‘Confirmation of purchase’ emails: a missed opportunity?


When it comes to marketing, focus tends to fall on enticing consumers in and turning them into a paying customer. Alongside this, is the other intention of making these customers buy from you again and again. But what about the grey area in between? The not-quite-post-sales part?

We’re talking about the ‘confirmation of purchase’ phase. And it is the often regarded as the most neglected touchpoint of the purchasing process.

This is most likely due to the fact it is generated through a customer action. The straight-talking nature of this phase is, at best, mildly exciting. There is something rather unremarkable about receiving an email telling the customer what they already know about the order they just placed. Yet, even with a dire purpose, these particular emails are still opened, and often with a high open rate.

But why put your feet up here? Why not target the customer when they are at their most interested in your business and offerings? Chances are, they are more likely to respond to any marketing you send their way while the purchase is still at the forefront of their mind.

So how can you tap into this budding opportunity?

One method is tailoring emails to particular customers to create a more personal bond between you and your customers. Start by considering what each customer wants, or would want from you. You can figure out a lot about a customer by their purchases, and with this in mind, you can customise your confirmation email to recommend more products, services and even articles that you think that particular customer would respond to.

Another method is to give the customer an incentive. After all, the best brand advocates are your existing customers. Offering them some sort of incentive to purchase from you again or refer a friend is a great way of gaining new customers, keeping your existing ones and enhancing your business’ reputation. So why not offer your existing customers a referral discount, or perhaps a voucher for the next time they choose to shop with you?

It’s worth noting that this idea can be applied to not only ‘confirmation of purchase’ emails, but  sign up emails, and also follow up emails (particularly for when a customer has exited mid-process). Any autoresponse email is an opportunity, the idea is that the customer has shown interest in your brand already, and all you need to do now is give them a little nudge in the right direction.

Remember, it’s not always about getting the sale or desired response. it’s about focusing on the individual parts of the journey and their requirements, and tailoring your communication accordingly to help progress customers to the next stage.