How to Write Confirmation Emails Worth Opening (With Examples)

You definitely don't want to annoy your customers with pointless, generic emails
The Rebel Kulture
October 5, 2022
Photo by Campaign Creators on Unsplash

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Pick your favorite burger joint: Five Guys, Smashburger, Johnny Rockets, doesn’t matter. Now imagine you walk up to the counter and order yourself a cheeseburger (a Royale with cheese, if you're in a certain Tarantino movie).

The cashier writes something on a piece of paper, and without saying a word after you have ordered, hands it to the cook, and says “Next!”

All you hear is the scraping and clanking of metal on the grill in the back. Not so much as a “Would you like fries with that?” or “One Royale with cheese, coming up.”

If you are like most people, you would be asking yourself if the cashier heard you or maybe just ignored you.

Either feeling can leave you frustrated especially when you have already spent your money and weren’t given any confirmation to be sure it’s been received on the other end.

For any customer, a feeling of uncertainty and unease can make this a one-time purchase.

Whether subscribing to your newsletter, buying an ebook, or submitting an inquiry form, don’t miss the opportunity to build a connection by sending a confirmation email so your audience knows their request has been received.

Don’t leave them hanging, refreshing their inbox every two minutes.

However, simply having a follow-up email is not enough. I’ll cover great tips and examples of how to create an effective confirmation email and share examples from some of the best I have seen/received.

What Is a Confirmation Email and How Do They Work?

It’s all in the name.

Confirmation emails are sent to confirm user actions, most times automatically. They will usually be from one of three actions:

  • Account confirmation emails let users know they are set up and an account has been registered (like registering for a webinar, for example). This email typically contains information the user needs to log in or connect with their accounts like a username or password.
  • Order confirmation emails are sent when a customer completes a purchase ( booking a train ticket). This confirms the order has been accepted and is being processed.
  • Cancellation confirmations do not always have to be negative (deleting a music streaming account). Sometimes it just isn’t the right fit…and other times, customers have one day remaining in their free-trial period.
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Your subscription has been cancelled.

Aside from verifying a successful customer transaction, confirmation emails can be used to upsell similar products or share more information about the company, which can boost brand retention and trust.

From a software and technical perspective, confirmation emails can be a conditional if/then event or they can be part of an email marketing workflow.

As a user, a confirmation email proves that everything went right after their information was submitted. The content within the email must clearly explain what has just happened and what will happen next.

As the seller of your product or service, now is your opportunity to ease any doubts and deliver value to your customer. In most cases, confirmation emails will land right at the top of the inbox (great for Gmail clients) which will increase open rates.

What Is Sent in a Confirmation Email?

The short answer is to include the information the recipient expects to receive. If they purchased an ebook, send them the ebook. It’s that simple.

However, this is also where you can expand the experience of your brand and continue the conversation with the user. Build a relationship established on trust and loyalty.

Unless their purchase is digital and can be sent immediately, you have to develop a consistent pattern of contact until they receive what they requested.

Payment information and billing summary

In a follow-up email after a purchase, customers should receive an overview of their transaction and what amount was paid. Include the last four digits of the credit card used to confirm where the charges will appear.

Why include it:

  • Create a reference for yourself and customers
  • Eliminate any discrepancies in a recent purchase
  • Present your company as competent and trustworthy

What users should receive:

  • The amount of the item including any fees (taxes, shipping costs, etc.)
  • Billing and/or shipping address
  • Reference to card number used in the purchase (example: VISA 1234)

Example to follow:

email, confirmation email, customers, users, subscription, subscribers, marketing, email marketing, marketing strategy, digital marketing strategy, marketing product, digital marketing, email advertising, advertising, email list
Your Thursday evening trip with Uber

This example from Uber does a great job of displaying all charges and fees in a way the customer can easily see. The total charge in bold lettering and large size font at the top as well as below the subsequent fees provides a flow of costs a customer will understand.

Order and confirmation number

Depending on how large your business is you can receive thousands of orders a day. Instead of recording each payment by name, companies document the transaction with a number.

