Your business needs to send order confirmation emails. But have you ever looked at the order confirmation emails you receive? Most look terrible, almost like the crackhead version of an Excel sheet. And that is breaking down brand experience.
But what if we can make these order confirmations work for you, look on brand better, and even bring in more money?
Every marketer should give the much-ignored order confirmation email more love. The best order confirmations lead to new orders! Not kidding, conversions from transactional email are 3x higher than the regular email.
So let’s put together the ideal order confirmation email and look at some of the best order confirmation examples. Zoom in on:
- What is an ‘order confirmation email’?
- Best examples of order confirmation emails
- The essential elements of order confirmation emails
- Tips to spice up your order confirmations
What is an order confirmation email? And why do your customers need them?
Here’s a straightforward, one-line definition of order confirmation emails:
An order confirmation email is a transactional email informing customers that their order came through.
The reason for order confirmation emails is simple:
Customers want to be sure their order is 100% processed. No, they need to be sure. If you don’t send an order confirmation, expect a lot of service questions/calls.
Tell your customers that the payment was accepted, and when the product is delivered. The order confirmation email pro-actively gives all this information, clearing up any doubt. We’ll get back on the anatomy of the ideal order confirmation emails, but first, let’s look at some fabulous examples.
7 Awesome examples of order confirmation emails
We learn from the best. And it might be tough to visualize how your order confirmations could look without any examples. Here are the best examples of order confirmations I found. We’ll go through these and i’ll add tips on why I like them so much 😉:
1. Beerwulf’s KISSOC order confirmation example
This order confirmation email from Beerwulf is a good example of a KISSOC. A Keep It Simple Stupid Order Confirmation 😀
What I like is the standout colored button and the option to download the invoice. It’s a good addition to the email, especially for B2B email customers. And this makes you don’t have to put all the information in the email. Adding PDF attachments to an email is a highly effective way to send a lot of information.
2. Gearhead order confirmation email example
This seemingly ordinary email from Gearhead has a fun element in it. Instead of the standard ‘call us at this phone number’, Gearhead went the extra mile and lets you get in touch with ‘a Gearhead’. It’s a fun touch to the email seeing the people behind the brand.
Picnic personalizes their order confirmations by adding a signature. All their email communications are signed and always friendly. It’s part of their branding. Plus, the possibility of sending them a WhatsApp message lowers the threshold for us telephonophobic Millenials.
4. Classic Specs
Another simple yet effective example is this one from Classic Specs. The email is sent out to people who have ordered the Home Try-On Kit. But a lot of people, including me, don’t know how to maintain their glasses properly. This email is super useful, because it gives the recipient tips on how to clean their glasses. These tips probably reduce the amount of support calls, but most of all reduce the amount of broken glasses being returned.
5. An Uber handy confirmation/review email example
The advantage Uber has in this example is that the confirmation email is sent after the ride. This gives them the opportunity to ask for a review straight away. If your business takes multiple days to deliver, you’ll need to ask for a review in a separate email.
6. Etsy’s not-so-handmade timeline
I refer to this Etsy example quite often, primarily because of the timeline it provides. It goes one step further than the regular shipping/delivery message and combines that with a track & trace in the email itself. Instead of sending out three emails (order confirmation, ready to ship, delivery confirmation), you now only need to send one!
7. Living your passion with Fabletics
The last example I want to show you is this one from Fabletics. It makes perfect use of their customers – by letting them submit or post pictures the brand then uses to fill their email.
It doesn’t only show how others wear the items you (might have) purchased; it also invites you to share what you wear. This UGC is, of course, free marketing for Fabletics, but hey, it’s fun!
How to build excellent order confirmation emails
A good order confirmation email consists of 5 elements: The confirmation, the order, the shipment details, the payment details, and business details.
The anatomy of this specific order confirmation email from Postable shows you how these elements work together.
Anatomy of an order confirmation email
In this example, the ‘above the fold content’ is there to just confirm the order came through and when to expect delivery.
This part should contain the brand logo, the confirmation message, and the expected delivery date.
Below the fold, readers find more details on their order. Prices, taxes, return policies, and contact details in case anything goes wrong. Below the fold is the part of the email you expect customers to read less but needs to be there.
So, in short: Above the fold content is affirmative; below the fold is for future reference. This structure follows what I’ve described as ‘inverted pyramid design.’
Now, let’s take a look at the elements in an order confirmation email one by one.
1. Your order is confirmed!
First of all, YAY! Your order is confirmed. It’s a sign from the eCommerce gods that you can go to bed, knowing you didn’t pay $100 for thin air. Because that would be a terrible investment.
This occasion has to be celebrated, of course. So instead of the ordinary ‘Your order #12345 has been confirmed’, make it a bit more you, and a bit more festive. Be creative, anywhere from ‘Your order came through, we couldn’t be happier’ to ‘16 Chocolate bars coming your way!’ < hyper-personalized header for the win.
