Email marketers invest a significant amount of time and energy into promotional emails: Here's our newest product! Here's our biggest sale! Here's our upcoming event!But some of the most-read and most highly valued emails among readers are transactional, not promotional. Transactional emails have a higher open rate and click-through rate than marketing emails. And for your consumers, shipping confirmation emails are one of the most exciting transactional emails to receive.It’s always fun to get an email confirming that your order is on its way. The positive association means that shipping confirmation emails are very likely to be opened and read — which makes them a great opportunity for building brand loyalty.Follow these design tips to create a shipping confirmation email that communicates well, reflects your brand and looks fantastic.
Shipping confirmation emails are very likely to be opened and read — which makes them a great opportunity for building brand loyalty.
Tip #1: Make tracking easy
It's a shipping confirmation email, after all. Above all else, readers want to know where their order is and when they can expect it to arrive. Shipping confirmation emails are all about tracking the order, and this message from Enjoy Life Foods is a great example. It’s simple, focused and makes it easy for readers to track their package.Subject line: ?Get ready to #eatfreely! Order 152309 is on the way!
This effective, no-frills email accomplishes a lot in a few lines. A simple “Items in this shipment” list confirms what the order was. And the email is written in Enjoy Life’s light and fun brand voice, infusing a sense of joy into the message and joining readers in their enthusiasm. (We especially love the branded hashtag included in the subject line!)
Tip #2: Optimize for mobile with a single column design
It's tempting to showcase purchased products in a grid or use multiple columns or sidebars in a shipping confirmation email. But a single-column design is usually the most effective, especially for mobile. Take this shipping email sample from ExpressionMed:Subject line: Shipping update for order #70219
Here’s how it shows up in a mobile inbox:
The single column establishes a clear content hierarchy, so it's easy for the reader to follow. The first key takeaway? The order has shipped! You can click on a bulletproof button to view your order or scroll down to see an image of the items in the shipment. We also love how the ample white space between sections makes the email feel uncluttered and improves readability.
Tip #3: Prioritize transactional content over upsell content
According to the CAN-SPAM act, the content of transactional emails must be "primarily transactional." In other words, these emails need to focus on the main message (order shipment, in this case) and shouldn't be used for marketing additional goods or services. While shipping confirmation emails can be a tantalizing opportunity to appeal to customers who already know your brand, don’t overstuff your message with extraneous calls to action. When in doubt, keep it simple — like this example from Mercy House Global.Subject line: Your shipment from Mercy House Global is on its way
As a general rule of thumb, allow shipping confirmation details to take up at least 75% of your email. Marketing material can be included if you’d like to add an upsell. But position it at the bottom of the message and make sure it’s relevant.
Tip #4: Add helpful visuals
You may think there's not much to visualize with graphic design in shipping confirmation emails. But you might be surprised at the opportunities. This message from Etsy includes a helpful visual at the top to help customers see that their package is almost there.Subject line: Your Etsy order shipped (receipt #1908008238)
You could also try adding other types of illustrations, such as a map showing where you’ll be shipping the order from. And remember how we talked about adding relevant product recommendations at the end of shipping confirmation emails? Etsy does that here with a “You might like these too” section of products.
Tip #5: Be upfront about potential delays
It’s always important to be honest with your customers, especially during periods where shipping delays might factor into delivery time — whether that’s because of the COVID-19 pandemic or simply because of a busy holiday season. TeePublic includes a disclaimer at the top of this email:Subject line: TeePublic shipping confirmation order #6738438
The section is easy to spot because it’s a different background color. And the text clearly explains what customers need to know: The postal service is experiencing delays, so if your order is late or you can’t view the tracking, don’t panic.
Wrap-up: Shipping confirmation email templates
Are your shipping confirmation emails living up to what you want to communicate about your brand? Try using our template to make customers happy and build loyalty! Created by designer Andrea Dall’Ara, this shipping confirmation email template is easy to customize using the BEE email editor. Use the template to give your shipping emails a boost!