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Use automated confirmation emails to build trust (with 20+ examples)

Amy Elliott Amy Elliott
· 18 min read · Tips and resources · June 29th, 2022
Customers love to receive confirmation emails because it feels good being assured about something they just did. After all, certainty is one of the basic human needs that influences how we make decisions.

If you don’t receive proof that your credit card was charged, for example, you start to have doubts and post-purchase anxiety because your mind associates uncertainty with pain.

Certainty, on the other hand, is perceived as rewarding by our brain. Confidence in the future makes us feel good and we crave more of it! When you make things certain with confirmation emails, customers are put at ease and they’re likely to stay with you longer.

In this article, we’ll guide you through the benefits of confirmation emails, the different types (with tons of examples!), and the important elements that they contain.

What is a confirmation email?

An automated confirmation email is a transactional email, triggered by the recipient, that confirms a recent action. Since confirmation emails are used to confirm just about any activity, they range from a purchase confirmation to a welcome email, like this YOOX example.

YOOX welcome email

Have you ever placed an order or joined a subscription only to head straight to your inbox right after? That’s because users and customers expect to receive automated confirmation emails the moment they complete an action. They help to build trust, reassure the recipient about their recent activity with your business, and create a strong first impression.

Why are confirmation emails important

Like other transactional emails, confirmation emails play a key role in the customer experience. Every confirmation email is an opportunity to build a layer of trust with your brand, earning you customer loyalty, repeat sales and (hopefully) referrals over time.

If you leave people in suspense by not sending confirmation emails, or send poorly-designed emails that don’t address their expectations, you could be unintentionally causing them stress, and their impression of your brand will suffer.

1. Fulfills the need for certainty

The number one purpose of a confirmation message is to give customers peace of mind by acknowledging their recent action. Confirmation emails help to remove uncertainty and answer questions like “Did they receive my order?”.

2. Starts new customer relationships

Like all transactional emails, confirmation emails enjoy high open rates and click-through rates because people expect to receive them. Start the relationship on a strong note by displaying your logo and prominent brand colors, like Deliveroo does below.

Deliveroo order confirmation

3. Moves customers along the journey

Confirmation emails are not just one-off emails like password reset emails. You can use an automation workflow to send a series of automated emails throughout the customer journey, like AliExpress. Each one is a valuable touchpoint that you can learn from:

  1. Payment confirmation email.

  2. Shipping confirmation email.

  3. Delivery confirmation email.

AliExpress confirmation emails

4. Drives email conversion rates

Recipients open confirmation emails because they want to know about what will happen next. Take advantage of their curiosity and drive your conversion rates by suggesting related products, upselling add-ons, or cross-selling complementary items. We’ll show you an example in the next section.

5. Presents marketing opportunities

Although you need opt-in confirmation to send recipients pure marketing emails, you can include a limited amount of marketing messaging in transactional emails too. A good rule-of-thumb to stick to is 90% transactional messaging and 10% marketing. You should also present primary information first, with promotional messages left until last.

In addition to upselling/cross-selling add-ons and complementary products/services, you can:

  • Ask for feedback or a review: Get details about their recent purchase or experience to improve your offering, or share reviews to help other customers in the decision process 

  • Offer a discount: Promote a special sale or give the recipient a discount code for their next purchase

Elements of a confirmation email

Since confirmation emails address all sorts of transactional activity, there is no single template you can use. At a minimum, the ideal confirmation email should contain the following elements:

  1. A recognizable “From” name and clear subject line.

  2. A business logo and on-brand email design.

  3. Personalized content: greet customers by their first name.

  4. Relevant information: order details like the order number and order summary, or shipping information like the shipping method and shipping address.

  5. The next step: remove any uncertainty by describing what will happen next!

  6. A single call to action (CTA).

  7. Support contact information, including a phone number if possible.

  8. The “One More Thing”: a little something extra like recommendations, rewards or referral programs.

This order confirmation email example from Shopee, an e-commerce site, ticks all the right boxes:

Shopee confirmation email

Types of confirmation emails

Anything that needs to be confirmed can be turned into a confirmation email! This is not an exhaustive list but here are 8 common types of confirmation emails along with real examples. You’re only limited by your imagination and creativity.

E-commerce

1. Order confirmation email

HP order confirmation email

HP’s purchase confirmation email keeps it upbeat and personal by greeting you at the beginning and thanking you at the end. Thanks to the graphic, you know where you are at in the journey and their email leaves you certain about how your order is progressing.

2. Shipping confirmation email

Amazon Fresh order confirmation email

Amazon’s “less is more” philosophy tells you what you need to know about your upcoming delivery: the date, expected time, and how much you paid. Their email gives priority to a single, large CTA button to view your order details and tracking information.

