3 Types of Emails That Keep Your Customers Coming Back

Email marketing can be profitable for eCommerce stores and online retailers.

According to a VentureBeat Insight study, email marketing generates the highest return on investment (ROI) compared to the most common digital channels, generating an average of $38 for every dollar invested. The same study found that 84% of marketers believe email marketing is crucial in building customer loyalty.

Email offers a powerful way to encourage repeat purchases, making your business depend on reliable existing customers. Email marketing can also help you strengthen your brand and attract better customers who spend more money on your business.  

Thus, if you’re struggling to retain your existing customers and keep them coming back; this is a critical sign you’re missing one or more crucial pieces of an effective customer retention email campaign.

Once a business loses a customer, 68% of customers will never go back. They’ll never do business with that brand again. However, 80% of lost customers feel that the company should have done something to retain them. The three emails below are crucial to any email marketing campaign for making sure that your customers keep coming back.

Let’s dive into the three email types that can make your customers fall in love, and stay in love, with your brand.

1.   Onboarding Emails

When trying to get your customers to come back, onboarding may not be the first thing that you think of. However, new customers are the warmest and they’re likely to return because your brand and their purchase are still fresh on their minds.

Also, if a customer doesn’t use a product, they purchased from you, then they won’t come back for more later. Because they have gotten no value from their purchase. So, encouraging them to use the product right away is a crucial piece of the puzzle you can’t ignore.  Otherwise, you’ll lose customers.

One way to make sure your new customers complete the onboarding process is by sending an email 48 hours after sign-up. This’ll encourage them to complete their profile and take the first step in using your product.

For example, Hired reminds new subscribers to complete their process by showing them exactly where they are in the process and how far they have to go. They take advantage of the fact that most people feel uncomfortable if they leave a task incomplete.


Educating new customers about your product is another brilliant way to keep them engaged. This’ll ensure they use their purchase effectively. Designmodo, for instance, leverages their onboarding email in assisting their Qards customers to know their product and letting them know their first steps. Also, they use FAQs and video tutorials, making onboarding email helpful, which increases customer satisfaction.


You can also use onboarding emails to warm up new leads and encourage them to make a purchase. For example, if you offer a coupon as an incentive for a prospect to sign up for your email list, you can include a reminder email as part of your onboarding process.

2.   Re-Engagement Email Campaign

No matter how engaging your email campaigns are, you’ll have subscribers on your list who simply don’t interact with you. This doesn’t mean you’re doing anything wrong. No, inactive subscribers are an industry-wide problem. In fact, email marketing lists degrade by 22% each year.

Inactive subscribers affect your sender reputation: a low sender score can cause many of your emails to land in the spam folder. Inactive subscribers can also skew your data, causing you to make inaccurate marketing decisions.

So, it’s essential to do everything possible to reconnect with inactive subscribers. They signed up for a reason. With a re-engagement campaign, you can remind them of the value and relevant content you add to their lives. Start by sending an email with actionable tips and advice encouraging them to be more active.

For instance, Tookapic leverages a reminder email to keep its subscribers on track with their goals.  


Also, Pottery Barn uses a clever re-engagement email campaign to win back inactive subscribers. The subject line is, “We’ve Missed You! Here’s 15% OFF EVERYTHING – Even Furniture!”


The emotional tack makes a compelling call to action.

Also, you can leverage re-engagement emails to recover lost customers, including shoppers who abandoned their carts.

For example, Whiskey Loot’s abandoned cart email leverages unique and engaging copy to entice customers to complete their purchase. They include a list of reasons to purchase their products, provide answers to FAQs, and use clean design to draw your attention to the call to action. This abandoned cart email provides the customer with all the information they may need to complete a purchase.


3.   Cross-Sells & Up-Sells Email Campaigns

Ever walked into a car dealership looking for a used sedan only to be persuaded into test-driving a Ferrari? Or have you ever visited a Foot Locker looking for running shoes, but walked out with the shoes, plus a neon top, new shorts, wrist and headbands, and a Fitbit?

Sounds familiar? This means you have experienced upselling and cross-selling first hand.

What makes upselling and cross-selling strategies successful is that it’s much easier to sell to an existing customer than a new one.

According to the book Marketing Metrics, the likelihood of selling to a new prospect is 5%-20% while the likelihood of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%.  That’s because your existing customers already know you. Since you have built trust and momentum with them, they’re more receptive to your ideas and advice compared to a new prospect.

For instance, you can present additional purchase options in a sidebar of your product page or add an image carousel to the bottom of your post-purchase email, encouraging customers to pay your website another visit for more purchases. AliExpress used their confirmation email to offer customers with personalized product recommendations.


Also, you can advise your customers on how they can complement their orders based on their purchase activity. For instance, iHerb shares a combination of products that are typically brought together with the selected item.


Moo leverages the order receipt email as an opportunity to showcase its cross-sells. If, for instance, you purchase a pack of greeting cards, they’ll show you some business cards you can also buy.


Final Thoughts

To create an effective customer retention strategy, you should have an email marketing campaign that continuously engages customers throughout their journey with your brand.

If you miss any of these three critical components, you could be losing customers to your competitors. However, including these three types of emails in your email marketing campaigns will make your customers fall in love with your brand, and you’ll gain their loyalty for life.

Which of these three emails do you need to implement into your customer retention strategy? Which one works perfectly for you? Let me know in the comments!