Today’s article on The Morning After: 7 More Things you can Achieve with your Post-Purchase Email is brought to you by Monique Danao – writer and content creator at ReferralCandy
Let’s welcome Monique in our blog, and learn from her invaluable experience!
Post-purchase transactional emails are a vital party of any ecommerce strategy.
But what are transactional emails? And, how can they help grow your ecommerce store?
For starters, transaction emails are sent to customers to complete a transaction or to encourage customers to make a purchase. They are automated follow-up emails that use machine learning to remind customers about the products they’re most likely to buy—based on their purchase history, browsing behavior, and email clicks.
A common example is the order confirmation you receive after purchasing an item.
A transactional email provides you with details about your order, shipping, tracking information and so on.
Transactional emails also have very high open rates.
In fact, order confirmation emails have an open rate of 70.9%, which is 4x more than the average marketing email. This is because when a customer makes a purchase, they’re bound to check the transactional email to confirm that their order was successful. Meaning it’s a great opportunity to connect with consumers, upsell your products and encourage repeat purchases.
But what more can you do with post-purchase emails? How do you use it to encourage repeat purchases? Here are 7 ideas for what you else you can do to get more from your customer’s attention:
Seize the opportunity to generate another purchase with a next-purchase discount code
Every ecommerce business wants to make more for every customer they convert. They want to increase customer lifetime value (CLV) because getting new customers is a lot more expensive than retaining the ones you already have.
Some studies found that acquiring a new customer is seven times more expensive than retaining an existing customer. A study by Harvard Business Review found that customer acquisition is about five to 25 times more expensive, than getting current customers to spend more.
This makes a lot of sense.
New customers have to go through your marketing funnel. They see your products through ads, blog posts and referrals. After they visit your website, you have to make an effort to reach out and constantly engage with them—before they make their first purchase.
That said—if new customers buy from your online store only once, you won’t breakeven from the costs of advertising. So, how can you get new customers to make their next purchase?
Next-purchase discount codes are one way you can incentivize customers to quickly make another purchase. It’s effective because customers have the freedom to use the discount on any item of their choice.
Here’s an example from Birchbox:
Coupons and discounts also work extremely well for potent items or consumables like food and toiletries.
True Citrus gives customers 25% off on their next purchase. It’s a simple tactic, but it’s certainly an effective strategy for repeat purchases.
Discounts and coupons are fairly versatile and can be combined with other goals. For example, you could offer them during special events, sales or brand anniversaries like Old Navy:
Tempt Customers With Related Products and Personalized Product Recommendations
Your customer just made a purchase. Great!
But the shopping experience shouldn’t stop there. After you’ve gotten a purchase, you should start thinking about how you’ll encourage customers to make their next purchase.
A subtle and effective way you can tempt customers is to include product recommendations in your transactional emails like order confirmation or shipping confirmation emails.
Order confirmation emails have an unbelievably high open rate at 70.9%, which is 4x more than your average promotional email. SmartMail also found that product recommendations in emails can increase CTR by an astounding 300% or more! This means more potential conversions and sales for your website.
For example, Heirlume reported a 3 percent increase in conversions when it placed product recommendations on its emails.
Obviously, to send effective product recommendations, you should consider the user’s interest, past purchases and behavior. A good tip is to personalize recommendations for each customer. For example, you could recommend items that are similar or related to previously purchased products. You could also cluster or group similar products and accessories for better recommendations.
Here’s an example from Indiegogo:
Indiegogo encourages users to fund campaigns that are similar to the ones they’ve supported. That way—more ideas can come to life.
Another trick is to suggest your best selling products like Huckberry:
What’s great about this email is that it contains product visuals and easy-to-read product names.
Mention your referral program
If customers loved your product, you want them to talk about it with their friends.
This is why referral marketing has a lot of potential for driving sales. When you’re thinking of eating on a new restaurant, you ask your friends and family for recommendations. When you’re buying a new product, you ask for the opinions of people who have bought a similar product. That’s because we trust our friends and family. We’d rather get their insights, compared to sponsored ads and advertisements.
In fact, studies from ReferralCandy found that people pay 2x more attention to recommendations from friends. In addition, 92% of consumers trust recommendations from people they know.
One way you can facilitate the referral process is to create a referral program. You can then mention it at the bottom of transactional emails like Casper.
You can also place referral codes in your transactional emails.
For starters, referral codes are codes that can be sent to your friends and family. When someone uses your referral code to buy a product or service, you’re rewarded for the successful referral.
The Dollar Shave Club’s transactional emails have a unique referral link. When customers make a successful referral, they get a free month.
It’s a simple trick. But it’s a sure-fire way to get your brand advocates talking about your brand.
Mention Your Loyalty Program
Once customers make their first purchase, you want to make them stay—for a very long time.
