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This article is the second in a 5 part series that breaks down the “E-Sellers guide to Customer Retention”, which is completely free to download.

This article focuses on the Order confirmation email (if you aren’t sending one then you need to get onto this ASAP!). We’ve broken down this article into 4 sections
  1. Contents of the email
  2. Timing
  3. Formatting & Display
  4. Optimisation & Iteration

Of course if you want to skip this overview and get straight to the nitty gritty, you’re welcome to head straight over here and download the E-Sellers guide now for free.

At the risk of stating the bleeding obvious, the confirmation email should be automated. You need to make sure the contents of the email are ACCURATE and RELEVANT. There’s nothing worse than sending out emails with incorrect information in them. It makes you look foolish and unprofessional.


Contents of the email

What should actually be in the email? The order confirmation email should have your customers…
  • Order Number
  • Contact details (Phone, name and any other contact details they’ve supplied you with)
  • Delivery Address (billing address as well if it differs from the delivery one)
  • An image of product (s) or service (s) they’ve ordered
  • Further details about when they’ll receive their tracking information for the order
NOTE: This tracking email is different to the thankyou email you’re sending out. This is the actual tracking information, for the product your client has ordered.

By lobbing these details that your customer has given you directly back at them in the email confirmation, you’re allowing them to check the details are correct. Doing this avoids any potential issues, and can help solve problems before they occur.



How long should I wait before sending the confirmation email?

Don’t wait! As soon as they’ve hit “Place Order”, your system should start firing off their confirmation email. Of course it may take a few minutes to actually go through but you don’t want them waiting around anxiously for it.

You ESPECIALLY want to avoid these emails ending up in the “spam” or “junk” folders, we go into this a bit more in-depth in the full E-Sellers guide.


Formatting & Display

An important factor that is easily forgotten is checking the formatting of the email on different platforms. Does the email display and work across different devices, such as desktop and mobile? You may need to contact your web developers (or whoever deals with your emails), and confirm that there are no issues surrounding delivery and display.

Try to test the email display across different browsers and devices yourself. It is important your email can be displayed correctly, no matter where someone is or what device they’re using to display your email.

Optimisation & iteration

Once you have it up and running to a standard you’re happy with, it’s time to start optimising the email confirmation to get even more out of it! You can gain valuable data from your customers and even create opportunities to generate social proof from them, in the form of testimonials and reviews.

An example of a well optimised email is from the Dollar Shave Club, which you can see a screenshot of below. What are some of the key points that make it an optimal email?
  • Layout is clear and concise (Logo centrally at the top)
  • Sense of personality and character in line with brand’s personality
  • Consistent brand messaging (Same language used throughout order process as well as the email confirmation copy)
  • Encourages customers to connect via social media (increasing exposure)
    • Also helps customer feel a part of their brand community
  • Utilising referral marketing (Different to upselling/cross-selling)
There is always room for improvement, for example encouraging reviews, feedback and newsletter signup. Each of these would enhance the customer’s interaction just that little bit more with your company.

If you want to have a further look at examples of good and bad confirmation emails, you can in the guide. It walks through the actual look and feel of other emails, also covering brand personality and authenticity a bit more in-depth.

The next article in this series we’ll talk about the delivery, covering security of goods and the look of the package. Alternatively if you’d like to dive straight in you can get the E-Sellers guide for free right here.