The Importance of a Post-Purchase Review Email

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When I’m shopping online, whether it’s for a new book, camera, or a pair of shoes, I rely heavily on customer reviews to help me make any purchasing decision. Many companies overlook the importance of obtaining customer feedback, however, with online retail sales expected to grow continually to $370 billion in 2017 (Forrester Research), a post-purchase review email should be a key part of every retailer’s email program.  Not only do these types of emails give you a reason to engage with a recent shopper but they also have extremely high engagement rates and can help improve purchase decisions for your future shoppers.

Using Return Path’s consumer insight data, we can see that these messages not only have above average read rates but also have much lower deleted unread rates than other campaigns.

Here are two examples:

REI (subject line “What Did You Think? Write a Review”)

REI, a top outdoor and sporting goods company, sends a post-purchase review email to shoppers asking them to review their products and focuses on the fact that their review will help future customers find the perfect gear. The subject line is very clear and straightforward and the message displays an image of the product(s) they purchased.

Looking at data from the first quarter of this year, we can see that these messages have a +31% higher read rate then REI’s average read rate. Also, the percentage of subscribers that delete these messages without reading them is -46% lower than the average deleted unread rate, which shows that these triggered messages are on point and resonating with the subscriber.


Sephora (subject line “Thanks for your purchase. Now ready to review?”)

Sephora, a leading beauty retailer, thanks the customer for their recent purchase while simultaneously asking them to review their new products.  Within the email they also give the shopper an additional reason to engage by promoting other content resources including Sephora TV and beauty news.

This review campaign appears to be extremely successful for Sephora. Our consumer data from the first quarter of this year shows that the read rate for these campaigns was +58% higher than their average read rate and the deleted unread percentage was -44% lower.



When creating your own post-purchase review email, don’t forget the following:

Timing is key. Make sure you’ve given the shopper enough time to receive and try out the product. The specific timing of when you send the message will depend on a few factors including whether or not the product was purchased online or in store and what the specific product is. In order to figure out you’re optimal timing, conduct some testing to determine what resonates the best with your customers and generates the most responses.

Don’t oversell.  The main focus of the message should be on getting the customer to write a review. Although this may also be a good opportunity to promote additional content or products, this component should be minimal and come secondary to the main message.

Conversion should be simple.  Make it as easy as possible for your customer to write their review. The process should just involve a few simple steps since anything that’s overly complicated or requires too much time and effort may deter the customer from posting.

A great example of an easy, one step process can be seen in this review email from Mantraband.com. The email is powered by Yotpo.com and utilizes technology which allows the customer to rate the product within the email, allowing for a simple conversion.  Plus, it gives them an incentive to write a review by offering a discount on their next purchase!



So whether you currently have a post-purchase review email in place or are considering adding one, remember that this communication is an important touch point, not only for generating helpful support for your future shoppers but also for strengthening the relationship with your current ones.