14 transactional email examples to get you inspired

Šarūnas Ročevas Šarūnas Ročevas
· 14 min read · Tips and resources · January 13th, 2021
Need a little inspiration for your next transactional email? Say no more, because we’ve gathered 14 top examples!

Have you ever received an abandoned cart email or an order confirmation in your inbox? Then you’re already well acquainted with transactional emails. They’re automated emails that are triggered when customers take a specific action: like starting a subscription, making a purchase or resetting a password.

Although they’re seemingly-innocent, transactional emails are actually the secret weapon in your email marketing strategy! Did you know that transactional automations generate eight times higher open rates than other marketing emails?

So, if you can harness your transactional messages to the right effect, you’ll have an instant edge over your competitors. You can use them to share your personality, build relationships and drive conversions—just like you would with a promotional email. 

To showcase the power and variety of transactional emails, we’ve gathered 14 examples that really shine!

Get inspired with these 14 transactional email examples 

Before we jump in, it’s worth noting that there are 5 main types of transactional emails: order confirmations, password resets, account activations, abandoned carts and welcome emails. 

A good transactional email will:

  • Have email content that is sweet n’ simple

  • Include a call to action (CTA) 

  • Allow you to manage your preferences

Beyond those features, there are many fun and creative ways to make your transactional email pop and deliver an awesome customer experience! Take inspiration from these 14 examples below. 

1. The account activation and verification emails 💫

You’re ready to go! When you pay a subscription or set up an account, you’ll most likely receive an account activation and/or verification email. The best emails will:

  • Keep the tone happy and positive

  • Reassure customers that the process won’t take long

  • Make the email message quick and succinct to read

Take Headspace, for example. In their account verification email, they keep it simple and include all the core information: when the verification link will expire, why the customer needs to verify their account, and what they have to do to complete the process.

headspace verify your email address cta button orange transactional email example

2. The welcome email 👋

Welcome! If your customers have just started a subscription, or are using your digital product, you can send them a welcome email to show them the ropes. 

Here are some things to keep in mind, when you’re creating a transactional welcome email:

  • Use language that is warm and… well... welcoming!

  • Give a directory of your service, including the features available and how your target audience can benefit from them

  • Mention other services that are also available. For example, if you also run a newsletter, you could give your customers the chance to become your new subscribers as well

Once someone begins a subscription, Masterclass sends a welcome email with a list of their top expert classes to help people get started. 

3. The password reset email 🔑

Whoops! Someone forgot their password. No big deal, because with password reset emails, they can quickly regain access to their account. 

When you’re designing a password reset email, keep these things in mind, and you’ll do just fine:

  • Personalize the email and greet the recipient by name, to build trust

  • Include a clear ‘password reset’ subject line

  • Either share a password reset link, or link it to a CTA button

  • Say what the recipient should do, if they did not request the password reset

  • Tell the recipient when the link will expire

We really like this Spotify password reset email: it’s clear, it’s simple, and it tells the recipient exactly what action to take.

4. The account deactivation email 💥

Oh, we’re sad to see you go! It may be disappointing when someone deactivates their account, but this is still an opportunity for you to shine, and ensure that the customer has an amazing experience, right until the end. 

Here are a few hacks for preparing an account deactivation email:

  • Include the individual’s account details, for reference

  • Explain what happens next, in terms of billing, expiry dates etc.

  • Keep the email copy personal and friendly

  • Add a CTA where people can reactivate their account, if they made a mistake or changed their minds

This transactional email from Planoly explains exactly what will happen next, with key steps and pointers that their ex-customers need to take. They have also paid attention to their brand in the email design, showing an aesthetically-pleasing photo of their product in action! This is reinforcing their brand and keeping Planoly top of mind for the future.

5. The order confirmation email 👍

Hooray! Someone has made a purchase! Order confirmation emails are super important, because they reassure your customers that their purchase has been successful. 

Here are a few things to remember, when preparing an order confirmation email:

  • Use the ‘3 Ws’ for your email content, explaining what product has been purchased, where will it be delivered, and when

  • Guide your customers to the next step, whether that’s viewing their order in the browser, tracking their purchase or following you on social media

  • Include cross-sells (products that would complement their purchase) or up-sells (products that are more expensive models) as recommendations at the bottom of the email. Amazon often do this in their email marketing, sending emails saying ‘because you bought X, you might like Y’

Ucon Acrobatics also show a photo of the purchased product, so that their customers can get even more excited about what they’ve bought. There is also a clear CTA button to view their order online.

6. The order cancelation email ❌

Perhaps your customer has canceled their order, or maybe you’ve had to cancel it due to an unforeseen challenge. Whatever the reason, an order cancelation email is needed to notify the customer and explain next steps. 

When preparing the email, remember to include:

  • The customer’s name

  • The date they placed the order

  • A list of canceled items

  • The reason for cancelation (optional)

  • Next steps for refunds or vouchers

In the transactional email below, easyJet show the booking reference and itinerary for the canceled flight, and include quick links to their customer service and ‘manage bookings’ page, so that the customer can easily find a solution.

7. The shipping confirmation email 📦

Your order is on its way! This is definitely one of the most exciting emails that pops up in our inboxes. Be sure to include a CTA which people can click on to track their deliveries. 

