How To Use A Post-Purchase Bounce Back Automation

A bounce-back campaign brings your first-time purchasers back into your store, but the success and effect of these emails depend on how you structure them.

Robbie Fitzwater
Updated on

A successful business is not necessarily one with too many customers but a company with many repeat customers. 

Bounce-back campaigns are essential tools for many marketers to bring first-time purchasers back into their stores. And in this blog, I will discuss how bounce-back emails can benefit your business and how you should go about them to get the best results. 

  1. What is post-purchase bounce back?
  2. Why Do I Need a Bounce Back Campaign: Benefits
    1. Letting the customers browse 
    2. Merchandising 
  3. How do I create a bounce campaign?
    1. Where to run it?
    2. How should it be structured?
  4. Takeaway

So without further ado, let’s get started.  

What is post-purchase bounce back?

A post-purchase bounce-back email is used by many e-commerce businesses to bring back customers to their business after they’ve made their first purchase. It serves as the means to turn your first-time purchasers into repeat customers with the help of your email marketing. 

This could be done immediately after a customer has made their purchase or a few days later; either way, these emails are sent relatively quickly so that it is a profitable purchase. 

Why Do I Need a Bounce Back Campaign: Benefits

Turning a first-time purchaser into a repeat purchaser proves to be much more profitable as you won’t have to pay the acquisition cost for the second purchase. 

According to the Adobe Digital Index, 41% of an e-commerce store’s revenue is created by only 8% of its customers. That 8% is made up of your repeat purchasers, so it is crucial that you do everything to keep your repeat purchasers happy and engaged. They largely contribute to the business’s financial sense and are highly profitable.

Bounce-back emails are similar to a catch ball that hits the ground (the first purchase) and then bounces back into your hand (the second purchase). If you can bring the customers back into your store, you can benefit from many valuable opportunities. 

Letting the customers browse 

You can also think of E-commerce shopping as an experience similar to spearfishing. When in an e-commerce store, you can only look for a specific item and cannot have the experience of browsing around as you can in a typical store environment. 

Being able to browse around in actual stores results in many impulsive purchases, ultimately benefiting the business; however, this is impossible in an e-commerce environment. In this case, you’d have to figure out a way to bring the audience back or show them around so they can explore more in your online store. So this is where your emails, especially automation, play a part. 

These email automation can run a bounce back in your audience to get them back into the store. They make sure that the purchasers see other things that may be available such as the complimentary products for the product they have already bought from you. This is a way for a business to extend the value for the customers, which can be done through email, SMS, or possibly both.

You need to be sure that the content and the message being given to them in a bounce-back email consists of various things that make them explore more and are also helpful. In all, you should ideally be presenting them with the things that they find valuable. 


Following this, you can also do some merchandising and offer custom product recommendations for specific categories of the audience that may be interested in purchasing it because now you would know a little bit more about them and what they need.

The goal here is to get on your toes, serve them in unique ways, and take advantage of their presence in the store. 

So, the idea of purchasing right afterwards may sound crazy and not very possible; however, it is not entirely impossible. 

When customers make a purchase online, they feel delighted and excited. And if you’re smart enough with your emails, you might be able to piggyback off that serotonin rush. Your bounce-back emails may find them at their emotional peak and push them towards a second purchase.  

How do I create a bounce campaign?

To figure this out, ask yourself the following questions:

Where to run it?

Ideally, it would help if you looked at the businesses and customers purchasing for the first time. Sending it to the same customers every time pushes you into that discount game you shouldn’t always be playing. 

So if you do this for the first-time purchasers or if they haven’t purchased a large basket, you may bring them back to extend what they intend to buy and capture a little more revenue.

  • Buyer’s Journey

This also depends on where this fit into the buyer’s journey. Is it going to be helpful and relevant for them? Because you don’t want to be sending context suitable for only first-time purchasers to your regular customers. 

