Win More Business with Better Post-Purchase Emails

5 ways to put transactional emails to maximum use.
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In post-purchase emails, promote only relevant products that provide value to the buyer. (Photo: Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock)

When customers buy a product on your e-commerce site, they typically expect to receive a few automated emails about the transaction, including an order confirmation and shipping notification, and maybe a post-purchase survey. These emails each serve a specific purpose. But what if they could do more?

“Post-purchase emails are a golden opportunity to present an offer to your customers,” said Ryan BeMiller, digital marketing blogger at ShoppingSignals.com.

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“Post-purchase emails are a golden opportunity to present an offer to your customers.” -Ryan BeMiller (Photo: Ryan BeMiller)

Most e-commerce retailers are missing a big marketing opportunity in post-purchase emails, BeMiller told NCR Silver. “The open rates of these emails are likely higher than any other emails you’ll ever send to your customers. Take advantage of that.”

Most transactional emails are created by developers setting up an automated system for the e-commerce store, BeMiller said. “This usually means they contain the necessary information, but nothing else — they’re typically bland, short and to-the-point.”

Here are tips BeMiller shared with NCR Silver on how to get more marketing mileage out of your transactional emails.

Get to the point — then offer a deal

“Consumers are very interested in the status of their orders, which results in high open rates,” said BeMiller. So make sure the transactional details come first, at the top of your emails. “That is, after all, their primary purpose.”

But don’t stop there. BeMiller suggested including an exclusive deal or time-sensitive coupon code to bring the customer back to your online store for another purchase.

Related: How 6 Retailers Use Discounts and Promotions to Boost Sales

Promote other products (but don’t go overboard)

Promoting a few additional products that may be of interest to the buyer is another tactic you can use in post-purchase emails, BeMiller said. Just make sure the promotion is relevant and not random.

“Don’t email a customer to tell them what they already know,” he said. Any promotion you include in a transactional email should provide value to the buyer; otherwise, it’s just marketing noise.

Don’t go overboard pushing up-sells and recommendations in these emails, warned BeMiller. “Keep it to a few relevant options. Provide way more value than you promote, and you’ll build a lasting brand.”

Have one call to action

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(Photo: Yury Shchipakin/Shutterstock)

Make sure you direct the buyer to take action when they read your email. “Try to focus the user on one core call to action per email, in addition to the transactional message,” BeMiller said.

Recommending products to check out, asking for a review on Google or Yelp or directing them to a relevant blog post can keep the buyer engaged with your brand.

Related: How to Never Run Out of Blog Topic Ideas for Your Website

Foster the relationship

When your customer has made a purchase, the next step is to ensure they get better acquainted with your brand so they come back and order again.

BeMiller suggested using personalization in your e-commerce emails, which “is proven to induce more action.” Get creative with planned follow-up emails, he advised, “like celebrating their ‘purchase anniversary’ or sending special coupons on their birthday, for example.”

You can also invite the customer to connect with your brand on social media. “Since the customer has already made a purchase, you can feel better about directing them away from your site and toward your branded pages.”

“My biggest advice regarding post-purchase emails is to see this for the opportunity that it is,” said BeMiller. “Ultimately, these emails can — and absolutely should — increase your customer lifetime value in a big way. That means higher profits, opportunity to scale and the ability to spend more to acquire each new customer. All signs of growth.”

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