Tip: For more tips on creating a call to action, check out MailerLite’s guide on how to create a CTA that works.

Tatcha’s shipping confirmation email ticks all the boxes, with a handy CTA button at the top of the page, so that customers can track their order in real-time.

8. The delivery confirmation email ✅

Andddd it’s here! A delivery confirmation email is really useful to the recipient, especially if they’re out at work all day, wondering whether their order has arrived. 

When you’re preparing your delivery confirmation, remember to:

  • Include the date and time when the package was delivered

  • Leave a link to contact customer support, in case there are any issues

  • Add any notes from the delivery driver (e.g. left parcel with a neighbor)

This ASOS delivery confirmation email is quick and to the point, showing what time the package was delivered. It also contains quick links for if the customer wants to track the order, return the package, send a parcel or query the delivery.

9. The customer feedback email 🗒

So, how did it go? After your customers have made a purchase, you can check in with them to find out more about their experience! When writing the copy, remember: you’ll only hold their attention for a limited time, so keep it quick and simple. Use emoji icons and number ratings in the email design, so that they can give quick feedback. 

A few other things to keep in mind when creating your customer feedback email:

  • A catchy subject line is everything 

  • Start with a personalized opening, to build a connection

  • Explain what the feedback is for, but keep it brief

  • Say how long the survey will take

  • Remember to say thank you

  • Add a CTA at the end, for good measure

This MaeLove customer feedback survey has it all. It’s punchy, polite and practical, with an embedded survey in the email. Even customers who have little time are able to participate with just a few clicks.

10. The abandoned cart email 🛒

Your order is incomplete! These emails are great for people who added products to their shopping cart, but then never checked out. A cart abandonment email might just be that little nudge that makes them complete the purchase—but it needs to be fun and creative to have the desired effect:

  • Give the recipient one (or several!) good reasons to complete the purchase

  • Offer a discount that will expire soon, using a countdown timer

  • Include social proof, such as testimonials and positive reviews, to persuade new customers to buy

In this abandoned cart email from Society6, they add a discount to the items, along with a time limit to add urgency. They also add a few product recommendations, as an extra incentive to revisit their site.

Need more inspiration? Check out these 5 amazing abandoned cart email examples!

11. The social media notification email 💡

Wow, someone viewed your profile! Social media updates, such as friend and follower notifications, can also trigger transactional emails. 

For example, this email from LinkedIn shows how many people have viewed your profile, with the CTA button ‘See who’s looking’. Showing real-time stats is a great way to increase engagement and inspire action.

12. The reminder email 💭

Hellooooo, we’re still here! A little nudge is a great way to keep people engaged. Perhaps your customers need to update their credit card details, or there are changes coming up in their account. 

Reminder emails will generate excitement, create urgency and boost email engagement rates, so here’s how to do them right:

  • Add a countdown timer

  • Include several CTAs so that it’s easy to take action

  • Add incentives 

  • Use simple, powerful email copy

Shaw Academy instantly grabs your attention with the line, ‘Your course registration failed’, along with a countdown timer, which both combined create a powerful sense of urgency!

13. The trial expiration email 🕐

Time’s almost up! If you’re offering a free trial for your product or service, stay top of mind by sending automated emails throughout the trial period. You could:

  • Remind people which features they still need to try

  • Add tutorials and guides on how to get the most out of the product

  • Include customer testimonials and reviews, for social proof

  • Share the different pricing plans available, at the end of the trial

In the example below, Airtable shares a hotlist of features which people still need to try before the end of the trial period. It also includes a CTA button so that they can see their pricing plans, if they wish to continue using the product.

14. The promotional email ✨

Because you liked [this product], you might like [this one] too! If someone has purchased your product or service, you could include a promotion on their order or shipping confirmation email. 

Amazon does this frequently in their email marketing, as shown in the example below. In their order confirmation emails, they will often add promotions at the bottom of the email. They might:

  • Cross-sell: advertise products which complement the product which has just been bought

  • Upsell: show more expensive versions of the product

  • Show previously purchased products: in case you want to buy them again

Send transactional emails with MailerSend

If you’re wondering which email service provider to use, we think MailerSend is the best solution. But don’t just take our word for it! We’ve gone the extra mile and created a checklist of reasons why MailerSend is the best choice for your transactional emails.

👉 Why MailerSend

Email deliverability: you can access a powerful, scaleable sending infrastructure 

Simple API integration processes: to easily send and track your emails

Multiple domains available: which you can use with one MailerSend account

Personalization: so that your transactional messages perform even better

Choice of template editors: pick from drag & drop, HTML and rich-text editors

Advanced analytics: to help you stay on top of your game

And so much more! To get the full rundown of what you can do with MailerSend, check out our MailerSend features page.

And now it’s over to you...

Transactional emails are a powerful tool in every email marketer’s kitbag. We hope these 14 examples have left you feeling inspired and ready to create your own transactional emails—perhaps with our new tool MailerSend! If you want to reach more people and increase click-through rates on your email marketing campaigns, then transactional emails are your new best friend.

Šarūnas Ročevas
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