Setting up an order follow-up email is one of the most effective things you can do for your business. The post-purchase period is a crucial point in your customer's journey, and an order follow-up email provides you the opportunity to build brand loyalty and create repeat customers.
To send a fully realized order follow-up email, you will need:
- A Privy email subscription so the emails can be sent to customers.
- To be integrated with Shopify, Shopify Plus, or BigCommerce so that the order information of your customers is available in Privy content.
- To disable any follow-up emails already in use by your e-commerce platform or other email service providers, so that some customers aren’t emailed twice.
Creating loyal customers might not provide the same rush that closing a new deal does, but it's arguably more important to your business' long-term success. Each increase in customer retention has an outsized impact on your profits compared to simply generating news business. With this in mind, here are a few emails you can use to turn more of your orders into loyal repeat customers:
The Order Confirmation - This email includes the order summary content block and its immediate relevance to the recipient encourages high levels of engagement. Learn how to make these as effective as possible in this Privy blog post.
The Thank You - An engaging thank-you message can help you stand out and establish a lasting connection with your customer. This email is also a good time to surprise and delight your customers with a special offer (e.g., unique coupon code).
The Survey - It's no secret that customers like to be heard and, if you're not, you should probably be listening. A common approach for collecting this feedback is called Net Promoter Score (NPS). It's a single-question survey that asks customers to rank how likely they are to recommend your product on a scale of 1 to 10. Allowing your customers to access this type of survey after spending some time with your product helps to establish and maintain a dialog between you and them.
The Helping Hand - There will always be customers who need or want a little extra help to make the most of your product. Consider following up with a how-to guide or some insider tips and tricks. This information is best sent a few days or weeks after the initial purchase and is an excellent opportunity to leverage your other existing content (e.g., blog posts and videos).
Create and send your emails
Order follow-up emails can be sent to any mailable contact who has completed a purchase through your checkout flow. You are also able to insert an order summary content block, which is unique to follow-up emails and allows recipients to see the contents of their purchase as an itemized list.
To create and send a follow-up email:
- Navigate to Emails > Order Follow-Up.
- Click the New email button.
- In the prompt, input a name for your email and click the Create button.
Customize the email
- At the top, select the Email Content card to edit the content of your email using the drag and drop email editor. A basic example is provided automatically; however, this starting point can be changed by selecting Templates > Choose a Template from the editor’s toolbar. Once a template is selected, click the Choose selected button to have it applied to the email.
Note: The “Keep Shopping” button included in some templates defaults to the URL provided in the Business Information section of your Business Settings, but its value can be changed to another location (e.g., A customer’s cart) by clicking on it and updating the setting in the sidebar.
- Click the Save button once the desired email edits are complete.
Configure the email settings
After each edit to the email’s settings, please select the section’s Save button.
- Edit the subject line. Keep it interesting, on-brand, and make the purpose of the email clear.
- Provide preview text. The text appears after your subject line when viewing the email in the inbox and allows the addition of compelling copy that helps boost open rates and engagement. The text should be 35 to 55 characters and does support Merge Tags.
- Confirm or select a reply-to address. Any replies to the email will go to this address.
- Confirm the default Sender (From) Name and Address. These values can be updated in the Sender Options section of your Business Settings. Additionally, you should update your sending domain to be your domain if you have not yet done so.
Configure the trigger settings
After each edit to the trigger settings, please select the section’s Save button.
- Set the minimum order value. Enter the minimum order value that a shopper must have to receive a follow-up email. The default is $0, which means anyone who has made a purchase should receive the email.
- Set maximum order value. Use the optional maximum order value if you plan on making tiered offers to customers with different order values. For example, you could offer no discount to shoppers that completed a purchase at $49 or less but offer a 10% discount to shoppers who purchased $50 or more.
- Segment by product. If the account is integrated with a Shopify or Shopify Plus store, the email can be configured so that it only sends if the customer's order contained specific items. Learn more about product IDs and product segmentation here.
- Set the timing of the email. Choose the length of time (Hours Since Last Seen) since someone placed their order before the follow-up email is sent. The default is 4 hours, but you can extend this up to 90 days (2160 hours).
Configure the coupon settings
After editing the coupon settings, please select the section’s Save button.
- Add a discount. Select the optional coupon drop-down menu to offer an incentive to your customers that will encourage them to complete their purchase.
- Add a merge tag. If a coupon is selected, ensure the email contains a Coupon Code merge tag. This tag will populate with the coupon code when the email is sent to customers.
Test the email
With an email customized, return to the top of the email editor and click the Send Test Email button to make sure all of the content displays as expected in your inbox.
Activate the email
To activate an email once its design, content, and settings are customer-ready:
- Click the Save button in the email builder if you haven't already.
- Scroll to the top of the email settings page and click the Activate button.
- Confirm your decision to activate in the subsequent prompt.
Note: Only orders completed after the activation will trigger the email. Once triggered, the email is scheduled to send X hours from the time of purchase. The tool will not work retroactively.
Create a series
Repeat these steps to create additional emails for a follow-up series. Review the Example use-cases section of this article for a refresher on what these emails might focus on and be sure to leave enough time between the emails so that customers feel engaged but not inundated.
Note: If the email is part of a series, please make sure there’s enough time to create, edit, and enable the other emails without issue. You can always return to the emails and activate them when all elements of the series are ready for customers.
Now that your follow-up emails are sending to customers: