Guide to Replenishment Email Campaigns
If your brand sells anything consumable then replenishment emails should be your best friend.
They’re the campaigns reminding you to stock up and re-order before you run out. And they can be used for so many products, from makeup and groceries, to prescriptions and pet food.
In this blog post, we take a look at replenishment emails. We tell you why you should be sending them and how to get them right. We’ll also review the brands who are using them well and inspire you to create your own.
Why set up replenishment emails?
Replenishment emails are no hassle. You can fire them out automatically with little ongoing management.
They give you a recurring revenue stream from repeat customers, and offer a great customer experience at the same time. Who hasn’t felt annoyed when you’ve run out of something you really need?
Replenishment emails keep customers loyal. They’re useful post-purchase emails that nurture your ongoing relationship with previous buyers. Most importantly they’re a timely reminder that makes it easier and faster to buy from you than a competitor.
When should I send replenishment emails?
There are no hard and fast rules for when to send replenishment emails. Everyone consumes items at different rates.
Some companies work out the average time between repeat orders. They then use this information to send a replenishment campaign just before the customer runs out.
Other brands get really sophisticated and base the timing of their emails on individual customers’ buying habits. You don’t necessarily need to go to these lengths. Most retailers base their sends on the average purchase cycle.
If you’re selling items that expire then you can also send a useful reminder just before the use-by date. But whatever you do, don’t leave it until the customer actually runs out. It’s best to send an email before they have a chance to browse competitors’ products.
And sometimes there’s no need to wait until they approach the end of their last purchase. For instance beauty buyers often switch products just because they get bored or fancy trying something new. My bathroom cabinet is a testament to that!
We find replenishment emails work well if sent shortly after the customer receives a customer review email. That way you can check they’re happy with their product before you ask them to stock up again.
How can I create replenishment emails?
When it comes to designing a replenishment campaign you can simply create one template.
You can use our software to automatically insert the relevant images and purchase details. Then all you need to do is to decide who receives the emails and when they’re sent.
You can easily decide on a set of rules that trigger replenishment email campaigns automatically.
Most email or CRM software lets you creates ‘filters’ which define the segmentation, targeting, and timing of your messages. For example:
- all customers who make purchase online or in-store
- 30 days pass without a refund, negative customer review or complaint
- a replenishment email is sent featuring the details of previous purchase
- when customer purchases again the cycle restarts
All you need is a complete view of customer’s purchase history. You can then use this to see what they bought and when to set up an automated replenishment email.
What should replenishment emails look like?
There are a few basic rules to follow when it comes to creating a good replenishment email. Let’s take a look at a few brands who are putting these golden rules into practice.
Make them mobile friendly
Most people are going to receive and read these emails on the go. You want to make sure it’s quick and easy to reorder from your smartphone.
We really like this example by Rockin’ Wellness. It uses clear calls-to-action, big images and buttons as well as one-click ordering.
By sending these emails you’re hoping to make the customer’s life easier by reminding them of an expiry date.
Warby Parker reminds customers in a friendly and helpful way that their prescription expires soon.
Lay off the hard sell
Remember they’ve brought the product before so they might not need an incentive for another purchase.
Replenishment emails let you sell the convenience of ordering again without shopping around.
Graze does a great job of this with its email and creates a real rapport with a friendly and casual tone.
If they don’t want to purchase again then hedge your bets by featuring personalised suggestions for alternatives.
Lancome cross-sells on its replenishment campaigns by featuring personal suggestions and entire regimes based on previous purchases. And it takes replenishment one step further by asking if the customer wants to set up automatic re-deliveries—genius!
Create a sense of urgency
If you’ve got limited stock of a relevant offer then tell them to top up before it’s too late.
We love this example by DrugStore.com that uses urgency to prompt another purchase. It’s also a great example of how to group products together on a single replenishment email!
What do I need to watch out for?
Creating replenishment emails is pretty simple but we always warn our customers about a couple of pitfalls.
Firstly, don’t send a replenishment email to someone who’s complained about their previous purchase. If they’ve written a negative review, or asked for a refund, it may look like you’re not listening.
If a customer has bought lots of items in one transaction, think twice about sending individual replenishment emails.
Bombarding them with the same message is just annoying and a waste of time and resources. It might make sense to group the items on one replenishment email instead.
Lastly, try and keep your customer data up to date.
Part of the joy of sending these emails is to show the customer you know them and their habits. If you don’t have the right information, your replenishment emails won’t make the impact they should do.
You shouldn’t let any of these things put you off sending replenishment emails. They’re easy to create and manage as part of your email marketing workflow. These are just a few things to consider to make sure they run smoothly.
How can I take my replenishment emails further?
Once you’ve got one replenishment email set up there’s no reason to stop there. You can easily create a whole workflow of replenishment emails.
The first replenishment email you send should be a simple reminder to restock. If the recipient doesn’t respond, send another including personal recommendations or alternatives. If the customer still doesn’t replenish, send them a discount to secure their loyalty.
Once you know the customers who repeatedly purchase from you, a whole host of possibilities open up.
Loyal shoppers might happily refer friends, so why not create a refer-a-friend campaign based on people who receive replenishment emails? You can incentivise them with a free gift or offer to sweeten the deal!
If you’ve not got a replenishment email set up, you’re missing a trick. They make a great addition to your email strategy and form an important part of the customer journey.
Replenishment emails are especially important to send to people who’ve only purchased once before. If you can get a customer to purchase a second time, they’re nine times more likely to repeatedly purchase, according to Adobe.
It helps to have a single view of your customer’s purchase history. If you don’t, you can use PureIntelligence to create it. You can then rely on PureTargeting to manage your replenishment campaigns and automate the targeting and sends.
If you’re looking to retain more customers, more efficiently, make sure you’ve got replenishment campaigns sorted. They’re the easiest way to prompt a purchase and promote loyalty without the cost of re-marketing.
Want to find out how you can keep customers buying regularly using our software? The button below is for you.