How to Increase Revenue with Thank You Emails

Thank you email image with open brown envelope

Thank you emails, or what some people call post-purchase emails, are surprisingly one of the most engaging emails in email marketing. They’re almost always opened, providing an opportunity to set the stage for customer retention and future purchases.

In this post, I’m going to go over the benefits of sending a thank you email and ways to optimize them to help you increase customer retention.

For ecommerce stores, customer retention is vital. According to Gartner Group, 80% of your future revenue will likely come from just 20% of your existing customers. But too often, stores miss a perfect opportunity to build on their customer relationship and merely send an order confirmation and maybe shipping information.

If you’re sending standard order receipts and shipping confirmation emails to first-time buyers, you’re missing out on a tremendous opportunity.

After one purchase, a customer has a 27% chance of returning to your store. Get that customer to make a second and third purchase, and there’s have a 54% chance of making another purchase, according to

The Benefits of Thank You Emails

While I could simply tell you that thank you emails work, let’s put the numbers where my mouth is.

I looked at over 3 thousand thank you emails (3,145 to be exact), sent to over 9 million people to see if they are truly effective. The results were staggering. Thank you emails saw a 67% average open rate, 6.3% click-through rate (CTR), and $0.55 revenue per recipient!

Those numbers might sound impressive, but how do they stack up against a regular email campaign?

thank you emails chart

Thank you emails had a 352% higher open rate than a traditional email campaign and a 329% higher CTR — most likely because your customer is expecting an email. Because of this, customers are eager to open thank you emails to get an update on their purchase.

For these reasons, you should be taking full advantage of these emails. To help you increase conversions (RPR) with your thank you emails, here are a few tips and tricks.

Thank you email best practices

Now that we’ve gone over the basics about thank you emails and their effectiveness, let’s check out some email marketing tips that you can apply today.

1. Recommend related products

There’s no better time to send a product recommendation than immediately after somebody has just made a purchase. It provides an excellent opportunity to either cross-sell or upsell.

Say your customer just purchased a new pair of Nike shoes. Immediately after the purchase, send them a thank you email with product recommendations for:

  • A second pair of similar shoes with a nice discount attached (upsell)
  • A pair of Nike socks or Nike shoe cleaner (cross-sell)

Believe me, they work. Product recommendations in email copy drive 360% higher conversion than a general email message.

2. Incentivize your thank you emails

Buying from a store is exciting. Even more exciting is buying from a store and being rewarded for it.

Your customer might have been on the fence about a product while browsing your website but just couldn’t pull the trigger. A nice discount will help nudge them towards a purchase.

Be wary though. Promotions are effective at bringing customers back, but they almost always set an unwanted expectation that all your communications will offer discounts. 70% of people have reported opening brand emails solely looking for coupons. When the recipient doesn’t get the discount, it can leave a negative impression of your brand and increase your unsubscribes.

3. Segment based on the number of purchases

Targeting customers based on their purchase history provides an opportunity to be much more targeted and personal with your messaging. Segmenting based on the number of purchases will help you turn new customers into repeat customers, and repeat customers into VIP customers who will influence new prospects to buy from you.

For new customers, you’re looking to build a relationship for repeat purchases. So thank them for becoming a new customer, provide a hefty discount, and also a product recommendation to entice them to become a repeat customer. To prevent over-sending, include a survey asking how often they want to be contacted by you.

For repeat customers, who we know are more likely to return, ease back on the discount and provide another product recommendation based on their past purchases.

For VIP customers, simply thank them for being awesome. Ask for feedback on their experience with your brand and apply it to your marketing strategy.

Final words

Taking the time to making the post-purchase experience memorable for each customer is one of the best ways to drive more sales and increase customer retention.

By segmenting your thank you emails, including product recommendations and incentives (but not too many), you can help strengthen the relationship with your customers while increasing their speed through the sales funnel.


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