Last updated Mar 26 2021

⚡ Customer retention emails

2 emails that increase retention - Kristen LaFrance

Ecom retention expert Kristen LaFrance explains how to build customer retention via emails, and shares two must-send emails every ecommerce store should have.
What Kristen covers:

  • The importance of email as a key channel for building brand equity with potential and existing customers
  • Must-send email #1: the "pre-delivery connection" email + one practical example
  • Must-send email #2: the "post-delivery feedback" email + one practical example

Click below to read the transcript.


Hi, my name is Kristen LaFrance and I am an E-commerce Retention Expert. And today we're gonna be talking about building retention in the inbox and we're covering two absolutely must-send emails for every e-commerce store. So let's just jump in.

Now really just the basics with CACs increasing across the board, increasing LTV and repeat purchases is absolutely vital for the survival of your brand. And retention is a big chaotic topic but when we boil it down, it's really about building relationships with your customers so they come back and buy from you again and again.

Now to just cover the email basics really quick, according to Campaign Monitor for every one dollar spent, email marketing generates $38 in ROI. So if someone has ever told you email marketing is dead, it is not, it is very much so alive and here are two emails you need to be sending.

First is the pre-delivery connection. This is not order confirmation, and this is not shipping delivery. This is the emails that happened in between those two events. This is something I see a lot of DTC brands not doing and it's a really big opportunity to build brand connection, to build excitement in your customers, and to get them ready to receive the products, they can find success with them, which is really, really important for retention.

Now we're gonna look at Leaf Shave as an example, they actually have a three email series for this. Now you don't need a three email series, according to your product, you may need a one-email series, you may need a five-email series, you have to look at your customers, your product and why your customers need to be successful when they get it. But let's look quickly at these three emails that Leaf sends.

First it's going to be this email, you're going to love your new plastic-free shave. Now really what they're doing in this email is highlighting the brand values and what they represent. And then they're introducing the founder and building that human-to-human connection right away after order confirmation.

The next one is going to be a let's get ready email and this one the company is letting the customer know how to use the blades, how to load the razor, in getting their mind ready for this new experience. So when they get the box they actually know what the heck to do with it.

Now the last one is going to happen right before about one to two days before delivery. And this one is, your new razor adjust to your needs. Now what this one is about is determining how many blades the user actually needs to load into the razor to have a successful irritation-free shave. Again, just setting up brand values, connection with the founder, and then giving the customer everything they need to be successful with how to use and the instructions that are super, super clear.

Now, email number two is going to be the post-delivery. How did we do email? And right off the bat, you may say, hey, we already do this. A lot of DTC brands already do these surveys. But there's a lot that's missing with a lot of them that I see.

So we're gonna take BattlBox for an example, this email they send a couple of days after the first delivery. And it's just a hey, we're so excited you're here, could you leave us some feedback. Now the important thing with this one is actually how they follow up with this, which we're gonna get to in just a second.

You can see this is just a quick example of the survey that they sent to their customers. It's very quick and easy to fill out. And this first question, how likely are you to recommend us to friends is actually the BattlBox, then basis, their internal CSAT rules or customer satisfaction rules. So this is where I see a lot of people kind of falling short on this email is the actual follow up after.

So one, make sure you send this email and then two make sure you have some follow up based on the reactions.

This is how BattlBox does it, based on that first question, if someone ranks a ninth or 10, they push that customer into an automation, they gets them to share the experience in public, connect deeper with the brand and get into a two-way dialogue with BattlBox.

Now a seven through eight, they just continue with normal follow ups and just continue to try to make the experience good but don't put any extra pressure on a customer.

Now if somebody rates a one through six, they automatically loop in the CS team to engage proactively and turn that frown upside down as much as possible. So really, really amazing follow up there.

Now, just to kind of summarize what we're talking about, when you're thinking about email, you have to think of it as a key channel for building up brand equity with potential and existing customers. Even if the immediate sales results aren't always clear. This means thinking about the customer journey in a holistic version, instead of thinking about every single email being a flat sale.

Now I have a nice Trello board with a lot of inbox inspo that I've collected. And you can click through these cards and see my notes on them, and see the images and read more about these emails. You can find it at this link. And then also if you wanna keep up with me on Twitter, it's @kdlafrance, there on the bottom left. So I hope you guys found this helpful and I'm excited to connect with you more on the internet.