4 Email Automations Every Ecommerce Brand Needs: The Post-Purchase Flow
I often say that email should be the backbone of any digital strategy, particularly when it comes to ecommerce. However, the ligaments that hold the backbone together are without a doubt email automations.
The beauty of email automations is that once they’re set up, besides future minor optimisations, they provide a wealth of benefits for you whilst you sleep. Not only do email automations increase sales, but they can also play a vital role in building brand loyalty and increasing customer lifetime value.
This piece will be the first in a series of 4 email automations that every ecommerce brand needs. The first of which will be the post purchase flow which I personally believe to be one of the most important flows an ecommerce brand can have.
What is a Post Purchase Flow?
Quite often we’ll meet ecommerce brands with amazing values and great content that is perfect for their target market. However, they don’t promote them!
The post-purchase flow is an email automation set up to send multiple emails after a customer has made their first purchase. These emails build excitement for their new product arriving, promote cross-sells to increase customer lifetime value and look to engage with the user to complete a survey or request user generated content (UGC).
We break our post purchase flow into 4 main sections:
These are emails sent before a customer receives their product. These are intended to build excitement, reduce buyer remorse, reduce refund rates and begin to create that brand affinity to help build that relationship.
Ideas for content in these emails can be:
- Brand identity content.
- Product or brand FAQs.
- Social proof, science, case studies.
- “Box opening” videos.
- Product tutorials.
Content, engagement and relationship-building emails
This is the perfect time to use that amazing content we mentioned previously. Promote your brand values, let customers fall in love with your brand by showing what you believe in and the difference you’re making. What is your most popular content that will help your customers? Promote these here!
Ideas for content in these emails can be:
- “Best of” blog content to educate on brand and increase engagement.
- Promote your values to establish common ground and create a bond with your customer. “Our mission” or “About Us” works very well here.
- Authority pieces to show you are a trailblazer or established brand in your niche.
- “How To” blogs and informative pieces.
These emails are sent to encourage customers to make a repeat purchase. Although this is the main focus, these emails should not be trying to ‘hard sell’. These are using your content pieces that we discussed previously to increase customer lifetime value and increase repeat purchases. These emails should always build anticipation.
- Ideas for content in these emails can be:
- Pre-sell engagement articles.
- Discount on next purchase with a time constraint.
- Fashion collections, edits or lookbooks.
Dynamic automation can also be leveraged here to promote specific products based on what has been purchased. For example, if data shows that a customer is more likely to purchase product Y on their 2nd purchase after purchasing product X – make it easy for them! Promote this here.
UGC requests and surveys
You have just spent the past two weeks sending amazing content to this customer to help them and did everything you could to show why your brand is one worth following. It’s okay to ask for a little in return here!
User generated content is incredibly valuable. 84% of consumers say they trust peer recommendations above all other sources of advertising and UGC results in 29% higher web conversions than campaigns or websites without it.
At the end of the post-purchase flow we highly recommend asking the user for some user generated content. Whether it’s a video review, action shot or even just a review of the product on the website. These can all make a big difference.
A survey is also great to ask for here as learning more about our customer is vital to make changes and improvements.
In return, you can provide a gift card or discount code as a thank you, if desired.
Post Purchase Flow Results
The post purchase flow is one of the first things we look to implement when we onboard a new ecommerce customer and the results we see are excellent.
When Immaculate Vegan came to us, they struggled with customer lifetime value and the main struggle was getting that 2nd purchase from a customer. To combat this, the post purchase flow was the perfect solution.
We launched the post purchase flow in February of this year and we have increased returning customer rate from 11.94% in June 2021 to 20.94% in June 2022 which is a 75% increase. This has huge implications on profitability and will continue to play a key role in Immaculate Vegan’s growth.
You can read more about our email work with Immaculate Vegan by clicking here.
The post purchase flow is absolutely vital when it comes to an ecommerce digital strategy. There is no better time to connect with a customer than after they have just purchased with you. The relationship that the post purchase flow can build with a customer is incredibly pivotal to growth and can have massive ramifications on customer lifetime value and overall brand loyalty.
If you’d like our support with your post purchase flow or for us to help out with your email marketing in general, please get in touch.