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How to craft the perfect password reset email (with template!)

You put a lot of effort into your promotional emails: carefully crafted subject lines, attention-grabbing calls to action, and, if you’re fancy, fun, interactive elements. Want to know something? Those aren’t your most-read emails—not even close. Transactional emails get far more engagement, and perhaps the most quickly-opened one is a password reset email. 

It makes sense when you think about it. Your customer is actively trying to accomplish something. They’ve visited your platform, tried to log in, and then realized they’ve forgotten their password. The moment your customer clicks the “forgot password” link, they head to their inbox, eagerly awaiting a password reset email so they can get back to business.

Here’s the thing: you want to meet their expectations with a fast and seamless experience because it gets them back engaging with your brand. Password reset emails are a surprisingly powerful way to increase trust and brand affinity. These quick and simple messages are powerful when you follow password reset email best practices. 

Let’s dive into the why and how along with a reset password email template with great examples to help you create your own.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

What is a password reset email?

A password reset email is a message you send when a customer needs to change their password—either because they forgot it or it’s expired. Customers typically click on a “forgot password” link on your website, triggering an automatic password reset email containing a link to create a new password.

Elements of a password reset email

Password reset emails should be simple, with nothing that gets in the way of the customer’s ability to quickly and easily take action. But they also have to contain enough information to ensure trust and clarity. When you create your reset password email template, be sure to include these key elements:

  • Subject line: Go for short, simple, and direct. While doing something cute or experimental in your marketing emails is great, you need customers to immediately identify your password reset email when it lands in their inbox. Something straightforward like “Reset your password” meets their needs. 
  • From name: Another way to ensure customers quickly identify your password reset email is to use a clear from name. Opt for your brand’s name and keep it short enough to display fully in their inbox. Using a recognizable from name instead of just a no-reply email address also helps build trust, especially when customers are updating sensitive information.
  • Password reset link: This is the point of the email, so make it prominent! Place it near the top of the email, and use clear language so they know where to click. If you’re using a CTA button, include the link in the text at the end of your email so people aren’t stuck if the button breaks in their email client. 
  • Branding: Resetting your password is a vulnerable moment; if you accidentally click on a phishing email to reset your password, you’ll compromise your entire account! Customers need to trust that the password reset email is really from you, so bolster their confidence by using your brand name, logo, and colors so they recognize you at a glance. 

5 password reset email best practices

Now that we’ve covered the what, let’s get into the how with password reset email best practices. 

Marketing teams often overlook password reset emails because they’re so heavily integrated into products. If you quickly scan your inbox, you’ll find that password reset emails from your favorite companies tend to look off-brand. Those are missed opportunities for relationship-building. 

Think of it like this: when the cashier hands you your receipt as you leave the grocery checkout, it’s an incredibly brief transactional moment. You don’t want them to start a whole conversation—your ice cream will melt—but “Have a good day” would feel nice. Even better, “Thanks, enjoy your Chunky Monkey!” would add a friendly and personal touch. 

Transactional emails present the same chance to turn an impersonal interaction into a positive experience. By following these five password reset email best practices, you can help your customers go from the exasperation of forgetting their password to feeling good about your brand as they get back into their account. 

Best practice #1: Be purpose-driven

Above all, password reset emails must be purpose-driven: designed to help your customers accomplish their goal (of getting back to using your awesome product) as quickly as possible. 

To keep your messaging purpose-driven, employ these password reset email best practices:

  • Keep content short: A friendly greeting and some brand messaging is nice, but don’t delay the customer with excess content that doesn’t help them accomplish their goal.
  • Provide clear instructions: Tell the customer exactly what they need to know (you requested a password reset) and do (click here to change your password). 
  • Include helpful info: Who requested the password reset? Will the reset link expire after a certain time? Is there other information people need to reset their password without friction? 

Best practice #2: Reassure your customer

Think back to the last time you couldn’t log into a favorite app—the frustration, panic, and annoyance were overwhelming. Failed logins are a buzzkill, but standout password reset emails do a great job of helping customers login while also calming their anxiety of forgotten credentials. 

Try these password reset email best practices to amp up the reassurance in your messaging:

  • Look and feel familiar: This is where your branding comes in. Use language and design elements consistent with your marketing emails to help customers feel comfortable.
  • Offer support: What happens if your customer tries and fails to change their password? Putting contact info for support at the end of your password reset email gives them confidence that they can get help.
  • Provide context: State why the customer is receiving this email, directly reflecting the action they just took. You can boost the sense of reassurance by using dynamic content to insert the customer’s name and email address associated with the account into the email body so your customer is fully confident that the password reset email is accurate. 

Best practice #3: Leverage your branding

Every bland, unbranded email you send customers is a missed opportunity to further your brand promise. Relationships are built by consistently delivering on your brand promise at every touch point throughout the customer lifecycle

Password reset emails are significant because they’re a touch point that usually feels negative or, at best, neutral. Sending a friendly, branded message can help turn this interaction into a positive touch point.

