How to motivate people to buy repeat-purchase products from you

Do you sell a product you know your customers purchase on a regular basis? There’s a knack to motivating people to purchase over and over again.

You’ve probably got access to the email technology that makes this a relatively simple process. For Brand Less Ordinary clients, we use Klaviyo. You can create repeat customer flows for either products or product categories at specific time intervals (i.e. when you know your customer will need to shop again).

Klaviyo - repeat purchase email flows

That’s the mechanism. The ability to send an email at a specific time to a specific cohort of customers.

The mechanism creates the opportunity. It doesn’t perform the act.

So you untemplate. You remove the default blurb and take ownership of the message. No hard sell, just a gentle reminder that you’re ready to serve and you know the reason why people would shop again.

That last point is a key point for you to remember. What motivates people to shop again?

Here’s a clue. People don’t enjoy spending. Especially when it’s a product you buy repeatedly. As BB King sang, The Thrill Is Gone.

Instead, you’re selling convenience. You’re reminding people that you’re their to make the purchase nice and easy.

But at the same time, you need to create a sense of urgency.

What’s life like without that product on tap?

  • printer cartridges – how will you access those documents you need on paper, not on the screen?
  • guitar strings (I know about this one) – how clean will your tone now sound with those lovely shiny strings?
  • office tea bags – imagine the embarrassment when your key clients ask for cup of your finest and…

It’s not about the product. Is it?

Dogs eat food

There’s no more frustrating duty than replenishing dog food. The journey to the store. The struggle remembering whether it’s the fish, lamb or vegetable version that gives your dog the craps. The bulk. The line of customers as you struggle to content with 25kg of doggy food. It’s not a good experience. And you never get a thank you from the dog.

So we shop online. Obviously.

I received the following. The templated reminder.


Repurchase Reminder For Products


Firstly, praise for recognising people buy dog food on a repeat basis.

Now, the down side. These emails are your lifeline to driving customer lifetime value. They deserve attention.

Within your email technology you have access to a lot of customer data. Take advantage.

Remember the duty of your email. To make life as easy as possible for your customer.

  • let them know you’re ready to dispatch their next order (it just needs a simple payment)
  • let them know it’s as simple as possible (that you already have their address etc)
  • let me know that I’ve already qualified for free shipping (rather than the template ‘spend over £35…’ which I know I will be doing)
  • let me know that the price is the same as always (no need to shop around)
  • remind me of just how quickly you dispatched my last order

The last thing I want to do is ‘start shopping now’ so be very wary of the call to action button you use. I don’t want to shop. I want to make sure my dog doesn’t go hungry.

Use that emphasis for your subject line too…

‘your pet’s food might be running out’?

  • you know I have a dog (hence I bought dog food) – so make the subject specific
  • you know how often I purchase – so warn me that my dog might be giving me filthy looks if I don’t take action now

‘is it time to buy your dogs food?’

that’s weak copy. No questioning. Tell me it’s time to replenish my dog’s favourite biscuits right now.

‘need some help?’

I can’t for the life of me guess why I’d need help. That’s not the duty of this email. The duty is singular. To get me to click and purchase.  If I do need help, I’ll see the details when I click on through to your website.

It takes a few moments to review each of your customer touchpoints

All you need to do is jump into your customers shoes and ask ‘why?’ Why would I be looking to take this action? Is it because I enjoy spending money on dog food? I highly doubt it.

No, your message needs to focus in on the reason people buy your product (not the product itself). Every step of the way.

Your competitors are probably fumbling along using the same generic content and ticking the box of ‘personalisation’ without personalising anything.

The brand less ordinary is the brand that owns the message. That delivers a succinct, yet helpful, reminder (on time) of the reasons why people buy what they do. One simple message with one clear call to action.

That’s how you drive customer lifetime value. That’s how you make more money selling what you make.

Written By:

Ian Rhodes


Equipping brands with the strategy, tools and optimisation processes that drive ecommerce growth. Consultant, Writer & Conference Speaker.

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