of my purchase?"
  • Detail: This post purchase email should be prompt, acknowledging the purchase and providing reassurance. It's the first step in a journey, so make it count with a warm, welcoming tone.
  • Example: "Thanks for choosing [Brand Name], [Customer Name]! We're preparing your order [#] and will keep you updated every step of the way."

2. Shipping Confirmation Email: Building Anticipation

  • Timing: As soon as the item is dispatched (ideally within 24 hours of purchase for quick shipping, or as per your specific shipping timelines). This email aims at assuring the buyer that her item has been shipped. The psychology at play here is"It has been 24 hours since I placed my order, when is my item arriving?"
  • Detail: Include carrier details, tracking number, and an estimated delivery window. This email should build anticipation and provide peace of mind.
  • Example: "Your order is on the move! Track your package [here] and expect it to arrive between [date range]."

3. Delivery Confirmation Email: Ensuring Satisfaction

  • Timing: The day of delivery or the day after, depending on the reliability of your delivery confirmation system. You could even send a text message ahead of the scheduled delivery informing buyers when can they expect their shipment.
  • Detail: Confirm delivery and offer support if there are any issues. This is also an opportunity to gently remind them of the joys of their new purchase.
  • Example: "Your [Product] has been delivered at [Customer Address] to [Recipient Name]/Your [Product] should be with you now. We hope it brings you joy! If there's anything amiss, we're here to help."

4. Product Care Email: Enhancing Product Experience

  • Timing: 2-7 days post-delivery. This is the time when buyers have most likely started using your products. It is still early days, so make sure you nudge them enough such that they begin to use it. Remember buying your product and not using it could be a sign of a refund.
  • Detail: Provide detailed care instructions or tips for getting the most out of the product. Explain the different ways to use your product, the ideal internal/external environmental conditions to use it, what precautions they should take. For example, if you've just sold a handcrafted watch, explain if it can worn while running/swimming, at what water level it is good to be used, etc. This email should feel like ongoing support, extending the customer experience beyond the sale.
  • Example: "To keep your [Product] in top condition, here are some tips... Enjoy!"

DON'T MISS: The Best Practices For eCommerce Email Marketing

5. Feedback Request Email: Inviting Engagement

  • Timing: 7-14 days after delivery. Chances are that people have started using your product extensively. The psychology here is that, "Okay, I've spent so much to buy this, let me see if it really works the way I expected."
  • Detail: So, encourage feedback on both the product and the buying experience. Frame this as a chance for the customer to have their say and influence future improvements.
  • Example: "Hey [Name], how did it go? Did you like using [Product Name]? We're eager to hear about your experience with [Product]. Your insights help us grow and improve."

6. Cross-Sell/Up-sell Email: Thoughtful Recommendations

  • Timing: 2-4 weeks post-purchase. Like we explained above, use cross-sell and Up-sell opportunities to urge buyers explore other products in your catalog. Of course, it may not work for high-ticket purchases. But for small-ticket items like shoes, apparel, etc., people may really not know what else you've got to offer. For example, a buyer may have seen your Instagram ad for shoes and may have bought a pair from your online store. But, she may really not be aware that you sell T-shirts and jeans too. That's probably because she might not have explored your entire store.
  • Detail: Use data from their purchase history to make targeted recommendations. This email should feel personalized and insightful, not like a generic sales pitch. So, find ways to suggest products that work well in combination with what buyers have already bought.
  • Example: "Based on your love for [Original Product], we thought you might enjoy [Related Products]."

7. Loyalty Program Invitation: Fostering a Deeper Connection

  • Timing: 4-6 weeks after purchase. By now, your buyers are quite familiar with your product. They have started using it quite frequently. You should have gathered some insight from them. If you've heard positive feedback from them, then you needn't worry.
  • Detail: Highlight the benefits of your customer loyalty program, making it feel like an exclusive invitation. This is about deepening their connection with your brand.
  • Example: For the buyers who've given you positive feedback, you could write back to them saying: "As a valued customer, we'd love to invite you to our Loyalty Program. Here's what you get when you sign up for it..."

8. Re-engagement Email: The Subtle Reminder

  • Timing: 2-3 months after the first purchase, or if there has been a noticeable period of inactivity. (Generally, for physical products, it's hard to know if your customers have used your product or not. So, try using the SMS to know your customers' pulse).
  • Detail: This email should be a gentle nudge, reminding them of your brand and possibly offering a special incentive to return. Especially if it is a low-ticket item and products need to be replenished within one or two months of regular use.
  • Example: "We've missed you at [Brand Name]! Here's something special we created for you: [Offer]."

In crafting these detailed post-purchase emails, remember that the ultimate goal is to enrich the customer's journey with your brand. Each email is a touch point that can reinforce their decision to choose your brand, build customer loyalty, and encourage repeat purchases.

Therefore, it’s essential to constantly analyze the performance of these emails, gather feedback, and refine your approach. This way, you ensure that your post-purchase communication is not just a series of emails, but a dynamic and responsive dialogue with your customers.

