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How to brand your email notifications with Whiplash

illustration of a person looking at branded email notification on a tablet

What’s the very first thing we do after placing an order on an ecommerce site? Open our emails to check whether that all-important confirmation email has landed in our inbox. But for such a vital post-purchase communication, confirmation emails often receive little attention from ecommerce merchants. 

Email confirmations represent one of the best opportunities to engage your customers and prime them for future purchases. But to turn them into a truly effective piece of email marketing, they need to reflect your brand identity and provide a cohesive link to the rest of the shopping journey. We’re here to tell how you can achieve this with Whiplash – and more.

Why do confirmation emails matter?

Amid the big-picture concerns of ensuring seamless ecommerce fulfillment for your customers, it’s easy for smaller details like email confirmations to fall by the wayside. But the devil is always in the details. It’s through these smaller touchpoints that customers get the full measure of a brand – and whether or not their support is truly valued.

Delivery anxiety is real

The phrase ‘delivery anxiety’ doesn’t always sum up just how detrimental this phenomenon can be for ecommerce businesses. Everybody gets anxious after placing an online order, right? But when post-purchase anxiety drives customers to bombard your customer care team with requests – or even to cancel their order entirely – you have a serious problem on your hands.

Delivery anxiety is a powerful force, but it’s also entirely avoidable if you make an effort to keep your customers in the loop. A steady flow of email confirmations for order processing, shipping, and delivery is an easy way to remove friction from the customer experience and stoke anticipation for an order’s arrival.

It’s a fantastic email marketing opportunity

Many ecommerce merchants don’t think of order and shipping confirmation emails as a form of email marketing. But the stats clearly show that this is an extremely fertile space to engage your customer. According to Omnisend’s 2020 study, email confirmations have an open rate of 58% and a click-through rate of nearly 18% – the highest of any email type. It isn’t surprising, considering that your customers are eager for information about their order. This presents you with a valuable opportunity to begin a fresh sales cycle and start nurturing customers toward that next purchase.

The post-purchase experience is key to customer retention

Once a customer has made a purchase, it’s all too common for them to fall out of the sales funnel, never to be seen again. In fact, over half of customers say that they’ve chosen to switch brands because they felt ‘unappreciated.’

While there are many reasons for this, lackluster post-purchase experiences are a common occurrence in ecommerce. Despite customer loyalty being a sought-after commodity, post-purchase customer care is one of the most neglected parts of the ecommerce customer journey. And if consumers don’t feel as though their experience matters, they’re unlikely to shop with you again.

Email confirmations are a crucial touchpoint following a purchase because they provide customers with information on the next steps. A good confirmation email will tell the customer that their order has been received, when to expect it, and most importantly of all, give them a big thank you for their support. This helps to build brand trust and gives consumers confidence in their buying decision, setting the mold for positive future interactions with the merchant.

What should a confirmation email template contain?

As we just mentioned above, there are certain details that all email confirmations should contain to satisfy customers’ desire for information. This includes the following:

  • An order confirmation number
  • A summary of the items in the order
  • The total amount charged/payment type
  • Shipping/billing address
  • Estimated delivery date
  • Information about potential delays (if applicable)
  • Contact information for your customer care team

However, these are just very basics. To turn your confirmation email into a truly valuable piece of email marketing, you should consider adding in the following:

  • Upselling/cross-selling products that fit your customer’s preferences
  • Instructions on how to cancel an order/return an order
  • Information on your loyalty program (if applicable)
  • Links to your FAQs or content hub
  • Embedding your latest social media content
  • Inviting them to leave a review of their experience

Including these additional components in your confirmation emails is a brilliant way to create value-added communications that stimulate brand affinity and draw attention to additional marketing channels (remember those high open rates and CTRs are talked about earlier?).  

But ecommerce merchants have two major stumbling blocks in their way; creating confirmation emails that reflect their brand – and doing so without putting too much strain on your customer care division. 

CHALLENGE 1: Consumers want a cohesive brand experience

In such a saturated ecommerce marketplace, your brand experience plays an integral role in your ability to attract and retain customers. But this doesn’t just mean your online store or social media channels; to inspire trust and engagement, you need to offer customers a cohesive shopping journey from beginning to end.

For 86% of consumers, authenticity plays a huge role in deciding which brands they choose to support, while a further 81% say that they make purchasing decisions based on trust. With these stats in mind, it’s easy to see why unbranded email confirmations add friction to the post-purchase experience. They serve as a major disrupter to the brand narrative and may undermine faith and trust in your brand.

CHALLENGE 2: Your customer care team is short on time

As consumer expectations grow for stellar customer service, this puts increased pressure on your customer care team to deliver speedy resolutions. According to HubSpot’s own research, 90% of customers rate an “immediate” response to a service query as ‘important’ or ‘very important’ – which 60% of customers define as being just ten minutes or less.

When your team is experiencing an avalanche of inquiries, such a rapid response time may not be possible – unless you can find ways to lessen the volume of requests you’re receiving.

How Whiplash can help you lift your email marketing game

Utilizing advanced ecommerce technology like Whiplash allows you to automate the sending of high-quality, custom-branded email confirmations to enhance the post-purchase customer experience:

Trigger confirmation emails at a time of your choosing. Take the pressure off your customer care team by setting your email confirmations to fire the moment an order has been placed – no manual button-pressing required.

Easy customization via CSS and HTML. Whiplash makes it easy to create your very own confirmation email templates that delight your customers, right down to your chosen color scheme and logo to foster brand familiarity and trust.

Make the returns process a breeze. Take a proactive approach in your returns management by including a branded returns link in your confirmation emails. This functionality enables customers to take charge of their returns experience without needing a service representative to kick-start the process, creating faster, more seamless returns – and happier customers.

Give your customers the very best post-purchase experience

As we said before, the devil is always in the details of the post-purchase experience.  By investing in engaging, branded email confirmations with Whiplash, your customers can feel reassured and confident that they’re doing business with a trustworthy vendor who cares about creating a positive shopping journey.

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