Simple Shopify customer retention using an outreach email

An easy way to increase the future revenue of your Shopify store is to do things today that will ensure your current customers come back.

This is why customer retention is such an important topic for ecommerce stores.

Putting in the effort to retain a customer now means you’ll get more orders from them later.

Manual email outreach

One really interesting idea I heard about from my friend and outreach consultant Kai Davis (no relation) is to email your repeat customers right after they place an order.

You could automate this, but you don’t want a robotic, automatic, form email to go out to your prized customers. A simple manual process is all that you need.

Here’s what the process would look like:

1. Receive a notification about the repeat order

First you need something to trigger the process. You can watch your orders like a hawk and make sure that you know exactly who places a repeat order or you can use a Shopify app to watch your orders for you.

You really want to stay on top of this too. Doing this in weekly (or worse, monthly) batches can defeat the purpose of a quick manual outreach.

2. Write a short, personalized email

Once a repeat customer has placed an order, write a short and personalized email to them. Don’t use a fancy HTML template, and don’t add your branding elements.

Just make it look and read like an email you’d send to a friend.

Hey Kai,

Just noticed you placed another order for a few t-shirts. I wanted to thank you and also ask, how did the last ones fit?

Thanks, Eric

Notice the different elements I included:

  • It’s short, two-sentences long. Kai might even be able to read the entire message in his email preview screen.
  • It’s personalized. By mentioning the t-shirts he just ordered in a non-robotic way ("few t-shirts" vs "2x T-shirts") and also mentioning the previous order he placed, it’s clear that this is a 100% personalized email.
  • There’s a small question at the end. We’re asking one specific thing (about the fit) which is an easy thing he can respond to.

Not only have we made Kai feel special by sending him an email that no other ecommerce store has ever done, but we also opened up a small discussion where we might be able to make his experience even better.

He might give us some product feedback ("they fit a bit small"), service feedback ("they were good but it took a while to get them"), or even a review ("they were great, I’m getting some as gifts now").

Outreach process in a nutshell

That’s it. That’s all you need to do.

There’s plenty of ways to streamline (without automating) or improve this process, but just getting started now is the most important part. Get the process in place and try it out for two or three weeks first, then see about changing or optimizing it.

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