It’s no news that acquiring a new customer costs businesses 5x more than retaining one.
A double whammy: the customer churn rate stands at 82%.
This is why your post-purchase emails need to go the distance in building better relationships. Thankfully, they have a 217% higher open rate than traditional emails.
If you’re here today looking for post-purchase ideas, you'd want to explore:
- 20 Post-Purchase Email Examples We Love
- Customer Segmentation for Post-Purchase Emails
- Post-Purchase Email Workflow
20 Post-Purchase Email Examples We Love
1. Expedia—Collect feedback without being nosy
Expedia gets feedback without being annoying with a one-question survey.
Interestingly, one-question surveys have a 36% higher completion rate than regular ones.
Here’s what you need to know before you create one:
- Ask close ended questions like “Based on your experience with our company, how likely would you recommend us to a friend or colleague?”
- Be neutral—instead of asking We think our product is awesome, how awesome do you think it is?, ask On a scale of 1-5, how would you rate our product for safety?
- Use the Likert scale to make answering super easy
- Stick to one idea per question—for example, “How was the <insert product name> that you last ordered?”
2. Cinnabon—Offer a jaw-dropping incentive
Cinnabon shows how you can make your post-purchase email survey worth your customer’s time. Offer an incentive and see a 15% increase in your response rates.
Here’s some advice before you give incentives:
- Offer non-transferrable coupons to avoid fraud
- Always mention the validity period—instead of a duration, mention the last date to avail the offer
- You might want to offer store credits instead of other rewards to encourage repeat traffic to the store
- Gift cards are brilliant—74% of customers spend an average of $54 more the value of the card
- Be super specific—mention whether the incentive can only be redeemed online or in-store or both
- When you offer a discount, mention what styles are off the promotion
3. Decathlon—Drop a quick review email
Decathlon aces this post-purchase review email by hijacking our mind with TRACKS TREATING YOU GOOD?
Customers might hesitate to submit reviews, here’s what you can do:
- Explain why the review is important and how you plan to use them to improve
- Mirror a personal touch—instead of a brand as a sender name, say Kristina from XYZ
- Give at least a week’s time before you send an email—the best days are Wednesdays and Saturdays
- As for the best time, the time between 10 AM and 2 PM is ideal—the next best time is post 6 PM
- You might to wait it out depending on the nature of the day— for electronics and jewelry, the waiting period is 21 days while clothes and beauty products require 14 days
- More importantly, don’t wait longer than 14 days in case of fruits, flowers, vegetables—for seasonal products, shoot an email after 7 days
4. Charming Charlie—Build visual proof with UGC
Here’s a simple post-purchase email example from Charming charlie, asking users to share photos.
User-generated content helps you convince your customers minus the heavy lifting—79% of buyers buy purely after seeing UGC.
Here’s a few pointers to help you:
- List the places where you’ll be featuring the images
- Offer a compelling incentive—a 10% discount on the next purchase or a free gift
- Encourage your high-value customers to put out reviews on Instagram in exchange for exclusive offers
5. Chewy—Spice up your delivery confirmation emails
Make the most of shipping confirmation emails by:
- Making them mobile responsive—nearly 43% of online purchases are made through mobile
- Include trust signals such as 30-day returns, price match guarantee, free return shipping
- Mention the estimated date of delivery and include customer contact information
- Include an order tracking link
6. Ipsy—Give ‘em a sneak peek
Ipsy doesn't want their order confirmation emails to be plain. They personalize by calling out what shoppers have been wanting to see.
Order confirmation emails needn’t be boring, change that by:
- Making it interactive—include a GIF
- Subtly mention your rewards program—for instance, we’re here to support you(by any means necessary). See what rewards you’re eligible for
- Give second chances—provide options to cancel or edit orders
- Nudge them into signing up for your newsletter
- Stir excitement by adding a referral link, here’s a template—Share Goby, Score free brush heads
7. Just Eat—Write catchy subject lines
Here’s proven tips for high-converting subject lines:
- Reveal a part of the subject line and show the rest in the preview text
- Use emojis either in the beginning or at the end of the subject lines for an increase in open rates
- Lead with questions to arouse curiosity, use numbers to grab attention
- A/B test power words—for instance proven vs guaranteed
8. Rifle Paper Co.— Use reverse psychology
Rifle Paper Co. surprises us with site-wide discounts. While sitewide sales are great for new customers, they are equally loved by existing customers.
