7 Highly Effective Order Confirmation Emails to Inspire Your Own
← Back to Blog Seray Keskin

7 Highly Effective Order Confirmation Emails to Inspire Your Own

Order Confirmation Emails

Marketers go above and beyond to increase their email open and click-through rates.

However, while optimizing their email marketing, many ignore the one email that everybody expects and waits for impatiently:

Order confirmation emails.

Driving eight times more opens than regular marketing emails, order confirmation emails are the perfect opportunity to convey essential information without sounding promotional.

Although consumers expect, open, and click order confirmation emails, only a handful of marketers optimize them for higher engagement. And in today’s post, I’ll show you how you can join them.

In this post, you’ll learn:

  • How to capture buyers’ excitement with copywriting;
  • How to cross-sell in the subtlest way possible;
  • How to get new customers on autopilot;
  • And more, with only minor tweaks to your order confirmation emails.

So, here are seven strategies that’ll help optimize your transactional emails for higher engagement, with real-life order confirmation email examples.


Want More Order Confirmation Email Examples?

We’ve put together a bonus resource sharing 9 of the best order confirmation emails we’ve ever seen.

In it, you will learn how top e-commerce brands optimize their order confirmation emails (and how you can, too).

You’ll also get immediate access to 34 other bonus resources, categorized in Notion for your convenience.

Download Your Resources Now →

Table of Contents

1. Give the Three W’s

2. Set Expectations

3. Guide Your Customers

4. Confirm the Buyer’s Decision

5. Recommend Complementary Products

6. Promote Your Loyalty Program

7. Encourage Referrals

What Is an Order Confirmation Email?

An order confirmation email is a transactional email informing customers that you received and/or processed their order.

Order confirmation emails contain important transaction details, such as delivery address, items purchased, amount paid, and more.

However, when used right, an order confirmation email is much more than a receipt.

It’s the first step in turning one-time buyers into repeat customers, and repeat customers into brand advocates.

A good order confirmation email captures the buyer’s excitement, eliminates confusion, and, more importantly, builds the foundations of a fruitful relationship with your customers.

Let’s see how in seven simple steps.

1. Give the Three W’s

Although hitting the “Place Your Order” button creates joy and excitement for many…

Rikke Sleeknote GIF

…this is not always the case for your customers.

Regardless of a well-thought checkout process or multiple trust badges, online shopping always carries uncertainty. Some customers will experience post-purchase excitement, whereas others will feel uneasy.

The good news is you can address both emotions in your confirmation emails and turn them to your advantage.

It’s no secret that giving detailed information is crucial when putting your customers’ minds at ease after they place an order.

However, the key is giving them “the three w’s” of their order in a clear, easily understandable way: where, when, and what.

ASOS is the best example of well-written order confirmation emails:

ASOS Order Confirmation Email

When you make a purchase, you get an automated email with your order details, under three headings: where, when, and what you ordered.

Everything you need to know is in this email, from your delivery address to the expected arrival date. You also get a short order summary with the product’s description, size, quantity, and price information, as well as the chosen payment method.

Knowing that returns and refunds are costly and time-consuming, ASOS gives you the option to cancel your order if you’re hesitant, under a headline that reads “Changed your mind?”

What’s more, ASOS relieves you by reminding you of their flexible return policy. This way, ASOS guarantees customer satisfaction from the first email and reduces any unease with shopping online.

In the remainder of the email, the company encourages you to join their newsletter, engage with their content, and download their mobile app:

ASOS Order Confirmation Email 2

ASOS knows what its customers expect from this email. That’s why any self-promotion only comes after you get the crucial information, in case you “want more ASOS.”

While transactional emails are a good place to promote your brand, always focus on the three w’s, first.

2. Set Expectations

While order confirmation emails act as receipts of purchases, that’s only the beginning of their purposes.

By informing customers about the next steps, order confirmation emails also help you set expectations.

Check out this example by Bestseller:

Bestseller Order Confirmation Email Example

When you place an order and get a confirmation email from Bestseller, you see a progress bar with three icons on top. Thanks to this visual aid and the section called “What’s Next” below, you know what to expect about your order over the next few days.

Bestseller knows that you might have some questions about your order. That’s why the second headline you see in this email is “Need Help?”

