Transactional emails may not seem like the most exciting message in your arsenal of customer communications. However, clever marketers know that every email is an opportunity, especially when confirmation emails receive open rates as high as 85 percent1 (compare this to the 20-25 percent average open rate of marketing emails).
Shipping and order confirmation emails are two transactional emails that don’t always get the attention they deserve from marketers. But by including a few basic components and adding a little creativity, confirmation emails can help build customer loyalty, improve the post-purchase experience, and establish a unique voice for your brand.
Here are seven tips to take your shipping confirmation emails to the next level and get the most out of those high open rates:
1. Include a tracking link
A tracking link is the most important component of a shipping confirmation email since it allows customers to see the status of their purchase in real time.
Apart from giving customers peace of mind that their package is on its way, tracking links also give customers a sense of excitement.
When you include a tracking link in your shipping email, your customer can watch their new purchase make its way to their doorstep (because who doesn’t check the status of their package every day when they’re waiting for a shipment?).
2. Include product and shipping details
Leverage customers’ excitement about their recent purchase by including an image of what they just bought in your shipping confirmation email.
Although customers will usually remember what they purchased, an image of the product or products they bought ensures that it’s easy for them to recall their order information. As a bonus, they can effortlessly pull up the email and show their friends all the amazing items they just bought from your brand.
Additionally, include product details and purchase information in your shipping confirmation email, including:
■ Name of the item(s);
■ Description (size, color, quantity, etc.);
■ Shipping method (USPS, UPS, FedEx, etc.);
■ Delivery address;
■ Order number or ID;
■ A billing summary.
3. Provide support resources
There are few things more frustrating to a customer than not having easy access to support when something goes wrong. That’s why it’s important to include an easily accessible way for customers to contact your support team if they have questions or concerns about their orders.
For example, if they notice in their shipping confirmation email that there was a mistake in their order, they’ll likely want to contact you immediately to remedy the situation. If it’s too difficult to find a contact or ask a question, it can create a frustrating customer experience that could deter them from making a future purchase.
You may also want to anticipate some of your customers’ questions and preemptively include links to FAQs, return policies, or other helpful pages.
4. Highlight the estimated delivery date
Including an estimated delivery date in your shipping confirmation email goes hand-in-hand with including a tracking link, but instead of allowing customers to follow their new product’s journey, it allows them to see the estimated arrival time.
Build up a sense of anticipation and excitement — your customer’s shipment is arriving soon, after all!
Call attention to the delivery date by putting it in a prominent position in the email. For example, try using a headline or subject line like “Congratulations! Your order has shipped. You can expect it in your mailbox by [date].” To get even more personal, include the name of the customer or the item they purchased.
5. Suggest complementary products
Once a customer has placed their order, you may want to suggest related items that will go well with what they just bought.
Suggesting complementary products post-purchase is optional, but it can be an extremely effective way to encourage a second purchase. To do this successfully, make the email as personal as possible. Try suggesting products that are from the same collection, or even curate a set of products that would complement the particular item a customer just bought.
Additionally, the benefit of including product recommendations in a shipping confirmation email instead of an order confirmation is that the first order will already be processed, allowing you to better suggest specific products based on their initial purchase.
How could you make an upsell offer even better? Offer customers free shipping on their next order. While someone might be hesitant to place another order if they have to pay twice for shipping, they might reconsider if the added cost is no longer an issue.
But, before you get too excited about promoting your products, remember to keep transactional information as the main message.
6. Provide value adds
Transactional emails don’t have to be all business. There are plenty of ways to provide extra value to customers through your order confirmations.
Consider what other content you can include in your transactional emails to spice up the experience for subscribers.
A few examples that we’ve seen (and you can even find throughout this post) include:
■ Referral program call-outs;
■ Instagram feeds and social proof;
■ Membership or subscription offers;
■ Blog content;
■ Survey, review, or feedback requests;
■ Helpful guides or next steps.
7. Make it yours
There are little ways you can improve your confirmation emails and make them better match the tone of your brand.
While you should always start with and include the basics (steps 1-4) for transactional emails, employ the right side of your brain to add in some creativity, make it personal, and showcase your brand’s voice.
Making the most of every transaction
Transactional emails are often overlooked as an opportunity to interact with customers, but they’re a great way to make your brand stand out while offering important order information.
Your customers are very likely to open transactional emails, so you should pay just as much attention to them as you would your marketing emails.
The goal of order and shipping confirmation emails is to build excitement around a customer’s recent purchase and give them the tools necessary to track and verify their order. With the right combination of information and innovation, your shipping confirmations might even be a crucial touchpoint in your customer retention strategy.