With an order number customers can monitor the delivery of the product they purchased. These numbers can also be used as a reference for registrations, refund processing, and so on.

Why include it:

  • Confirm an order has been made
  • Provide a way for customers to check the status of an order
  • The best way customers can contact you for order-related questions

What users should receive:

  • Order identification (order number, date, customer name, link to customer account)
  • List of the items purchased with the price
  • Order status including payment and shipping process

Example to follow:

email, confirmation email, customers, users, subscription, subscribers, marketing, email marketing, marketing strategy, digital marketing strategy, marketing product, digital marketing, email advertising, advertising, email list
It’s official! Your Fitbit order has been placed

Fitbit makes sure to place the customer’s tracking number at the top of the email and centered for easy access. In addition, the order number is right below it within the order summary.

Brand and personality

The payment information and order number are the basics that every confirmation email should have. When we look at companies who take pride in their work and hold customers in high-regard, we see them go the extra mile to give them a visually appealing email. The opposite may look something like this:

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Emails like this make it difficult for customers to figure out what company sent the email. The lack of branding makes it difficult to want to read, not to mention plain text-only messages are often seen as spam or cyber threats.

Don’t neglect your branding in any facet of your business. The logo, imagery, colors, messaging, even the tone of the email is an expression of your company.

Why include it:

  • Immediate brand recognition when an email is opened
  • Establishes the connection between the email and website
  • Further expresses who the personality of the brand.

What users should receive:

  • Brand logo and style
  • The product name
  • Image of the product purchased

Example to follow:

email, confirmation email, customers, users, subscription, subscribers, marketing, email marketing, marketing strategy, digital marketing strategy, marketing product, digital marketing, email advertising, advertising, email list
Thank You for an Incredible Year with Bathing Culture

Bathing Culture sells biodegradable body wash and if you can’t tell by the name, they take this seriously. So seriously they made a lifestyle around it.

You will find the imagery of the email matches that of the website. The logo, font, colors, and messaging all speak to the Bathing Culture brand. When customers receive this email, they’ll know exactly where it came from.

Make it mobile-friendly

It may seem obvious, but many companies, especially those in retail, don’t realize that their confirmation emails fail to optimize for mobile phones and tablets.

Why include it:

  • Users receive email notifications through mobile devices
  • Desktop to mobile emails can get cut off and shortened
  • Don’t get your email mistaken for spam

What users should receive:

  • An email with accurate dimensions for their mobile device
  • Buttons optimized for screen size
  • The flow of information from most to least important

Example to follow:

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The New Mint. Smart. Sleek. Personalized.

This email from Intuit is perfect for mobile devices. The email headings are well-structured, making it easy for users to navigate the content. All buttons, text, and images are center-aligned to make scrolling simple.

Give product recommendations

If a customer purchased one of your products you can assume they will be interested in other products from you.

If they purchased a pair of sneakers, it’s best to let them know you have the perfect argyle socks to go with them (okay, maybe not argyle). The point is to make it as easy as possible for customers to find products related to their previous purchases.

Why include it:

  • Customers are more open to buying after a recent purchase
  • Share your other products and services
  • Bring customers back to your website

What users should receive:

  • List of similar or complementary products
  • Product images
  • A thank-you for their recent purchase

Example to follow:

email, confirmation email, customers, users, subscription, subscribers, marketing, email marketing, marketing strategy, digital marketing strategy, marketing product, digital marketing, email advertising, advertising, email list
Thanks, your Audible order is complete

If you’ve listened to one audiobook, surely you’ll listen to others. Audible provides a section directly below the purchase for similar books you may listen to. Some by the same author.

This is a great opportunity to share the other products you sell. Keep in mind, this is a time to show similar or complementary items that customers may be interested in. This is not a time to push every product you have.

The lazy marketer thinks that business ends once the purchase is made.

However, because customers are expecting it, you can be sure they’ll open a confirmation email. If you’re not taking your emails seriously then you’re missing a huge opportunity.

There are more ways you can build effective order confirmations, but if you are just beginning the process, these tips are a great place to start!

I wish you many happy customers and am always glad to help you send better emails.

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