Infuse branding into your messages with these password reset email best practices:

  • Reflect your visual identity: Your logo, brand colors, and layouts should form the basis of your password reset email template. This transactional email will be much simpler than your marketing messages, but it should still look like you. 
  • Use your brand voice: In addition to looking like your brand, password reset emails should also sound like your brand through the tone and language of your message. You don’t have to choose between clarity and voice.

Best practice #4: Keep emails transactional, not promotional

Transactional emails serve a distinct purpose: to provide essential information customers need to use your product or engage with your brand. While transactional shouldn’t mean dull or unbranded, it does mean non-promotional. 

Use these password reset email best practices to keep your message transactional:

  • Don’t include promotional content: Knowing that nearly all customers will open a password reset email might tempt you to slip in some marketing content. But trying to promote or upsell anything in this message will, at best, be extraneous and, at worst, put customers off. 
  • Stay compliant with CAN-SPAM: Transactional messages like password reset emails do not require an unsubscribe link. But to be compliant, your email must be genuinely transactional—not a whiff of promotional messaging. 

Best practice #5: Ensure excellent, rapid deliverability

The moment your customer clicks “forgot password,” the clock starts ticking. A password email should arrive in 20 seconds or less—and more than a minute is an eternity in password-reset land. Worst-case scenario: your email lands in the spam filter! Delays lead customers to contact support or give up entirely, neither of which is a good outcome.

Ensuring high deliverability is a big-picture strategy that will benefit not just your password reset emails but all your email campaigns. Follow best practices for optimal email delivery rates:

5 great password reset email examples

As you optimize your change password email template, look at how these top brands use password reset email best practices to create an awesome customer experience.

Example #1: Stripe

Stripe reset your password email

Stripe builds reassuring language into their password reset email at every opportunity—immediately letting the customer know that nothing has changed in their account and closing with everything they need to get support. By mentioning the email address associated with the account, they leave the customer feeling confident that the password reset email is valid and correct. 

Example #2: Patreon

Patreon set new password email

Patreon’s password reset email is simplicity itself. But while it’s bare-bones, it’s not lacking branding. The colors, font, and logo leave no doubt about who sent the email—and the link to the help center in the footer adds a path for additional support without bogging down the primary message. 

Example #3: Grubhub

Grubhub create a new password email

A powerful one-two punch of clarity and support, this password reset email from Grubhub puts the CTA front and center, then follows with useful and supportive info. What’s particularly nice about this example is how the brand has crafted a subject line that reflects their voice and value proposition without compromising clarity. 

Example #4: Lingo

Lingo change password email template

Where most of these password reset email examples use some brand colors and logos, Lingo puts their visual identity front and center—the bright background color, prominent graphic, and branded font create a cohesive customer experience as they travel from the platform to the email and then back to the platform to log in. 

Example #5: Slack

Slack choose a new password email

Sometimes, a customer gets a password reset email when they didn’t ask for it. Most companies include a statement like, “If you didn’t request a password reset, ignore this email.” This can leave your customer worrying: “But who did? And why? And what happens now?” Slack prevents that panic with a more reassuring approach in the final sentence of their password reset email.’s password reset email template

Here at, of course, we have a password reset email. But wait, there’s more! When a customer needs to change a password, the email template is only one component. Let’s walk through the four aspects of the customer’s experience when they click the “forgot password” link. You can use these examples as a basis for your own password reset email template—both the message itself and the form pages in your platform. 

#1: Password reset request screen reset your password screen

First, the customer needs to enter their address to trigger a password reset email. On this screen, we make the text entry field and CTA button very clear so people know exactly what to do. But we include options for other situations below so that someone who landed here by accident isn’t at a dead end.  

#2: Password reset email password reset email example

We employ a few password reset email best practices: brevity, clarity, and branding. To make the transactional email feel warmer, we also personalize the greeting with the customer’s first name. And just in case there’s an issue with how the email client handles buttons, we include the reset link URL at the end. 

#3: Set password screen set your password screen

There’s zero friction between clicking the email CTA and taking action: customers land directly on the page to create a new password, with no extraneous fields to fill out. And we retain the info for customers who have remembered their password or don’t have an account so people have options if needed. 

#4: Login screen

Log in to screen

Once a customer sets a new password, boom—they’re right back to the login screen, ready to proceed with whatever they wanted to do in the first place. At every step, we’ve focused on clarity and minimalism so that the entire process takes less than 90 seconds! 

Master the art of successful password reset emails

Every customer interaction is an opportunity to build a stronger relationship—yes, even something that seems as boring as a password reset email. When done poorly, password reset emails can undermine someone’s confidence and make them more frustrated than they already are. But if you follow password reset email best practices, you can do more than avoid that frustration—you can add another bit of warm-fuzzy feeling to your customer’s overall experience of your brand. 

Of course, no email can do its job if it doesn’t actually land in the inbox. For the sake of your password reset emails and all your campaigns, become a deliverability expert—sign up for our deliverability lessons email series.