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9 Post-purchase emails you should be sending [with examples]

9 Post-purchase emails you should be sending [with examples]


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Once a customer makes a purchase, this should be just the beginning of the relationship for retailers.
In this post, we’ll look at how post-purchase email can be used to keep buyers engaged and increase customer lifetime value. 

Post purchase emails are different from shopping cart abandonment emails or browse abandonment emails. However, it’s important you have a strategy set up for all three instances. 

During the busiest retail months online such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales in November you may experience higher volumes of online sales so getting your post purchase email flow created before popular market patterns is a good idea. It’s important to  leave a positive lasting impression, because with more customers comes more opportunities to retain them down the line with new products or similar products.

What are post-purchase emails?

Post purchase emails are email campaigns or flows that you send after the customer has made a purchase. Your post purchase email campaigns can be sent at different times such as directly after, through delivery and a few days later for a review. 

They can also be distributed to a customer base as automated emails with a variety of different marketing messages. 

Some examples of post purchase emails include targeted messages such as order confirmations, promo code offers or requests for product reviews, but we will explore more post purchase emails with examples below. 

When you put these messages together with the right marketing content, send times and types, you create a post purchase email flow. 

The main aim of sending emails after the customer has made a purchase is to provide information, value and piece of mind. For example, this is a great way to stay engaged with your customers and provide excellent customer service and customer retention. 

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Why is post-purchase so important?

Post-purchase and post-purchase emails are an essential part of any ecommerce business’s marketing strategy. These emails, which act as customer retention emails, are sent to customers after they have completed their purchase, and can be used to build customer loyalty as well as increase sales. 

The first benefit of post-purchase emails is that it allows businesses to thank customers for their purchase, letting them know that their order was received and appreciated. This helps create a positive relationship between the company and its customers while also encouraging repeat purchases in the future. Additionally, these types of messages can provide helpful information such as links to product reviews or instructions on how best use the products purchased – this type of content not only builds trust in ecommerce but also has potential for upselling other related items or services in future campaigns. 

Finally, post-purchase emails offer businesses a great opportunity for gathering feedback surveys from customers about what they liked (or didn’t like) about their experience with your company so far; this data is invaluable when it comes time to making improvements or introducing new features and/ or products down the line. Furthermore, if you include surveys within these messages then you will gain even more insight into how satisfied your current customer base really is – something which could prove crucial when trying to acquire new ones.

There are numerous reasons why both pre and post purchase email campaigns should form part of every ecommerce business’s marketing strategy – from building relationships with existing clients through offering helpful advice and support – all whilst collecting valuable insights into what works (and doesn’t work) within your industry sector.

One of the best ways to improve your online conversion rate is to harness user-generated content and reviews. As part of this after purchase email sequence you can include an email that asks for customer reviews, this is great marketing material for your social media channels and website. 

We’ve explained the importance of customer service for retaining your buyers and post purchase emails can help you deliver the best customer service and promote customer loyalty.   

According to research by Klaviyo, post purchase emails enjoy a 217% higher open rate than traditional emails. This provides a great opportunity to get the right messages and marketing material in front of your customers. 

Why are post-purchase emails important?

Creating a quality post-purchase email campaign is an essential part of your complete email marketing strategy toolkit. For example, if you’re not thanking your customers for their purchase – this could mean that a very basic marketing narrative is not being met. 

Post purchase emails offer a multifunctional alternative to traditional email marketing and can be highly effective for customer retention strategies in retail, which is also important as retaining your customers is easier and more profitable than attracting new customers. In fact, it costs five times less to keep your existing customers according to research by invespcro. 

When a customer has completed their purchase the ecommerce customer journey with them has only just begun. Now you can start to build up the data you have on each customer and offer deliberate and valuable marketing messages such as recommended products for cross selling and upsell opportunities. 

What is post-purchase communication?

Post-purchase communication is an essential part of any ecommerce business. It helps to build customer loyalty, encourage repeat purchases and provide a better overall shopping experience for customers. Post-purchase communication involves engaging with customers after they have completed their purchase in order to ensure that the product or service was satisfactory and address any issues that may have arisen during the transaction process. 

It’s important to follow up with customers if there are any issues related to delivery times or quality control (for example) so that these can be addressed quickly and efficiently before they become bigger problems down the line. Finally, it’s beneficial for businesses to send out surveys asking about customer satisfaction levels in order to gain valuable feedback on how their products are performing and what areas need improvement going forward. 

All in all, post-purchase communications play an important role in providing excellent customer service within ecommerce businesses by helping them foster strong relationships with existing clients while also encouraging new ones through a positive user experience and customer journey throughout all stages of the buying journey from start till finish.

When should you send post-purchase emails?

Post-purchase emails are an effective way for ecommerce businesses to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty. They provide customers with additional information about their order, as well as any special offers or discounts – such as an abandoned cart code – that may be available. 

Post purchase emails can also help build relationships between the business and its customers by providing a personal touch after the sale is complete. 

When deciding when to send post purchase emails, it is important to consider how soon after a customer has made their transaction they should receive them. Generally speaking, these types of messages should be sent shortly after the order has been placed in order for them to make an impact on customer satisfaction levels and encourage repeat purchases from loyal customers. 

