Why is a post purchase journey important in email marketing?

Any successful automation journey is based on purchase intent. Purchase intent goes hand in hand with engagement. And one of the times a customer is most engaged with you is after a purchase.

This means that, compared to a bulk email newsletter, a post purchase journey is likely to have higher opens, clicks, conversions and revenue per email.

Creating Habit

As Charles Duhigg, author of the multimillion selling book The Power of Habit, says “Habits aren’t destiny. They can be created.” Habits are formed through repetition of small tasks. Once formed, a habit is something you do without giving it too much thought. In fact, much of our lives are governed by our habits.

To drive an individual from a first time purchaser to a loyal regular customer takes time and effort on the part of the marketer. It is down to the marketing team to create the right paths to drive the regularity of purchase, so that habit is formed. One of the best ways to do this is to create regular nurture campaigns that nudge the customer to the next purchase.

Some considerations…

To get started with a post purchase journey automation you need to know the last purchase date, however the more you know about the recipient the better you can personalise their messages.  These could include:-

  • Persona
  • Purchases they have made before
  • Relevant demographic data
  • How much they’ve spent with you previously
  • What they have browsed in the past

It’s really important to also set the campaign some objectives – this will help you formulate the content and calls to action.

Meet Aneeta

We know that Aneeta has only made one purchase. We would like her to make a second purchase. We also know that she is female, aged 29 and has previously bought a dress from our online store.  Because we understand our product set, we know we would like her to complete the look and purchase the accessories. So we send her on a nurture journey straight after her first purchase.

The 5 parts of a post purchase journey

Email 1 – Thank you/ Feedback

Content – Thank the customer for the purchase. Reiterate your brand message.

Email 2 – You may also like

Content – Deliver targeted product recommendations based on the buying history of the customer. If there are items that complete the look, or accessories to the original item bought, feature them now.

Email 3 – Offer an incentive

Content – Apply an incentive if margin allows. Remember that we are enticing the customer to form habitual purchasing from your brand, so weigh this up against lifetime value

Email 4 – Social proof and remind

Content – Buyer apathy often happens for many after a first purchase, this could be for a wide range of reasons. In this fourth email, make the customer feel they are in good company with social posts of other happy customers. Also, remind them of the additional items to purchase!

Email 5 – Re-engage

Content – If they still haven’t made a second purchase, this is the time to ask for feedback. These insights will help you to optimise not only your marketing strategy but feed into your product team as well.


Test, Test and Test again

Every business is different so therefore one size doesn’t fit all. We highly recommend you test different scenarios, days between your sends and the number of emails you see fit for your brand.