Post-purchase e-mails can unearth greater revenue

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Loren McDonald, VP, industry relations, Silverpop
Loren McDonald, VP, industry relations, Silverpop

For retailers, marketing efforts are tied to one important moment — the purchase. For online retailers in particular, many tactics revolve around the path to this important transaction — preference centers ask customers about the products they are interested in, cart abandonment programs remind shoppers to complete purchases and promotional e-mails feature incentives to drive conversions. Once consumers make a purchase, triggered e-mails such as purchase confirmations and shipping updates usually follow. These are all very important in a successful CRM and e-mail marketing program. However, more sophisticated post-purchase messages can turn existing customers into brand ambassadors and drive significant incremental revenue. 

Enhanced post-purchase e-mails can include the following:

Satisfaction surveys: Invite your customers to complete a survey measuring satisfaction with their recent purchase, including order processing and shipping. 

Reviews/recommendations: Encourage your customers to review items just purchased and to share their recommendations to their social networks.

Product recommendations: Cross-sell by suggesting additional items of interest.

Repurchase deadline: Pay close attention to past purchase history and invite buyers to repurchase products that are about to be closed out, discontinued or out of stock. Send reminder e-mails around the repurchase of consumable products such as pet food, baby supplies and health products. 

Upgrade opportunities: Notify and invite buyers to upgrade to a new version, replace an outdated product or purchase related products and accessories. 

While the additional revenue realized from upgrade, replenishment and repurchase deadline e-mails might seem obvious, purchase review e-mails can also lead to significant incremental revenue. One Silverpop client, S&S Worldwide, reports that 14% of the people that click on the review request e-mail actually make another purchase. In fact, its conversion rates from purchase reviews are second only to its abandoned cart program. This doesn't even take into consideration the additional reach achieved when these reviews are
posted to social networks.  

Adding these types of e-mails to your marketing program requires a higher level of sophistication, but most online retailers are already using the Web analytics, reviews and recommendation engines needed to power these types of transactional e-mails. Better leveraging these existing technologies can result in an arsenal of new e-mails that deliver additional revenue.

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