3. Delivery confirmation email

Beauty Bay delivery confirmation email.

To complete Beauty Bay’s e-commerce journey, this delivery confirmation email lets customers know when and where their order has been delivered. They also provide links for tracking, order details and a help page, just in case any part of delivery hasn’t gone to plan!

4. Download confirmation email

MyGiftCardSupply download confirmation email

You know that customers take priority at MyGiftCardSupply when you see a real email address you can reply to at the top of the email! 👏 Plus, you can talk to them via various social media channels as well

Registration confirmation emails

1. SaaS subscription confirmation email

Google subscription confirmation email

Tried-and-trusted Google keeps to a minimalist design for their subscription confirmation email. All the relevant information for a subscriber is there: the product you’re subscribing to, the subscription period, the cost, and how to find help.

2. Service sign-up confirmation email

Just Eat confirmation email example

Food delivery service Just Eat sends a fun confirmation email when you sign up for their service, with cute character images, friendly colloquial language and a CTA so you can get started right away with your first order.

3. Cancellation confirmation email

YouTube cancellation confirmation email.

When customers cancel a service or order, they need reassurance that their transaction has been registered and they will no longer be charged or will receive a refund. YouTube’s cancellation confirmation email does a good job of putting users’ minds at ease, while at the same time encouraging them to sign up again with the benefits they’ll miss out on and a CTA to rejoin.

Local services and events confirmation emails

1. Appointment confirmation email

Appointment confirmation email example.

This appointment confirmation email from Parlour Nouveau gets straight to the point with the necessary information about the recipient's appointment, as well as the option to view appointments and add it to their calendar. They’ve also included a handy map of their location to save the recipient the trouble.

2. Webinar sign up confirmation email

Example of a webinar confirmation email from Dyspatch courtesy of Really Good Emails.

This webinar confirmation email from Dyspatch contains everything the recipient needs to join the event including the event details, an add to calendar button and a link to the webinar.

3. Event registration confirmation email

Eventbrite event confirmation email courtesy of Really Good Emails.

When you’re anticipating an exciting event, there’s nothing more satisfying than getting those tickets delivered! This Eventbrite confirmation email features a nice, clean design, headlining the event and providing all the relevant details. They also encourage users to download their app for a more seamless experience.

Travel

1. Accommodation booking confirmation emails

Accommodation confirmation email from booking.com.

Travel can be stressful; what time is your flight? how will you get to the hotel? what time can you check-in? Booking.com attempts to make recipients’ trips as carefree as possible with a jam-packed confirmation email that contains details about their accommodation, as well as links to manage the reservation and book extra services such as airport transfers, car hire and activities.

2. Flight confirmation email

Cebu Pacific booking confirmation email

Cebu Pacific’s cheery flight confirmation email contains all the departure flight details that you’d expect and more. Notice how it drives additional sales by cross-selling and upselling two useful add-ons for passengers.

Confirmation email examples with best practices

1. Write in the way you speak

Keep it human by avoiding impersonal language like “Dear Sir/Madam” or using wordy phrases like “pertaining to your order below”. 🙄 Imagine the recipient is sitting in front of you and then write as if you were speaking to them, like this email from Foodpanda.

Foodpanda order confirmation email

2. Communicate your purpose clearly

Remember that customers are expecting a confirmation email in their inbox. Give them what they want to see by using clear email headers, a recognizable email address and subject line that refers to their recent action.

Here are 10 real subject lines that work well:

  1. Your order's in the kitchen 🎉

  2. Confirmation of Digital Purchase from Nintendo

  3. Your Amazon Fresh order has been delivered, now rate your experience

  4. You have successfully added funds to your Steam Wallet

  5. Good luck! 🍀 Thanks for participating!

  6. Thank you for signing up with Acer!

  7. Hertz Gold Plus Rewards Enrollment Confirmation

  8. Welcome To HP! Please Confirm Your Email Address

  9. Welcome to Visa Checkout Stay Signed In

  10. Your refund is on its way! 💸

Note: Takeaways for creating a successful confirmation email subject line

  • Describe what just happened or what the customer just did
  • Display your brand name to help customers remember
  • Use the words “confirmed” or “confirmation” to create certainty
  • Make use of emojis to help you stand out in a crowded inbox 🎁
  • Insert exclamation marks to convey emotion and excitement❗
  • Include a call to action when you want the customer to do something

3. Acknowledge the customer’s action

The other thing that recipients expect to see is a follow-up to their action. Tell them what just happened with certainty, like Lazada’s positive email below. Recipients find this reassuring and it gives them a good customer experience.

