When should to email your customers to get repeat purchases?

I had a question the other day:

When should I email my customers to encourage repeat purchases?

As many as the relationship takes

Ideally you'll be contacting your customers many times after their purchase in order to build a relationship with them

But to quickly drum up sales you can use something called customer purchase latency.

Customer purchase latency

Customer purchase latency is a measurement of the delay (latency) between customer purchases.

A latency of 20 days means that you should expect another order from a customer 20 days after their last one.

Calculating your customer purchase latency can be difficult so I'm just going to use Repeat Customer Insights for this, because customer purchase latency is one of the metrics it calculates.

Using customer purchase latency to drive decisions


In this example you can see that the second order is 63 days after the first.

While you might think "let's email them 63 days after each purchase", that wouldn't be optimal. The 63 days figure is when they complete their second purchase. You need to contact them before that.

Add a mini-campaign to have multiple touch points

What I recommend is to to instead create a mini-campaign to contact your customers to build up the relationship for a repeat purchase.

1. Contact them 2-3 weeks out from the latency metric. e.g. 42-49 days post-purchase

This email would just be a friendly "Hello" and ask how they've been doing with your product. This alone might catch some customer dissatisfaction and give you the opportunity to resolve it.

2. Contact them 1 week later with details about some new products

You want to use this email as a refresher so your customer remembers what products you carry. The more personalized you can make the email the better. Use the customer's name and recommend products that complement the product they bought.

3. Contact them on the latency day with a recommended, best-selling product

You want to entice them to buy now. If they don't then there's a strong chance that they won't be a customer for much longer and will churn out.

Promoting a best-selling, complementary product that matches or is similar to what they bought last time is an easy way to get an order.

4. End with a discount coupon 1 week after the latency

If they haven't purchased yet, try offering them a coupon. This incentive might convince them to buy now instead of delaying the purchase (sometimes, forever). Offer a decent discount but not too much to eat into your profits.

Give yourself multiple chances to win a repeat customer

A mini-campaign like this should give you multiple chances to increase your repeat purchases. Since it's working around your purchase latency, it should help to automatically warm-up a past customer and incentive them to order.

It's also important to end the campaign for a customer once they place another order. Ideally, they'll go into a queue for the next mini-campaign based on your next latency metric (e.g. the 2nd to 3rd order in this case).

Start noticing seasonal spikes in customer behavior

Cohort reports let you detect seasonal spikes as well as long-term retention cycles. Repeat Customer Insights can automatically create cohorts for your Shopify store, going back to your very first order.

Learn more

Topics: Customer purchase latency Email marketing Repeat customers

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