Email personalisation

Unleash the power of purchase anniversary emails during the holiday season

The holiday season is a make-or-break period for e-commerce businesses, responsible for a significant share of their yearly sales and revenue. According to recent UK online shopping statistics, online shopping revenue reached an impressive £120 billion in 2022, with an expected growth of 8.3% in 2023. Additionally, the holidays play a pivotal role in many retailers’ annual revenues, contributing substantially to their profits. For small businesses, in particular, holiday sales can represent a significant portion, accounting for about 40% of annual customer transactions.

Amid such high stakes, e-commerce businesses must discover effective ways to attract and retain customers during this festive season. One powerful strategy is the use of purchase anniversary emails, targeting customers who made a Q4 purchase the previous year. A purchase anniversary email is a personalized message that not only reminds customers of their prior purchase but also encourages them to return to the same brand.

Why are purchase anniversary emails crucial?

Purchase anniversary emails hold remarkable significance for several compelling reasons:

  1. Customer appreciation:
    • These emails demonstrate that you care about your customers and appreciate their loyalty.
    • They allow you to acknowledge their past purchase by sending a thank-you note, a discount coupon, or even a free gift.
    • This gesture makes customers feel valued and special, fostering a positive brand-customer relationship.
  2. Nostalgia and positive emotions:
    • Reminding customers of their past purchase and the happiness it brought can evoke nostalgia and positive emotions.
    • Studies, such as one by the Journal of Consumer Research, show that nostalgia can increase consumers’ willingness to pay for products and services.
  3. Enhanced customer retention and loyalty:
    • Sending purchase anniversary emails increases the likelihood of customers returning to buy from your brand.
    • Customers tend to trust and prefer familiar brands, making them more likely to choose your business over competitors.
    • According to Adobe, repeat customers, while representing only 8% of site visitors, generate more than 40% of online revenue.
  4. Revenue boost:
    • Purchase anniversary emails can significantly boost sales and revenue, especially during the holiday season when customers are in the spirit of buying gifts.
    • According to Experian, these emails have an average order value that is 45% higher than bulk promotional emails.

Creating effective purchase anniversary emails

To craft effective purchase anniversary emails, follow these best practices:

  1. Customer segmentation:
    • Segment customers based on their purchase history, including what they bought, when, the amount spent, and their buying frequency.
    • This allows you to send relevant and personalized messages that align with their interests and preferences.
  2. Timing is crucial:
    • Send emails at the right time, considering your product or service type and the customer’s buying cycle.
    • For seasonal products like Christmas decorations, send emails a few weeks before the holiday season. For durable goods such as electronics or furniture, aim for a month or so before the purchase anniversary date.
  3. Engaging content and catchy subject lines:
    • Utilize engaging content and catchy subject lines to capture your customers’ attention and entice them to take action.
    • Phrases like “Happy Anniversary!”, “Thanks for your Purchase” or “It’s been a year since…” create curiosity and a sense of urgency.
    • Incorporate images, videos, testimonials, or social proof to showcase your products or services and emphasize their benefits.
  4. Clear call-to-action:
    • Include a clear call-to-action that directs customers on what steps to take next.
    • Utilize buttons, links, or icons that lead them to your website, product pages, or landing pages.
    • Consider offering incentives like discounts, free shipping, free gifts, or loyalty points to motivate them to make a purchase.

In conclusion

Purchase anniversary emails serve as a powerful conduit to connect with your customers and elevate your e-commerce sales during the holiday season. By sending timely, relevant, and personalized messages that evoke memories of past purchases and offer incentives for future ones, you can increase customer retention, loyalty, satisfaction, and, most importantly, revenue.

Elevate your holiday marketing with The Email Factory

While setting up a purchase anniversary email trigger for the holiday season is undeniably valuable, it’s a task that requires careful planning and execution. The holiday season is a bustling time, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by other priorities. That’s where The Email Factory comes in.

The Email Factory specializes in email marketing strategies and automation, understanding the nuances of holiday marketing. We can tailor your email automations to maximize engagement and conversions during this critical period. Here’s why you should consider giving The Email Factory a call:

Expertise: The Email Factory is staffed with experienced professionals who understand the intricacies of email marketing, keeping abreast of industry trends and best practices to ensure your email automations are optimized for success.

Customization: We recognize that every business is unique and will work closely with you to create personalized email automation strategies that align with your brand and target audience.
Efficiency: Timing is crucial during the holiday season, and we can streamline the process to ensure your email automations are set up and ready to go at precisely the right moment for maximum impact.

Maximizing ROI: Investing in our expertise can lead to a substantial return on investment. By optimizing your email automations, you’re more likely to see increased conversions and revenue during the holiday season.

Email Marketing

How to master lifecycle marketing with email customer journeys

Lifecycle marketing is a term that describes the process of engaging with your customers throughout their relationship with your brand, from awareness to loyalty. It is a way of delivering the right message to the right person at the right time, based on their stage in the customer journey. But how do you achieve this level of relevance and personalization with email marketing? How do you know what your customers want and need at each point of a lifecycle lasting 2 or more years? How do you create email campaigns that adapt to their changing behavior and preferences?

The answer is simple: you need to think of lifecycle marketing as an aggregation of individual email customer journeys.

What are email customer journeys?

Email customer journeys are the sequences of emails that you send to your subscribers based on their actions and interactions with your brand. They are designed to guide them towards a specific goal or outcome. For example: making a purchase, renewing a subscription, or becoming an advocate.

Email customer journeys can be triggered by various events. Examples include signing up for your newsletter, browsing your website, abandoning a cart, completing a purchase, celebrating a birthday, etc. They can also be based on different criteria, such as demographics, interests, preferences, behavior, etc.

The key to creating effective email customer journeys is to map out the different paths that your audience can take. You can then design email campaigns that cater to each one. For example, you can send a welcome email to new subscribers, a reminder email to abandoned cart users, a thank you email to recent buyers, a replenishment email to repeat customers, a birthday email to loyal fans, etc.

By adding all these individual journeys, you can create a rounded and consistent experience that nurtures your audience throughout their lifecycle. You can also optimise your email performance by delivering relevant and personalised messages at the right time that increase engagement and conversions.

The challenge of complex journeys and the role of expertise

While many email marketing platforms provide templates for simple customer journeys, more complex journeys often require specialised expertise. This is where we can help.

Complex email customer journeys may involve advanced segmentation, triggered emails, dynamic content, and sophisticated optimisation techniques. Our customer journey expertise can assist in building out these complex journeys, leverage our knowledge and experience to ensure success.

Benefits of email customer journeys

Implementing email customer journeys, whether simple or complex, offers numerous benefits for your marketing efforts:

  1. Increased relevance and personalisation: sending emails that align with customers’ needs and preferences at each stage of their lifecycle enhances their satisfaction and loyalty.
  2. Improved engagement and conversions: motivating customers to take action through targeted emails at each stage boosts their involvement and drives revenue.
  3. Reduced churn and attrition: retaining customers’ interest and trust throughout the lifecycle decreases the likelihood of them leaving or unsubscribing.
  4. Enhanced brand awareness and reputation: showcasing your brand’s value proposition and personality in emails reinforces awareness and advocacy among customers.


Lifecycle marketing requires an understanding of your customers’ behavior and preferences at each stage of their relationship with your brand. By creating email customer journeys that cater to individual needs and preferences, you can provide a cohesive and personalised experience.

While many platforms offer simple journey templates, more complex journeys may necessitate specialised expertise. Collaborating with an agency like The Email Factory can provide the necessary skills short-term.