Follow these tips to make them better:
- Mention which categories or products are excluded
- Apply the promo at checkout to bring them into the funnel
- Combine it with flash sales to increase sales in the first hour
9. Spirithoods—Drive exclusivity with promo codes
Spirithoods knows how to woo their customers. In this example, they offer us a promo code of 10% for our next purchase valid for the next two weeks. This creates exclusivity for customers.
Check out other ways you can use discount coupons:
- Offer tiered discounts—this prompts customers to spend more for each tier
- Include a member-only discount on sign-ins
- Offer limited-time offer coupons creating FOMO
10. Moo—Make upselling subtle
Here’s a post-purchase email from Moo, that’s the work of a creative genius. We’ll tell you why—smart upselling that is subtle.
What can you do to upsell:
- Do a product comparison, outline the benefits of upgrading—tell them why they should go for vegan protein instead of whey
- Offer free refill on purchase of higher priced product
- Roll out product bundles—allow customers to customize their bundles
- Provide free shipping on minimum order value
- Offer a free consultation or a quiz to educate customers
11. Graze—Remind ‘em to stock up
Graze pops the question running low on snacks? — this kind of question can make repeat customers feel they’re being met wherever they are post-purchase.
With a click-to-open rate of 53.6%, replenishment emails can help you get repeat sales.
For high-converting replenishment emails, do this:
- Calculate the Repeat Purchase Rate to figure out the percentage of repeat buyers during a period
- To calculate Repeat Purchase Rate, take the total number of repeat purchases and divide it by total number of customers during a specific period
- Take a look at the frequency of the purchase from your recurring customers and identify a sweet spot—if they order around 23-25th of every month, send it 10 days before the product runs out
- Offer an automated subscription service and offer discounts based on different tiers
12. Gwynnie Bee—Make your emails entertaining
Let’s face it. Static emails over time get bland. Here’s where the mystery emails come in. Case in point, Gwynnie Bee’s scratch off email.
Spruce up your mystery emails:
- Be secretive—reveal a part of information such as gifts not sold to public
- Use a countdown timer—emails having them see a 400% conversion rate
- Send Spin the Wheel emails for customers to try their luck
13. REI—Lead by content, sales will follow
REI educates its customers through content in its newsletter.
To makes your newsletter drive sales:
- Offer practical tips on how to make the most of a product—how-to guides and videos help customers adopt the product
- Drive authority through expert-led content—for example, a seasoned runner offering you tips improve uphill running
- Host live sessions to boost user engagement and encourage community sign-ups
14. Casper—Offer a compelling referral
Of all post-purchase emails, referral emails are the most underrated. Referral marketing generates 3-5x more than any other channel.
For high ROI referral emails:
- Get down to business in the subject line, mention the incentive—for instance, 💸 Cha-ching! You’ve earned $10
- The incentive should be the first thing users get to see—make it the hero text
- Stick to one CTA button—don’t overwhelm your users
- Mention the key prerequisite—mention the number of referral sign ups needed, is it 1 or 2?
- Always send it your high-value customers—they have higher loyalty
15. Riff Raff and Co.—Give ‘em a challenge
Humans love challenges. You can take inspiration from Riff Raff & Co. where customers get a free toy, but not before getting 5 of their friends to purchase.
The takeaway—the stronger the incentive, the greater the inclination to work for it.
To make your contests fun:
- Offer giveaways for the first lucky 10 customers—they have a 35% conversion rate
- Limit the number of the form fields—no more than 3
- Announce exclusive rewards—for instance, $100 gift card and a free invite to events
16. Need Supply—Wow them with birthday surprises
Birthdays are fun, and so are birthday emails. Need Supply offers a 20% discount.