13 Post-Purchase Email Subject Lines You Can Use for Your eCommerce brand

Crafting an effective subject line for eCommerce post purchase emails is a blend of psychology, creativity, and strategy. It's about catching the eye, sparking curiosity, and tapping into the emotions or interests of the customer.

Besides, a subject line is the first thing your customers see in their mobile inboxes, and it can make the difference between an opened email and one that's lost in the shuffle. Here're some compelling post-purchase email subject lines, and why each one is likely to capture your customers' attention:

1. "Thanks, [Customer Name]! Your [Product Name] Order is Confirmed 🎉"

Why It Works: It is the most basic form of personalization designed to grab attention. Including the product name reminds them of their exciting purchase, and the emoji adds a fun, friendly touch.

2. "Good News: Your Order #12345 is On Its Way!"

Why It Works: 'Good News' sets a positive tone, and including the order number adds a sense of specificity and importance. It makes the email feel like an exciting update rather than a generic notification.

3. "Yay! Your [Product Name] Has Arrived 🚚"

Why It Works: This subject line is mostly used to indicate delivery confirmations. The use of 'Yay!' conveys enthusiasm and mirrors the customer's likely excitement. The addition of an emoji makes the subject line more visually appealing.

DON'T MISS: How to Plan an Epic Product Launch Week

4. "Peek Inside: Your Guide to Mastering [Product Name] 🌟" or "Unlock the Best from Your [Product Name] with These Tips!"

Why It Works: The phrase "Peek Inside" creates a sense of exclusivity and curiosity. It suggests that the email contains insider knowledge or special tips about the product, which can be very appealing to customers wanting to get the most out of their purchase.

The second option is straightforward and informative. Since it promises additional value and hints at exclusive content inside the email, it appeals to the customer’s desire to make the most of their purchase. It promises helpful content which can be helpful, especially for customers who are new to the product or type of product.

5. "Is Everything Okay with Your Recent Purchase, [Customer Name]?" or "Quick Q: How’s Your New [Product Name]?"

Why It Works: This subject line is personal and shows concern for the customer's satisfaction. It's a direct approach that can make the customer feel valued and cared for, increasing the likelihood of them engaging with the email. It feels like a direct check-in from the brand, fostering a sense of connection and care.

6. "You're Invited To Our Exclusive Loyalty Club!"

Why It Works: The word 'Invited' suggests exclusivity and privilege, making the customer feel special. This can be a powerful motivator for repeat customers to engage further with your brand. Although, your buyers could be invited for community with hundreds or even thousands of members, still it conveys a sense of exclusivity of belonging to a specific group of individuals.

7. "Missed Something? Here's 10% Off Your Next Purchase!" or "Exclusive Offer for Our [Product Name] Customers Only!"

Why It Works: These post purchase email subject lines are used to win back customers. It evokes a sense of opportunity and a second chance, combined with an exclusive offer. This can be particularly effective for encouraging additional purchases. The second option in this subject line is similar to the previous example that conveys exclusivity.

8. "We’d Love Your Thoughts on [Product Name]!" or "[First Name], Did Your [Product Name] Meet Your Expectations?"

Why It Works: This subject line is simple yet effective. It shows that you value the customer’s opinion, which can encourage them to engage and provide feedback. You could even use this opportunity to get user generated content from your customers. The key here is to show genuine interest in their satisfaction that elicits a response and fosters engagement.

9. "Your Opinion Matters: Help Us Improve [Product/Service Name] 💡"

Why It Works: Inviting customers to share their opinions can make them feel important and heard. The inclusion of a light bulb emoji suggests that their feedback is valuable and can lead to positive changes or innovations.

10. "[Customer Name], You’ve Earned a Reward!" or "Surprise! A Special Thank You from [Your Brand Name] 🎁"

Why It Works: This subject line immediately signals to loyal customers that there's something beneficial for them. It creates a sense of achievement and anticipation about what the reward might be. In the second option, the element of surprise can be a powerful motivator. It sparks curiosity about what the 'Special Thank You' could be, encouraging the customer to open the email.

11. "Don’t Forget: Your [Discount/Coupon Code] Expires Soon!"

Why It Works: Such subject lines are used when we want to bring back customers. They create a sense of urgency and encourage customers to act quickly. It’s a nudge for those who might have forgotten or overlooked the offer.

12. "Join the Conversation: Share Your [Product Name] Story!"

Why It Works: These subject lines are used in emails to promote customer loyalty. This invites customers to be part of a community or conversation, which can be very appealing. It gives a sense that their experiences and stories are valued and worth sharing.

13. "New: You’ll Probably Love These [Product Name]"

Why It Works: This subject line is personalized and is designed to increase customer lifetime value. Customers are likely to be interested in products that align with their recent purchases, making this an effective way to introduce new or related items.

Each of these subject lines is designed to engage customers in different ways - by creating a sense of exclusivity, urgency, community, or value. The key is to understand your audience's preferences and motivations, and tailor your subject lines accordingly.

