So a customer has decided to give you their hard-earned money in exchange for a product or service. They’ve likely deliberated this decision, looked at competitors, visited your website a few times, added the item to their cart, hesitated, come back—and finally pulled the trigger. 

The purchasing process is just that—a process. And, after a customer has checked out and received their shipping confirmation email, there’s often a period of radio silence before the product arrives (or sometimes even after!) where a lot of brands lose the chance to stay connected to their customers and nurture the relationship they’ve worked so hard to forge. That’s where post-purchase emails come in.

What are post-purchase email automations?

Post-purchase email automations are pretty true to their name. These automatically triggered emails are sent a specific period of time after a customer makes a purchase. They’re helpful check-ins that can help out you and your customers in a number of ways, including:

  • Teach them something new about the product or service they’re about to receive
  • Prepare them with helpful information so they’re primed to make the most of the product once it arrives
  • Garner invaluable feedback that can help you improve your product or service
  • Request a review or testimonial to help other customers trust your product or service
  • Make your customer feel valued for their business 
  • Inspire your customer to get maximum use of your product or service—fostering brand loyalty

Depending on your goals, product or shipping lead times, there are a few different ways to approach the content you include in post-purchase emails. Let’s dive into a couple prime examples. 

Post-purchase email automations are key marketing and engagement tactics for brands like Flax Sheep and Equal Parts

Product usage automations

The more your customers use your products, the stronger their brand loyalty. Set up automations to inspire product usage and build an audience of engaged, lifelong customers. These automations can be sent prior to product arriving or after. Test out which gets higher open rates and stick to that. 

Helpful tips for using, styling or taking care of your product are a great place to start when crafting an email automation to drive product usage. 

Flax Sleep—our friends, clients and makers of fine French linen—include an instructional video for folding a fitted sheet in their post-purchase email. Equal Parts, a cookware brand, uses post-purchase emails to give customers recipe ideas and to remind them about their text-a-chef program that lets customers seek advice from a trained professional.

A round-up of all your product’s features, and a highlight of any that your customers might have missed when purchasing, is also something else that’s great to include in a product usage automation. 

Product review and feedback email automations

Product review email automations are best triggered 2–3 weeks after a customer has received their product so they have a chance to use the product and form an opinion about it. Sending a post-purchase product review or feedback request pulls double duty: it shows your customers that you care about their experience with your product and it opens up the door for a product testimonial that you can use in other marketing assets, or on your product page, to add social proof and build trust with other customers. 

A simple layout, like a plain text email from your founder or customer service team, is an approachable and easily executable way to dip your toe into post-purchase email automations.

If you’ve got a bit more time (and budget) on your hands, a juicy incentive is a good move. Since customer reviews are endlessly valuable for your paid media program, social media content and email program, consider incentivizing the ask for feedback with an entry to win a gift card. Conscious clothing company Everlane worked this incentive structure into their post-purchase email, with on-brand language that feels more like a simple request vs. a slick marketing ploy.

Everlane includes product reviews and feedback opportunities in their post-purchase email automations
Glossier's simple post-purchase automated email for product reviews is a strategic way to stay engaged with customers to keep them coming back

There are plenty of product review plug-ins to choose from that you can integrate with your ecommerce platform. These will automatically request a review a predetermined amount of time following the purchase, saving you time. At Monday, we like Stamped.io because it’s easily customizable to match your brand identity and relatively affordable. And yes—you should put the time into sprucing up your product review requests so your customers trust they’re coming from you. It can be as easy as millennial makeup brand Glossier’s simple, clean layout.

Do you sell high ticket items? Consider creating a post-purchase email for repeat customers that includes a few extra special elements. Include a personal thank you from your founder or a photo from the team to make it feel made just for them. You could also use this as an opportunity to garner additional input from an already-loyal customer group. Ask them what they want to see from the next collection or include a link for an early-bird look at your next product drop or collection. 

Like all email automation, the beauty of post-purchase emails is that you set them up once and they keep delivering: helpful feedback, reviews you can use across channels and a tighter relationship with your customers. Keep the conversation going after your customers have made a purchase with these set-it-and-forget-it email automation and create a community of superfans. 

Okay, you’re sold on email automation—what else? Check out our guide to sprucing up your order and shipping confirmation emails and our tips for maximizing your welcome email series

Finally, watch the recording of our sold-out webinar on all things email automations, and make sure you sign up for our newsletter—the Field Report—for more insights on email marketing.