8 Essential Practices for a Winning Post-Purchase Email

woman on laptop with many bags, reading a post purchase email

Congratulations! A customer just made a purchase. But, your job as a marketer is far from finished. The post-purchase period is an extremely critical point in the customer’s journey and in more ways than one, what you do after you get the sale is just as important as how you got that customer to checkout in the first place.

Post-purchase emails and nurture tracks help generate stronger customer loyalty, more repeat purchases, and above all else, help customers feel connected to your brand. Here are some key lessons from some of the best post-purchase emails out there.

Leverage Your Latest Sale in a Follow Up Email

Once a customer hits submit, you should be sending a post-purchase email within the hour. Here are some important characteristics of an effective follow-up:

Offer Support and Tracking

Once we hit submit, we as consumers need the instant gratification (and sense of security) that the order was processed. When Bed, Bath and Beyond sends their post-purchase email, they open with a simple statement to confirm your order, your tracking information, and most importantly, their contact information if you have any immediate issues.

post-purchase email from bed bath and beyond

The icing on the cake here is the extra reassurance that there might be a slight delay for tracking. This minimizes confusion and gives customers a sense of security knowing your company is on the ball.

Set Expectations


In the same vain, you want your customers to have a good feeling about their purchase and feel in control of this virtual transaction.

Zulily absolutely nails this with a dedicated email they send to each first-time buyer. They reveal their entire shipping plan with definitions of what each stage of the tracking process really means for them – and best of all, they do it with their usual spunk and light-hearted copy.

post-purchase email from Zulily

Suggest Related Products


Now that your customer is on a high from making their purchase, it’s the perfect opportunity to leverage that purchase and suggest similar or coordinating products they might be interested in.

The Container Store uses the bottom of its post-purchase emails to suggest four related items the customer might want. When putting this into your own emails, be sure to use images and place this section somewhere it doesn’t get lost. The simpler your post-purchase email, the more likely these “You May Also Like” sections will get clicked on.

post-purchase email from The Corner Store

Incentivize the Next Purchase

If you want to get even more serious about locking in that next purchase, offer a sense of a urgency or a deal.

While Gilt doesn’t always do this, one of their post-purchase flows includes a free shipping offer for the next hour. While this isn’t a major incentive, it’s something that catches customers’ attention and particularly for deal sites like Gilt, this works because customers are already getting a discount on the purchase.

post-purchase email from Gilt

For your store, think outside the box and if there’s a 15% off discount you’re willing to offer for a limited time, try it out.

Ask for Feedback

Reviews and user feedback are key elements to improving your business, connecting with your customers, and if you’re talking public reviews, a great way to generate some organic traffic.

Warby Parker sends a clean cut thank you email after each purchase and they do a great job of making the email about you – and asking for your feedback. In your post-purchase emails, ask for feedback of some kind whether it be internal or external reviews, and take a note from Warby Parker by adding a little bonus for the customer with a time-sensitive raffle prize.

post-purchase email from Warby Parker

Going Further: Post-Purchase Dedicated Emails

It’s not good practice to try and cram every CTA into one post-purchase email. But, there’s still so much that you can gain from targeting these buyers in that oh-so-important post-purchase cycle. For this reason, you may want to try out dedicated emails that arrive up to a week after that initial post-purchase email. Here are some ways to make those work without overwhelming your customers.

Promote Social Sharing

Social media isn’t just a tool for retargeting. Leverage the social world we live in by asking customers to either share their purchase on a social network or refer their friends. Either way, it’s a new set of eyes on your product that may not have otherwise visited.

Here’s another great example from Zulily. They make referring friends simple and clear while also offering an incentive for customer with a $15 credit for every referral.

post-purchase email from Zulily-2


Dedicated emails are a great idea for referrals because your customers can be more focused on the task at hand, and not distracted by their own purchase.

Personalize Future Recommendations

We’ve seen this before, but a dedicated “You May Also Like” email is a nice touch that makes your customer feel valued and connected to your brand.

So, if you decide not to include those similar items in your initial post-purchase email, put some more effort into the copy and design of those suggestions and send it on its own like Pottery Barn does here.


post-purchase email from Pottery Barn

For these to be effective, be sure you still mention the customer’s prior purchase that your suggestion stems from. It shows you’ve done the work to personalize this offer and your customers will thank you for it.

Incentive For Next Purchase

Unlike Gilt, who offers free shipping for a limited time in their post-purchase email, Pottery Barn takes this idea one step further by dedicating a full email to the cause.

post-purchase email from Pottery Barn-2 (1)

Sending this email on its own days after someone’s purchase could have just the effect you’re looking for and it allows you to spend a little more time telling the customer you’re thankful for their loyalty.

Bonus: How to Do This in Klaviyo

It’s not enough just to get you excited about a ton of examples. Here’s exactly how you do this in Klaviyo.

Step 1: Login to your Klaviyo Account and click on “flows” from the left hand navigation. Then, click “Create Flow.”

Step 2: On the next screen, name your flow and select the “Takes an Action” option.

Step 3: You will be asked to select what action will trigger the flow. Select one of your predetermined actions from the drop down list.


Read this documentation to learn how to track on-site events and actions.

Step 4: Follow the rest of the instructions to create logic for your flow, then continue on to the next step and edit the email content using Klaviyo’s drag-and-drop builder.

A Final Word

Taking the time to make the post-purchase experience special for each and every customer is one of the best ways for you to leave an impression. Unlike so much of marketing, this is a time when you are on the customer’s radar, they have already showed some allegiance to your brand and it’s up to you to make their experience memorable.

What do you think makes post-purchase emails most effective? Share your ideas in the comments!


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  • Even though this post is not new these practices will never get old! Lovely material for my essay for davidjsalmon.co.uk. Thanks!

  • This may be a dumb question. But can you legally (and effectively) send a post-purchase email to anyone who orders even if they haven’t opted into your newsletter?

  • Comments are closed.