We’re trying something new at Sell with WP – each month we will break down an eCommerce email to see what works and what doesn’t. In this month’s Email Case Study, we look at a purchase receipt email from Michael Kors online store.

After a customer’s interaction with your online store has completed, emails are one of the most important ways to continue to build customer loyalty. Lifecycle emails can not only help build your brand, but also increase sales by encouraging repeat purchases, or getting helpful referrals.

Let’s start our discussion of the Michael Kors purchase receipt email by looking at what was good, what was bad, and what got us to engage.

Purchase Receipt Breakdown: Overview

We’re starting with a purchase receipt email since they’re a commonly overlooked marketing opportunity for your store. Purchase receipts generate higher revenue than any other type of email:

Compared with standard bulk mailings, the average revenue per email is two to five times greater and can be up to six times greater than the all-industry average of $0.13…

Furthermore, transaction rates soar eight times higher than bulk mailings for order confirmations and four times bulk for shipping- and return/exchangebased messages.
Experian Transactional Email Report

They’re also great for engaging customers, as they’re more likely to open emails they’re expecting. According to Receiptful, email receipts have 3 to 4 times higher open rates (70.90%) than regular marketing emails (17.19%) and up to 3 times higher engagement rates.

Let’s take a look at some of what Michael Kors does that you can consider implementing for your own store.

Purchase Receipt from Michael Kors: What was good about the email?


One of the first things that stands out about this email is that the top bar mimics the navigation menu on the website. This has two effects. First, it makes navigation easier by creating a familiar experience that customers had on the website. Secondly, it links to different sections on the website that customers can visit to continue browsing products.

layout purchase receipt michael kors

Layout is broken into different sections

Including navigation in your emails is also a great way to engage your customers and it results in higher numbers of clicks to your website:

Confirmation emails including limited to full Website navigation produce more than double the click rate of confirmations with no site navigation.
Experian Transactional Email Report

The fact that Michael Kors provides free shipping and returns is also highlighted at the top of the email, similar to when you visit their store website. Free shipping on all orders is a great differentiator for an online store, and highlight at the top of the email reinforces that about Michael Kors with customers. The rest of the branding is also consistent with the website, creating a seamless experience between viewing the website and emails.

Lastly, the email is divided into different sections which are easy to distinguish with section headings or graphic separators. This keeps the information compartmentalized, and each section achieves different things for the email.

Say Thank You

Are you happy that the customer chose to shop with you? Say, “Thank you!” Not only does your customer deserve it, but it makes them more likely to be engaged with the rest of your email.

Shipping confirmations that did not say “Thank you” had 35 percent lower click and transaction rates than those that included it.
Experian Transactional Email Report

Michael Kors says it loud in the beginning of the email, and again in the first paragraph, making purchasers feel like valued customers and that their business is appreciated.


The purchase receipt contains relevant information for the customer about their order. The subject line of the email is a simple – “Thank You for Your Michael Kors Order {order ID}”. This includes the order ID in case the customer needs to quickly reference it, for example, for shipping or customer service calls.

The main confirmation message of the email informs the customers about common next steps, and what to expect. In addition, the email provides an overview of the order, with images of purchased products, and links to the return policy. These are all things that customers may need to reference after their purchase.

account signup purchase receipt

Prompt for creating an account

Account signup

Another section of the email invites customers to create an account on the online store. Instead of simply including a button to start the account creation process, the emails contains a pitch about the value of creating an account, which is a great strategy. Psychologist Ellen Langer found that giving a reason, even a completely bogus one, increases the likelihood that someone will do what you ask (a condensed overview here).

Customer accounts on your stores provide convenience for repeat purchases, and tracking order history. Customer accounts can also give you useful and up-to-date information about customers that you can use for targeted marketing or promotional campaigns.

Upsell and cross-sell opportunities

The last section of the purchase receipt showcases related items to the ones purchased. This area is a great opportunity for upsells and cross-sells.

related products purchase receipt

Related items provide upsell and cross-sell opportunities

This not only gives more visibility to other items on your store, but also makes it easy for customers to see related items in one place, rather than having to go through you or a competitor’s product pages to find the relevant items, along with resulting in higher engagement.

Transactional emails that include cross-sell items have 20 percent higher transaction rates than those without.
Experian Transactional Email Report

If you have a way to generate related products with machine learning based on customer purchases rather than random cross-sells, this can boost engagement even further.

Compared with emails that display static cross-sell items, emails including cross-sell items driven by predictive models and recommendation engines have double the transaction rates.
Experian Transactional Email Report

Cross-sells are an excellent engagement tool in transactional emails, and can be even more powerful if they’re intelligent recommendations based on the customer purchase.

Purchase Receipt from Michael Kors: What was bad about the email?

There was not much bad about this email, as it touches on all of the main components of a receipt email that Receiptful recommends: branding, structure, and upsells / cross-sells. There are a few small adjustments that could make things even better.

  • Although the order summary section where product details are listed is good, it can be improved. This section only shows the shipment status. But, an estimated delivery date would be even more helpful.
  • Another thing this email does not highlight are the social profiles for Michael Kors, which are only linked to at the bottom of the email. The prioritization to drive engagement on social profiles, or asking people to share on social media may be different for different businesses. But, sharing their purchases on social profiles can be a good way for people to engage with the brand. Take a look at our social media tips for online stores in a previous post.
  • A link to shipping and return policies in the first section would be helpful, as one of the most common questions any customer has after placing an order is, “When will I get this? Who’s delivering it?”

Purchase Receipt from Michael Kors: What gets you to click?

This email contains a lot of useful information, and a lot of relevant links. Two areas that elicit engagement are the related products section, and the the “Shopping Made Simpler” section where customers are prompted to create an account on the online store.

Both these sections provide added value to the customer by making it easier to find related products, and keep track of their purchases. Including a compelling reason for creating an account is a great strategy to encourage customers to sign up.

Purchase Receipt from Michael Kors: Takeaways

Overall, this is a good example of a robust purchase receipt email. The email covers most of what customers may need after their purchase and includes tons of best practices for receipt emails.

Let’s take a look at some things you can implement yourself:

  1. The email either outlines or links to details like contact information for customer service, billing and shipping details, images of products purchased, and return policies. Add links to helpful information, and includes images for products if possible. If you use WooCommerce, we have a tutorial that should help you add images, and further tips on customizing emails that could help you or your developer add other links and information.
  2. The email did not have shipping estimates for individual items. If possible, include this information — purchase notes are great for this, which we outlined in our article on sharing WooCommerce product information after purchase.
  3. You can add upsells in purchase receipt emails using the Receiptful service by installing the free Receiptful for WooCommerce plugin or Receiptful for EDD for Easy Digital Downloads stores.

    Here’s a quick video explaining features in Receiptful, as in general it’s an amazing tool for purchase receipt emails:

  4. Another good part of the Michael Kors purchase receipt email was to invite customers to create an account on your store in case they did a guest purchase. By making the account signup process simple and quick, you can get more customers to make an account on your store. This can help you better target your existing customers with relevant products and offers.

    WooCommerce stores can follow this tutorial on adding registration prompts to WooCommerce emails.

When creating your purchase receipt emails, make sure to include any information that a customer may need. This way, the email is the one-stop place where customers need to go. By reducing work customers need to do for finding information, you’ll create a better experience for them.

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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.