We’re back with another email case study – this one being the order confirmation email from Herschel. The goal with these case study posts is to showcase what different brands are doing when it comes to their emails. Hopefully, these provide you ideas for your own emails and how to improve them.

Let’s take a look at what works in the email, what doesn’t, and what made the email unique.

Order confirmation email from Herschel: What works well

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Herschel’s order confirmation – top half

1. Layout and design

One of the first things that stands out in this email is the clean and simple design with a lot of whitespace. This aligns with the Herschel brand and their website experience. Aesthetically, there is no skip in the experience going from completing the purchase on their website to seeing the confirmation email.

Included in the layout is a simplified navigation at the top and social buttons at the bottom of the email. This keeps the experience consistent with the website and provides a quick way to visit the respective pages or links.

2. Information

The email contains almost all of the information you need to see in reference to your order. The beginning of the email lists operational next steps and how you will receive further updates and what will be included in them. For example, the email calls out that the tracking number will be included in the shipping confirmation email so that there’s no doubt of when you’ll receive it.

In addition, the email lists out the order number, shipping and billing addresses, and lists out the products along with the price. These can come handy if you need to refer to them during customer service interactions, want to check where the order is going, and see the amount that will go on your payment method.

3. Free gift

This is more of an operational bit rather than a function of the email, but thought I’d include it anyway. When you make a purchase on the site above a certain amount, Herschel includes their printed “The Journal” publication as a free gift. It is also listed out in the confirmation email.

Seeing the free gift in the email itself highlights the extra value a customer is getting from their order. If you’re including any free gift to go along with the order, customize the confirmation email to make sure the gift is highlighted and included.

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Herschel’s order confirmation – bottom half

Order confirmation email from Herschel: What can be improved

1. Broken link

There is a broken link to an image that clearly stands out in the email. When you’re creating your emails, try to test them on as many different mail clients as you can to see how the images are handled. This can help avoid any negative experience with customers in case the images are not working, there is an issue with the content delivery service, or if certain mail clients handle images differently.

2. Clear call to action

One thing missing from this email is a clear call-to-action button. This call to action is the highest value next step that you want the customer to take or have access to. This can be as simple as to contact customer service, can prompt customers to continue shopping, or link them specifically to products that they may like based on their purchase.

Instead of relying on the customers to determine what the next step, if any, should be, you can make it clear to help them continue their interaction with your brand.

Order confirmation email from Herschel: What got our click

The clean design along with the simplified navigation got our clicks. The design of the email aligns with the Herschel brand and website design. With this, the email becomes an extension of the experience on their website. This helps solidify the brand in customer’s minds.

When you set up your emails, take the time to see how you can change the design to look similar to the website so that the emails don’t look generic that customers may get from other stores set up on the same platform.

Order confirmation email from Herschel: Takeaways

Order confirmation emails are the first contact you have with customers after they complete their purchase. These can help instil trust in your company if customers can see that you’ve put effort in these. Think of it this way, a customer has just authorized a payment to your store. If they don’t receive an order confirmation email, or receive one with little details and non-relevant information, it may not allay any fear they might have of receiving the products or their quality.

We looked at Herschel’s order confirmation email which included a clean design and layout that aligns with their brand, had all the necessary information about the order, and a clearly called out free gift. All these provide a level of trust that the order will be fulfilled, and that the customer knows where to go if there are any issues. On the other hand, one of the product images didn’t load and the email was missing a clear call to action.

What other content do you think should be included in order confirmation emails? Please share in the comments below.

Posted by Jai Sangha

Jai is a regular contributor to Sell with WP, and helps merchants improve their WordPress eCommerce businesses with plugin reviews, marketing or customer service tips, and tutorials.