Triggered emails can help you build your email business after the sale as well as before it. They can help you learn whether your customers are happy with their purchases, encourage future purchases and invite customers to become extensions of your marketing department.
Although a new Silverpop study found 26 percent of marketers send no post-purchase emails, more marketers are adding these triggered emails to their regular email programs. The list below presents some of the most frequently used post-purchase email messages and how you can implement them, as well as the percentage of marketers who use them, according to the Silverpop study.
Note: Many of these messages require pulling data or content from your e-commerce, Web analytics, review or personalization/recommendation systems.
1. Service Satisfaction Survey (50 percent)
What: A follow-up message asking the customer to complete a brief survey on the purchase experience: order process, shipping, etc.
When to send: Typically sent a few days after the shipment has been received by the customer. Test several time periods to see which generates the highest response.
Why: Provides additional customer touch point and important customer-satisfaction feedback.
- Alerts you to potential problems in the transaction/fulfillment process and areas for improvement, plus minimizes customer defection.
- Can identify content for possible testimonials.
- Post-purchase survey emails deliver 20 percent higher revenue per email than a standard broadcast message for Silverpop client Tafford Uniforms.
2. Product/Service Review Request (43 percent)
What: An email sent after a purchase inviting the customer to post a review of the item(s) purchased. Purchases can include products, travel, a service or other activity. Incentives can be offered, but test to see how they impact quantity and quality of reviews, as well as follow-on purchases.
When to send: Send times vary by the kind of product purchased and whether it would have a specific use day, such as travel or a purchase the customer identified as a gift.
Use common sense initially. Monitor response rates. Test different numbers of days after purchase to send the emails.
Why: Reviews are becoming a key source of purchase-process content, and email is typically the top means to encourage posting reviews. Customers increasingly use them when evaluating possible purchases.
- Generates significant percentage of your posted reviews.
- Additional touch point, engagement and brand awareness.
- Additional revenue from follow-on purchases.
- Fresh customer-generated content can help boost your website's search-engine rankings.
- While results can vary widely, Silverpop client S&S Worldwide sees follow-on purchases from 14 percent of customers that click on purchase-request emails.
3. Review Posted Notification (2 percent)
What: Message that thanks the customer for posting a review(s) and typically includes a link to the review and redemption of any incentive promised in the review-solicitation email. Can include links to follow and share comments on social networks.
When to send: As soon as the review goes live.
Why: Boosts your trustworthiness by providing evidence that the review is public and can be seen by others.
- Provides another touch point with the customer.
- Offers opportunity for customer to broadcast review or comments on social networks.
- Silverpop client S&S Worldwide found 12 percent of recipients who click on the message go on to make another purchase.
4. Cross-sell/Recommendation (Cross-sell 19 percent; Recommendation 29 percent)
What: Recommends related products or services based on the customer's most recent purchase, generated from your e-commerce, Web analytics or personalization/recommendation systems.
When to send: Time varies according to product lifecycle and customer's buying frequency. Test intervals to determine optimal times.
Why: Encourages repeated purchases.
- Provides another touch point with customer.
- Highly relevant because it relates to a product or service the customer already purchased.
5. Replenishment Reminder/Short-Supply Notice (17 percent)
What: Replenishment email reminds customer to repurchase a consumable product. "Short-supply" email notifies existing customer that consumable or similar-style products are on short supply.
When to send: Shortly before the product is likely to run out based on expected product life; reminder preferences from customer.
Why: Value-added service to customer to avoid disappointment and to remind customer to repurchase product.
- Content written with service orientation is distinct from a standard promotional email.
- Reminds customer to repurchase the original product from you.
- Silverpop client Fabric.com realizes a 53 percent increase in average order value on low-stock purchase reminders and open, click-through and conversion rates that are double those of broadcast email.
6. Bounceback (21%)
What: Special offer or incentive sent to recent or first-time purchasers to encourage them to return and buy again.
When to send: Depends on product or purchase cycle, but typically within one month of purchase--some retailers send within a week of purchase. Test to find optimal interval.
Why: Intended to reward purchasers and encourage repurchasing from your most engaged customers/subscribers.
Benefit: Additional revenue and another opportunity to engage and say "thank you" for buying.
7. Purchase Anniversary (12 percent)
What: Sent on a logical anniversary date (typically one year). Invites the customer to repurchase and typically includes an incentive, cross-sell/upsell, replenishment or other inducements.
Why: Reminds customer of previous purchase and offers an incentive to return and purchase again.
- Can be part of a reactivation campaign for inactive/non-responding customers.
- Provides another touch point for contacting customers outside of the regular promotional calendar.
- For one client, purchase anniversary emails deliver a 15 percent higher conversion rate than standard broadcast promotional messages.