12 password reset email examples and best practices

Šarūnas Ročevas Šarūnas Ročevas
· 11 min read · Tips and resources · April 15th, 2024
It’s a common misconception that password reset emails require very little thought or effort. But being as essential as they are to user experience, it’s important to pay attention to the best practices that make them successful.

We’ve all misplaced our house keys and know that sudden feeling of panic as we retrace our steps. Forgetting an account password can evoke the same feeling. Thankfully, transactional email provides a simple solution in the form of password reset emails. 

Restoring an account, however, requires a balancing act between password security and usability. At the same time, a password reset email can be a positive interaction that enhances the customer experience and increases brand trust.

So how can you ensure your password reset emails are set for success? These 12 best practices will help you create a password reset email that safeguards the account while delivering a great customer experience.

What is a password reset email?

A password reset email is a transactional email that is triggered when customers click on a “Forgot password?” link. The email contains a link to the service’s reset password web page where the recipient can reset their details.

Here’s the login screen and password reset request for Airtable, a low-code platform for building collaborative apps.

Airtable login page

When the user clicks “Forgot password,” they enter their email address and Airtable sends the below email. Clicking on the link brings up a password reset page where the customer is prompted to enter a new password, completing the account recovery process.

Airtable password reset email

Email is the best way to reset a user’s password because it’s frictionless—customers find it quick and easy to type in a unique email address that they remember. It’s also secure because only the owner of the email account should have access to the inbox.

Why password reset emails are important

All online accounts need a password to authenticate their owners. Despite the routine and highly transactional nature of password reset emails, they also play an important role in the customer experience.

They keep accounts secure

Your customers need to be reassured that you are handling their personal data with care and that you will only give access to the rightful account owner. 

For example, ASOS dedicates its entire password reset email to secure password best practices and keeping your user account safe with recommendations on how to create a strong password. 💪

ASOS password reset email

You can make your customers’ accounts even more secure with one-time password (OTPs) emails. Learn about the types of OTPs and their benefits in our guide.

You can create a positive customer experience

A password reset is one of the most common customer touchpoints. While your email marketing campaigns help kickstart the customer journey, transactional emails like password resets are critical in keeping the relationship going.

Check out how Decathlon, the largest sporting goods retailer in the world, sends a simple but warm password reset email. They remind people to go back to what they were doing before they requested help—to continue shopping!

Decathlon password reset email

Elements of a password reset email

Password resets happen every second of every day. Most customers know what to expect in a change password email and are familiar with the password recovery drill. So it’s best to stick with what works rather than be overly creative.

The ideal password reset email should contain the following elements:

  1. A “From” name and a password reset subject line

  2. A business logo and on-brand email design

  3. An explanation of why the password email was sent

  4. A link or button to reset the password

  5. An expiration time for the password link

  6. How to contact support for further questions

This Awesome Books email is an excellent example:

Awesome Books password reset email

The link expiration time is an important account security measure as it ensures that the link doesn’t remain “live” well after it lands in your inbox.

12 best practices for password reset emails

1. Land in the inbox immediately

Customers will usually ask for a password reset the moment they need access. This means the faster the email arrives, the better! 

To land in the inbox, your email deliverability needs to be top-notch. To ensure you’re getting the best deliverability, it’s important to use a trusted email service provider that is tuned for peak performance—like MailerSend. 

MailerSend will keep your domain reputation high, monitor for blocklist activity, use only warmed-up IPs in good standing, and allow for secure and robust configuration with email authentication

There are also numerous best practices you can follow yourself to improve and maintain your email deliverability.

2. Keep it super simple (KISS)

People want to reset their passwords with a minimum of fuss. So keep your password reset email short and to the point. See this minimalist version from SoundCloud describing what happened and what they need to do next.

SoundCloud password reset email

3. Clearly label your email

Your reset password email should have clear and identifiable headers to reassure customers that it is not a phishing email. Use a meaningful subject line and ditch the no-reply address for a real email that recipients can reply to.