After providing you with the transactional details (read: three w’s), Bestseller invites you to sign up for their newsletter. Since customers already committed to something bigger, it’s a good time to ask for a smaller favor.

Similar to many successful e-tailers, Bestseller sends a delivery confirmation email when it ships your items:

Bestseller Order Confirmation Email Example 2

Much like the first email, the company sets expectations with a progress bar that’s now moved one step further.

The “What’s Next” section has now changed to include shipping information so that you can track your order and look forward to receiving it.

Note that the “Need Help?” section is still at the top of the email because the order process hasn’t completed yet.

Remember to make it easy for customers to reach out to you at any stage of their order. Otherwise, you’ll end up with confused customers, or worse, lose them to a competitor.

3. Guide Your Customers

You gave practical information and set expectations about the process. What comes next?

There are two options: 

  • You can let your customers close the confirmation email and get back to their lives; or
  • You can keep them engaged with your brand and stay top of mind.

Assuming you would also choose the second option, I’ll show how you can guide your customers in the right direction with an engaging order confirmation email example.

When you buy something from Cult Beauty, this is the confirmation email you get:

Cult Beauty Order Confirmation Email Example

Following best practices, Cult Beauty captures your excitement with its headline. Then, it gives you the details of your transaction.

But something more interesting is happening on the right side of the email.

After offering you a helping hand, Cult Beauty invites you back to its site, but with three different options:

  • Update your preferences and get a discount on your next order (read: data enrichment and segmentation);
  • Check out what’s new on the website (read: promoting new arrivals); or
  • Learn beauty tips and trends (read: content marketing.)

This is a brilliant example of engaging order confirmation emails because Cult Beauty knows that its customers are not the same. That’s why it guides them to places of different engagement levels, with compelling reasons.

Timing plays a critical role in converting buyers into repeat customers. Unlike Cult Beauty that encourages customers to shop again in its first post-purchase email, ASOS invites users back to its site in its delivery announcement email:

ASOS Shipping Confirmation Email Example

The decision is yours, but the key is finding a balance between a subtle and a direct approach, as well as setting your timing right.

4. Confirm the Buyer’s Decision

Have you ever made an impulse buy and regretted it right away?

If so, you’re not alone.

Even when we’re satisfied with our new sweater, it feels good when someone pays a compliment. After all, we want to make sure that we made the right choices.

Order confirmation emails are the perfect way to reaffirm that your customers made the best decision by buying those products from your store not your competitors’.

Take a look at this example by Saxo, the online bookstore:

Saxo Order Confirmation Email Example

Before going into the order details, Saxo confirms your decision to buy a book from their store, and, more interestingly, they back it by research.

Check this brilliant introduction: “Studies suggest that reading improves your memory and makes you more empathic and less stressed. There’s a good chance that you’re on your way to becoming a better person! Because we received your order, and we’re looking forward to sending your books.”

After reaffirming your buying decision, Saxo explains how you can download your ebooks and audiobooks. And before moving onto product details, the company invites you to contact them if you have any questions, with an additional note: “We read audiobooks aloud while you wait on the line.”

While Saxo chooses a research-backed, bookwormish tone of voice in confirming your decision, Beardbrand takes a different approach:

Beardbrand Order Confirmation Email Example

If your brand voice is closer to Beardbrand’s, don’t be afraid to go bold.

Take a moment to go back to your value proposition and think about which problem your products are solving. Maybe you help your customers with their skin issues, or maybe they treat themselves with your monthly boxes.

Find the rational or emotional benefits of your products and give your customers a pat on the back for making a good buying decision.

5. Recommend Complementary Products

Cross-selling with order confirmation emails is nothing new.

You likely know it well, thanks to Amazon:

Amazon Cross-Sell Email Example

While this approach might work for e-commerce giants like Amazon, you can offer your customers a stronger reason than “frequently bought together.”

The key to effective cross-selling is recommending genuinely complementary products. In some niches, like apparel, it’s easier to make relevant product recommendations.

Check out how Zalando cross-sells in its order confirmation emails:

Zalando Order Confirmation Email Example

Zalando nudges you to return to its website with a powerful call-to-action (CTA) next to each product in your order: Complete Your Look.

As opposed to “Frequently Bought Together,” Zalando’s CTA speaks directly to you. Plus, it gives you a clear motive to buy more: completing your look with matching clothes and accessories.

