How to Help Your Customers Rationalize Post-Purchase

So, your customer just converted. The money is in the bank, the notification is with your order fulfillment team and your customer has started to second-guess herself.

In an Neuromarketing article, The Simple Way to Minimize Buyer’s Remorse, John Carvalho wrote, “[…] once we make a decision, the ‘grass is greener’ effect kicks in and we question our choice.”

He continued, “The good news is that scientists studying ‘choice closure’ have found that encouraging specific post-purchase behaviors can minimize buyer’s remorse and maximize satisfaction with the decision.”

Through progress emails, words of affirmation and acts of closure, you can help post-purchase rationalization kick in and do its psychological thing.

1. Progress Emails

We all know transaction emails are important, right? As it turns out, they’re actually quite neglected, despite how powerful they can be.


Lauren Smith, Litmus:

“Transactional emails, like email receipts, are frequently neglected. However, 64% of consumers consider transaction confirmations the most valuable messages in their inbox. In addition, they have significantly higher open, click, and conversion rates than bulk mailings.

In addition, Experian found that order confirmation emails generate about $0.75 per email, while bulk mailings typically generate around $0.13 per email—that’s nearly a 6-fold increase in ROI!” (via Litmus)

Unfortunately, the typical transaction email is, “Your package has been shipped!” Seems like an awful waste of an email given the stats Lauren shared.

Talia has some ideas for improvement…

Talia Wolf

Talia Wolf,

“Once you understand your customers better, we’ve found that the best way to deal with these concerns is by sending progress emails.

If a customer is waiting for a product to arrive at their doorstep, you can update them on the package’s progress – not just “your package has been shipped” like most companies do, but prior to that (e.g. “We have just finished brewing your favorite coffee. Next up: Packaging!”

Simple notes like these get customers excited and keep their interest levels up. You can also send them an image of the package or a picture of your team working hard to get their package to them.”

A few companies come to mind when I think “great transactional emails that show progress”. Here they are…

Example: zulily

You know the importance of clarity as it relates to your call to action. A vague button is a conversion killer. Well, a vague post-purchase process is a post-purchase rationalization killer.

In your first email post-purchase, highlight the next steps and note how long they’ll take. Set expectations and show that you’ll be in touch regularly, that you’re easy to reach.

Here’s how zulily does it…