11 Effective Post-Purchase Follow-up Emails Top Marketers Use
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7 min to read
Apr 19 2022
By Anastasia Bezuglaya
Anastasia Bezuglaya
Every business owner has to juggle many things at once: supplies, customer service, marketing, etc. One has to keep all the business processes running and at the same time, there's always something that can be improved. That's a lot of pressure, isn't it?

To relieve it, try to detect the areas that are the most rewarding and focus your efforts on them. One of such areas is a thoughtful email campaign after purchase. We've collected 11 types of follow-up emails to help you build the ultimate after-sales campaign.

What is a post-purchase follow-up email?

A post-purchase follow-up email is an email that you send to a customer after he or she has made a purchase. Follow-up emails include both transactional emails such as order confirmations and shipping notifications, and more creative ones, like replenishment emails or re-engagement emails.

Why follow-up emails after purchase are important

The main purpose of follow-up emails is to keep communication lines with your customers open even if it's been a while after purchase. The logic behind it is quite straightforward: your customers stay engaged with your company and when they need to buy something, they are more likely to return to your store than to switch to a competitor.

Numerous studies have proven that it makes more financial sense to keep customers than to find new ones. In fact, acquiring a new customer can be from 5 to 25 times more expensive than selling something to an existing customer. Also, existing customers are more likely to convert and spend on average 67% more than new customers.

Separately, email marketing has proven to be a powerful and effective way of communicating with customers. VentureBeat Insight study has found out that email marketing earns business on average of $38 for every dollar invested.

That's why sending follow-up emails to customers after purchase can be a real gold mine for business. But increasing conversion and sales is not the end of it. A thoughtful follow-up campaign can help you build strong customer relationships and turn your customers into lifelong fans. The number of loyal fans you have out there affects not only the profit you make but also your long-term business success.

11 types of effective follow-up emails with killer examples

Welcome aboard

When to send: immediately after a user subscribes.

We've all heard how important it is to make a good first impression. This principle stands true not only for face-to-face communication but also for email interactions.

If a customer has signed up for your newsletter, consider including a welcome aboard email to your campaign. You can establish a relationship with your new subscriber with the help of photos, videos, special offers, or just a friendly hello in your first email:
Welcome email
"Welcome aboard" email sent by Ebay
Or you can make the welcome email a bit whittier if your brand image and tone of voice allow doing so:
Example of welcome email
Asos welcome email
Another great idea is to use a welcome email to introduce the values of your brand. This will help you build a deeper connection with your customers:
Good example of welcome email
Welcome email sent by New Balance

Order confirmation & thank you

When to send: right after the purchase.

When customers buy something online, they want to know that everything worked out. Confirm the order as soon as the payment has been processed, letting customers know:

  • The order went through;
  • When it will be shipped;
  • How to contact you in case of a problem.

These details are essential as they give customers peace of mind, especially if something went wrong during the payment process, for example, they had trouble with PayPal. Also, don't forget to include a short "thank you" note for the order:
Example of order confirmation email
Order confirmation
Or, if you want to stand out, think about an unusual or interesting way of saying "thank you for your purchase". This is a real chance to spark your customers' interest, because

1) transactional emails get great open rates;
2) no one really expects these emails to be creative.

Shipping notification

When to send: as soon as you have the shipping details.

Shipping notification is another transactional email your customers expect to get from you. Timely updates about the status of the order contribute to trustworthy relationships, so don't skip this one. The email should include:

  • Estimated delivery time;
  • Shipment details (name and address, so that customer can double-check the information);
  • Tracking number.
Example of shipping notification
Shipping notification email
You can also add a touch of creativity to the order confirmation email. Hardly anyone does this, so it's your chance to capture your customers' attention.

Was everything fine with your delivery?

When to send: right after the delivery.

The next time you may want to check up on your customers is after the delivery took place, especially if it was conducted by a third party. Asking customers if they're satisfied will show them you care, and may also uncover possible problems (if there are any).
How was your delivery
Follow-up email after delivery

Upsell & cross-sell

When to send: when it makes sense.

You can create a separate follow-up email with product recommendations, promoting similar or related products to your customers, or you can add a product recommendations block to other emails you send, for example to transactional emails, or surprise emails (we're going to discuss them separately later on).

Why bother adding upsell and cross-sell blocks? Because it's one of the most powerful promotions tools for ecommerce. An often-quoted report of Jeff Bezos reveals that Amazon makes up as much as 35% of its revenue from product recommendations.
Upsell and cross-sell email
Cross-sell email example by Amazon
Upsell and cross-sell blocks work perfectly on the website as well, so don't forget to add them there as well to drive even more sales.
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Review request

When to send: a few days after the delivery.

