September 19, 2023

Post-Purchase Emails: 12 Ways to Drive Customer Loyalty in Ecommerce

Reading time about 12 min

Post-purchase emails are yet another part of ecommerce email strategy that shouldn’t be overlooked. Of course, you could go without them if you only care about new customers and don’t need your existing ones to make another order. 

But for most ecommerce businesses, customer loyalty is key to stable revenue. And one of the most cost-effective ways to drive repeat orders from existing customers is through continuous post-purchase engagement. 

What is a post-purchase email?

Post-purchase emails are an extension of ecommerce marketing. They’re email marketing followups, sent after the customer’s received their order (so they’re not transactional emails).

Their purpose is to keep people thinking about the brand through new offers and ecommerce content marketing.

The best thing is that after the customer has bought something from you, you have data. You can use their buying behavior, product interest, etc. to tailor your emails and make them more relevant. This is a very different approach from simply sending just one massive promotion to your whole email list. 

A strong customer retention strategy relies on targeted and customized post-purchase emails. And although the open rate is not as high as that of order confirmation emails, adding value helps build a mutually beneficial customer relationships.

Types of post-purchase emails

The post-purchase campaigns you send will depend on your products, customer lifecycle, and target audience buying habits. The golden rules of email marketing apply here too:

  • test what works
  • mix and match as many approaches as needed to reach different target groups
  • optimize continuously.

Here are 12 post-purchase email ideas for you:

  1. Product use and maintenance tips
  2. Coupon for a discount on next order
  3. Offer to fight browse abandonment 
  4. Reorder reminders for complementary products
  5. Save the churners
  6. VIP offers for long-term customers
  7. Repeat successful campaigns
  8. Post-purchase engagement through content
  9. Ask for product review 
  10. Promote an updated product
  11. Tailored offers
  12. Timely push

Examples of post-purchase email campaigns

1. Use and maintenance tips

The post-purchase experience is just as important as the conversion. 

To make repeat purchases, customers should enjoy what they buy. Content-focused post-purchase emails are great to explain more about the product, how to best use it, and how to take care of it.

This will make people use your product more and will increase customer satisfaction in the long run. So when they need something else, they’ll come to you for a second purchase.

You can easily tailor this kind of email campaign by product ordered and take engagement on a more personalized level. Another great idea is featuring user-generated content (can be taken from social media) to show your products in use.

PRO TIP: Include the name of the recent purchase in the subject line to make people open the email.

post-purchase email with care tips

Lily & Roo use Brevo to send this fabulous post-purchase email with tips about caring for your newly purchased jewelry.

2. Next order discount

Cross-sells are proven post-purchase emails that win returning customers. A simple discount code on the next purchase is enough.

You could add product recommendations too if you have data on what your customers buy together (check out Brevo’s Ecommerce dashboard for this).

Or, make the coupon category-specific if you want to push a category that doesn’t get enough attention on its own.

next order discount email

Cross-sell email by Zoes Kitchen. Source for this all other unidentified otherwise examples to follow: Really Good Emails

3. An offer to fight browse abandonment 

You can fight browse abandonment — this is when people browse your site but don’t buy anything. Reach out to them with an incentive to go through with an order. You have their contact information from their first purchase.

PRO TIP: Email, push notifications, SMS, WhatsApp, or live chat are all channels fit for this task!

It’s best to include the viewed products in this winback email so the customer remembers instantly.

Also, with a CRM like Brevo you have a track record of the customer’s behavior on site for all their visits.

To weed out casual browsers, only send a special post-purchase email to people who have looked at the products and left more than once. They’re really interested but can’t make up their mind.

browse abandonment email

4. Reorder reminders

Replenishment reminders are the post-purchase emails every ecommerce brand should use if the products make sense to be reordered.

Find out how often people shop in your store (our Ecommerce dahsboard can help with that too) to time your emails for when they’ll be ready to buy again. This tactic can work with anything from pet food and personal care to socks and home supplies.

However, if you sell something like shoes or plants, you can still do it with a mix between cross-selling and reorder campaigns. Your main product may be a one-time order, but the accessories are not and reminder emails can work just as well.

It’s a golden opportunity to use post-purchase emails to keep customers coming back.

Think of complementary products you can offer:

  • Shoe cleaning products
  • Garment care (storage bags, special hangers, etc.)
  • Coffee/tea/water filters 
  • Spice mixes
  • Cleaning materials
  • Plant care products

post-purchase email reorder reminder

5. Save the churners

There’ll always be customers ready to churn. To avoid it, look at others who are buying a lot and often. What products do they buy? This is a huge part of why they’re happy repeat customers. Their customer journey is worth replicating.

Then, send a post-purchase email to customers who haven’t bought in a while. (This can be automated too.) Offer them the products that inspire others to come back and shop again and again.