  • The Incentive 

It is also helpful to see the type of incentive you want. For instance, you can use an extension on a stimulus that was used to capture the data on the first front end. Such as free shipping or a 10% off incentive. You can run an extension off that and offer the customers various valuable things

For example, you can hit up the customers with an extension in an offer by saying something like hey, just in case there’s anything you missed, here’s that same offer for the next 48 hours. It gives them an excellent way of extending that experience in different forms and an excuse to go back into the store and browse more. And this is a straightforward way to bring them back and give them just a little incentive to come back in.

  • Piggybacking off another promotion

You can also run bounce backs off the holidays by using bounce back automation right after Black Friday, Cyber Monday ends.

For example, you can send a holiday bounce back to anybody who purchased in the Black Friday/Cyber Monday window, the morning right after Cyber Monday. It can be a little water down the extension of the offer you ran during Black Friday/Cyber Monday. 

These bounce-backs are sometimes very fruitful. For instance, there may be cases where customers missed or forgot to buy a few things on their list during BFMC, so this extension offers to help them grab the items they missed. 

This becomes a unique experience for those customers. Even if you can get 10% of them to repurchase within that small window, it’s a massive win because you’re not paying the acquisition cost and are also capturing more margin without worrying about bringing in new customers. 

How should it be structured?

  • Extension in offer and time horizon

The question related to bounce-back emails’ structure is crucial. 

You should start with an extension of an offer, informing the audience about the delay in the offer. It would also be essential to give them a time horizon on that offer.  

You may have some delay after the first purchase, it could be right after, or it could be a few days after the offer. 

  • Categorizing 

Then this is where we like to kind of separate things out a little bit. 

As a marketer, you should follow the pattern of your customers and understand their behavior. If you know that they’re behaving in a certain way or purchased from a specific category, you must follow that up with something complimentary to the category they bought from. 

We usually use the example of children’s clothing. So suppose you’re in this business, you’ll have many categories of customers to look into. For example, your customer could be a parent, a grandparent, or a gift giver, or you may have different product categories for children of different ages, like 0-3 months, 3-6 months, 6-12 months, and so on. 

What you send them in your email content will depend on the category they belong to and are directly suited for them. For example, for parents, you can send things like “Things your toddler may need” or “How many onesies a 3-month-old baby needs,” etc. 

Also, after you have more data, you can offer custom product recommendations to your audience, adding value to their experience. These are the various ways you can get the most out of these offers and lets your customers bounce back. 

To sum it up, there are steps to go about these emails; you send the extension on the offer, you give it a time horizon, maybe 48 hours or 72 hours, but make sure it is in a smaller window to add a little urgency and then send a follow up before the offer expires, as a reminder.

For instance, you may send an SMS informing them that the offer expires in 24 hours and then 12 hours later another SMS again, but be sure not to overdo it. 

To avoid this overdoing, you can use a combination of SMS and email; as I like to call it, it is like playing ping-pong with SMS and emails to keep the audience engaged constantly. 

Things get a lot better and easier when you segment the audience based on categories, as we discussed earlier. You can also recommend products that are going to be in line with the purchasing behavior of a customer. 

So if you know that your customer is a gift giver, you can serve up content that’s going to be in line with their requirements; for example, if you know your customer wants to purchase from the 0-3 months category, you will show them products from that category because you know that’s what they might be looking for.

So those are all things that you can do that make it relevant, unique, and powerful. And when you segment those based on categories, it gives us that unique opportunity.


So what we know about bounce-back emails after this article is that it is an easy way to get somebody back into the store. Customers purchase, come out, and you want to bounce them right back into your store. So for that purpose, you use your bounce-back emails.

If you can get them back into your store, it gives a unique opportunity to drive that repeat purchase. One way to do that is to benefit from the serotonin rush they get right after their first purchase. 

Making that purchase and extending the offers allows them to find more value in the products you’re selling. This gives them an opportunity to explore more and also for them to dive deeper into our store and serve them in just a different way.

Here segmenting also helps a lot and adds value to the customer experience. We use these emails in different ways with different clients. And it has also become an effective way to drive repeat purchasers within a short window. Throughout this process, you are just expanding on what you were doing before and serving them in different ways that can lead them back to your store. 

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