4 Quick ideas for effective customer retention emails

4 Quick ideas for effective customer retention emails

It’s easy to see why many businesses think after a purchase has been made that their connection to the shopper has been severed eternally, but this is not necessarily the case. When it comes to building up a loyal base of shoppers, customer retention is the glaringly obvious solution that many seem to forget about. The unfortunate reality of eCommerce is that not all customers will come back to shop again with a store of their own accord, most won’t bother to return unless the adore the product they purchased or the brand exclusively. This is commonly either due to them not being satisfied with the product or service they received or simply not remembering the brand name when it comes to future purchases. Luckily, there is a way to bring back some of those forgetful few and it can all be done from the comfort of your desk. So what is the secret? It’s customer retention emails, they can easily be used to bring back customers who have previously made a purchase with a company and offer them deals, new items and build relationships with them for a possible new purchase. The benefit of these kinds of emails is that if they work, they could result in more sales from each shopper when they return to the store and potentially build them up as long term shoppers. After all, it is considerably cheaper to keep a customer than it is to find a new one, and there are a couple kinds of retention email you can try out.

To compliment your purchase

This particular bit of information can be sent with a customer’s purchase confirmation email if you have the correct algorithms in place to show them items relevant to their product straight away. However, if you do not have this in place or would just prefer to send it separately as an extra piece of content it can be sent separately as a follow up to the confirmation email itself. It is crucial before this email is sent that the customer’s item has arrived and they have had ample chance to get use out of it, whether you leave a week after delivery or nearly a month, be absolutely sure they have their item and more than likely have an opinion on it already. Take advantage of the rush of excitement shoppers get while an item feels new to them and start by asking how their purchase is, whether they are enjoying it and if they have any queries about it. Follow this up by asking something along the lines of them enhancing their experience with the product or use a quick ‘Don’t forget this!’ reminder to grab their attention. Then provide them with similar products to what they bought, such as accessories that can be used in harmony with the item. For example, if the customer bought a brand new camera you could offer them a camera stand, a bag or even alternate lenses that fit with that particular model or brand. Whatever you offer, be sure it is as relevant to their original purchase as possible and acts as some kind of incentive for them to return and shop with you again.


Replenishment emails are sent in order to remind a customer that the product they purchased from you is about to run out. This works great for products that have expected usage cycles such as pet food or beauty products, but it can be used for most items a store has. They are to be sent at the average time of repurchase for that item, which can be worked out by overall repurchase time throughout the store or through the buying habits of the specific customer is enough data is available for them. It is supposed to be a friendly light-hearted email that reminds them on the impending end of their product and invites them back to purchase a top up. In theory this reminder should give them a sense of urgency to repurchase their product and stock up so their aren’t left without, it works better if you are able to give a predicted time scale until their item runs out such as days or weeks. Items with a time limit make this email even easier to work out and send, items such as year long subscriptions or supply of an item can be reminded just before that year is up. No complicated math needs to be done to work out the end of their supply as the year long subscription is there and set to end on time. It is important with this email to thank them for their previous purchase of your product and if possible give them a reason to repurchase or subscribe as an incentive to return to you.

Happy birthday

A good excuse to send an email to your previous customers to remind them of your brand is their birthday. Send them a quirky birthday message that they won’t expect and make it as personalised as possible, use their first name and be sure you’ve got their birthday right otherwise it could get awkward. Use the email to wish them a happy birthday and show them your brand cares, make them happy with a light hearted tone and a joke if it fits into your brand identity well enough. This email will not only build up a personal connection between you and your customer, but is also a great opportunity to bring them back to your store with fresh enthusiasm. With your thoughtful wish add on a discount code or some kind of special offer as a kind of ‘birthday present’ from your company to them. If you feel like offering them the deal for more than a day multiple emails can be sent, a pre birthday email with the deal can be sent beforehand as a early reminder that you know it’s their birthday soon and you wanted to do something nice, then follow it up with the actual birthday message on their special day and subtly remind them of the gift waiting for them (if they haven’t already used it)

We miss you

Nothing builds up a connection between a company and a customer than the brand showing emotion towards their shoppers, whether it’s genuine or not. Use this email to show them what they have been missing, give them a quick insight into any new products, blogs they may like and other content that could potentially get them back on your website. If you get a new website design you could even add this onto the email for those who haven’t visited since the big change. Make the customer feel like they’ve missed out on a lot by not shopping with you and make it personal, show them that their loyalty to your store is important to you and ask what you can do to entice them back into your buyer store relationship. Make them feel guilty for not using your store if you must, many brands are now taking a breakup style approach to asking if customers want to unsubscribe from their mailing list, if that doesn’t evoke some emotion from your customers it’s hard to think of what will.

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