Post-interaction emails (deliciously abbreviated as PIEs) serve as the base of almost all of user-generated content (UGC) promotions.
When done correctly, these evergreen emails help you effortlessly get the reviews, star ratings, photos, and more UGC that you need to build trust with potential customers, increase your SEO rankings, and improve your products and services.
Here’s everything you need to know about these powerful marketing tools.
What are post-interaction emails?
Post-interaction emails invite your customers to leave reviews for in-store and online purchases. They also help you collect important feedback about customers’ interactions with your service and support teams.
These emails are typically automated, allowing brands and retailers to set up a system that empowers them to solicit important information from customers — without having to lift a finger.
The delivery cadence for sending post-purchase emails will depend on your product or services. For example, if you sell items that consumers can enjoy right away (like clothing, makeup, or hair-styling products) you might want to send an email asking for feedback within a few days of the customer’s purchase.
But if it takes time for the user to see the full effect of the product (items like wrinkle serum, vitamins, or appliances could fall into this category) then you may wait a month, or even more, to ask for a review.
Pro tip: Already a Bazaarvoice customer? Then refer to our knowledge base page for how to enable your post-interaction email campaign.
The important benefits of a successful post-interaction email strategy
In today’s world, everyone has an opinion. But surprisingly only 10% of consumers write reviews about the products and services they buy. A solid post-interaction email strategy can, and will, help you exponentially increase your odds of getting that important customer feedback.
Our research shows that post-interaction emails lead to a 4 – 9x increase in review content. If you send a follow-up email after your initial outreach, that could lead to an additional 50% increase in review volume.
For any company with a digital presence, reviews are vital to winning over new customers and maintaining the trust of repeat buyers.
Consider these stats:
- Reviews from other consumers are considered 12 times more trustworthy than other marketing materials
- The average consumer is willing to spend 31% more at a retailer that has excellent reviews
- The more reviews, the better. Most consumers want to see at least 40 reviews before they trust a retailer or product’s average star rating
- But don’t fret if you’re just getting started. As few as 5 reviews can help increase sales by as much as 270%.
- Reviews can support your SEO efforts. When writing reviews, most customers naturally use the brand and product’s name in their feedback. Regularly adding this keyword-rich content to your site shows Google and other search engines that it’s up to date, an important factor in SEO rankings. Reviews can also affect off-page ranking factors like engagement and reputation.
Sounds good, right? Post-interaction emails are by far the biggest driver of UGC program success. They account for 70% of collected review content alone.
How to use post-interaction emails in your customer outreach
Post-interaction emails can be used in multiple ways. Here’s a few examples to help you get started.
To say thank you
Customers are typically excited after making a purchase. A well-timed thank you email can help reinforce that optimism and make the customer more confident about their purchase.
Most consumers expect the brands they purchase from to acknowledge their order, which perhaps explains why these emails enjoy such high open rates. More than 40% of thank you emails are opened and read. That’s more than double the open rate for the average e-commerce email, which hovers around 16.75%.
These post-purchase emails can also provide important information to help your customers get the most out of their recent purchase, including videos, graphics, and other instructional content. A thank you email can also be used to provide educational content that helps users get the most out of their new purchase, like this example from the Allergy Buyers Club:
Pro tip: To make the most of the warm and fuzzy feeling customers have after making a purchase, send your thank you email no later than an hour after they clicked “buy now.”
To confirm a customer’s order and/or shipping
No one likes the feeling of uncertainty. A quick email to confirm the customer’s purchase and update them on the item’s shipping status can help improve confidence in your brand. You can also use these emails to promote related items and other products the customer may be interested in, based on their most recent purchase.
For shipping confirmations, don’t forget to include the tracking information, if available, as well as the expected delivery date. Fitbit’s order and shipping confirmation also strengthens the brand’s reputation as an encouraging cheerleader in the user’s fitness journey.
To ask for feedback
The thank you and confirmation emails you’ve sent so far are just the foundations for what is by far the most important post-purchase email: The request for feedback and reviews. Post-interaction emails are the easiest, and most efficient, method for collecting authentic UGC. UGC which can then be displaying across your website and social channels to boost future sales.
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to this vital customer touchpoint, but there are best practices you can follow to optimize your chances of getting the customer feedback you need to increase trust and sales.
In the next section, we’ll walk you through how to write a template you can customize for your brand and/or products.
A template for the perfect post-interaction email
In an ideal world, your customers would automatically leave a rating or review after every single item they purchase. But sadly this is the real world. So consumers need a little encouragement. Use this customizable template to get your own post-interaction email campaign up and running.
Optimizing the subject line for success
The subject line is the first thing your customers see in their inbox. So use a catchy title that relays the intention of the email. For example, “Tell us what you think” or “Well, did you like it?”
Depending on your brand, you can also have a little fun. Julie Jenson, one of our Client Success Directors, loves the example of a toilet paper brand that used the subject line “how did we doo?” Because admittedly it’s hilarious.
Pro tip: In 2019, more than twice as many emails were opened on a mobile device compared to a desktop or laptop. To optimize your email for mobile viewers, keep the headline short. How short? Aim for fewer than 7 words and 41 characters.
What to include (and not include) in your post-interaction email body
Just like the subject line, we want to keep the body of the email short and simple. We also want the message to feel personal. Use the customer’s first name in the greeting. If you can, include a link or photo of the item(s) you’d like them to review.
Then, stick with a simple, easy to find call to action. Imperative language always works best here. Something like “write a review” or “Review now.”
Dear [customer’s first name],
Thank you for purchasing [product name]! We hope you’re enjoying it. If you have a second, please share your thoughts with us by leaving a review. We love hearing what our shoppers have to say, and are always looking to improve. Your review will also help your fellow shoppers make the right purchase in future.
“Leave a review”
Thanks so much for leaving a review! We love you!
And that’s it! Unlike previous post-interaction emails, where you may have tried to cross-sell or upsell other products, you want to keep this message focused and uncluttered. People are busier than ever these days. Don’t muddle your request for feedback with competing messages, promotions, or graphics.
Examples of post-interaction emails requesting feedback
As you can see in the following examples, when it comes to requesting customer feedback, less is more.
How to get even more from your post-interaction emails
The template above is intended to help you get started on your post-interaction email journey. But it’s only the beginning. To get the most value out of this important marketing program, you ideally want to test and refine your strategy.
Some of the specific areas you can test include:
- The subject line. Try new titles and headlines. You can also experiment with emojis. In one study, a well-placed emoji helped increase open rates by 56%.
- The body. Try massaging your messaging to make it more personalized and less cluttered. You can also tweak your CTA.
- The look and feel. The design can make or break your post-interaction email strategy. Try testing changes to the font size, graphics, or format. For what it’s worth, we’ve found that single-column layouts are much more successful than other templates.
The summary is this: Post-interaction emails are a sure-fire method for collecting UGC. Which is a sure-fire method for boosting sales. With Bazaarvoice In-Mail and Multi-Product Submission features, review volume increases up to 8x. No one does PIE like we do. Not even Mr Kipling.Request a demo