For most companies, email marketing is a way to capture and convert new leads — and for good reason too as it has one of the highest conversion rates at 66%.
But beyond brand awareness, product promotion and recovering abandoned carts, email marketing is an effective channel for customer appreciation and retention.
Keeping an existing customer is significantly more cost-effective than trying to attract new ones. Despite being an often overlooked stage of the customer journey, customer retention can have a major impact on your overall success. In fact, having only a 5% increase in customer retention can increase company revenue by 25-95%.
Using email marketing, you can reach out and directly connect with your customers. This not only keeps your brand fresh in the customer’s mind, it's also an opportunity to show customers your appreciation, and as a result, keep them coming back.
Some of the benefits of customer appreciation emails include:
- Increase customer loyalty and repeat purchases
- More customer marketing through referrals and positive reviews
- Additional opportunities to upsell without extra ad costs
In this article, we’ll show you nine different types of customer appreciation emails including real-life examples. Let’s get started.
1. Gratitude Emails
Thank your customers for being customers.
This email can be simple and straightforward to tell your customers “thank you”. You can also consider adding an additional perk such as a small discount, extended trial or free shipping code.
As an example, Crate & Barrel sends an email directly after customers make a purchase. The email doesn’t feature any products or specific promotions. Instead, they simply say thanks to customers and offer a discount off their next purchase.
Not only is it a great way to show their customers appreciation, it also gives a reason to come back.
2. Early Access Emails
Keep customers engaged and feeling special by offering them exclusive perks, such as early access to new product launches or upcoming sales.
Here’s an example from Faithfull The Brand:
With a clear headline and buzzwords like “exclusive” and “access”, the clothing brand gives their existing customers a head start to the end of summer sale. The email also provides a clear CTA to a landing page, making it easy to start shopping.
3. Birthday Emails
Birthday emails are one of the most effective emails to send to customers, having 179% higher unique click rates than promotional emails. This is because birthday emails are highly personalized, and are only given to that specific recipient.
The best part about birthday emails is that they don’t require an over-the-top effort. A simple happy birthday and complementing graphic or image works just fine.
Additionally, these emails typically will include a special offer like a discount or free gift. Aim to give your customers something that makes them feel special and valued. Sending an email without this, or with a cheap offer, could actually turn away your loyal customers.
Anthropologie sends simple email, wishing the customer a happy birthday and special 15% discount. It’s short, sweet and to the point.
4. Special Occasion Emails
A big part of customer retention is staying fresh in the customer's mind, and seasonal holidays are the perfect excuse to reach out and send an email.
When sending emails for seasonal holidays — like Christmas, Valentines Day, Thanksgiving, etc. — it’s important that the content is meaningful and resonates with customers. Almost every company will send something during the holiday season, but you can make yours memorable by creating customized gift guides based on customer segments or even past purchases.
Another option is to celebrate less traditional days such as local holidays or social media holidays like National Coffee Day. Sending emails for these types of holidays increases your chances for engagement, as there is less competition and lower odds of being overlooked.
Whichever special occasions you choose, it should fit both your brand and your customers.
For example, Little Wonderland is a skincare retailer focused specifically on Korean products. They chose to celebrate the Korean Thanksgiving by giving customers 10% off. The holiday is perfectly aligned with their brand, and gave customers a nice surprise they likely weren’t expecting.
5. Milestone Emails
By acknowledging milestones, you can actively engage customers regularly and build stronger relationships.
One option is celebrating a milestone for your company, such as the number of years in business or number of customers. Send an email to share what this milestone means, the role of customers, and what makes the journey special. This is most effective when it includes a personal message, such as a written letter from a CEO or a video from employees.
Another option is a customer based milestone — focusing on their time, usage or achievements while using your products or services. This is a hyper-personalized email, specific to individual customers.
Duolingo does this by sending periodic emails with stats about the individual user’s progress, including how many words were learned, time spent learning, and lessons completed. While being visually appealing, this email really highlights the value in the product and the strong CTA encourages customers to keep using it.
6. Customer Referral Emails
Reward your existing customers with an affiliate or referral marketing program.
This is a win-win for both you and your customers. You are able to get extra promotion and quality referrals, and your customers are able to get rewards for recommending the products and services they already love.
Rype offers their customers the chance to earn $70 for every referral they send. The email highlights the value of earning money, uses clear headlines to communicate details, and provides a straightforward CTA. With this email, Rype has made the process hassle-free so customers can easily make referrals and earn rewards.
7. Contest and Giveaway Emails
Keep customers happy with contests and giveaways. Because after all, who doesn’t want to win free stuff?
Contests and giveaways can be tied in with other promotional efforts, such as seasonal holidays or new product launches. Since this email isn’t designed to generate leads, it’s best to keep it simple and easy to enter. Remember, the goal is to show customer appreciation and build brand loyalty — there shouldn’t be too many hoops to jump through.
In addition to giving a prize to the contest winner, you can also give a supplemental prize to those who entered but didn’t win such as an exclusive code for a small discount like 10% or free shipping. This gives your company another opportunity to touch base and show appreciation, while also giving customers an incentive to come back to your site and make a purchase.
Custom jewelry maker Made by Mary did this by partnering with other boutique shops for a “Mommy and Me” giveaway. It was tailored to a specific persona, using fonts, colors, and imagery that appeals to their customer base.
In addition to the chance of winning a large prize, the contest also introduced customers to other like-minded businesses they could be interested in. Customers did not need to make a purchase or provide extensive details to enter, making the contest feel more like a customer perk rather than a marketing tactic.
8. Customer Reviews Emails
Asking for feedback is a great way to make customers feel heard, valued, and connected to your company.
Customer reviews are also very important to your overall marketing and growth efforts. In fact, 91% of people read online reviews – and 84% trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.
Amazon asks customers for reviews via a short online survey. Addressed to a “valued Amazon customer”, the email quickly explains why the feedback is important, how it will be used, and how long the survey will take. This level of transparency is important to building trust with customers. Additionally, the CTA makes it easy for customers so they are more likely to take the survey.
9. “Just Because” Emails
And finally, “just because” emails. As the name suggests, these emails are sent without a particular occasion or cause, but instead “just because”.
It's a nice surprise for customers, and comes across as more genuine because there isn’t some prompt for companies to send this email. This is also a particularly effective way to re-engage with your existing customers you may have lost touch with.
However, this doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be a purpose in this email. Just saying “hello” will likely lead to more unsubscribes than conversions. Make it personalized to your customers, show appreciation, and offer them something special.
Uber’s “Just Because” email is sure to catch customer’s attention with a clear headline telling them that they are special and there is an offering waiting for them. The body of the email explains why Uber is reaching out, then follows up with a generous offer.
Start Sending Emails Today
Customer appreciation emails are a great way to make your customers feel appreciated and valued.
But these emails are also so much more.
By offering special offers and discounts, you can increase conversion rates. Offering exclusive access can build brand loyalty. And through reviews and referrals, you can turn your existing customers into your top promoters.
Using SendX, you can begin creating customized emails like the examples above — including segmenting audiences and using a drag & drop editor to easily personalize each email. You can go for a 14-day free trial of SendX, no credit card required.