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Post-purchase email tips and examples to boost loyalty and sales

· 21 min read · E-commerce · Feb 22, 2024
Christos and Aleksandra, customer support

When someone buys from your store, they're not just crossing the finish line of their buyer's journey; they're stepping into a whole new adventure as your customer!

Start the new relationship the right way with a post-purchase email sequence that'll make your customers feel like VIPs. Nail it, and you're on your way to forging unbreakable loyalty, increased trust, and locking in those repeat sales.

In this guide, we’re spilling the secrets of the various types of post-purchase emails, when to send them, and the must-have elements that will make your messages irresistible. Let’s go!

Post-purchase emails are emails you send automatically to people who buy from your brand. You can use them for various reasons, including confirming the purchase, providing shipping information, promoting related products, and sharing essential product information. 

Some of these emails, like shipping confirmations, are essential to the buying experience. Others, like follow-up messages, are optional but can play a big role in creating a customer experience people remember.

The main benefit of post-purchase campaigns is to provide a better customer experience. When planning yours, forget about sales for a moment and focus on optimizing the experience someone has when they buy from your brand. 

Here’s how Ben Fridja, the founder of the e-commerce store Fridja, thinks about the goal of his brand’s post-purchase sequence. 

“We don’t just want the customer’s money,” he said. “We want them to love the product and tell their friends and maybe come back and purchase something else."

The idea is that while you’re giving up on sales initially, a good post-purchase sequence will result in sales further down the line. You’re increasing the value of the customer by building a stronger relationship. 

Here’s a more in-depth look at some of the benefits of a post-purchase sequence:

1. Build trust by meeting customer expectations

Customers expect you to contact them after they buy a product. Sales confirmation and shipping emails are essential for building trust and meeting these expectations.

Proactively providing this information also means you’ll receive far fewer support tickets as customers won’t feel the need to follow up on their orders.

2. Increase loyalty with better customer experiences

As a savvy online seller, you know that meeting expectations is the bare minimum. You need to go further and create memorable experiences that result in repeat customers

Post-sales emails are an effective way to do this as they let you continually communicate with the customer once they‘ve made the purchase.

3. Make more sales in the long run

Post-purchase emails can still impact the bottom line. Get them right and you’ll increase customer retention which can lead to more sales via repeat purchases and referrals.

You can also use your post-purchase emails to promote your products. Be sure to do this in a way that’s respectful of the fact that the customer has just bought from you.

Consider cross-selling products that will improve the customer’s experience with the item they just bought, rather than promoting brand-new products.

Post-purchase emails can contain anything that you think will improve the experience someone has when they buy a product with your e-commerce brand. 

We’ve listed 9 common kinds of post-purchase emails in the section below. Use the ideas as inspiration to build a post-purchase experience your customers love.

Transactional vs. marketing post-purchase emails

Order and shipping confirmations are transactional emails. Most e-commerce platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce have these built-in, just follow the relevant instructions to turn them on. You can also use a transactional messaging tool like MailerSend to build custom transactional experiences.

When creating transactional messages, make sure that any marketing messaging is minimal and that the main content of the email is related to the customer's order.

All the other post-purchase emails in this list are marketing emails. You can use MailerLite to send these messages to people who buy from your store. 

Read more about the differences between transactional and marketing emails here.

1. Order confirmation email

Order confirmation emails give peace of mind by confirming that the customer’s order has been successful.

Send these emails as soon as the customer purchases so they aren’t left wondering if the transaction went through.

These emails typically include:

  • Order details

  • Price

  • Order number

  • Delivery address

  • Links to FAQs or support

The exact information you send depends on your product. Digital product sellers may include a link to the product download, while online course providers may share guides to getting started.

This confirmation email from Coursera is a good example of the latter. It starts with the order details, before moving into tips the course taker can use to optimize their learning.

Coursera post-purchase email
Source: Coursera

2. Shipping confirmation

Shipping confirmation emails let the buyer know you shipped their order and that the purchase is on its way. Send these emails as soon as you ship the customer's product. 

These emails typically include:

  • A summary of the order

  • The shipping tracking number

  • A link to the shipping company’s tracking page

  • An estimated delivery date

  • Links to the customer’s account

At this point, the customer is excited about your product arriving. Capitalize on this feeling by adding content to deepen the customer relationship, such as recommended products or links to your social media profiles. 

The below post-purchase email example from Burga contains all the essential elements of a great shipping email, including the ordered products, a tracking link, address confirmation, and estimated delivery. 

Burga shipping confirmation email
Source: Burga

3. Follow-up emails

Follow-up emails contain further information about the customer’s purchase to help them get the most from it. 

Follow-up email tip

If you have a small number of products, create post-purchase follow-up emails for each one. If you have many product lines, create more general follow-up emails with information that can be useful for a large number of items.

Send a follow-up email after your order confirmation and shipping emails or create a sequence that delivers these emails over a few days or weeks. The aim is to ensure the customer has all they need for a great start to life with your product. 