When you click the link, Zalando takes you to a landing page with similar products you might like:

Zalando Recommended Products Email Example

If you’re looking for a subtle way to increase your revenue with order confirmation emails, make sure to recommend items that actually complement the customer’s order. 

Remember to give your customers a valid reason to shop again. Otherwise, you’ll risk sounding too promotional, trying to sell to people who just bought from you.

6. Promote Your Loyalty Program

Thank you pages and order confirmation emails are the two pillars of your post-purchase promotion activities.

If you’re running a loyalty program, the best time to promote it to your customers is, undoubtedly, right after they place an order.

Although you shouldn’t take the focus away from the transaction in your order confirmation emails, there’s a smart way to promote your loyalty program without being intrusive.

Billigvoks, the Danish beauty e-tailer, found a solution to this problem. Check out one of their order confirmation emails:

Billigvoks Order Confirmation Email Example

Billigvoks runs a simple loyalty program: you buy products and earn points that you can use in your future orders.

This way, the company finds a smart way to turn one-time purchases into repeat customers. Since Billigvoks’ loyalty program helps increase the company’s revenue, they don’t refrain from promoting it in the middle of their order confirmation emails.

By mentioning the points you earned with this order in a non-distracting way, the company both confirms your decision and already makes you think about your next order.

Billigvoks even goes beyond that.

About a month after your purchase, the company sends you a loyalty bonus reminder email:

Billigvoks Loyalty Bonus Email Example

Instead of simply telling how many points you have, Billigvoks shows you the discounted price of an example product that you could use your loyalty points on. The best part is, they choose this product based on your previous orders.

Post-purchase emails are perfect for promoting your customer loyalty program. Remember to occasionally remind customers of their unused benefits that they’re missing out on.

7. Encourage Referrals

Although they’re automated transactional notifications, order confirmation emails don’t have to be dull and robotic. 

Firebox is a great example of that. The company successfully incorporates its humorous brand voice into transactional emails, too.

Firebox Order Confirmation Email Example

While Firebox’s tone is rather a safe, feel-good type of humor, be careful about the dose of your humor. After all, you don’t want to confuse people who just gave you their money.

Firebox doesn’t use big words or a fancy design in its order confirmation emails. After simply informing you that next up is dispatch, they appreciate you for being a customer.

After product and delivery details, Firebox has a section dedicated to encouraging referrals:

Firebox Order Confirmation Email Example

While asking you to tell your friends about them, the company clearly writes the incentive for both parties.

Just when you bought a bunch of new items and heard all the nice words from Firebox, why wouldn’t you tell your friends about them?

Once again, the timing of your request is crucial, especially if you’re asking for a big favor.

While Firebox asks for referrals at the bottom of confirmation emails, Beardbrand saves a whole email to follow up on its orders.

A few days after making a purchase, Beardbrand sent me an email with the subject line, “Your friends will thank you,” and I opened immediately to learn why:

Beardbrand Referral Email Example

In this email, Beardbrand confirms your decision one more time (See: Strategy #4) and asks you to refer some friends.

Why? Because your friends will get a special deal, and you’ll be a “grooming guru” in their eyes.

After I clicked the email and filled out a form on Beardbrand’s website, Rikke got this email shortly upon my referral:

Beardbrand Referral Program Email Example

After complimenting Rikke for being a lucky man (!), Beardbrand offers her a $25 credit. But there’s a caveat: it only applies to a specific starter kit.

And if you buy that starter kit, Beardbrand adds another $25 credit to your account. See how they hook you?

Rather than give you a coupon code that applies to any product, Beardbrand directs you to a starting point and makes sure you return for more.

No matter how you manage your referral program, order confirmation emails are a great place to request and follow up on referrals.


Want More Order Confirmation Email Examples?

We’ve put together a bonus resource sharing 9 of the best order confirmation emails we’ve ever seen.

In it, you will learn how top e-commerce brands optimize their order confirmation emails (and how you can, too).

You’ll also get immediate access to 34 other bonus resources, categorized in Notion for your convenience.

Download Your Resources Now →


Order confirmation emails are a goldmine waiting to be tapped, but only a handful of e-commerce brands are using it to their advantage.

With minor improvements, you can optimize your order confirmation emails for higher engagement, and increase your revenue on autopilot.

Which strategies are you using in your order confirmation emails? Share with us below.

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