The What, Why, and How of Post-Purchase Flows in Email Marketing

Email marketing pros designing the ideal post-purchase flows

Email marketing is so powerful in part because of its ability to impact your entire customer lifecycle. That fact is perhaps nowhere clearer than when it comes to post-purchase flows.

Let’s say a new customer has bought a product from your website. Their transaction adds to your revenue flow. But ideally, that’s just the beginning. You want them to come back, preferably multiple times, to become a loyal repeat customer and maximize their value.

That’s where post-purchase flows enter the equation. Join us as we discuss both the basics and nuances of this type of email automation and how to build your own Klaviyo post-purchase flow.

What Is a Post-Purchase Flow in Email Marketing?

Any email you send as a direct result of a customer purchasing a product from you can be considered part of a post-purchase flow. The flow part of it describes automation, with the purchase as the automated trigger that sets off a few relevant emails to your new or recurring customers.

You’ve likely seen these emails in action for your own online shopping. The immediate purchase confirmation, the shipping information, and the request to leave a review are all part of a post-purchase flow. They don’t trigger at the same time but instead trickle out after the purchase to keep the customer engaged.

Emails in a post-purchase flow typically fall into one of two categories. 

  1. Transactional post-purchase emails are informational and directly related to the purchase.
  2. Promotional messages are more oriented towards brand loyalty and inspiring the next purchase.

They typically combine to make up a multi-faceted communications flow.

The Importance of Post-Purchase Flows in Your Customer Lifecycle

The two-faceted nature of post-purchase flows also represents the two core benefits of post-purchase email flows:

  • Information. A well-timed and well-structured flow provides new customers with crucial information about their purchase, including anything from the initial confirmation to shipping details.
  • Retention. Customers who receive well-timed information will be more likely to be satisfied. At the same time, you also have the opportunity to introduce your brand more through promotional emails, which can include anything from a simple “thank you” to coupons for repeat purchases.

The ultimate result is a better customer experience, which creates a greater customer lifetime value and better brand credibility. In other words, a well-built post-purchase flow is a win-win for everyone involved.

5 Examples of Post-Purchase Emails to Maximize Customer Value

Customer receiving delightful emails in post-purchase flows

We’ve already touched on some examples of post-purchase emails throughout this post. Let’s dig a little deeper with five specific examples of post-purchase emails that can enhance the experience after the customer hits that ‘buy’ button.

1. The Purchase Confirmation

Perhaps the most important post-purchase email, this one should be sent as soon as a customer makes a purchase. Ideally, it includes a confirmation number, product details, an estimated shipping date, and a number to reach customer service. It’s also an opportunity to say thanks for the purchase.

2. The Shipping Tracker

Once the product ships, this email (and any related to it) provide updates on the purchase’s way to its destination. Ideally, it includes not just a tracking number but also details on the carrier and how the estimated arrival time might have changed since the initial confirmation.

3. The Product Tutorial

This one’s more marketing-focused, though information still takes center stage. It’s an onboarding message that explains to customers how your product can and should be used. You might even include a video of the assembly or ideal use case to make sure there will be no confusion. This step maximizes product satisfaction.

4. The Review Request

Best when sent after the customer has received the product, this email asks them to share their thoughts about it. Direct them to your website or another online review portal, and ask them to leave a favorable review or reach out if they have any concerns. The more positive reviews your products get, the better.

5. The Loyalty Program

This option is designed to hook your audience into your brand after they’ve hopefully liked their first experience with your product. It includes an offer to join your loyalty program for exclusive rewards. Don’t have a loyalty program? This is where a coupon for their next purchase may come in handy.

Of course, these are just some of the many examples of post-purchase emails you can implement. For example, you can also send email suggestions for related products, refer your audience to customer service for any issues, and more.

But keep in mind that a single email does not make for a full flow. Instead, it’s the combination of these messages that can help you build an effective post-purchase flow designed to satisfy, delight, and retain your new customers.

How to Implement Automated Klaviyo Post-Purchase Flows With Minimal Friction

Post-purchase flows sound complex. Fortunately, email software like Klaviyo makes the process painless by automating the setup.

Automation is the name of the game in this type of email flow. After all, no trigger is more obvious than the initial purchase, which should kick off the confirmation email immediately. Within Klaviyo, other emails can be set up to be sent with a specific delay time, ensuring a consistent flow without starting to bother the audience.

That, in turn, makes the most important part of setting up a Klaviyo post-purchase flow the strategy behind it. Know what emails you want to send and when they make the most sense. Planning out your email flow on a piece of paper can help you visualize when a message like a review request might make the most sense in the context of everything else you’re sending new customers.

Of course, the initial setup doesn’t have to be the last time you optimize your post-purchase sequence. As the automation begins to fire, you will begin to get results and benchmarks on open and click-through rates. Use that information to gather valuable information about what messaging works and where improvements to the flow can still be made.

And, of course, keep in mind that you’re not on your own. At Future Holidays, we have extensive experience in email automation within Klaviyo, up to and including post-purchase message sequencing. We’d love to help you build your own post-purchase flow for maximum customer satisfaction and retention. Ready to learn more? Contact us today.