WooCommerce Follow Up Emails: 12 Best Practices and Examples
WooCommerce follow up emails are a great way to engage your customers and gather feedback for your online store. However, as with anything, they’ll only be effective if done properly.
So how can you send a WooCommerce email after a purchase that brings your customer back into your sales funnel and keeps your brand in front of their eyes?
We’re going to explore the best tips for sending your post purchase emails for your WooCommerce store.
But just in case you’re not 100% clear on what follow up emails are…
What are WooCommerce follow up emails?
WooCommerce automated follow up emails are pretty much just follow up emails created for WooCommerce stores. A follow-up, or post-purchase email, is an email sent some time after a customer has bought something from you. Usually, this is about one week, but you can make the delay shorter or longer.
What’s nice, that you don’t need any special WooCommerce follow up email plugin. The best WooCommerce email marketing tools will be definitely capable of covering you on that. (It’s different from order confirmation emails, which are mostly receipts sent right after a customer buys your product.) If you have some experience with email marketing, you know that, in general, follow up emails give you a quick way to:
- get feedback about your product that a customer has purchased
- build a strong relationship with a customer
- convert one-time customers into repeat customers
- move customers down the funnel, turning them into brand advocates who will spread great word-of-mouth about your company and products
Great, now that we’ve got that covered, let’s go over the best practices and examples of great WooCommerce follow up emails.
7 best practices
Let’s get started on your follow up journey with these best practices you absolutely need to master.
If you’re on WordPress and want to get started on email marketing, check out our WooCommerce plugin today.
#1 Set up follow up email automation
If you want to set up post-purchase/follow up emails, you’ll need to automate the process.
Either that, or you have some extensive Excel sheet where you record all the items your customers have bought, and when you should (manually) send your follow up emails.
Set up automation, such as this one below:
You can set it up so that the email goes out one week, 30 days, or more after a customer has made a purchase.
Of course, you also need to figure in the shipping time.
If a customer purchases an item from you and it takes 10 days for it to be delivered, it wouldn’t make sense to send a follow up email after 7 days, seeing as there would be nothing to talk about.
Taking into account your average shipping times, think about how long it would take for the customer to still be enjoying the product.
You don’t want to wait too long. I’d recommend sending the follow up email about 3 days after the customer has received the product.
#2 Segment your list
You should know by now: don’t send the same emails to all your customers.
Usually, people tend to segment their lists by geographical or other demographic data.
However, this doesn’t usually make that much of a difference, unless you less gender- or location-specific products.
It’s better to segment by behavior or transactional history.
After all, a customer that’s bought from you many times will need different messaging than one that’s bought from you the first time.
You can read more here about how to set up smart segmentation.
#3 Use engaging subject lines
Here at Omnisend, we do enjoy researching the best email subject lines.
And there’s a great reason why: fantastic subject lines lead to higher open rates, which lead to better click rates, which lead to—you guess it—much better sales.
When you’re crafting your follow up emails for WooCommerce, remember to think of something that will interest your readers.
Of course, it’s vital that the subject lines are relevant to the content of the email.
In general, however, these following subject lines can work for your follow up emails:
- Enjoying your new purchase?
- 10% off your next purchase!
- Tell us what you think and get $25 off
- Your recent purchase…
And if you really need more help, try out Omnisend’s Subject Line Tester!
#4 Take a customer-centric approach
You must view your entire customer journey/marketing funnel when crafting any specific step.
So when looking at your follow up emails, make sure you’re focusing on the long-run, not short-run.
If you’re focusing on the short-run, you want the sale, now, at any cost.
If you’re focusing on the long-run, you understand that a happy customer is a lifelong customer.
That’s why, when you’re creating your WooCommerce follow up emails, make sure you’re focusing on the value that it’s bringing to the customer—this one, and all your customers.
#5 Ask for feedback
In that same vein, your follow up email presents an excellent opportunity to ask for feedback.
This is a very customer-centric approach, seeing as you’ll be using this feedback to improve something in your product or marketing.
This can include:
- the actual product
- the shipping or packaging
- the prices
- the communication: offers, descriptions, etc.
There are a lot of things you can improve about your product, since it all depends on the type of feedback you’ll be getting.
In general, though, make sure you get feedback and then make sure you use it.
#6 Be brief
Don’t send out chapters of promotional content.
This usually happens when marketers aren’t sure what will appeal to their customer, so they pack the email body full of everything in hopes that one of those things will hit the right note.
And that’s because they didn’t properly segment the list.
If you’ve segmented your contacts, then you’ll have a better understanding of what would appeal to your readers.
When it comes to writing, the advice is always: write what you want to say, then cut it into half.
Remove all the filler content, keep all the action words, and you’ll have something appealing, effective, and brief.
#7 Make an offer for referral or recommended products
Lastly—what to include in your follow up emails?
Well, this is a great time to do one of two things:
- reward for a referral
- offer for recommended products
With referrals, it’s great because you kill two birds with one stone: you get a potential new customer (the friend that is being referred) and you incentivize your current customer to buy again.
Just make sure the offer’s interesting.
With recommended products, you’re aiming at one thing alone: getting the customer to buy again, quickly.
This works by you offering a great deal (free shipping, % discount, $ off, even a gift) if a customer buys from you again.
Both of these ideas work great.
5 amazing follow up email examples you can steal
Let’s look at some great cases of follow up emails that you can use for your WooCommerce store.
#1 Crate & Barrel
In this great (visually and copy-wise) example, you can see how Crate & Barrel are offering an incentive so that the customer can buy again, soon.
It’s great, to hurry up the purchase, that they’ve added urgency with a coupon that clearly displays the expiration date.
#2 Ulta Beauty
Here, Ulta Beauty is going for some social proof with requests for reviews.
While this is being sent while the customer has received the product and have it on top of their mind, it doesn’t really offer an incentive.
Why should the customer review this product?
If they’d added some incentive (even a free one, like having it featured on their social media), it would give more motivation.
#3 Pottery Barn Kids
Great visuals in this email from Pottery Barn Kids.
They’re going for the recommended products angle in their follow up emails, and it’s a great strategy.
However, they’re missing something: I’m sure you can figure it out…
Why should the customer buy these items?
I understand not wanting to hook your customers on non-stop discounts, but the incentive can be a small, social one, or a big, significant gift.
But with the proper motivation, more people will buy (again).
This is an interesting example of innovative follow up emails.
Here, Sephora is focusing on community-building by automatically adding recent purchases to the customer’s profile, called “My Beauty Blog.”
That is one way of social proof, as the customer can then (probably) rate it, share it and provide feedback.
It’s a sort of exclusive social proof, as it extends only to those other Sephora users that have access to the community.
This one is pretty great (I even decided to mark it up).
Here, Zulily is going for the refer-a-friend angle and giving away credits that they can use for their next purchase.
Remember, I said that this hits two areas:
- it gets new customers
- it gets old customers to buy again
Even better, they’ve designed the email so well that there are three—three!—reminders of credits.
At #1 in the graphic, there’s the customer’s credit balance, then #2 (which the customer will probably see first) is the initial offer for credit.
Then lastly, at #2, is the longer explainer of credit—here, $15 for each new customer, but only after that new customer’s order has shipped.
These are some of the great examples of WooCommerce follow up emails you can use in your email marketing strategy to really build up your customer relationships, get repeat purchases, and create brand advocates.
What additional emails can you add to your WooCommerce email automation?
There are plenty of WooCoomerce automated emails that can enrich your marketing toolkit and increase sales. The most important for every online business are the following:
- Welcome email. These emails often help retailers convert subscribers into customers. They are incredibly effective in terms of customer engagement as well as conversion. For tips on how to make them look attractive check out this article.
- Browse and cart abandonment emails. These emails are being sent automatically to visitors when they abandon your store or the checkout process. Cart abandonment emails have some of the highest conversion rates over other automation workflows.
- WooCommerce order confirmation email. Although you send this WooCommerce post-purchase email, it still generates new purchases by pulling the customer back into your sales funnel. The average conversion rate for such emails is 0.94%.
- Customer win-back emails. This automated workflow is beneficial when you want to re-connect with customers that aren’t engaged with you anymore. The conversion rate of these workflows is above 2%.
In addition to these workflows, marketing automation for Woocommerce can be supplemented with custom drip campaigns. You don’t need to collect any special data for the emails mentioned above. Marketing automation platforms, like Omnisend, collect that for you. However, if you want to send birthday emails or more sophisticated automated messages, make sure you have the customer data to trigger your emails.