We are starting a blog series on improving transactional emails, taking examples from our inboxes and showing how to be smarter about them. To start preparing for this, I went through some old receipts of mine to see if I could contribute, and was struck by how often companies do not take advantage of the high open rates of their email receipts in order to sell more product.


Let’s time travel. Think back to before you had Instacart or Google Shopping Express and you still had to stand in line at the store to check out your goods:

  • How often did you make an impulse purchase? (“Oh, duh! I need gum.”)
  • How often were you tempted to make an impulse purchase? (“Mmm, chocolate”)
  • How often were you given the opportunity to make an impulse purchase? (Hint: 100%!)

Granted, these were physical displays, and it takes an enormous amount of effort to customize and arrange them. So, it probably wouldn’t make sense if the answer to the last question was anything but 100%. However, there are good reasons why these items are placed near the checkout. They are low-cost, and easy for the customer to justify or rationalize. They are also generally high-margin goods.

Similarly, a receipt is a great impulse buying opportunity that can drive what we at Sendwithus like to call a PPP, or Post-Purchase Purchase. With some personalization, you can make the options very relevant to your customer. For example, I was buying hockey equipment – specifically, a carbon stick shaft and replacement blades. Wouldn’t it make sense to suggest in my receipt email that I may have forgotten stick tape or wax? It helps that these items are high-margin (great for the business!) and low cost (easy to justify!). There could even be an offer to have the item shipped with the rest of my order if placed within the next three hours. Adding a time deadline targets the emotional side of making a purchase, and harmonizes well with the whole impulse purchase theme.

Think about it. Receipts typically signify the end of a particular engagement with your customers. They are done buying from you. You are not getting any more money. Unless, of course, you do something about it.

At Sendwithus, we make it easy for you to create emails to take advantage of these opportunities with our templating capabilities. Then, we help you make them better with data (lots of it) and a/b testing (so smart).

What’s your Post-Purchase Purchase Percentage (PPPP)? Likely, it is low (or maybe even zero?) and you are leaving money on the table.