How to Develop a Product Replenishment Email Strategy

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Earlier this month, we wrote about 6 triggered email campaigns to help you boost your sales. We received a great deal of interest from the post, so today we wanted to share how to put triggered emails to work for your business.

In particular, product replenishment emails are a great example of using triggered emails to drive sales. Many everyday products that we use have a natural lifecycle and require replenishment for continued usage. For example, if you are a regular user of contact lenses, you’ll know that you need to replace your supply of lenses on a set schedule. The same sort of patterns can be found for a variety of products, from fashion to electronics to pharmacy items.

How can you capitalize on this? If your business sells products or services that have a regular replacement cycle – even if it is across many months or years – then you can set up email triggers to automatically remind your customers to restock just as they start to exhaust their supply. These campaigns aren’t limited to identical replacements like contact lenses or batteries either – for instance, triggered emails can also work to encourage customers to shop for new clothes or shoes on a cycle that matches their purchasing habits. The bigger objective is to understand the buying pattern of your repeat customers and tailor your email marketing to cater to their personal purchase cycle. All together, it is a simple process that can be automated from start to finish, and our customers often experience significant increases in sales when they implement these triggers.

So how do you develop a product replenishment email strategy? To help you plan out an email trigger and schedule that works for your business, we’ve broken down the process into four simple steps:

Step 1: Understand each customer’s buying cycle

First, understand the individual buying cycle of your customers – put yourself in their shoes. What are their purchasing habits, loyalty, and how do they like being contacted? Do they purchase a large amount of your goods once every few months, or do they like to buy smaller amounts weekly? What is each individual’s average time between purchases? Historical data can be used to answer these questions for each individual customer. Knowing all of this will be key to putting together an email trigger that is well suited for your business and each customer.

Step 2: Identify a trigger to indicate when your customers go off cycle

Next, identify a suitable time period that will indicate when your customers are going off cycle. This will allow you to then set an email message that triggers after the time has elapsed. For example, if a customer normally replenishes a certain product every 45 days, or purchases a new pair of pants every 2 months, you can set an email message to automatically trigger after 60 days, reminding them to make a replacement order soon. You can also set smart rules so that if your customer purchases their replacement product early (for example, 30 days in), then the trigger clock is “reset” on their behalf!

Step 3: Identify an appropriate reward or action

Now, it’s time to identify which incentives and actions you’d like the triggered email to run at the time of delivery. Maybe it’s a 10% discount if they purchase in the next 48 hours, or a special bundled package alongside the replacement product. Oftentimes however, the triggered email can just be a simple reminder that their supplies are probably running low and should purchase soon. This is where the work in Step 1 really makes a difference – if you carefully segment your email triggers based on purchasing habits, patterns, and preferences, your customers will appreciate their personalized interaction with your brand and likely spend more at your store!

Step 4: Operationalize

Now that you’ve developed the parameters that make sense for your product, it’s time to turn your plan into action! Taking all of the information you’ve identified in Steps 1-3, you can now set up automatic email triggers in customer analytics platforms like Canopy Labs. The process is relatively simple once it has been set up – and a few minutes today will save you a lot of time in the long run, as well as drive up your sales!

If you’re looking to set up email triggers for your business, feel free to get in touch!




Written by Sammy Lau

Sammy is the Growth Manager at Canopy Labs, working in marketing, digital communications, and brand outreach. He was previously at the United Nations, and is a Loran scholar. Get in touch with him @SammyLau!

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