When you have a strong brand voice, you want that brand voice to be reflected in every touch point that you have with customers – and potential customers. Case in point: Aura Bora.

A highly engaging, and let’s face it, weird seltzer brand that launched in 2020, Aura Bora has 46K followers on Instagram, limited edition flavors that sell out in less than 24 hours, and a secret menu with quirky flavor combos like banana bergamot and mango chili.

With a fondness for can haikus and frog memes, Aura Bora is the last brand you’d think of to invest in transactional emails (when’s the last time you had fun reading a shipping confirmation email?), but when you’ve spent a lot of timing building up a reputation as a unique and different kind of beverage, you want that value proposition to carry across every opened email and viewed landing page.

During an interview with Director of Ecommerce and self-proclaimed “data nerd” Cameron Faist, we dug into Aura Bora’s post-purchase retention strategy, why the company has invested so much time and money into their transactional emails (20+ emails, 4-6 weeks of revisions!), and got a glimpse into what the future holds for this bubbly brand.

Here’s what we learned:

You shouldn’t underestimate the power of transactional emails

Once an order is placed, the fun begins. Your customer is waiting for their drinks to arrive - how can you give them helpful information and keep building a relationship in the meantime?

At first, Aura Bora viewed post-purchase notifications simply as an untapped resource for communicating with customers in a fun way and reinforcing the value props of the brand. But when Cameron started seeing GA attribution coming from transactional emails, he realized two things:

  1. People were so excited about their first order that they were ordering again before it had arrived
  2. People were searching their inbox for their past order when they wanted to place a new one

After Cameron saw the initial data, Aura Bora doubled down on their transactional email investment, partnering with ecom agency Lunar Solar Group to create a series of beautifully branded order status notifications.

Transactional email lineup for Aura Bora

The hypothesis was that they could get more customers to reorder directly from these emails, and drive traffic from the “track your water” CTA to their Wonderment order tracking page.

And it worked! When Aura Bora added a Repeat banner to make reorders easy from all transactional emails, reinforced their free shipping thresholds with a banner on all marketing emails, and used their order tracking page to highlight additional products, their AOV increased significantly.

Back in stock transactional email for Aura Bora

Cameron believes that the customer journey is only 25% done after the purchase

Today, Aura Bora sends five beautifully branded core transactional emails, spanning from order confirmation to delivery delayed and shipment delivered, that not only answer “where is my order?” before someone has to file a support ticket, but provide entertainment via Larry David memes and Narcos references.

These order updates serve multiple functions:

  • Proactively communicating shipping stages and potential delays, setting the expectation from the start that Aura Bora is going to clearly communicate with you - and setting the bar high in comparison to other brands
  • Directing customers from an order update email to their order tracking page helps Aura Bora introduce new limited-time offer products and plug their subscription program
  • Giving customers an easy way to reach out if they have any questions or shipping problems
  • Triggering review requests only when the order has been delivered
Wonderment tracking page

Shipping delay emails can be used as an early warning system

When a delivery delay email is triggered by Wonderment in Klaviyo, it not only notifies Aura Bora customers that something may be amiss; it alerts Aura Bora that something needs to be investigated.

By keeping an eye on delivery delay emails, the CX team gets an early warning that one of the following two situations may be occurring

  1. Their 3PL has forgotten to scan a package in the warehouse
  2. A package has been damaged and the carrier has taken it out of the supply chain

While proactive messaging in the delivery delay email reassures customers the issue is being tackled, the CX team has the space to take corrective action and make things right.

As a result, Cameron says “where is my order?” tickets have been drastically decreased and the brand has received a lot of positive feedback on their transparency, turning a bad situation into brand loyalty.

Delayed shipment transactional email from Aura Bora

In conclusion: Sh*p will hit the fan - focus on what you can control

Deliveries don’t always go to plan in DTC shopping - that’s a given. But your brand’s post-purchase comms set the tone for the rest of the relationship.
Being able to say, “Hey, we noticed your order is delayed or stuck in transit” and taking steps to make it right is a short-term win. It means customers have additional exposure to your brand, are communicating more with your CX team (which is not always a bad thing), and are starting to build trust in your business.

Cameron says he’s confident that over the next few months there will be a clear data connection between this increase in positive brand touchpoints and Aura Bora’s customer retention metrics.

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