Grain, an online delivery service, ticks all the right boxes here. There is no question that this email was sent from them. Their subject line is clear, their logo is displayed prominently in the inbox, and there’s a real email address to reply to! 👏

Grain password reset email

You can easily add customized headers, footers, branding and logos to your emails in MailerSend with the Drag & drop template builder. Simply build a template from scratch with the help of pre-made content blocks or choose a professionally-designed, ready-made template and tailor it to fit your brand.

4. Use one main CTA

The best password reset emails show a single CTA button or link. There shouldn’t be any other CTAs that may confuse customers or distract them from their goal. Add a copyable reset URL, like Etsy, just in case people are unable to click through to the browser.

Etsy password reset email

5. Always send a follow-up email

Is the person resetting their password really who they say they are? To keep hackers in the dark, neither confirm nor deny the existence of an account on the reset password page. Look at this example from 15Five.

15Five password reset page

If the account doesn’t exist, the password reset request may not always be for nefarious reasons. It could simply be that the user forgot which email they signed up with, so you should always send an email, adapting the content based on whether the account exists or not.

In this case, you can seize this opportunity by sending them an email to explain what is happening and hopefully convert them into happy customers, just like REI does.

REI password reset email

6. Show your brand personality

Password reset emails serve an important functional purpose and you should keep them simple and get straight to the point—but that doesn’t mean they have to be boring! 

Remember, these transactional emails enjoy a 100% open rate because people have to open them. Take this opportunity to showcase your brand voice and remind people why they like you.

Take Society6, for example. Not only is its password reset email design nice, but it also includes their brand tagline. All while still providing the necessary information to reset your password.

Society6 password reset email

7. Keep marketing to a minimum

While marketing and transactional emails should always be distinct from one another, you can sometimes send value-driven content to your customers. Evernote, a note-taking app, cleverly drops a reminder that they sync across many devices.

Evernote password reset email

8. Send both HTML and text emails

Sending both an HTML and plain text email ensures the broadest possible reach for your customers. Plus, you’ll improve your delivery rate because spam filters tend to see HTML-only emails as a red flag. The example below shows the HTML and plain text versions of a password reset email from Airbnb.

HTML version

Airbnb HTML password reset email

Plain text version

Airbnb plain text password reset email

In MailerSend, whenever you create an HTML template, a plain-text version is automatically created as well, so you’ll be covered on both fronts. 

9. Include a way to help

Your password reset email should reassure customers that they can opt to do nothing if they didn’t request the password change. Quandoo, a restaurant reservation platform, also suggests that end users can contact customer support if they have questions.

Quandoo password reset email

10. Test your email regularly

It’s easy to forget about password reset emails once they’ve been designed and implemented. Remember to regularly test their functionality and deliverability. Plus, it’s a good idea to update them along with changes to your brand identity and support team information.

11. Make emails responsive

It’s estimated that around 50-60% of email opens happen on mobile devices. And with the urgency that comes with password reset emails, you don’t want to dampen the user experience with an email that isn’t responsive. Ensure your password reset emails (in fact, all of your emails!) display correctly across a variety of devices and email clients.

An example of a Wise password reset email on mobile.

With MailerSend, whether you choose a pre-built email template from the template gallery or build one from scratch, templates are always responsive and ready to go no matter where your users are viewing them. 

12. Ensure accessibility

By now we’ve driven home how important password reset emails are. So it’s essential to make sure the maximum number of recipients are able to access and read them, no matter what their abilities or disabilities are, or what assistive devices they might be using. Here are some tips to make your password reset emails more accessible:

  • Stick to mostly text. Avoid using all image templates. Only add images where necessary (e.g. logos)

  • Use fonts, font sizes, and colors that are easy to read and contrast well with the background. Sans serif fonts in dark colors on light backgrounds are recommended

  • Ensure links and buttons are easy to distinguish. Use contrasting colors for buttons and underline links

  • Use alt text where necessary for any images 

  • Keep copy short and to the point

Step-by-step: Creating a password reset email

Now it’s time to apply these best practices and create your first password reset email template using MailerSend! To get started, you need a MailerSend account, and a terminal app like Postman or Insomnia. You can try it out with the trial domain, and add your own when you’re ready to start sending.

