How to Send a Great Shipping Confirmation Email, Courtesy of Zazzle




  • February 4, 2015

    “Your order has shipped!”


    Don’t you love receiving those emails?


    I bet you open emails like that. I bet you click also. And I bet you even save them for reference.


    Email marketers: Is a light bulb going off?


    Instead of queuing up yet another promotional email blast, why not optimize an automated, repeatable process? We already know that people love transactional email but few marketers address it. Instead, someone on the product team is sending the emails with the highest open rate. There’s something wrong here!


    Just the other day, I got this shipping confirmation email from Zazzle (view the full email here). Now this is a great email.


    You didn’t realize shipping confirmation emails could be sexy, did you?


    Zazzle is automating a personalized, triggered, highly functional email that’s nearly guaranteed to be opened. Can you say that about your email marketing?


    Let’s take a look at why exactly this email is so great.


    1. The email header matches the website header.

    Here’s the header in the email.


    zazzle email header


    And here’s the header on the website.


    zazzle website header


    The consistency makes it very easy to find information and take action. The header also says something very important about Zazzle: you can shop, but you can also create things and sell things. It’s a constant reminder that you can do more.


    2. It leads with the good stuff.

    People open these emails for the tracking number. While I always recommend adding context and value to transactional emails, don’t ever hide what they came for. If it’s a shipping confirmation email, give them the tracking number. If it’s a receipt, give them the financial information. If you frustrate people, they’ll learn not to trust you.


    Zazzle offers a wealth of useful information immediately.


    zazzle shipping email


    3. They offer a coupon code.

    Did you know that it costs 7x more to acquire a new customer than it does to keep an existing one?


    Zazzle spent a lot of time and money earning my business. The coupon code is a way to build on that momentum. I’m having a good experience so far, the code is an opportunity to continue my journey. Strike while the iron is not.


    zazzle coupon code


    4. It alleviates anxiety.

    Uncertainty creates anxiety.


    According to psychologist Dr. Bill Knaus, uncertainty occurs when “you experience self-doubts as you hesitate with indecision” and “you procrastinate until you have a guarantee that you are safe to act.”


    That’s why people come to your website but don’t buy anything. You have created anxiety and failed to alleviate it.


    Zazzle nails this in their email by offering lots of information. Customers won’t need to contact customer support as often since this information is so easily accessible. It also helps build a trusting relationship between Zazzle and the customer. A foundation of certainty can lead to a long, healthy relationship.


    zazzle customer support


    5. It has an unfair advantage: context.

    Here are questions that your customers, users and subscribers should be able to answer about every email you send:



    • Why am I receiving this email?
    • How is this email valuable to me?
    • What should I do next?

    As the recipient of this email from Zazzle, I’ll answer those questions.



    • Why am I receiving this email? Because I purchased a product from Zazzle.
    • How is this email valuable to me? It has my tracking number.
    • What should I do next? Track the product, get help from customer service or use the coupon.

    Context is the most powerful tool you have. Use it.


    How to Start Sending Great Transactional Email

    First, you must accept that all emails are marketing emails. If it comes from your company or any of your employees, it’s marketing. Even if it’s not selling anything, it’s marketing.


    Now, do an email audit. Do you know what emails your customers are receiving? Many businesses use third parties to send invoices, receipts and reports. Make a list of every that is sent by or on behalf of your business.


    Next, commit to sending just one great transactional email. Take a look at our guides for more inspiration.

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