Turn Shoppers into Loyalists with Post‑Purchase Messaging

Reaching out to consumers at the point of purchase offers a powerful opportunity to make a mark. Still, many retailers miss it. In a recent survey from, 40% of those surveyed say that post-purchase experiences, such as returns, make up the most memorable aspect of the overall brand experience. Nearly 80% also say that a positive brand experience overall post-purchase is important to them.

How great is the need for post-purchase communications? An entire startup called Happy Returns exists just to manage returns of online purchases. By allowing returns to happen through a third party, retailers are losing opportunities to connect with their customers themselves. As a result, they can’t, say, offer an alternative product.

Given this consumer state of mind, a purchase is not just a purchase. It’s also an opportune moment for a trigger that begins the process of creating the next sale, as customers tend to be most engaged with a brand near the time of purchase. Post-purchase, the brand knows something new about the customer, and should incorporate that information into their subsequent messaging strategy.

Foundational Post-Purchase Tactics

Foundational post-purchase messaging tactics are imperative for retailers looking to increase revenue from email. Often the easiest to implement, these tactics represent the lowest-hanging fruit for return. Examples include:

  • Adding product recommendations to triggered messages such as shipping or order confirmations. In this case, Nordstrom understands that because the customer returned a backpack, she’s likely still looking for one. As a result, the retailer included recommendations for bags with similarly simplistic styles and muted colors, but in a variety of price points.
  • Increasing incentives over time. Ten days after a sale, for example, an email could contain a personalized product recommendation that complements the item previously purchased. A month after a sale, the customer could be offered a discount. And then on day 45, he or she could be offered a more substantial discount — but only if the purchase is completed that day.
  • Boosting engagement. Start with a thank you. Make someone feel even better about their purchase and they may be more inclined to engage further. That could mean leaving a review, downloading your app or joining your loyalty program. Beauty retailer Tarte does this well, letting the customer know how much more value her purchases have if she’s a member of Tarte Rewards.

Sophisticated Post-Purchase Tactics

More sophisticated post-purchase tactics provide a significant opportunity for material return. However, they often require more resources — in people and in technology — to drive toward the end goal of deeper, more profitable customer relationships. Examples include:

  • Sending pre-purchase communications. Post-purchase messages are inherently reactive — but they don’t have to be. With predictive technology, marketers can look beyond what a customer did and tap into what they’re likely to do. Predictive technology identifies the likelihood that someone will make a purchase, including when and how much. Recommend products accordingly.
  • Setting triggers for consumables. The average time between purchases for consumables could be fairly consistent. When a customer buys something they’re likely to use up, set a trigger to encourage them to restock before they run out. This is a key strategy for retailers that sell CPG, such as Walmart, Sephora and Dollar Shave Club.

Post-purchase emails are just one way email marketing can help your bottom line. To learn more, download Increasing Revenue from Email: The Definitive Strategy Guide for Fashion, Apparel and Specialty Retail Brands.

Sailthru's 2019 Holiday Marketing Playbook

There’s plenty of time before “the holidays,” right? Not exactly. Holiday sales are perpetually on the rise, while consumers are starting their shopping earlier and earlier. This means retailers must get a head start before the holidays, especially since the most wonderful time of the year is also the most lucrative.

Increasing Revenue from Email: The Definitive Strategy Guide for Fashion, Apparel and Specialty Retail Brands Download Now