Most people can remember a time they’ve run out of toilet paper, or baby formula, or gotten down to the last pill in their monthly prescription and thought, “Golly, gee… I really wish I had remembered to stock up on that BEFORE I needed more of it."
Enter the replenishment email.
A replenishment email is an automated email that fires off when it’s time for your customers to reorder consumable products – usually staples like cleaning supplies, personal care items, pet food, etc. And while we wouldn’t say they're magic, necessarily, they DO check off basically every box on an email marketer’s must-have list:
Is it timely? It fires off at the exact moment your subscriber needs a gentle nudge to purchase.
Is it relevant? It serves up products you already know they'll love because they’ve ordered them before.
Is it effective? With an average open rate of 50-60% and average click rate of 40-50%, it’s one of the highest-performing emails you’ll ever send (Ometria).
Need some inspiration to craft your own replenishment email? Here are a couple of our favorite examples.
If you can estimate the approximate shelf life of an item, automate an email to send a week or two before you know it’ll run out. That way, when your customer orders a replacement, it'll land safely at their door with plenty of time to spare.
Even if your product doesn’t have an exact shelf life, you can still send a reminder message like this one. Wait a reasonable amount of time after someone’s first order, then offer them the opportunity to buy more. (Bonus points if you provide a few different product options, like in this email from graze!)
If someone orders a trial-sized version of your product, make sure you quickly follow up with an email to order the real deal. That way, people who are just trial users can become first-time (and repeat) customers without experiencing any friction during the purchase process.
This works especially well for subscription-based services: When you send a confirmation email for someone’s regular order, give them the chance add a few extra products they might be interested in. That way, they never have to leave the inbox to experience more of what your brand has to offer.
We can’t really show off this email example without blurring out the majority of the content, but Walgreens sends their own replenishment email that’s too smart not to mention.
Every time someone is eligible to refill their prescription, they receive an email reminding them of it. And to refill, ALL they have to do is hit “reply." That’s it. It’s one of the simplest, most convenient customer experiences ever, and it’s the perfect example of email marketing done right. Take our word for it.
Is your brand sending emails like these? We’d love to hear how they’re doing, so share away in the comments!
About the Author
McKenzie Gregory is a senior content manager on Emma’s marketing team. A Nashville native, she can be found covering all things email on the Emma blog, debating hyphenation rules, and watching obscene amounts of Netflix without a trace of shame.Follow on Twitter More Content by McKenzie Gregory