Additionally, post-purchase email notifications can help keep your customers informed of what’s happening with their orders – for example, informing them of any shipping delays so that they are kept informed.

Timely post-purchase email notifications can have many benefits for ecommerce businesses including increasing customer loyalty through improved communication channels which ultimately leads to increased sales revenue over time.
By carefully considering when you should send these kinds of messages out you’ll ensure that your business remains competitive within its industry, while continuing to maintain high standards of service quality throughout all stages of each individual transaction process too.

What is post-purchase process?

The post-purchase process involves all the steps taken after an online purchase has been made – from delivery to follow-up communications and beyond. The post-purchase process’s aim is to help build relationships with customers, increase loyalty and boost sales in the long run.

The main elements of a successful post purchase process includes informing customers of  each stage of their purchase journey as it makes their way to them, such as: 

  • Order confirmation emails
  • Shipping notifications
  • Tracking information (and other updates related to delivery) 
  • Customer service support
  • Returns management
  • Feedback surveys or questionnaires 
  • Promotional offers or discounts for future purchases 
  • Thank you messages that reinforce positive experiences with your brand

Each step should be tailored according to individual needs in order to provide optimal satisfaction levels throughout each stage of the buying cycle. 

In addition to providing great customer service during these stages, it’s also important for ecommerce businesses using this strategy to have processes in place that are efficient yet effective at managing orders efficiently. By doing so, they can ensure maximum efficiency when dealing with customers who may need assistance after making their purchases.

9 post-purchase email examples

Order confirmation emails

Emails sent after a purchase are necessary, to confirm the contents and cost of the order, and provide useful details like shipping times and contact information.
It’s important to ensure that customers have all the information they need, but confirmation emails can also go beyond the basics and offer extra value to customers.

For example, this email from Trainline provides useful information on the weather at the destination, and maps of the train stations to help travellers.

Shipping confirmation emails

These emails allow you to update the customer on the progress of their order, provide useful tracking information, and continue to build trust with them.
This example from Tradesy provides the key information, but also highlights a refer a friend offer.


Ask for reviews

It’s a good idea to proactively gather feedback from customers about their purchase.
It’s a great way to get useful insights about your product and service, and also sends a message that your brand actually takes an interest in customers. And, of course, the customer reviews you collect can be used on-site to help other customers to decide on a purchase.


Replenishment emails

Replenishment emails can be used to remind customers when the items they previously bought are about to run out, so they can buy again.
This applies to a range of products, from razors and toothpaste to pet food. When timed well, they provide convenience for customers and can help to drive repeat business.


Product recommendations / cross-selling emails

If a customer has bought once from your site, then the right prompt with relevant products can be enough to tempt them back for more. Cross-sell emails with smart recommendations can be sent to customers after they’ve made a purchase. These emails could include products related to the ones they’ve purchase, as in the Ralph Lauren example below.

The key to successful cross-sell emails is timing and relevance. By using data on the shopper’s previous on-site browsing behaviour and purchase history, intelligent recommendations can be dynamically pulled into an email.

Loyalty programmes

If you have a loyalty then it can be communicated to customers through emails after purchase.
By explaining the rewards on offer, you can persuade customer to join, and boost repeat purchases.
Here’s an example from Virgin Atlantic, which showcases its Flying Club programme.


Sales and other events notifications

If you have a sale on, or some other event (such as the launch of a new product range) then it’s a useful prompt to bring customers back to your site.

A note of caution. If you have a sale almost every day then people might begin to ignore your emails. However, if customers are interested in your products, then a well timed and well designed sales email can tempt them to check out the offers.


Birthday and milestone emails

According to Experian, birthday emails have a 481% higher transaction rate than promotional emails.
Emailing customers on birthdays and other milestones is a great way to get their attention, and reward their loyalty. It can act as a reminder about your brand, and also reinforce any good feeling they may have about you.
Being a birthday, it’s appropriate to offer a gift, so a freebie, free shipping, or a handy discount should be enough to make the customer open and act upon the email.

‘Win-back’ emails

These are emails sent to customers who are becoming less active, or have become inactive. They may be opening fewer emails, or perhaps they haven’t made a purchase for a certain amount of time.
Indeed, research estimates that 60% of subscribers to the average email list are inactive, meaning they haven’t responded to emails in six months or more.
For retailers, it makes sense to identify and understand your most loyal customers so their behaviour can be understood. For example, an RFM model (as shown below) can be used to monitor recency, frequency and value of purchases.

Using such a model, customers that are beginning to show signs of wavering – perhaps they’re buying less often, or haven’t made a purchase for some time. In these cases, customers can often be tempted back with a reward, or simply a timely reminder. Here’s an example from Just Eat, sent after I hadn’t ordered takeaway for a few months. Offering customers a 15% discount can be enough to tempt them back to the site.

Reviewed by Brad Ward
Written by Graham Charlton
— Updated on 10/05/2021


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Casey Turnbull

Casey is a Fashion Journalism graduate & ecommerce marketing executive at SaleCycle. Casey is committed to producing high quality content backed by in-depth research and data. She has experience developing content in a range of sectors including fashion, ecommerce and sports.