The next step in your after-sale email campaign could be a request to leave a review. Do not skip this email, as it creates three different return-on-investment opportunities.

  1. Reviews largely increase conversion rates of the reviewed products.
  2. You can use reviews in your marketing activities: in ads, social media posts, on your website, etc.
  3. When a customer is reviewing a product, he's back on your website, which creates an additional sales opportunity.
When writing a review request email, thank the customer for the purchase, include the link to the review form, and explain how reviews help other people.
Example of review request email
Review request email example
Hint: It's better not to promise anything in return for the review. But once the review is published, you can send an email thanking the customer for it and offer a small reward, for example, a discount on a selected product (think cross-sell here).

Product education

When to send: either a few days before or after the delivery, depending on the specifics of your product.

No matter what you sell, there'll always be people who might need a bit of extra help or those who want to dig deeper to make the most of your product. Think it over well, maybe there's some useful information about your product or service customers can benefit from. For example, you can send:

  1. Tutorials. Especially if your products require some special skills (like technology products, or knitting supplies).
  2. Instructions. If customers keep contacting support asking the same questions, play ahead and send instructions by email.
  3. Blog post. If you've already covered the topic in your blog, why not include this article in your email?
Of course, the information you'll send out in product education emails largely depends on the type of your business, for instance:

  • A grocery store can share recipes with seasonal products;
  • A home decor store can educate customers on interior design;
  • A cosmetics store can send out advice on beauty routines and useful life hacks;
  • A pet store can give advice on pet care and training.

To be more specific, here's an example of instructions that would perfectly fit a product education email. This is a blog post with washing instructions for sportswear made of waterproof membrane material, as membrane clothes require special care, in contrast to regular clothes:
Product education blog post
Product education
You can even use customer education emails to explain how to use your website or app to the max. Here's how Asos does it:
The example of BigCommerce category page
An example of a product education follow-up email

Customer preference survey

When to send: a week after the delivery.

Learning more about your customers is always a good idea. And the easiest way to do so is just by asking.

First, decide which bit of information will be the most valuable for you. For example, you may want to find out:
  • Were they satisfied with the product or service;
  • How likely they are to recommend your product or service to someone else;
  • What they are interested in;
  • What sizes they wear;
  • What style of clothes they prefer;
  • What activities they do.

This information can help you gain a better understanding of your customers and tailor your marketing efforts. And, as with the other post-purchase emails, a survey email creates an additional touchpoint with your customers, reminding them about you and your product.

The length of the survey can differ too, starting from a brief "pick a number on a scale":
Example of survey
Brief survey
To in-depth surveys with multiple questions:
Customer survey email
An example of a customer survey follow-up email
You can test various approaches to find the one that better fits your needs.

Replenishment

When to send: as soon as the customer runs out of your product.

If you're selling products that require refill or replacement after some time, such as beauty or health products, a replenishment email is another great way to remind customers about yourself. Calculate the approximate time when the customer will run out of your product and send a personalized reminder to order more:
Example of replenishment follow-up email
Replenishment email example

Surprise and delight emails

When to send: whenever it makes sense.

These follow-up emails include both promotions customers expect to get (like Black Friday offers, or Christmas sales), as well as something unexpected like limited time offers, personalized discounts, exclusive access, and so on.

One of our favorites here is the "Happy Birthday" email. It's a warm follow-up email with congratulations and a gift from your company, be it a discount, a small gift, or something else:
The example of Happy Birthday email
Happy Birthday email

Re-engagement emails

When to send: up to you to decide, could be weeks or months after the purchase.

If it's been a while since your customer made a purchase, you have one last card up your sleeve – re-engagement emails. Try to reach out to customers, saying that you've missed them and offering a discount or a personalized promotion. This simple (but effective) trick can help you get back on track with some of your customers.
Re-engagement email​
An example of re-engagement email

Recap: How to build a strong follow-up campaign

Follow-up emails help businesses engage with consumers and build strong customer relationships, turning shoppers into supporters. Developing the perfect follow-up campaign requires time and effort but pays off in the long run.
The example of BigCommerce category page
We hope our guide to post-purchase email campaigns will help you fine-tune your marketing efforts and boost sales & customer loyalty.

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Anastasiya Kupriyanova - Content creator
Anastasiya Kupriyanova
Anastasiya is a content creator at Searchanise. Her professional areas of interest are SaaS solutions and ecommerce. Anastasiya believes that quality content must be valuable for readers and achieve business goals. When she is not busy writing, which does not happen often, she reads passionately, both fiction and non-fiction literature.

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