Shopify’s latest Future of Commerce 2021 Report highlights that retention will become a top priority for ecommerce merchants as acquisition costs continue to spike.
Ecommerce is becoming more competitive, ad spend is increasing, and platforms like Facebook and Google are full of uncertainty. These factors are leading ecommerce brands to explore new growth channels this year, with a major focus on existing customers.
Shopify mentions that, “Historically, improving customer retention 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%.” That’s a massive increase in profits!
Email marketing has traditionally been a powerful channel for customer retention and it continues to grow in value. Platforms like Klaviyo collect increasingly specific consumer data, enabling brands to create more personalized and meaningful shopping experiences.
Despite email marketing already making up a large portion of ecommerce sales, most brands fall short when it comes to automating a post-purchase experience that captivates customers and builds long-term loyalty. After the customer buys, their excitement is at a peak. Most brands don’t take advantage of that time with customers, or they completely ignore it.
After working with hundreds of brands, Fuel Made and Malomo have teamed up to help ecommerce merchants make the best use of Klaviyo flows to create meaningful customer relationships post purchase.
Read on to learn what emails you should be sending to your customers after they buy to build loyalty and increase repeat purchases.
Transactional emails are sent to every customer who buys from your store. They contain information regarding the customer’s order. Brands don’t usually consider transactional emails as opportunities to sell or make an impact. But you’re about to see why they’re missing out.
General tips for transactional emails:
- Simple, straightforward subject line
- Keep emails true to your brand
- Include a call-to-action
Order Confirmation Emails
Immediately after a purchase, customers want verification their order was received and processed (and to confirm they’ve ordered correctly!)—these emails serve as their reassuring receipt.
Here’s what you should include in your order confirmation emails:
- Add brand personality: Introduce yourself with an engaging message.
- Highlight order information: Do so in a way that is easily digestible. The goal is to remind customers of what they bought and help them catch mistakes ASAP.
- Add a product feed: Personalized product recommendations help encourage customers to buy again.
Shipping Notification Emails
Think back to the last time you had a poor experience buying online. Many times, delivery is the issue. That’s why we recommend holding your customer’s hand throughout the entire shipping process. Sending timely, relevant shipping notifications elevates your customer experience. It leads to less customer support requests, and happier shoppers.
The shipping process is made up of multiple steps; each step is an opportunity to show you care. Shipping emails include emails such as Ready to ship, Just Shipped, Out for Delivery, Delivered, Return to sender, and many more.
Here are a few tips for engaging shipping emails:
- Focus on giving customers the information they want: Highlight information such as estimated delivery date, carrier, type of shipping (1 day, 2 days, etc.), as well as the products in the order.
- Share highly specific information: Give as much detail as you can regarding the status of their order.
- Highlight your support options: Make it easy to contact your support team for any questions.
When you make the effort to share information with customers before they even realize they need it, you’ll find they respond very well.
The emails in this section are sent when your customers are the most engaged with your brand—right after an order. Proactively showing up for your customers at this moment can turn a first-time purchaser into a loyal long-term brand advocate.
Building your brand goes beyond selling your product. It’s about telling a story and making your shoppers connect with you on an emotional level. Sending a thank-you email after a customer buys shows you care about their business.
Here’s what you should include in your thank-you emails:
- Show appreciation: Send gratitude for their recent purchase by letting them know how much it means to you.
- Make it personal: Share a message from the founder.
- Promote other channels: Use this as a chance to promote your Instagram or SMS.
- Thank repeat customers: Send returning buyers a special “thank you!” and acknowledge their loyalty.
Product Education Emails
If you consider the customer experience from end to end, how customers use the product has a big impact on how it performs (and whether or not they will write a review or recommend it). That’s why product instruction emails are important. It ensures customers know how to set up, use, or care for your product properly.
What you should include in your product educations emails:
- Share instructions specific to the products in the order
- Use videos of someone using the product
- Show that you’re not just selling a product, but that you’re an expert at this product
- Customers will turn to you as their go-to resource.
Now that you’ve wow-ed your customers with such amazing, relevant content, it’s time for a smart up-sell or cross-sell. To do this, you’ll need to dig into your data to figure out your ideal customer journey.
Here are some basic questions to think about:
- What do they buy first? (Usually best sellers)
- When do they typically come back?
- When they come back, what do they typically buy?
Cross-sell or Up-sell
On average, loyal customers are worth up to ten times as much as their first purchase! And, repeat customers spend 33% more than new customers. If you send a timely and targeted email, you can help turn first-time purchasers into second-time, loyal customers.
Here’s what you should include in your cross-sell or up-sell emails:
- Segment, segment, segment: Personalize your cross-sells or up-sells based on what customers have previously purchased.
- Start with your bestseller: What is your go-to product? If a customer bought it, what is the best complementary product that customers come back and buy? Promote that. If the customer did not buy a bestseller, promote the bestseller!
Retain Customers With Your Post-Purchase Experience
The first sale is the beginning of a relationship with a customer, not the end. You’ve spent money and time to get people to the site, and have already eaten the acquisition cost. So the post-purchase experience is where the opportunity is.
By taking some time to understand your customers’ needs, and putting effort into these post-purchase emails, you’ll show your customers that you care.
And they’ll thank you for it!
Want to know how to create these flows in Klaviyo and see live examples of these suggestions in action? Download our free ebook here to get detailed instructions and examples for setting up your own post purchase retention strategy.
This is a content marketing post from Malomo, a Forbes EQ participant, created in partnership with email marketing agency Fuel Made. Forbes brand contributors’ opinions are their own.