2. This is when & where we’re shipping
Now that the customer knows the order came through properly, the next thing they want to know is when it’s delivered. There are a few options you have:
- Exact day/time (tomorrow between 8 PM and 8:30 PM)
- Date range (in the next 3-8 days)
- Link to external Track & Trace
- Link to a status page
The more specific the delivery time is, the more value it has to the customer.
On the other hand, if the delivery is delayed for some reason, people are likely to give you a call. If you rely on third-party services to deliver your products, it is better to use a date range.
If you can’t show that in the email for some reason, direct your customer to a Track & Trace page, like this Fitbit example:
3. Status page
Another way of showing delivery time is using a status page. The example below is when I ordered a pizza. I couldn’t wait for it to get to my house. This status page is great because it shows the exact steps of the process.
If you have a tracking system like that, make sure to get the most out of it.
Not only is it super-fancy, but it also lets your customer know exactly when their order arrives. And sets expectations. Another brand that does this exceptionally well is Uber. Even though they do this all in-app, and I’m an email guy, I can appreciate how precisely you can track your driver:
4. This is what you ordered (remember?)
Whether it’s the food, clothes, or tickets, your customer wants information about their purchase in the confirmation email.
The question is: How to present it in the perfect way?
Usually, the products and services are like this (in horizontal order):
- Amount of items
- Item name
- Total price
In most cases, VAT or other taxes are there as well.
This is what it looks like for Affinity:
Product images make this much more attractive and clear. Maybe something like this Burst example?
If the confirmation looks exactly like expected, it won’t be surprising to the recipient. But it does help, for instance when an item is missing, or when they need the invoice for tax purposes. That’s why some brands include payment details as well, like Instacart:
What should customers do when something is wrong?
It happens. Something goes wrong in the purchase or delivery process.
It could be a payment issue, a missing item, a delayed delivery, etcetera.
But if there is something wrong, customers need to know how to get in touch. And as people return to the confirmation email to check their items or the delivery time, provide them the correct contact details to help them out.
This should be at least a phone number or email address (Chewy example):
If you’re into the ‘creating social engagement’ thing, you can add social media accounts, too. People tend to ask a lot of questions or leave reviews on social media like Facebook.
4 Quick tips to spice up your order confirmations
By now, I hope you’re inspired by the examples I showed you. But examples are just examples, and creativity is often appreciated. So, as a bonus, here are some quick tips you can use immediately. Recommendations that don’t require you to create the world’s most amazing email.
Adding them can be a good start to better order confirmation emails or the cherry on the cake if your design is already top-notch.
1. Creative confirmation mail subject lines
Pretty much every order confirmation email has one of these subject lines;
- Thank you! Your order is confirmed.
- Your order [number] has been received
- We are processing your order.
- You’ve ordered!
It makes sense, right? But you can make them pop with just a little more creativity than that. My thought? Connect the dots between the order, its USP, and the goal of the email.
Quick example: Imagine you’re selling sporting goods. Customer #1 orders a tennis racket, customer #2 orders running shoes. Instead of mailing them both “Order Confirmation #1 or #2”, send customer #1: “Back on the court in 2 days”, and customer #2 “Fresh new kicks are on their way!”
2. Add images to your confirmation email
Adding images is always a good idea to make your emails stand out from the crowd, whether it’s a cool header image (Postable), product images (Burst), or a nice picture of the support crew (Gearhead). And if you want to take your image game to the next level, toss in User Generated Content, like the Fabletics example.
There’s one more example that I found remarkable, which is User Generated Content. There aren’t a lot of real-life examples around, but this one from Fabletics is pretty cool:
3. Link to helpful content
As the Classic Specs example shows, it can be really valuable to provide links or in-mail content about getting the most out of the products or services ordered.
There’s always a piece of content that can be valuable to customers. Maybe not a guide on how to use the products, but customer experiences, testimonials, blog posts, or downloads can add value, too.
4. Throw in a cross-sell
Something that is both valuable to your customer and the perfect way to reach the infinity loop of order confirmations is cross-selling.
Cross-selling, in short, is the promotion of additional products to the already purchased product or service. In other words, it concerns a product or service that is complementary to an earlier purchase. Think of:
- Just booked a flight? Get $5,- off on a parking spot;
- Did your car just turn five years old? You might be interested in our roadside assistance service.
The best way to do cross-sell, is via ‘the next best offer’. Trying to sell gloves while the customer JUST purchased another pair? Chances are low that they’ll buy another pair. Snow boots, on the other… hand, go perfectly well with them.
What makes the perfect order confirmation email?
An order confirmation email is automatically triggered based on the event of the online purchase. For instance by the ecommerce software, or email marketing tools.
But store owners can also send a manual confirmation, after a telephone order or in-store purchase of an item that is out of stock. Or send it from their CRM or eCommerce tool by hand.
Thing is, you’ll want to make sure your email template for the confirmations is great and trigger them, where you can change the elements, the design and review the email analytics and KPI’s.
Sending out order confirmations improves the overall customer experience. So that is already a good start. But what if we can create new marketing opportunities for your brand? Get rid of the ugly order confirmations you’re sending now and start sending excellent confirmation emails.