Once again, the exact information you send will depend on your product. Here are some types of content that may be useful for different businesses:

  • Course provider: Lesson rundown, community invites, learning tips

  • Software tool: Set up guides, tips relevant to the buyer’s use case 

  • Fashion store: Styling ideas, product care information

The below email from Peloton is a great example of a follow-up email that is tailored to the product. It asks people who have recently bought a bike to take a quiz to get instructor recommendations.  

Peleton follow-up email
Source: Peleton

4. Survey emails

Survey emails contain a survey you can use to ask for customer feedback and learn more about their experience with your product. 

Send these feedback request emails when the customer has had a chance to try out your product, but don’t leave it so long that they are no longer excited about the purchase. 

These emails typically contain: 

  • A thank you note

  • Order details

  • A short description of what the survey is for

  • How long the survey will take

  • A link to the survey

How you add the survey depends on the platform you use. With MailerLite you can embed a survey in your email for easy access, or add a link to a survey on a third-party platform. 

This email from Marks & Spencer ticks all the boxes above. It’s clear what the survey is about, how long it will take, and which purchase it relates to.

Marks and Spencer survey newsletter
Source: Marks and Spencer

5. Review request email

Review request emails ask the buyer to review your product on your website or a third-party platform. 

Like with survey emails, you should send product review request emails when the customer has had a chance to try your product without leaving it so long that they’re no longer excited. You can also send a follow-up reminder email. 

Cardigang review request email
Source: Cardigang

Optimize your review request email by keeping it simple like in the Cardigang email above. 

Consider including a:

  • Thank you note

  • Request for a review

  • Incentive for doing so, but be aware that some third-party sites don't allow incentivized reviews

  • Note about how the review will help

  • Link to the review platform

This keeps the focus of the email on leaving a review and means the recipient won’t get distracted by other types of content. 

How to guarantee positive reviews

Consider only sending review emails to people who answered your survey email positively. You can set this up by adding the subscriber's survey response as a field in their profile and then using the positive score to trigger a review email.

6. Product recommendations

Product recommendation emails increase repeat sales and boost customer lifetime value by promoting your products to existing customers. 

Use knowledge of the product the person bought to make super specific recommendations about what they may like to buy in the future. 

Here are 3 post-purchase email marketing strategies: 


Promote products that are directly related to the product the customer bought. If someone bought shoes, promote shoe polish. Send cross-sell emails soon after the initial purchase.


Promote a more expensive version of the product the customer bought. Upselling typically happens during the checkout process to increase order value, but it can work for some product types in post-sales emails. 

For example, if you sell a product that results in repeat buys, like supplements, you could upsell the customer to a more expensive version or a larger package for the repeat purchase. 

Send the email when the customer is likely to think about rebuying your product.   

Related products

Promote products that you think the buyer may be interested in. For example, a multi-sport e-commerce business can send product recommendations for the sport of the purchased product. 

As well as dedicated product emails, add product promotions to the other emails in your post-purchase sequence. 

Cult Beauty recommends related products at the end of its shipping confirmation email. Adding the recommendations at the end ensures they don’t distract from the email’s main message. 

Cult Beauty recommendation email
Source: Cult Beauty

7. Loyalty program emails

Invite subscribers to your customer loyalty program to encourage repeat sales. Offer an incentive like a coupon, points, or discount on their next purchase to increase the chances that people will sign up and eventually become loyal customers. 

The below email from Squatch is a good example because it highlights that customers already have points waiting for them.

Squatch loyalty program email
Source: Squatch

8. Referral program emails

Invite buyers to spread the word about your brand with a referral program email. These emails encourage referrals by offering a benefit, usually a discount, to both the person making and receiving the referral. 

What to include:

  • Explain how it works

  • Highlight the benefits 

  • Link to the rewards program signup

This email from The Body Shop is a great example. It includes all the above points, making the referral process extremely clear. 

The Body Shop referral email
Source: The Body Shop

9. Re-order emails

Some products may benefit from re-order emails that remind buyers to buy again. Send these emails around the time the buyer will be considering another purchase.

This email from Moonpig is a good example of a re-order email. It uses the anniversary of the date the recipient bought a birthday card to remind them to buy another.

Moonpig re-order email
Source: Moonpig

Creating a post-purchase email flow is super easy with MailerLite. Just connect your e-commerce store to MailerLite using the relevant integration, and then build e-commerce automation with one of our post-purchase triggers

The email, or email sequence, will go out automatically whenever someone buys a relevant product. 

You can choose from three post-purchase triggers: 

  • Buys a specific product: Trigger the email when someone buys the exact product specified. They’re perfect if you have just a few products that each require their own automation. 

  • Buys a product category: Trigger the email when someone buys a product in a particular category. They allow you to tailor the automation to the product the person bought, without having to create a separate automation for each one 

  • Buys any product: Trigger the email whenever someone buys a product from your store. They’re perfect for sharing general information or for emails like surveys that are relevant to any buyer. 

