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June 21, 2023 - Articles

Transactional Emails That Don’t Feel Transactional

Nearly every company sends transactional emails. They’re often the emails you send as part of doing business with a customer such as order confirmations, shipping confirmations, annual privacy notice updates, statement notifications, appointment reminders, etc. Just because these emails are business as usual doesn’t mean they have to be boring. In most companies, more customers are exposed to transactional emails than promotional emails, so it’s vital that they are engaging, branded well, and convey what your customers need to know. As we enter the frenzy of the holiday shopping season, let these tips and examples inspire you to zhoosh up your own transactional emails.

Be Cheeky with Copy

If your brand is one that can get away with punching up the copy a bit, have fun with putting a little extra in your content tone. In this email by MeUndies, someone from the “Cheek Squad” wrote a haiku that is both delightful and helpful in its shipping notification emails. This email delivers cheer and fun. Who wouldn’t want more of that?

MeUndies Transactional Email

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Let Content Hierarchy Take Charge

In this email by health supplement company, Ritual, they’re confirming a customer-selected delivery date change. The good use of hero copy, font size, and then the icons to show the changed delivery date not only makes this email valuable but also makes it interesting. In just a few seconds, the customer can get the information they need and move on with their day, but it’s done in a way that shows the friendliness of the brand.

Ritual transactional email

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Give The Email More Than One Job

Transactional emails can carry more than one message*. This email from Ulta contains a store receipt, but they also use this email to ask for feedback and tell the customer all they offer in terms of rewards program, mobile app, credit card, and ask permission to put the customer on their promotional email list. This could have been a super boring email, but Ulta took the opportunity to tell the customer all the benefits available to them and to share feedback.

Remind Them About Your Service

In this password reset email by Outdoorsy, this email does the job it promises to do. What if a customer is having issues, though? The email does a fabulous job of having secondary content that shows how a customer can get in touch with support with “Real people. Here to help”. It’s friendly and resonates with a customer that is clearly stuck at the moment with login issues.

Thank Them

You can use your order and shipping notifications as a message of thanks. These are customers that have just made a purchase, so it’s a nice gesture that could help shorten the gap between this email and the next purchase. Sometimes basic manners go a long way! In this email by Home Alive Pets, we have images of cute animals and a thank you. Oh, and it has details about customer service too.

Home Alive Pets transactional email

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Make It Easy

Transactional emails sometimes have to convey heavy-to-digest content. In this annual privacy policy update email from Pandora, the company breaks down the key changes over the last year to the agreement. It’s an empathetic and helpful way to take a lot of legalese and show the changes in a simple and friendly way. More of this, please! It’s also easy to skim because of great content hierarchy.

Tell Them the Important Details

Ok, so while this example isn’t really a transactional email, it’s designating a part of the email to have a transactional message. In this email by Alo Yoga, important real estate at the top is used to show the shipping cutoff dates. Your promotional emails can and should carry transactional and service-like content during critical times when your customers need this information.

There are so many opportunities to make your transactional emails shine! I hope these tips gave you some ideas on how you can use these valuable communications to deliver an incredible customer experience this holiday season and beyond.

*As with anything, please ensure you are following the appropriate geographical laws and regulations for your audience. Some countries do not allow for any promotional messages in transactional emails. 

Much love,

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @emaillove


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