Your hard work paid off.
A customer made a purchase! *happy dance*
Before you go get a celebratory treat, it’s worth your time to think about the next step in the lifecycle journey. Your customer is expecting a message to confirm her purchase, or what we call an order confirmation email.
This type of transactional email is more than just a receipt. It’s an opportunity for your brand to invite the purchaser into the customer experience. From providing order details to thanking the buyer, there’s a lot of ground to cover.
Let’s learn how to delight your customers immediately after the purchase.
Focus on the Happiest Moment
The order confirmation email represents a critical moment in the customer journey. It’s your chance to create customer delight and build a better experience.
The goal is to show appreciation to your customers, while giving them the right details to succeed with their purchase. They’re amped about receiving your product. So it’s up to your team to continue that excitement between the purchase and the loyalty stages.
You can think of the order confirmation email as a 1-2-3 punch:
Celebration - Be happy with your customer about the purchase. Show your gratitude and make them feel good about their decision.
Information - Give customers accurate details about their purchase. Keeping customers informed helps remove buyer’s remorse.
Personalization - Move customers to the next step in the customer journey. Provide them with hyper-relevant resources to customize the experience.
Celebrate with a Thank You
Psychologists Lisa Williams and Monica Bartlett conducted a study on whether saying “thank you” makes a difference in developing and maintaining social relationships.
Their research uncovered that the words “thank you” goes beyond just good manners. An expression of gratitude can have a positive effect on our interactions with others.
By saying “thank you” after a purchase, you open the doors for customers to build a future relationship with your brand. The order confirmation email becomes a shared celebration, rather than a one-person party.
In the example below, online print and design company MOO makes it a point to address their customers by name and thank them at the top of the order confirmation email.
That “Thank you” is not only branded in MOO colors, it’s at least 3X larger than anything else in the message. This tactic sets the tone for the rest of the customer interaction.
It doesn’t take much to initiate delight in the customer relationship. You also can extend your appreciation with a personalized message or a dancing puppy GIF.
Structure Information to Reinforce Value
Today’s order confirmation emails surpass the mundane receipts of the past. Nowadays, customers hold these transactional emails to a higher standard.
So, if you’re still compiling the purchase details as an afterthought, it’s time for your team to fast forward to the present day.
Impress your customers by thoughtfully organizing the order information. Start with the general aspects, then move along to the particulars. For instance, you can explain the purpose of the email, show the product purchased, and end with the billing details:
- Subject - Gives a reason for the email.
- Order confirmation number - Provides a reference to a specific purchase.
- Products/services purchased - Lists all the purchased items (with images).
- Shipping details - States the customer’s address, shipping method, and estimated shipping time.
- Summary of billing - Outlines how the specific charges relate to each item purchased.
A more complex setup may create customer confusion leading to a flood of preventable customer support tickets. However, you don’t want your order confirmation emails to feel like a laundry list of information. Work with your team and run A/B tests strike the right balance.
Take a look at the order confirmation email from Blue Bottle Coffee below. It offers an effective structure and presents the information in a way that preserves the customer’s excitement.
The product visuals are the most notable part of this order confirmation email. Humans are inherently visual creatures. It takes our brains only 13 milliseconds to identify images. Blue Bottle Coffee takes advantage of this phenomenon of the human brain with stylish product pictures.
The brand isn’t just reminding you about a purchased item; they’re reminding you how elegant it will look in your home. Their team uses visuals to reaffirm the reason why you bought the product in the first place.
Personalized Recommendations Win
The order confirmation email marks the beginning of the customer relationship. Adding value to your order confirmation emails is how you encourage customers to purchase more items and refer their friends.
Personalizing your order confirmation emails is one of the most powerful ways to achieve delight. You can use various data to customize the experience, like browsing history or past purchasing behavior.
That data then becomes a catalyst to tailor the order confirmation email. As a result, customers receive more value.
Cross-Selling is the Most Direct Opportunity
Cross-selling is the art of persuading a customer to purchase an additional product with his order. That product usually complements the purchased item.
Crate & Barrel executes this strategy in their order confirmation emails by offering product recommendations. The brand gives you immediate, one-click access to a group of items that—based on your purchase—they know will interest you.
In the following email, the yellow sconce that the customer purchased triggers the inclusion of pendant lights. That way, when the sconce arrives, the customer may realize she needs a pendant light too.
Educational Resources Help Customers Succeed
Educational resources can help your customer achieve success with your product. By including resources in your order confirmation emails, you ensure customers start interacting with the product right away.
Electronics provider Adafruit includes prominent links to their technical support page, YouTube channel, blog, Twitter account, and live video show in each order confirmation email. They encourage customers to explore all these DIY resources.
With Customer.io, you can use the Liquid templating language to personalize your transactional emails. Let’s say you run a speciality electronics shop that sells only radios, phones, and computers.
Say the buyer with an id of “1” is a customer who purchased a phone. When writing this specific message, you can loop through the recommended resources in the order confirmation email using a Liquid “for” loop:
It would display in the email like this:
Educational resources help customers get comfortable with their new purchase. To learn more advanced Liquid techniques, visit this documentation page.
Loyalty Leads to More Sales
You can integrate loyalty programs into your order confirmation emails. This strategy gives customers real-time updates on their progress towards a reward or discount.
This example below from sweetgreen shows a LevelUp loyalty bar that fills up as the customer gets closer to their next coupon. It keeps a record of how often a specific customer has made a purchase and personalizes the bar based on their past activity. The more the bar fills, the closer the customer comes to a reward.
No time for a fancy loyalty bar? You also can include a discount code for customers to share with their friends. This approach prompts engagement, while offering something of value to repeat customers.
Order Confirmation Emails Making Strategic Moves
The order confirmation is a celebration. It’s a useful tool for building the customer relationship. From saying “thank you” to personalized recommendations, your team can delight customers with every order.
How do you celebrate purchases in your order confirmation emails? Give us your thoughts in the comments below.