Remember, the ultimate goal of these subject lines is to engage and delight your customers, encouraging them to open your emails and engage with your brand. Therefore, always keep your brand voice and customer profile in mind when crafting these lines. Testing different styles and tracking open rates can also provide valuable insights into what resonates best with your audience. So, experiment, analyze, and refine to find that perfect formula for your brand’s post-purchase email subject lines.

DON'T MISS: Hottest 𝗗𝗧𝗖 𝗲𝗺𝗮𝗶𝗹 𝘀𝘂𝗯𝗷𝗲𝗰𝘁 𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗲𝘀 for the week

6 Post Purchase Email Examples That Have Brought Insane Conversions for Our Clients

Okay, so far, we've understood what is a post purchase email flow, what are its components, when is the right time to send one, and the ideal subject lines to use. Now, let us look at a few examples that we've used for our clients which have driven tons of conversions across the board.

1. Product Activation Email

This email is designed by a health-focused drink brand aimed at enabling kids lead a healthy lifestyle. Here's what we like about it:

  1. This is a product activation email that encourages customers to begin using the product.
  2. It explains how to use the product which comes in sachets.
  3. It also shows a healthy smoothie recipe and embeds their product into it (a simple way of getting customers to buy their products).
  4. The CTA encourages buyers to follow them on Instagram.
Post-Purchase Email Example-Product activation - Magnet Monster

2. Up-sell Email Marketing

We spoke about different up-selling opportunities via post-purchase emails. Here's how you could do it for your eCommerce business:

  1. Offer a discount. The email below is for an automobile customization brand. They've offered their existing customers a discount with an upgrade to their automobile.
  2. They've used a simple and clean layout which helps buyers follow their messaging.
  3. The CTA is consistent everywhere which makes it easy for buyers to know what the brand expects them to do.
  4. They've provided their availability timings since they sell a mix of products and services. This way, customers know when to visit their store.
  5. They've also let customers know which sporting team they sponsor which enables them to engage easily (given that these buyers are also fans of the same team).
Post-purchase email example_ Up-sell Offer - Magnet Monster

3. Referral Request Email Marketing

Referral requests are a good way to gain new customers because your existing customers carry the word of mouth to them. Here's a good example of how you could get it going for your brand:

  1. Offer both the existing buyer and the referred prospective buyer an incentive. In the example below, the buyer gets 1,000 points and the latter $15 off.
  2. It also offers them an option to redeem their existing points (hint: you need data so you send it only to buyers who have accumulated points)
  3. A quick reinforcement of what your brand and product are all about.
Post-purchase email example - Friend Referral Request - Magnet Monster

4. Cross Selling Opportunity

We spoke about up-selling opportunity above. The key here is to understand how your product range compliments a customer's recent purchases. In this example, let us see how we could cross sell using simple techniques.

  1. The below example shows a shipping confirmation email. The safety and locker brand informs buyers of their shipment in transit.
  2. The eCommerce brand also uses this opportunity to sell an aligned product. For example, they sell locker trays and jewelry cases with a discount. Obviously, if you've bought a locker you might need a tray and a case to organize your valuables.
  3. This cross sell emails is laden with product pictures which help buyers know what to expect when they place an order.
Post-purchase email example-order dispatch + incentive - Magnet Monster

5. Customer Support Email

Customer support is an underrated opportunity that eCommerce brands struggle to put to good use. Here's how you could do it:

  1. Create a simple post purchase email with an image featuring your customer service rep.
  2. Write email copy that is direct and conversational to assure them that your reps are always around to help should your buyers need them.
  3. Don't promote/up-sell/cross sell anything in such emails because the purpose is to assure buyers that you've got their needs.
Post-purchase email example - Customer support check-in - Magnet Monster

6. Order fulfillment and setting expectations

Not many brands do this and that's why you could be unique about it. Let's explain it:

  1. This is an order fulfillment email from a consumer goods brand that sells sauces. They're informing their customers that the latter's order has been received and it is under process. Simple, no frills about it.
  2. But, if you noticed the second half of this email, they're also setting expectations of what the buyers could expect in the next five emails (part of their post-purchase email flow sequence). This is unique because buyers know exactly what will land in their inbox and how to use them.
  3. One of these emails will explain how sauce gets prepared at the back-end by one of their employees. This is how they make their brand human by showcasing the real heroes of their brand behind the scenes.

Post-Purchase Emails: Rounding It Up

Post purchase emails go beyond mere 'Thank You' notes, they are pivotal in maintaining customer engagement and enhancing their journey with your brand. It's about creating a continuous and engaging dialogue with your customers, turning one-time buyers into loyal brand advocates. (Hint: It could increase customer lifetime value exponentially).

Enjoyed this article? Follow our CEO, Adam Kitchen on Twitter or LinkedIn, and don't forget to join 2,000+ hungry D2C enthusiasts who lap up our weekly insider insights on eCommerce email marketing.

Relevant Reads Curated for You

Ready to unlock Profitable Growth?

Get a free 30-minute consultation with a senior eCommerce expert.
No obligation to sign up - come prepared with questions.

Monster head