5 Post-Purchase Sales Emails Your Ecommerce Store NEEDS to Be Sending

Call it whatever you wanna call it — retention, post-purchase, lifecycle.

The fact is that for virtually every online store, revenue growth depends on getting more repeat customers. The work ain’t over just because you got the sale!

And while sending newsletters and new product updates is all well and dandy, there are LOTS of other types of emails stores can send — SHOULD BE sending — to encourage repeat purchases.

I’ve collected 5 recent, real-life example emails from my own inbox, and organized them from most common (the types of emails I see all the time) to super rare (AKA the types I WISH I saw more often).

Take a look.

Then emulate the sh** out of them, because that’s how you up your game, brah.

5. Most Common: The Related Products Sales Email

(Click the image to open it full-size in a new tab.)

FROM: Best Buy Weekly Ad

SUBJECT LINE: Your LG – 43″ Class (42.5″… <— missing parenthesis theirs; it’s either sloppy proofing or sly genius to get people to open the email

best buy personalized recommended products

Why I Love This Email:

This is one of the most common types of post-purchase emails online stores send–and for good reason. It leverages data about the customer (in this case, a recent purchase) to suggest related items.

This email is personalized to me and my recent order from Best Buy (a TV to replace the one my ex took when he moved out. I’M FINE, DON’T WORRY ABOUT ME).

Notice the encouraging, specific social proof: “Customers who bought your TV also bought…”. Best Buy follows that line with “For your new TV, we recommend…”

4. Common: The Birthday/Anniversary Coupon Sales Email

(Click the image to open it full-size in a new tab.)

FROM: Nisolo

SUBJECT LINE: A birthday treat.

nisolo birthday email

Why I Love This Email:

Honestly, who doesn’t need an excuse to buy more shoes?

Stores can capitalize on customers’ goodwill by sending a coupon on any or all of these occasions:

  • The customer’s purchase/membership anniversary
  • The customer’s birthday
  • The store’s own “birthday”/founding date

Here, Nisolo uses its own store anniversary as an excuse to hold a two-day sale.

I love that this email focuses on the founders and their picks instead of highlighting products by themselves. It keeps the focus on the ostensible “celebration,” and directs readers to a cherry-picked selection instead of tossing them onto a generic product category page.

3. Less Common: The Limited Stock Sales Email

(Click the image to open it full-size in a new tab.)

FROM: Rothy’s

SUBJECT LINE: Retiring Soon: Shale Ribbon Stripe

Why I Love This Email:

Another win for personalization here! Rothy’s (either lovingly or creepily, depending on how you feel about data) knows I’ve added the Shale Ribbon Stripe flats to my cart in the past.

And then walked away, because how many pairs of $125 flats does a girl need? Please don’t answer that.

But this ISN’T an abandoned cart email. Though Rothy’s also sends those.

This is a bald-faced appeal to my FOMO, and I’m lovin’ it. Do I want Rothy’s to retire these cute-ass shoes? I sure don’t!

Am I gonna snag a pair before they get “retired,” a la the Mafia? I SURE MIGHT!

Rothy’s knows I wanted these flats. And they know that the flats might sell out before I see this email*, so they helpfully included two other links to shoes I’ve ALSO expressed interest in.

Touche’, Rothy’s. You might get me to buy another pair sooner rather than later…

* They did. They sold out. God damn it.

2. Rare: The Post-Return or Cancellation Sales Email

(Click the image to open it full-size in a new tab.)

FROM: Dropps

SUBJECT LINE: Just checking in.

dropps cancel subscriptionWhy I Love This Email:

Look, I could write a book about Dropps’ marketing copy. It’s so hit-or-miss! Some of the auto-emails are so great, and some are so meh! Some are still set to their marketing/shipping platform’s default copy!

But for now, let’s zoom in on this email. Which I love.

How often do you see a sales email from a subscription company AFTER you cancel your subscription? Answer: Not often enough.

Dropps didn’t take my cancellation personally. They acknowledged that maybe it wasn’t the best fit for me. And they sent me a cute cocker spaniel with specific alternative product suggestions, then locked it in with a 20% off coupon code.

Remember–if a customer cancels their product subscription but doesn’t unsubscribe from your list, you can still email them! And it’ll be easier and cheaper than getting an all-new customer.

Same goes for non-subscription-model businesses. If a customer returns an item to your store, why not send her an email that says something like,

“Hey, Lianna! Saw that you needed to return that Extra Large Tyrannosaurus Rex Head because it didn’t fit–bummer! In case you’re still looking for something similar, here are a few products you might like.”

In fact… I got a very similar email recently.

It’s the rarest of all ecommerce sales emails: The Post-Return Personal Shopper Sales Email.

And though it’s got a terrible subject line, its intentions are pure gold.

1. Literally Never Saw It Before This: The Post-Return Personal Shopper Sales Email

(Click the image to open it full-size in a new tab.)

FROM: Mott & Bow

SUBJECT LINE: Mott & Bow/Styling Team/Request Inquiry <— yuck, come on, y’all

mott and bow feedback email

Why I Love This Email:

First of all, it’s plaintext. It might well have been sent through a platform like Zendesk, but it doesn’t matter, because it LOOKS like a bona fide email.

Second, it’s short and to the point: “I want to help you find the perfect pair of jeans.”

Mott & Bow knows that just because I returned my first pair, all’s not lost. I might be ready to try again–so they sicced Liz on me to personally find a better fit.

Third, it helps Mott & Bow build a stronger relationship with their customers. Not only are they helping me satisfy my #RealNeed for good jeans, they’re collecting valuable customer research while they do it.

If you’re not sending emails like this to your customers who return products, you’re missing out on a HUGE opportunity to turn what was once a loss on both sides to a seriously satisfying win-win.

Hey, you know what I’d LOVE to do?

I’d love to write emails like this for your store. Let’s transform your one-time customers into repeat buyers! All through lil ol’ words! Click the button below to make it happen:


  1. Hani Reply March 7, 2018 - 6:00 pm

    Thanks !! i really enjoyed your insight on the after-sale emails.

  2. Claire Reply September 22, 2018 - 1:56 pm

    So great to see all these different examples! It’s a great resource, I think I’ll be back to reference these mails in a few days. Thanks!

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