Better Marketing With Data - Personalizing Post Purchase


Ibby Syed

Picture this. You just purchased a pair of sneakers from Allbirds, and you immediately receive a post-purchase email in your inbox. There’s about a 45% chance you even open the email in the first place, but let’s say you do. Which one of these emails would you be more likely to look through? Which would leave a more lasting impression?

                                                        Email 1?                                                                                                    Or Email 2?

I don’t know about you, but the second email gets me more excited about the product I’m about to receive than the first one. Notice the subtle differences between these two (and nope, it’s not just the sheep).

When you compare the average open rate of marketing emails (21%) to the open rate of post-purchase emails (45%), it’s clear that enhancing the post-purchase stage of the consumer journey is crucial. Put yourself in the shoes of the customer. If you took a look at the first email, your impression of Allbirds probably remain the same. It covers the basics for sure — providing a short and sweet update about your order and what to expect. None of it speaks to Allbirds’ brand, though - there’s nothing to motivate you to continue shopping on the site.

Most importantly, there’s nothing personal about Email 1 at all.

Let’s take a look at the second email. Immediately, your eyes meet the pop of color, the unique pun and graphic, and a clear pathway to view your order status. Not only that, but this type of email can be personalized to each customer. See the bottom of Email 2? Adding in products, especially if they’re customized, is going to increase the chance that the customer will buy from you later on. Even better, if you can easily categorize your customers into different groups, you can make even more specific personalizations to the post-purchase email. For example, if you have a customer buying more than one product at a time, you may want to offer them a different type of promotion from a customer who only buys one product in each ordering cycle (Cotera can help here).

Let’s compare a few more post-purchase emails.

Imagine you’re a customer of JustEat but gradually shifted to other food delivery platforms like Uber Eats and Doordash. Which one of these post-purchase emails would leave a better impression on you?

                                               Email 1?                                                                                                       Or Email 2?

At first glance, there’s nothing particularly wrong with either. However, think about it from the perspective of that specific customer. Every competing platform is likely sending an email exactly like the second one, so there really is nothing motivating you to read nor to interact with Email 2. Email 1 strikes the reader differently. The email could have simply offered the 15% discount, but it went above and beyond to appeal directly to the consumer. The sweet message makes the customer feel seen and appreciated, and doesn’t appear too pushy.

Assume that Gwynnie Bee, a clothing rental brand, has two primary segments: a younger segment who gets excited about complexity and an older segment who is more easily drawn to simplicity. Now, imagine that you’re a younger customer who just received your first order with Gwynnie Bee. Which one of these post-purchase emails are you more likely and happier to engage with?

Both these emails offer the same incentive for taking the survey, but it is clear which one would drive engagement. Especially for a customer in the younger age segment, a fun, interactive email is way more likely to actually have the customer complete the action - after all, who wouldn’t want the possibility of a prize? The second email, on the other hand, feels bland and doesn't express appreciation or a desire to build a relationship with the customer. On the other hand, an email similar to the second one – but perhaps less cluttered and more individualized – may sit better with the older customer segment.

One of the most important things to understand is that the type of post-purchase email that works best for your company will vary depending on both your brand and your individual customer. This is where targeted email campaigns based on customer segment become crucial.

Take the Allbirds example. The promotion at the bottom of Email 2 needs to be different for every single customer. The product recommendations should be based on the individual customer’s preferences, and the discount code should be appropriately based on the amount the customer spends on average. Now think back to the JustEat example. An email like the first would be more fitting for a customer who uses the platform less, while an email like the second might be better for a general audience who wants to be kept aware of any new, exciting things JustEat has to offer. In the Gwynnie Bee example, it would be much more effective to have different promotion offers based on the customer segment, or to display the survey incentive differently based on the age group of the customer.

However, manually directing different campaigns to particular customer segments is practically impossible. Luckily, at Cotera, we do exactly this for you. (Sorry to my co-founder, who I promised I would stay away from shilling our own product…)

Cotera’s strength lies in our ability to automate the segmentation based on data about your customers. The visualizations that our platform generates will allow you to observe and analyze patterns among segmented groups of customers and to decide what marketing methods work best for specific segments. Through Cotera, strategically outlining and sending out campaigns – like post-purchase emails – become a breeze. Whichever campaigns you decide on, it’s our job to direct your chosen campaigns to the appropriate customer segments, lifting this tedious burden off your shoulders for good.

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