Commerce Trends

8 post-purchase emails to add to your returns process

Post-purchase emails are an often forgotten piece of your returns experience. Here are 8 email tactics you can use to improve your returns experience.

Every strong relationship is built on open communication. This includes relationships with your significant other, relatives, friends, coworkers, and yes, your customers. When it comes to communicating with your shoppers, email continues to be one of the most powerful channels to tap into.

That’s why we decided to build our integration with Klaviyo. To allow you to create email campaigns that can take your returns experience to the next level. And why not? It's one of the best post-purchase software options out there.

At Loop, we recognize that the sensitive nature of having customers navigate a returns process makes it essential to leverage emails through the post-purchase experience as well.

Here are a few goals we recommend focusing on, as well as 8 emails you can use to drive more repeat customers, increase confidence, and increase sales. We'll cover order confirmation, cross-selling, and more - all designed to make your post-purchase email strategy pop.

We'll also highlight some examples of the best post-purchase emails we've seen on the market today. Let's dive in.

Goal: Increase customer confidence + conversions

Email #1: Abandoned Cart / "Free returns & exchanges"

The ecommerce classic... abandoned cart emails. There’s a reason why we all love this tactic. The average open rate for cart abandonment emails is 45%, compared to the average open rate of 21%. However, most of us assume the reason for abandoning a cart is price or timing related. What if it's not either of those things?

What if the reason customers are abandoning their cart is that they have doubts about fit, look, and feel? About 2/3 of shoppers are checking your return policy before they make a purchase.

They want to know what happens if the product they buy isn't perfect for them. The best cart recovery emails focus on increasing a customer's confidence in the purchase, what better way to do that than highlight your return policy in the email.

  • WHEN: 1-2 hours after cart abandonment

  • WHY: Free returns increases confidence and increases conversion rates

Goal: Increase repeat purchase rates

We pulled purchase history from more than 7,000,000 shoppers and found a wild statistic: customers who have submitted a return come back to make a repeat purchase 22 days faster than customers who have never submitted a return.

Automated emails, like return confirmation emails, can strengthen your relationship and drive customers to their second purchase faster.

Email #2 – Exchange Confirmation: "Complete your outfit"

Exchanges are wonderful when they happen: you've avoided a costly refund, retained the sale, and retained the customer. But this is no time to celebrate – this is time to dig in. Because your customer just found a product they love!

Now, they're thinking: "where will I wear it" and "what will go with it". Use this touchpoint to help them complete their outfit by sending the perfect post-purchase follow-up email.

In your exchange confirmation email, add links to "best-seller" or "seasonal" collections to encourage customers to continue shopping. Or, go the extra mile by including product-specific recommendations based on the item they just purchased.

Customer-focused emails like this are a great way to get people back to the shopping cart, instead of leaving them to ponder their disappointment.

  • WHEN: Immediately after receiving an exchange request

  • WHY: Customers are more likely to purchase again after exchanging for a new product

Email #3: Store Credit Confirmation / "Recommended products for you"

Another opportunity for repeat purchases presents itself after you approve a store credit request. At this point, customers will be mulling over how to use their credit. This is the perfect time to send them an email (or email series) with product recommendations (based on what they’ve browsed through in the past) to spark ideas.

  • WHEN: Immediately after approving a store credit request

  • WHY: Customers are more likely to purchase faster with product recommendations

Email #4 – Refund Confirmation: "Take 10% off to try again?"

Most brands see refunds as the end of the relationship. But for first-time customers, refunds are part of the shopping experience. It's just like walking out of a fitting room and putting a product back on the rack – there is still a chance to find something they love.

Use your refund confirmation emails as an opportunity to win the customer back. Done right, refund emails can actually build customer loyalty and drive sales. Consider offering a discount code that they can use to make a new purchase and point them toward your best sellers.

Long-term you can even play with subject lines and test which ones maximize click-through rates. Brands are already trying a lot with their order confirmation emails, so why not dig deeper on refund confirmation?

  • WHEN: Immediately after receiving a refund request

  • WHY: Prevent refunds from being the end of your relationship with the customer

  • WHY: Incentivize them to come back and try again

Learn more: How to increase customer liftetime value with returns

Email #5 – Post-Purchase Follow-Up Email: "Love it? Leave a review. If not, let's exchange it"

In this recommendation, we're going to ruffle some feathers and actually encourage customers to return. Now, you might be thinking: "Why would I encourage customers to return a product? Wouldn’t it be better just to stay quiet and keep the revenue?" ... no.

We recently conducted a shopper survey and found that 90% of customers have kept a product they didn't like. And customers keeping products they don't love is not good for business – they’re less likely to make a repeat purchase, less likely to tell their friends about you, and less likely to engage with your brand again.

So, check in with your customers after they've purchased and ask them if they love it. If they do, this is a great time to ask for a product review. If they don't, encourage them to make an exchange!

If they find a product they love, they will be much more valuable to you in the long run.

By the way, it should go without saying by now, but reviews are one of the best forms of user-generated content out there. When asking for them, be sure to consider where customers are in the post-purchase evaluation stage. If they haven't received the product yet, for example, don't ask for a review!

  • WHEN: Just past the average time it takes for a customer to receive their product

  • WHY: Customers who truly love what they bought are more likely to return and refer you to friends

Goal: Post-purchase transparency

There is no worse feeling than the feeling of being left in the dark. When a customer sends a return back to your brand you need to keep them updated, or they will become concerned and reach out to your support team.

Learn more: Post-purchase behavor: the key to repeat purchases

Email #6 – Return Status Update: "Your return is on the way back"

When a customer returns an item, they’re going to have a lot of questions like, “did my package make it out of the post office?” “Did the company receive my return?” “Where exactly is my return item?” You can assuage your customers’ concerns by giving them regular updates through email.

The first one should be to let customers know when their return is headed back to the warehouse. When they receive this update, they’ll breathe a sigh of relief and feel confident knowing their package is on its way back to you.

This is really a no-brainer, especially if you want to prevent post-purchase dissonance. We regularly send email receipts for new orders, but we think return receipts should be just as important.

  • WHEN: Immediately after the customer drops their return off at the carrier

  • WHY: Proactively answer the #1 support request – "Where is my refund?"

  • WHY: Increasing visibility increases confidence and likelihood to repurchase

Email #7: Return Status Update / "Your return has been received"

The same logic applies when you receive your customer’s returned item. Let them know as soon as the package arrives at the warehouse, so they don’t have to sit around worrying about it being lost in the mail. Not only does this build confidence in your brand, but it also makes it more likely that the customer will come away feeling positive about their returns experience. 

This is especially important if the item they exchanged for (or refund) is dependent on you inspecting the last item.

  • WHEN: Immediately after receiving the customer's return at your warehouse

  • WHY: Open communication builds trust and increases the likelihood of repurchase 

Email #8: Return Status Update / "Your return has been approved"

Again, this is a great way to give your customers peace of mind. It also gives you another chance to connect with the customer and remind them what a great experience they had with your brand, hopefully encouraging them to come back and shop with you again in the future. 

A return is not the end, it's an opportunity.

  • WHEN: Immediately after approving the customer's return request

  • WHY: Gives you another touchpoint to encourage repeat purchases

Loop + Klaviyo makes post-purchase emails easy

With Loop and Klaviyo working together, it's easy to build stronger relationships with your customers and add value to every stage of your shopping experience.

Our new integration not only makes the 8 emails we recommended above possible but also allows the 15 existing returns emails in Loop to be customized based on your settings and sent directly through Klaviyo.

Want to learn more about the tools that make this possible? If you are looking to send Shopify post-purchase emails, Loop + Klaviyo has everything you need. Our platform can work for everyone on your team: content marketer, brand owner, logistics manager - whoever.

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