This is why a lot of businesses have turned to loyalty programs to drive repeat purchases in their stores. In fact, popular food and beverage chains like Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks have gotten millions from their loyalty programs.
Dunkin Donuts DD Perks Rewards program has 7.5 million members, which greatly contributes to the 2 billion cups they sell per year. Meanwhile, My Starbucks Rewards has 11 million members. As of Q1 2016, it had $1.2 billion in customer funds loaded onto their plastic and mobile Starbucks cards! Upserve even discusses the importance of loyalty programs in a blog post.
Loyalty programs make a lot of sense. It’s easier to sell to current customers, than to market to new customers. In fact, a study by Marketing Metrics found that new customers are only 5 to 20 percent likely to buy from your business, as compared to existing customers who are 60 to 70 percent more likely to make a purchase.
So, if you have a loyalty program you better place it in your transactional emails to get more conversions.
You can encourage customers to join your loyalty program in your transactional emails. Simply include a section where they can read about the rewards they can get for joining your loyalty program like Bloomingdale’s:
Ask for Reviews and Survey Responses
We all know the importance of good reviews and surveys on your online store.
And if you don’t, then here’s the data:
- Placing a star rating beside an ad led to a 28.72% higher conversion. (Source: thoughtshift)
- 63% of customers are more likely to purchase from an online store with a good amount of reviews (Source: iPerceptions, 2011)
- Having 50 or more reviews per product can mean a 4.6% increase in conversion rates (Source: Reevo)
- 52% of buyers will trust a business more if they see some negative reviews of their products. (Source: Capterra)
In short, you need to get reviews. And they don’t need to be positive reviews all the time.
One way you can get more product reviews is to send follow-up emails or survey emails a few days or weeks after the customer received the product like Casper.
Lazada gets information on its customer retention strategy by sending an email satisfaction survey the day after the purchase is completed.
Want to know what your customers think about the product? They’re more likely to give feedback after they’re given a few days to evaluate the product. You can then survey them about their shopping experience or their perception about the product like Amazon:
Ask for User-Generated Content
There’s a lot of buzz about user-generated content, and for good reason.
User-generated content leads to 29% higher web conversions compared to campaigns or websites without it. In addition, 41% of consumers only need to see between 1 and 4 UGC reviews in order to be influenced to purchase.
Of course, more content is always better. But how can you get relevant user-generated content on your website?
In its post-purchase email, Althea asks customers to upload a picture alongside their review to get featured on their Beauty Wall.
Glossier nudges consumers to post or tag their content by featuring their user-generated Instagram photos on their email.
By encouraging users to post their content through transactional emails, Althea and Glossier are able to get more customers to engage with the brand.
Say “Thank You”
How do you establish a relationship with first-time customers?
A lot of businesses try to differentiate themselves in terms of product, brand and service. It’s also fairly common to compete in terms of price and efficiency. While you can increase your sales by focusing on these factors, that’s not the only thing that matters.
Younger customers prefer meaningful experiences and choose brands based on word-of-mouth and loyalty. That said—-a simple thank you email can go a long way in creating meaningful experiences.
Thanking customers is one of the easiest ways to let them know that you appreciate them. It’s also easy-to do but not many companies genuinely thank customers for helping them grow their business. In fact, 68% of businesses lose customers because of indifference, and nearly half of American consumers say that appreciation is a vital part of excellent customer service.
Showing appreciation and sending a simple thank you can highlight the human aspect of your brand and build customer trust and goodwill.
Coach’s thank you email is short and sweet. It politely encourages customers to check out their latest arrivals and a link to their latest arrivals.
Tools like Beeketing make it easy for you to send personalized thank you emails.
You can also thank customers for subscribing to your emails and newsletters.
For these types of emails, a good tip is to understand the best time to send an email newsletter. You can also tell customers what they’ll receive for subscribing like industry news, blog posts among many others.
Saying thank you is not rocket science, but it can help improve your likeability, foster retention and eventually loyalty.
Ready to Get Started With Your Transactional Email?
There are a lot of ways you can spice up your transactional email so test out what works for you.
What does your business value most? Do you want to get more referrals or loyalty, engagement or reviews? Your answers may vary depending on your customers’ stage in the marketing process.
It’s up to you how to make use of the content you place in your transactional emails. You can use Beeketing and set out a complicated workflow so each order has a different offer. Or, simply rotate the offer in each purchase email every few months.
You can also do several at once to get various results.
How will you spice up your transactional emails? What do you want to achieve by getting your consumer’s attention? Let us know in the comments below.
We feel honoured to have Monique’s insights featured in our blog, and we are incredibly thankful for the knowledge she has shared with us.
About the author:
Monique Danao is a ReferralCandy writer and content creator with an expertise in marketing and SEO. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her enjoying funky food, listening to music and marketing startups.