Lazada order confirmation email

4. Tell customers what to do next

The next step is to set the right expectations by telling new customers what is happening and what to do next. You have their attention, so don’t be afraid to use a single large CTA button like Cookpad does to move them along the customer journey.

Cookpad welcome email

5. Showcase your brand personality

Confirmation emails don’t have to be boring! They can live up to their colorful email marketing siblings if you inject them with personality and on-brand design. Just take a look at this contest entry confirmation email that radiates an air of luxury!

Contest entry confirmation email
Remember: You could use humor and funny GIFs in your confirmation emails—but only if it complements your brand. 🤔 Test it first with friends and family to check whether it is appropriate.

6. Seize marketing opportunities

If you use your confirmation email for marketing opportunities, you can open doors to repeat sales, upsells and cross-sells. Just remember that, with transactional emails, you are limited in the amount of marketing content you can include.  MyGiftCardSupply keeps customers coming back with reward points they can use in a loyalty program.

MyGiftCardSupply loyalty program

7. Send mobile-responsive emails

The last thing any person wants is to receive a confirmation email that’s formatted for a desktop screen. Scrolling about to read an email is painful! Make your emails readable on all screen sizes, like this mobile-responsive version of the Deliveroo email shown earlier.

Deliveroo mobile responsive confirmation email

8. Choose a trusted email service provider

Once you’ve designed a confirmation email that delights customers, make sure that it lands in the inbox! Choose an email service provider that gives you all the tools to create confirmation email templates and a track record for getting emails delivered.

MailerSend dashboard

Here’s how MailerSend can help you work faster and smarter:

How to create and send a confirmation email

It’s time to apply these best practices and create your first confirmation template using MailerSend! For a start, you need to have a MailerSend account, a verified sending domain, and a terminal app for testing like Postman or Insomnia.

All good to go? Let’s create a new template first.

1. Navigate to the Templates page and click on Create template.

MailerSend Templates page

2. Choose to use the Drag & drop editor to create your template.

MailerSend Create a new template page

3. For now, pick the order confirmation template in the gallery and click on the Choose button.

MailerSend Gallery page

4. You can drag and drop content blocks to customize the template to match your brand identity. Go on, let your creativity run wild!

MailerSend template builder page
The confirmation email template is designed with best practices in mind, including a logo, order information, what to expect next, a CTA, and a customer support link.

5. Once you’re done with your template design, click on the Save and publish button.

6. You’ll be prompted to give your new confirmation template a name.

MailerSend template page
Here, you can also preview the email and plain text versions of your confirmation email template, as well as send a test email to try it out.

On the same screen, you will also see a unique Template ID for your template as well as sending instructions below for cURL, PHP, Laravel, Node.js, Go, Ruby and Python.

MailerSend sending instructions

7. Remember to click the Save changes button before you leave.

8. To send an email you’ll need the Template ID which you can also find on the Templates page under the template’s name.

MailerSend My templates page

9. Follow the sending instructions for your programming language. For example, for cURL, insert your Template ID at "template_id". Add a subject under the template’s default settings or add it as a parameter within your API call.

curl -X POST \
https://api.mailersend.com/v1/email \
-H 'Content-Type: application/json' \
-H 'X-Requested-With: XMLHttpRequest' \
-H 'Authorization: Bearer {place your token here without brackets}' \
-d '{
"from": {
"email": "your@email.com"
},
"to": [
{
"email": "your@email.com"
}
],
“subject”: ”We’ve got your order!”,
"template_id": "yzkq340wykgd7961"
}'

10. Check the status of your email message on the Activity page of your dashboard.

MailerSend Activity page

All good? Congratulations, you just sent your first confirmation email using MailerSend! 🎉

Discover more confirmation email templates in MailerSend like delivery and payment confirmations. Or create your own custom template for use cases like webinar registrations, account opening confirmations, and many more.

Deliver peace of mind with confirmation emails

Now that you have an understanding of how the human mind works with confirmation emails, use this newfound knowledge along with MailerSend to design and send confirmation emails that give your customers confidence. Confident customers are happy customers!

What’s the most interesting confirmation email you have encountered?

Delight your customers with awesome confirmation emails

Join MailerSend and get 12,000 emails/month for free to start out with!

Editor's note: This article was originally published in May 2021, but has been updated with new tips and examples.

Amy Elliott
I’m Amy, Content Writer at MailerSend. As a child, I dreamt about writing a book and practiced by tearing pages from an A4 notepad and binding them with sugar paper. The book is pending but in the meantime, I love taking a deep dive into technical topics and sharing insights on email metrics and deliverability.
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