In the competitive world of e-commerce, transactional emails play a crucial role in conducting a successful business. You may not necessarily find them the most important part of your email strategy, but they have the potential to make or break the future of your company.
Put simply, transactional emails are automated, real-time emails sent to the users once a specific action takes place on a website, app, or platform (also known as triggers).
In this post, we’re going to talk about the nine most commonly used transactional email templates.
Before delving deeper, let’s have a look at the key characteristics that make a successful transactional email.
- Communicating a clear message with an option to manage preferences.
- A clearly visible Call to Action (CTA) in case the reader wants to explore the transaction further.
- Simplicity, by using just enough words to convey the message.
It’s quite normal to get confused between transactional emails and marketing emails. The key difference between these two is that transactional emails are meant to inform readers about non-promotional topics, whether that is a confirmation of an order or the payment of an invoice.
Another difference is that you don’t generally need a recipient’s permission to send transactional emails. But when it comes to sending marketing or promotional emails, it’s mandatory to seek permission.
So, now that you’ve obtained a clear idea of what transactional emails are and how they are used, let’s check out the nine most effective transactional email templates that can help you conduct better business.
Double opt-in email
Double opt-in emails are designed to add one additional step to the subscription process a reader goes through.
These emails typically require the reader to verify their email address, showing “above average” interest in order to become part of a mailing list.
Ideally, you should consider a double opt-in email as a sort of filter to help you maintain only the readers that show true interest in your content.
Here’s an example of a double opt-in email.
And here is a simple, yet effective template that you can use to make sure your new readers complete the subscription process.
Password reset email
Everyone will, at some point, forget their password – let’s face it. Password reset emails ensure that your (potential) customers regain access to your products and/or services.
Through this email, a user should be able to update their password and subsequently log back into their account.
Having a template for this type of transactional email is crucial for businesses that work with password-protected accounts. An important thing to note is that such emails should also inform the recipients about the timeframe after within which the password link will expire.
To give you a better idea here’s an example of a password reset email from Udemy.
If you are looking to structure your own Password Reset email, you can use the template provided below:
Order confirmation email
Order confirmation emails are hands down the most valuable and important transactional emails for any business. They do not only come with the highest open rate but people also read through them more carefully.
And this makes perfect sense because an order confirmation email provides the reader with the reassurance that their order has been placed successfully. Such emails also help customers to double-check whether they ordered the correct product and if the delivery address is correct.
Additionally, for e-commerce businesses, these emails are a great opportunity to start cross-promoting products.
Here’s how a great order confirmation email should look like.
If you run your own e-commerce business or offer a service online, you can use this order confirmation email template and adjust it according to your needs.
Shipping notification email
Once you’ve made a sale, your job is just half-done. The next part that you’ll need to nail is the delivery experience. A shipping notification email should be sent to the customer as soon as the ordered product is sent.
Here, it’s important to remember that, what makes an ideal shipping notification email complete is three major parts:
- The announcement that the product has successfully shipped
- The details of the order
- If not sent with the order confirmation email, add tracking details
While the first part of such transactional email templates caters to the sole purpose of the email, the other parts help customers stay informed and updated about their purchase. Once you’ve covered the basics, you can always get creative and try additional methods like offering discounts, vouchers, etc. to drive more sales.
Check out this example of an effective shipping notification email from Chewy.
With this easily customizable shipping notification email template, you’ll be able to make sure that your customers get the right information about the shipping of their purchases.
Delivery confirmation email
This type of email informs customers that their shipment has reached its destination. This is especially useful if a buyer wants a product to be shipped to a third party (e.g. on birthdays or celebrations), as this type of confirmation email offers peace of mind, knowing that the product has been delivered (or is about to be delivered) to its recipient.
Here’s a good example of a delivery confirmation email from Aliexpress.
You can use this template to craft delivery confirmation emails.
Among all sorts of transactional email templates, this is the one that you need to use most often if you are a service provider.
Depending on the way you configure the invoices and their delivery schedules, these emails can be automated and sent in a given timeframe.
When looking at the contents of such emails, they should appear with basic details of the amount to be paid, invoice number and preferably some company information.
As a CTA, you could add a button leading to the payment. If you are a smaller company, or maybe a freelancer, you can also replace the button with a link.
Here’s how an invoice email from a smaller company could look like.
Here’s a template that you can use to send these types of emails.
Legal update email
What makes these emails important is that, through sending them, you remain in a position to protect yourself legally.
And while legal update emails often contain pretty boring content, you can make them interesting to the recipients by incorporating some changes in the design or by adjusting the template you decide to use.
Here, things like mentioning the purpose of your email in the subject line and/or incorporating a personalized introduction, may give a different “color” to your email.
Another good idea is to summarize important information in the body of the email (we also illustrate this in the example below). Doing so will help your readers save time, allowing them to skip the long and complex terminology used to explain your legal updates.
Since the end goal of a legal email is to ensure that your subscribers are informed about the updates, it may be best to display the necessary information in as few words as possible, in the body of the email.
It’s important to remember that these types of transactional email templates shouldn’t contain any additional, irrelevant content anywhere.
Additionally, with legal emails, try to stay away from using navigation menus, and definitely avoid upselling, or anything marketing-related. Have a look at the given example.
And here is a somewhat formal legal email sample you can use for your business.
Trial expiration email
This email belongs to the kind of transactional emails that are very useful for companies dealing with a software product or service (SaaS).
Depending on the structure and length of the trial period you are offering to potential customers, you may want to send one or more trial expiration emails, as the end date approaches. This is a great way to ensure that no problem arises due to service interruption, in case they want to continue using your product.
Why more than one email? Well, it’s simple. Factors like vacations, traveling, and weekends affect the timing of a service’s trial expiration. Hence, it’s important to provide users with an adequate amount of time before the expiration date, much like the example below.
Here’s a simple template for crafting trial expiring emails.
Order cancellation email
At the unfortunate happening of order cancelations, a professional email reassures the customer that no further action is needed on their part.
Aside from the formalities of such a transactional email, this helps the customer let go of any stressors related to the event, effectively leaving a window of opportunity for future purchases.
Here is a great example of an order cancelation email, coming from RESY restaurant.
And if you’d like to send your own cancelation email (we hope you don’t), here is a handy template.
Transactional emails are an inherent part of any successful email communication strategy. In this article we took a look at some of the most common transactional emails, giving you examples and templates to refer to.
Follow these tips to craft good looking, professional transactional email templates, and you are one step closer to email automation.