How to write ecommerce follow up emails that work
Sending post-purchase ecommerce follow up emails is a great way to keep your brand front of mind and show your customers you value their support. It’s also an opportunity to encourage repeat purchases by offering discounts, or recommending similar products. The only challenge is making your email stand out from the crowd. With every ecommerce business sending a follow up, how can you make yours different? Here are some tips for crafting an eye-catching email that gets noticed.
1. Choose your objective Successful follow up emails have a clear purpose. Why are you sending the email? What is the goal? Are you sending it because you want your customers to return to your online shop and make another purchase? Or do you want them to leave a review on social media? Or do you simply want to check that their product arrived safely?
The purpose of your email will shape its content and design. For example, if the goal is to encourage repeat purchases, then you could include a voucher for $10 off their next shop. If your goal is to generate Facebook reviews, then you’ll probably include a clear call-to-action and a link to your Facebook page. If you just want to say hello and thank you, then you might include some tips for looking after their new purchase. It’s all about adding value and making your intentions clear. You don’t want your customers wondering “what’s the point of this email?” They should be able to understand what you’re offering within a matter of seconds.
2. Write an engaging subject line
The subject line can make or break your email campaign. If it’s too dull, people will probably move your email straight to the trash. If it’s too salesy, people might get annoyed – or worse, your email might not even make it past their spam filter. So what makes a good subject line?
First, let’s look at what not to do. Avoid boring subject lines such as ‘Thank you for your purchase’, or salesy subject lines such as ‘Sale now on!’. If possible, you should also avoid using phrases such as claim, free, % off, sale or clearance – these might cause your emails to be marked as spam.
Aim to write a subject line that meets the three ‘Cs’: Clever, Creative and Clear. Here are some examples:
- A little something to say thank you… – Encourages the reader to open the email to find out what they’re going to get (i.e. a voucher).
- Three tips for looking after your new [insert product name here] – Adds value and not salesy. Shows your customers you care about their experience with your product.
- Jack, are you happy with your new [insert product name here]? – Using your customer’s first name is a good way to attract attention
3. Make it personal Thanks to sophisticated email marketing software, you can make your emails highly personal without having to edit them manually. Good software will be able to automatically populate fields such as your customer’s first name, and the name of the product they recently purchased. This might take a little bit of setting up in the beginning, but it’s well worth the effort. If you’re not sure which email software to use, or how to use it, ask your web developer for recommendations.
4. Design it right Your ecommerce follow up email needs to be visually appealing, with attractive images and clear call-to-action buttons. If you’re not confident in your design skills, it’s a good idea to bring in an expert to help. The last thing you want to do is send out mass emails that look untidy or unprofessional. A clean, professional design goes a long way to building trust.
5. Timing is everything Now that you have created a clever, creative, clear and attractive follow up email, the only thing left to do is push send. But before you get too excited, be sure to get your timings right. Don’t send the email as soon as your customer makes a purchase – you want to give them a chance to receive the product. But don’t leave it too late, either, or your email will lose relevance. Although there is no magic number, most follow up emails should be sent within 1-3 weeks of the initial purchase. It’s a good idea to test a few different times and then analyse the data to discover what works best for your business.