Key Points:

  • Make sure to send out a shipping notification email as soon as the customer's products shipped to avoid any trouble
  • Analyze the browsing and purchase history of the customer, then send them an email with the products they might be interested in
  • The most effective win-back emails usually offer a steep discount

So you have made a sale... Congratulations!

Take a minute to celebrate, but your job is not done. While new sales are one part of the equation, to build a great e-commerce brand you need to drive repeat purchases. The first step in doing that is putting your best foot forward with a excellent delivery experience.

As soon as your customer’s order heads out the door, the engine in your marketing automation tools should start sending emails.

Not sure what sure what you should be sending? To get you started, we’ve put together 5 emails that you should be sending after every order shipped.

Table of Contents

Shipping Notification

When people buy something online, they are eager to get it, so you don’t want to keep them guessing whether the item has shipped or not.

Make sure to send out the shipping notification email as soon as the products have shipped. How should it look?

There are three key parts that should be present in any shipping notification email:

  • “Your order has shipped!” (or similar) text. This is important because the sole purpose of this email is to inform the customer that the order has shipped. Make sure that this message is conveyed immediately by placing the text at the very top of the email.
  • Order tracking details. A lot of people like to keep an eye on the goods they have purchased while they are in transit. Make sure that you provide the order number and the tracking details if possible.
  • Order details. You should remind the customer what it is that they have ordered with short product descriptions, images, and prices.

Here’s a great shipment notification email from Joybird in which all three key parts are done very well:

Shipping notification Email Example

Once you get the basics down, you can get creative and drive more sales by offering vouchers, discounts, etc.

Delivered Notification

You also don’t want any ambiguity about whether an item has been delivered or not. Make sure to send the delivery notification to the customer. That way, if there are any problems and the customer didn’t get the item, you’ll know immediately and be able to resolve it.

“Delivered” notification emails are very similar to shipment notification emails. Here’s what they should include:

  • “Your items have been delivered!” (or similar) text. Once again, the whole purpose of the email is to deliver this message, so make sure that it’s conveyed loud and clear by placing this text at the very top of the email.
  • Delivery details. Will this product be delivered straight to someone’s door or will they have to go to the post office to get it? You should explain that in your email so that people would know what to do next.
  • Order details. Remind the customer what exactly they have ordered by listing the products together with images and prices.

Here’s a great example of a “delivered” notification email that gets most of these things right:

Delivered notification shipping email

Review Request

Your post-shipping emails can not only generate repeat purchases from the customer who ordered – they can also generate purchases from other customers. To do this you need to send a review request email. 63% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a site if it has product ratings and reviews. Arguably making this email the most important one you send post-purchase.

Here’s what you should include in your review request:

  • Explanation of what it is that you want. Make sure to explain that you want them to leave a review and why it’s so important for you.
  • A reminder of what they have purchased. People have short memories. That’s why you should add a list of the products you want them to review together with images.
  • Call-to-action buttons. The purpose of this email is to get product reviews, therefore the call to action buttons should say something like “Write a review”.

Here’s a great example of a review request email:

Review request Shipping Email Example

There’s one thing I’d do differently, though. I’d remove the “Start Shopping” button. Why? Because having an additional call-to-action button only serves as a distraction. You should only have “Write a review” calls to action. There are times to up-sell, but this is not one of those times.

74% of shoppers are frustrated when shown content that is not personalized. But personalized product recommendations won’t only keep your customers from getting frustrated, they’ll also generate more sales. Analyze the browsing and purchase history of the customer, then send them an email with the products they might be interested in.

That email should include:

  • Explanation of what it’s all about. You should explain to the customer that these are some product recommendations that are based on their recent browsing history or their recent purchases. Otherwise, they might think that you are just spamming them with random offers. You don’t want that!
  • Recommended products. List recommended products, preferably with short descriptions and pictures.
  • Call-to-action buttons. The purpose of this email is to drive people back to your store. Keep in mind that softer calls-to-action work better here (e.g. Amazon’s “Learn more” as opposed to something more aggressive like “Buy Now”).

Amazon has great product recommendation emails so I recommend you to learn from them:

Recommended Products Shipping Email Example

Winback Email

It’s 5x more expensive acquiring a new customer than to retain an existing one. So you should do everything in your power to keep your customers from dropping off the face of the Earth! If all other efforts to keep them engaged with personalized content fail, your next step is a winback email.

The most effective win-back emails usually offer a steep discount, but if a discount doesn’t work you can still remind your customers why they loved you in the first place.

Here’s an example of a win back email from American Apparel:

Winback Shipping Email Example

However, if after three win-back emails there’s still no response, you should probably remove those inactive subscribers from the list, because they are unlikely to become active ever again.

Also, if you want to learn more about win-back emails, I suggest you read our guide on How to Re-Engage and Win Back Your Store’s Customers with Email Marketing.


I know, I know… This seems like a lot of work!

However, you only need to automate these emails once, and you will reap the benefits for a long time. Tools like SmartrMail make it super easy for Shopify, BigCommerce, and WooCommerce stores as well.

So don’t hesitate. Set aside time for setting up these emails. Just sit down and do it. You will thank me later!

About the author: Josh is the Marketing Coordinator and Content Lead at SmartrMail, a personalized e-commerce email marketing app that helps stores get more sales by sending the right products to the right customers at the right time. For more e-commerce and email marketing tips follow Josh on Twitter - @vancityreyes