Consumer reviews are a powerful conversion tool for ecommerce sites and many brands send emails to solicit product feedback from recent customers.

In general, this takes place within a few days or weeks of the purchase, while the customer is still enamoured with their new item.

However last week I received a post-purchase email for a pair of sunglasses I bought 10 months ago.

At first I assumed it was a glitch, as Ray-Ban was asking for me to review my ‘recent purchase’.

But that strange turn of phrase aside, it’s clear that the email was actually very cleverly timed.

Allow me to quickly avail you of the three reasons I’m a fan of this email.

The email in question

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1. The email neatly coincides with the beginning of summer

Ray-Ban’s email was cunningly timed to coincide with the clocks going forward, which means it’s technically British summer time.

Obviously it’s actually still cold and raining here in London, but the evenings are longer and there is the sense that summer is just around the corner.

The email imagery and copy reinforce that feeling and attempt to associate both my sunglasses and the Ray-Ban brand with summertime.

This increases the chances that I’ll leave a positive review.

2. I’ve had time to use the product

As mentioned, it’s common for post-sales emails to arrive within a few days of the product.

For most items this is a good idea, as you strike while the iron is hot and the customer is still excited about whatever it is they bought.

Give the customer long enough to get some initial use out of their new item, but don’t wait so long that they’ve lost interest in it.

In the case of my sunglasses, you need to remember that I live in England so even though I bought them in the summer there’s no guarantee I’ll have got much use out of them. I’m not Bono.

Thankfully I’ve been on a few holidays recently and have fallen deeply in love with my Ray-Bans.

So although 10 months is potentially a bit too long to wait before asking for a review, there’s a strong argument for giving customers a bit of time to get good use out of the product before asking for feedback.

3. It might spur me into another purchase

Ray-Ban’s email might purport to be asking for a review, but it’s also a timely reminder that summer is almost upon us.

I’m not the sort of person who buys new sunglasses every year, but some people do.

These people might be spurred on to browse Ray-Ban’s website to check out the latest product options, potentially clinching both a product review and another sale.

In conclusion...

Not all companies are going to benefit from waiting 10 months before asking for a review. 

For example, fast fashion brands rely on the fact that customers are constantly replenishing their wardrobes. A 10-month gap would mean the item is likely discontinued and the customer would have forgotten about it and moved on.

And I’m not entirely convinced that Ray-Ban will achieve great results from this particular email. Who really writes a review 10 months after buying sunglasses?

But it’s definitely worth testing this type of email marketing, particularly if the timing (e.g. the start of summer) is relevant to the brand.

It might not garner many reviews, but it keeps the brand top-of-mind and might encourage some additional sales before summer.

David Moth

Published 7 April, 2016 by David Moth

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn

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Comments (1)

Cornelius Timmermann

Cornelius Timmermann, Content Marketer at selectcase.biz

we used this principle with halloween. We wrote in a transactional emailmarketingcampaing to all "old goasts", who long term did not order, but excluded all "fresh" clients....

almost 2 years ago

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