Ok, all sorted? Let’s create the forgotten password email by going to templates 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. Find the Reset password template in the gallery and click on the Choose button.

MailerSend template gallery page

4. You can drag and drop blocks to customize the email template to match your brand identity.

MailerSend drag & drop builder

All the password reset email best practices are in the template, including a logo, the email purpose, the expiration time for the link, where customers can find help, etc.

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

6. You’ll then be directed to the template details page where you can enter a name for your template. 

MailerSend Template settings page

You can also find the template ID here, preview the email and plain text versions of your password reset template, set up a split test, and send a test email to try it out.

On the same screen, you will also see sending instructions for cURL, PHP, Laravel, Java, Ruby, Node.js, Go 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 \ \
-H 'Content-Type: application/json' \
-H 'X-Requested-With: XMLHttpRequest' \
-H 'Authorization: Bearer {place your token here without brackets}' \
-d '{
"from": {
"email": ""
"to": [
"email": ""
“subject”: ”Reset your password”,
"template_id": "vywj2lpdnk1l7oqz"

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

Congratulations, you just sent your first password reset email using MailerSend! 🎉

Get started with these password reset email content templates

Use these copy templates for your password reset emails. Note that variables with the {{var}} format are examples of variables you can use in MailerSend.

Email 1

Subject: Reset your [App name] password

Hi {{name}},

Reset your password by clicking on the link below.


If you did not request a new password, you can go ahead and ignore this email.

Need help? Get in touch with our customer support team [Link to support page].

Email 2

Subject: Request to change {{username}}’s password

Hey {{name}},

You’ve received this email because you requested to reset your [App name] password.

Click on the link below to complete your password reset.


Didn’t ask for this? No worries, you can go ahead and ignore this email and keep your current password.

If you need help, feel free to get in touch with our customer support team [Link to support page].

Email 3

Subject: Complete your password reset request

Hey {{name}},

It looks like you’ve forgotten your password. No worries! It happens to the best of us.

To reset your password, simply click on the link below.


Didn’t forget your password? You can go ahead and ignore this email or contact our support team [Link to support page] if you’re in doubt.

Looking for some pre-built, professionally designed HTML templates? Check out our template gallery.

Password reset best practices checklist

Save this checklist to refer back to when you create your password reset emails, so you always create the best experience for your users!

1. Make sure your email deliverability is performing well: You want to land in inboxes as quickly as possible!

2. Remember to KISS, Keep It Super Simple: Minimal is best here so that users can quickly find their password reset link without any added fuss. 

3. Make your email easily identifiable with clear headers, subject lines and sending email address: Passwords are sensitive so give users extra reassurance that you’re the real deal. 

4. Use one main CTA: Recipients should be able to instantly identify where they need to click. 

5. Follow-up password reset requests: Inform recipients if their email address isn’t associated with an account.

6. Show your brand personality: Password reset emails don’t have to be boring. Add a sprinkle of fun to make recipients connect more with your brand. 

7. Keep marketing to a minimum: Keep your email as simple as possible and only add additional messaging where relevant. 

8. Send both HTML and text emails: Password resets are important and time-sensitive. Make it easier for more recipients to be able to access them by sending both. 

9. Include support information: Let recipients know where they can get in touch if they need help or have any questions.

10. Update and test regularly: Deliverability and functionality are key when it comes to password reset emails. Test them regularly and remember to update them when necessary.

11. Make your emails responsive: The experience should be the same, no matter which device the recipient is using. 

12. Ensure email accessibility: Every recipient should be able to read your email, no matter their ability or disability.

Give your password reset emails a makeover today

It’s easy to overlook password reset emails and write them off as boring, functional emails. Give them a closer look, however, and you’ll be rewarded with opportunities to share your personality, build relationships and drive conversions.

How are you making your password reset emails stand out and work for you? Share in the comments below!

You can start sending password reset emails now

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Šarūnas Ročevas