When creating your automation, either add all your post-purchase emails to a single flow, or create multiple flows for each use case. 

For example, you could create a post-purchase flow with follow-up emails containing product information and a separate automation specifically for your survey and reviews. 

Here are the set-up steps in detail. They assume you have already connected MailerLite with your e-commerce store.  

  1. Head to Automation section of your dashboard and click Create new automation

  2. Click Start from scratch and name your automation

  3. Set up your trigger by selecting e-commerce automation, choosing your store, and then choosing the trigger buys a specific product, any product, or from a category 

  4. Add a Delay block and choose the amount of time you want to pass between the trigger and the recipient receiving the email

  5. Add your first email to the automation and design the email

  6. At this point, you can either set your automation live by switching the toggle or add more emails. Just be sure to add a delay between each message to spread them out.

Now you know more about the types of post-purchase emails you can send, here are some final best practices you can use to optimize your messages. 

Send emails at the right time 

For some types of emails, like shipping or order confirmations, the right timing is essential. For others, like product recommendations or loyalty programs, you have a larger time window. 

We’ve provided estimated timings for each of the email types in the relevant section. Also consider the specifics of your product, audience, and the other emails you send. 

Once you’ve decided on an appropriate sending time, use automations to ensure your messages always go out when you want them to. 

Focus on a single goal for each email

For maximum results, create a separate email for each goal and optimize the content and call-to-action around this target. 

This focuses the customer on the specific task, increasing the chances that they perform and don’t get distracted by other content. 

For example, if you want to invite people to your loyalty program and ask them for a review, create two separate emails to do so. 

If you’re worried about this taking up a lot of time, create a reusable email template. You can then simply change the content for each type of email. 

Write a subject line that stands out

As with any form of email marketing, a good subject line is key to getting people to open your messages. 

Transactional messages like order confirmations typically have very high open rates, so you just need to clearly explain what the message contains. 

For more promotional messages, consider highlighting the benefits of the email to encourage people to open. 

You can also experiment with emojis, personalization and highlighting different offers.

Example subject lines

Order confirmation

  • Success! Your Order is Confirmed 

  • Thanks For Your Order With [Store Name]

  • Order Confirmation & Next Steps

Shipping confirmation

  • Good News: Your Package Is On Its Way

  • Update: Your Order is En Route

  • Your Order Has Been Shipped

Follow-up emails

  • Keep It Like New: Care Tips for Your Recent Purchase

  • Getting the Best Out of Your New Purchase

  • 3 Steps To Set Up Your New Product

Survey emails

  • Your Opinion Matters: Help Shape Our Future

  • Help Us Make [Product Name] Even Better

  • Love Your Recent Purchase? Tell Us All About It!

Review request emails

  • Help Others by Sharing Your Experience

  • Got a Minute? Leave a Review for Your Recent Purchase

  • We Would Like Your Opinion

Product recommendations

  • You Might Also Love: Handpicked Selections Just for You

  • Recommended: [product name]

  • New Products You Shouldn't Miss

Loyalty program invite

  • You're Invited: Join Our Loyalty Program For Exclusive Benefits!

  • Unlock Exclusive Perks: Become a Loyalty Member Today

  • A Special Invitation To Our VIP Circle

Referral program

  • Invite Friends, Get Rewards: Join Our Referral Program!

  • You're Invited: Share the Love & Earn Exclusive Rewards

  • Your Next Reward is Just a Referral Away!

Re-order emails

  • Time for a Refill? Re-order Now & Never Run Out

  • [relevant date/event] is coming up. Re-order now!

  • Enjoy a Special Discount on Your Next Re-order!

A/B test your emails

Optimize your post-purchase emails by A/B testing your automations to see what works. For example, you could test 2 versions of:

  • An email subject line to see which gets the most opens

  • Referral program invite email content to see which results in the most clicks

You can then roll the version with the best metrics to all future purchases, maximizing the impact of your messages. 

Target your emails

We touched on this in the above section, but it’s important to target your emails at different buyers. 

One way to do this is by creating different flows for products or product types. Or you can add content to emails that show up dynamically to people in different audience groups

You can also use email personalization to add customer data, such as their name, to your email content and subject lines.

Now you know more about post-purchase emails, the next step is to start building. Choose some of the post-purchase email ideas above then head over to your MailerLite dashboard to start. If you don’t have an account yet, hit the button below to create one for free.

Create post-purchase emails that customers love

Sign up for MailerLite to optimize your post-purchase experience with email automation. Get a free 30-day free trial of premium features to connect your store and start building.

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Duncan Elder
Duncan Elder
I’m Duncan, a content writer at MailerLite. I love building websites with no-code tools and writing about what I learn. I created my first site in 2011 with Blogger—it’s safe to say that website builders have improved a lot since then!