Post Purchase Email Examples to Minimize Returns

headphones on desk and keyboard by coffee mug to denote post purchase

A high volume of returns and support requests can hurt your ecommerce businesses profits and quickly add up, especially if you’re running a shop with a small team. According to a recent Invesp infographic on online return rates statistics, at least 30% of all products ordered online are returned compared to only 8.89% bought in brick-and-mortar shops.

While receiving damaged products, the wrong item, or products appearing different than advertised top the list of the reasons for returns, another common issue is confusion.

If you’re an ecommerce shop selling products that aren’t the most intuitive to install, like gadgets, a post-purchase email is a great opportunity to clearly explain how they can get going. This will both help minimize the number of returns and support requests and present you with the opportunity to increase revenue by cross-selling.

We’re big believers that the more targeted and tailored an email is, the more helpful it is. Below I’ll look at a few examples of ecommerce businesses who have put a lot of thought and planning into their post-purchase email strategy.

Demystifying car seat installation

Outdoor dog adventure gear company, Kurgo understands that installing a new dog car seat or dog harness for the first time can be super confusing. That’s why they’ve created a series of videos to help customers who have recently purchased with installation. Kurgo uses these product specific videos in their post-purchase email.

“Right now we have twelve different flows set up as a post-purchase email after someone makes an order,” says Kurgo’s ecommerce marketing specialist, Andie Missert,

“These emails send a day after customers make a purchase, and show them how to get the most out of the product they ordered. They give them installation instructions or tell them a little bit more about the lifetime warranty.”

While Kurgo has product specific videos in their emails, they also have a more general video around running with your dog, if a customer places an order related to that topic. So far these emails are performing exceptionally for Kurgo!

Besides the video included in post-purchase emails, Kurgo makes it easy for customers to contact support and provides a link to print instructions as a secondary option for buyers. Kurgo has smartly taken the opportunity to cross-sell at the bottom of these emails with related items. Because while your pup needs a car seat, your back seat doesn’t need to be covered in dog hair and a seat cover could solve that problem perfectly!

KeySmart unlocks a great plan for installation instructions

Premium pocket key organizer and key holder company, KeySmart knows their product could use some explaining. In order to address this issue, they created an email to go out after someone purchases one of their products, complete with a video and several other resources depending on the model purchased.

I should point out that for both of these emails the play button for the video is a screenshot as many of the largest email clients still can’t play embedded videos in email.

If you want to learn more about using video in your emails check out our guide to using video in ecommerce emails.

Timing and targeting

Deciding when you want purchasers to receive helpful post-purchase emails is a wise thing to consider. If you send out an email immediately it could get lost in the shuffle. One possibility is to trigger the email based on when the order is delivered.

If you are selling globally, it could be a great idea to segment your post-purchase emails by domestic vs international so you can fine tune any different information, like free shipping or returns (if you only offer this domestically).

Increasing revenue with post-purchase emails

While we’ve covered examples of using post-purchase emails to cut down on returns and support inquiries, they are also an exceptional opportunity to cross-sell to your customers. The example from Kurgo was a great one, they used dynamic product recommendations based on the item purchased. If you’re looking to add this functionality to your own browse abandonment emails, learn more here.

Level up your post-purchase emails

If you’re just getting started with post-purchase emails or want to level up, check out these resources:


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