There are several different use cases for post-purchase emails. The use case will dictate the contents of the email and how long after the purchase it is sent.
The use cases can be roughly divided into two groups:
Post-Purchase Support – emails will be sent relatively close to the time of purchase with the goal being that the customer receives the email a few days after the products they bought are already their possession.
Contacting Dormant Customers – the goal is to contact customers who haven’t made a purchase in a while and “remind them” about your store and brand, hopefully getting them interested enough so they make another purchase.
Post-Purchase Support Usage Examples:
Send in a review – If your site accepts customer product reviews this email will encourage them to send in a review. The email will contain links to the product pages of the purchased items to make it easier to add one without having to find the right product page. This is the use-case presented in the default template when creating a post-purchase email rule.
Getting feedback on the purchase process – This email will typically contain a link back to a form with some questions for the customer about the purchase process. You can send the email soon after the order is confirmed to get feedback on the checkout process itself or wait a bit more to also be able to include questions about shipping time and quality.
Up Selling – If you use our email personalization product you can send an email with product recommendations that will be based on the items in the last purchase. It’s recommended not to be too aggressive with the timing of this email simply because it’s less likely that a customer will make consecutive purchases before receiving any items (how to add product recommendations).
Contacting Dormant Customers Usage Examples:
Offer a promotion - Offer a discount coupon on their next purchase. Consider making it time limited to create a sense of urgency. If you use our Behavioral Targeting product the coupon can be automatically applied in the cart without having to reveal the actual code to the visitor.
Send product recommendations – similar to usage above
Purchase reminder for consumable products – If you’re store sells products that naturally “run out” after use (medical pills, coffee grains, office supplies etc..), you can time your email to that it’s sent just at the right time. Since emails can be segmented based on the actual products that were purchased customers will only receive relevant emails.
General "site news" email - A dormant customer is likely not subscribed to your regular newsletter, a general email combining content from recent newsletters is likely to catch their interest.