What do the numbers say?
As per data—481% higher transaction rates, 342% higher revenue per email, 179% higher unique click-through rates, and 53% higher open rates.
For birthday emails that slay:
- Always send birthday emails on the actual date—unless the customer is an old timer
- You’d want to throw the spotlight on the customer—mention the first purchase, highest AOV, you get the drift!
- Create a unique promo code—let’s say, it’s Reese’s birthday, create a promo code REESE23
- If you can, personalize birthday emails by revealing their age—you have the date, just don’t be creepy
17. Starbucks—Prioritize low-effort signups
Sure, rewards programs are appealing, but why are your signups low? It’s not because of the lack of incentives but the number of steps required to sign up.
Apart from easy sign-ups, you can offer:
- Perks like member-only benefits, early access deals, exclusive access to pre-launch products and more
- Offer free product samples to loyalty program members
18. Mello—Show your humane side
Mello sends a post-purchase email to their customers explaining that $1 from every purchase is donated to a nonprofit organization.
Here are a few tips:
- You might want to segment your cause marketing emails according to demographics—84% of Gen Z(13-25) believe that brands should support social and environmental issues
- Add resources where users can read on the cause—for instance, guides on dementia
- Use trust signals such as Made with 100% recycled fibers, B Corp certified for environmental impact. and 50% of profits donated to global sanitation
- Don’t be afraid to show your reviews from beneficiary organizations—Chewy includes testimonials from its partner shelters
19. Munk Pack—Send a founder’s note
In the post-purchase email experience, your customers need reminders about why they chose you in the first place.
In fact, 88% of customers believe authenticity is important when it comes to deciding what brands they’d like to support.
Founder emails don’t have to be dull:
- Write the brand origin—in the above example, it was the lack of healthy snacking options
- Celebrate milestones and achievements—got your 50th paying customer? Tell them
- Don’t be afraid to talk about your goals—loyal customers like purpose driven brands
- Give an insight into the making of your products—show craftsmanship
20. AlphaTauri—Delight customers on joining anniversaries
People appreciate gratitude and you don’t have to offer anything expensive but a simple discount promo code is twice as enough.
Here’s a post-purchase email from Alpatauri offering a 10% voucher for being a loyal customer.
- Start by thanking your customer—91% of customers will buy from brands who appreciate their customers
- You have your first name—personalize it better by mentioning their top purchases
- Offer an incentive—a gift card, discount, or something exclusive
- Timing is key—send it a day before the anniversary
- Avoid too many anniversary emails—it spoils the fun
Customer Segmentation for Post-purchase Emails
You know how to write a post-purchase email, but it's only as effective as the customer segments you target.
Segment your customers based on new customers, high-value customers, and frequent customers. Here’s what your can do:
1. New customers
For new customers, send thank you and welcome emails, immediately after purchase. Don’t forget to brief them about customer support details and the next steps.
Right after 3-4 days send a how-to product guide with a detailed explanation. Point them toward demo videos and resources.
Post 1-2 weeks after the purchase, send an email requesting a review. You’d also have to send a brief survey to ask for feedback. Offer an incentive for high response rates.
2. Existing customers
A chunk of your customers would have bought from you about 2-3 months ago. You’d want to send a re-engagement email asking about their intentions. Offer a discount or a promo code to persuade them to make a second purchase.
We recommend you offer flexible payment options such as BNPL methods to encourage buying. 48% of customers use BNPL options to buy products they can’t afford.
Send personalized product recommendations based on order history. Make sure you send recommendations based on product usage, location, and lookalike audiences.
And there are replenishment emails. Offer complementary products for cross-selling. Close it up with automatic restocking options. Here’s one from Chewy, you’d want to follow.
3. High-Value customers
High-value customers have a high LTV and contribute to 80% revenue of eCommerce brands.
Your post-purchase emails to this segment must have early access deals, exclusive offers, pre-launch offers, and limited-edition drops.
You can top it off by sending a personalized thank you email from a key individual or someone your top management.