This post-purchase tactic aims to create more customer loyalty. It exposes more people to the products in your store that stimulate the most repeat orders.

How to know that? Brevo’s Ecommerce dashboard has that kind of data too.

bestseller products in email

Chef Market sends this re-engagement email with Brevo in order to hook people back with best-selling products.

6. VIP offers for long-term customers

Even without an official loyalty program, you can reward your repeat customers. Simply use post-purchase emails to give them deals, special promotions, and VIP perks. Make them see the benefits of sticking with your brand.

For example:

  • When a VIP customer leaves your website because their size is out of stock (you know what size they usually shop), find it for them and email them
  • Give tiered discounts, growing along with their customer lifetime value
  • Send limited-time free shipping offers
  • Create an exciting unboxing experience with freebies and branded merch

post-purchase email with VIP offer

GAIAS sent a special offer to loyal customers: early access to a great deal. Email created with Brevo.

7. Repeat successful campaigns

If you’re unsure what kind of email campaign to send out, look in your email reports – which type of campaign performed very well?

Was it a clearance at 70% off or the curated selection by an influencer? Recreate the same campaign, using the same template, only with different products. Give people what they like.

8. Post-purchase engagement with content

People get bored of too many promotional emails. Change things up a bit with a pure content email sequence without any sales CTAs. Ecommerce content marketing helps connect with your customers over shared values.

Share company updates that might be interesting like working on new materials or starting a new partnership. These customer engagement efforts are perfect for when you want to stay top-of-mind but have to wait a bit for the next order.

If it sounds like a newsletter, you’re right! Discover more newsletter ideas to add to your email marketing strategy.

engagement email with content

NO GUNK sends styling tips to its subscribers for engagement and to drive additional demand for its products. Via Brevo.

9. Ask for product review

The most logical post-purchase email to send is a review request email. Any ecommerce business can use customer feedback to improve products and service.

The more involved with something people are, the more loyal they are to it. A feedback request is a wonderful customer engagement tactic to build trust. You can involve your followers in the product creation process so they see it as their own – and buy it more.

Ask your customers what new variants and colors they want to see. Ask them for new product ideas, even. Their suggestions might surprise you but it’s an honest look into customer needs and wants.

PRO TIP: Include the product name, delivery date, or order number in this follow-up email to remind customers of the exact product you’re asking about to avoid confusion.

feedback request email

Personalised Chopping Boards uses Brevo to ask its customers for feedback as soon as their order arrives.

And if you go ahead and actually realize those ideas….

10. Promote an updated product

Maybe your product changes from season to season, or you keep adding functionality or new add-ons. Upsells are great for follow-up engagement and driving repeat sales.

You know what type of products people already bought, you can easily offer the new version in post-purchase email campaigns. For example, if someone bought winter gear, reach out to them for the new season and offer them the summer collection.

Or maybe you simply run limited editions. It’s important to keep your customers up-to-date about it with emails that stimulate reorders.

limited edition product email

11. Tailored offers

If you have a wide range of products, it’s a good idea to tailor post-purchase email campaigns by product preferences. Look at what people buy and send them emails with relevant products.

Even better if you use an email signup form to record their preferences. Ask about their body shape, fashion style, type of hair or skin — whatever’s relevant to your products. Then, create your segments for highly targeted post-purchase emails.

Your customers will feel seen and heard when your offers are spot on.

For example, people who buy wooden toys probably don’t want to see plastic toys in their inbox. People who buy books in Italian probably aren’t interested in books in French.

post-purchase email cross-selling relevant products

12. Timely push

If you don’t want your emails to be left unread or worse, marked as spam, reevaluate how often you email existing customers. Post-purchase engagement is effective only when people actually open your emails.

It’s one thing to use email automation that triggers on specific customer actions and another to blast emails out every week.

Read more: 12 Triggered Email Campaigns That Drive Sales

The best time for emails is when your customers are ready to shop again. It’s closely tied to the type of product and its lifecycle. Look at your ecommerce metrics to see how often people actually shop.

This is how much time to leave between sales emails for an optimal customer experience. Give customers a breather and your thoughtfulness will be appreciated. 

reorder reminder

Credit: Cloudways

Send post-purchase emails with Brevo

Whether you’re on Shopify or another ecommerce platform, Brevo offers all the digital marketing tools needed to drive repeat sales. Brevo offers ecommerce tracking to give you valuable data and setting up a post-purchase email flow is easy.

Drive repeat sales with Brevo

Email automation and drip campaigns, customer segmentation, personalization, and smart signup forms all geared to engage and retain customers.

Open my free Brevo account now >>

Ready to grow with Brevo?

Get the tools you need to reach your customers and grow your business.

Sign up free