Post-Purchase Email Workflow
Post-purchase email campaigns fail because they’re sent in silos. You need an email sequence that goes through all the touchpoints.
1. Order confirmation emails
Send your order confirmation emails immediately after the payment goes through. Don’t forget the essentials—order summary, product images, breakdown, order number, and most importantly your customer support information. So, customers know where to contact, in case of shipment delays.
2. Shipping confirmation emails
This should come right after the product is dispatched from the warehouse. An order tracking link and an option to receive text updates is mandatory. You don’t want your customers waiting.
You can make it better by adding a shipping progress bar. It’ll serve as a reference point for your customers.
3. Delivery confirmation emails
Don’t sit back and relax. Once the shipment is delivered, inform the customer their order has been delivered to the shipping address. Thank the customer and include a link to your return policy.
4. Survey email
Send a survey email to learn how customers feel about their recent purchases. Send this 2-3 days after receiving the order. We strongly recommend you use a rating scale like NPS to frame your survey questions.
Keep in mind, ask no more than 5-10 questions. Make sure your customers can fill them in 10 minutes. For specific insights, a multiple-choice question survey with options to form works best.
Plus, other tips you’ll find helpful:
- Provide options to write reviews online, in case email fails
- Use whitespace so users can read
- Include live chat and customer contact details
- Style your CTAs differently—for instance, We’re listening
- Offer double discounts for every step—for instance, 10% for writing a review and 20% for sharing photos(That’s a fair deal!)
5. Ask for a review
Send an email requesting a review 14 days from the date of delivery. Here’re a few tips to better your review request emails:
- Write a simple message—How’s the <product name> treating you?
- Encourage them to share photos(helps build UGC) and tag your handle on social media
- Don’t hold yourself back—offer a gift card, discount, or store credit as a reward to complete the survey
6. Finish in style with replenishment emails
Once a considerable time has passed. Send replenishment emails after the typical usage cycle ends. For instance, if the average shampoo bottle of 200ml lasts 30 days. Send it a week before they run out.
You can drive more sales when you send 2 replenishment emails in a sequence. Anymore, will lead to unsubscribes.
Here’re a few pointers to optimize your replenishment emails:
- Offer subscriptions for 30,60, and 90-day periods with a tiered discount
- Explain the benefits of using the products over extended periods
- Nudge your customers to try something new—a new and improved edition, you get the drift
- Offer free shipping and returns—even better you can leverage low-stock alerts to drive urgency
While this is your standard email workflow, loyalty program invites come in quick sessions for your high-value customers.
5 basics to double-check in your post-purchase email
1. Be sure to cover all the transactional basics
Here’s a checklist that you can always come back to when necessary:
- Product ordered
- Amount breakup
- Estimated delivery
- Downloadable invoice
- Contact information
2. Provide important updates in real-time
If you can be specific in your communication, they’ll trust you more for it. Wondering what updates can be sent as post-purchase messages? Here’s a quick list.
- Delivery status
- How they can access their receipt
- Who and how to contact if there’s a problem
3. Identify and fix spam trigger points
The idea is to send customers content and updates that relate to them and have contextual relevance. On the side, make sure you also fix HTML and technical elements.
4. Remember timing is key
Build a strategy around one central thing—your post-purchase email needs to be noticed. Sending it too early or late can lead to their emails piling up and your mail getting lost. And you don’t want that to happen.
5. Space out your emails
The average person gets 21 emails per week from various brands. So it’s a good idea to restrict the number of emails to 2–3, giving at least a day’s gap between them.
Transform Email Marketing Into A Revenue Machine
Most eCommerce store owners don’t see email as a serious revenue stream.
Ask them about the importance of email marketing, and you'll hear: “we don’t really have a major strategy,” “we mostly use generic templates,” or “we just send emails to people on our list.”
BUT AT THE SAME TIME:
There are stores out there that drive 30%+ of their revenue from email marketing.
Engage can help you do the same - Book a free demo.
We’ll show you:
- workflows we can create for your store,
- proven ways to drive 30% or more $$ from email alone, and
- successful templates and strategies from your industry (and others).