In the grand scheme of your email marketing workflow, confirmation emails probably don’t rank high on your level of importance. However, these emails serve an essential purpose and create opportunities that you might be overlooking.
So, what is a confirmation email and what makes them important? Furthermore, what is it that businesses try to achieve when sending these seemingly unimportant messages?
In this article, we answer, “what is the purpose of a confirmation message?” , share the most common types and walk you through the five steps to create your own confirmation emails.
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What is the purpose of a confirmation email?
All of us receive them in our email inboxes, but what is the purpose of a confirmation message?
Confirmation emails are transactional emails which verify that an action taken by a customer has been successful (we’ll go over such actions in a moment). These automated emails give the customer peace of mind, assuring them that what they wanted to happen has been achieved and acknowledged by your company.
However, there are other reasons why confirmation emails are sent. They often double as welcome emails and allow companies to get the first interaction from the owner of the email address. This ensures that:
As confirmation emails have such high open rates and click-through rates (the recipient is expecting and looking for the email, after all), they also provide businesses with prime opportunities to upsell and cross-sell.
Take Amazon, for example. The next time you place an order from Amazon, take a look at the confirmation email template they send you. It shows you other items (related products) which customers purchased when ordering the same item you’ve ordered.
Here’s a look at the three most common types of confirmation emails.
Purchase confirmation emails are sent to confirm that a customer’s order has been successful and will also include important information (such as delivery details and an order number) and any next steps the customer should take. They often act as payment receipts and are therefore very important to the recipients. (You may also wish to set up separate shipping confirmation emails.)
Booking confirmation emails have a lot in common with order confirmation emails. The purpose of appointment confirmations is to send a confirmation of a verified online booking, assuring customers that the process is complete. These can include plane tickets, hotel rooms, restaurant tables, webinars or any other service that requires upfront booking.
Subscriber confirmation emails
Subscription confirmation emails are sent to users after they sign up to your email list. The purpose of these emails is two-sided. Firstly, they’re sent as a legal requirement, since a company needs to comply with GDPR regulations. Secondly, companies use these initial welcome emails to guide subscribers through the double opt-in process, which will allow you to send them marketing emails in the future, helping you find new customers.
Registration confirmation emails
Registration confirmation emails are very similar to subscriber confirmation emails. They’re sent to new members after they undergo a registration process on a website. Keep in mind that these are only sent by companies who offer some sort of access to members or from services that need upfront registration. For example, these can be sent by forums, e-commerce stores, or by a governmental institution. Their purpose is to validate the email addresses of new members and send them useful information.
Now let’s look at how to set up your own confirmation emails.
How to create a confirmation email
There are some basic but very important things to remember when creating your confirmation emails.
You can implement these points over time and play around with them to see how your mailing list reacts to them.
Remember: The purpose of a confirmation email also plays an important role when choosing what content to include.
1. First impressions are important
The first email you send to a new subscriber is probably the most important one.
Failing to impress your reader during your first official interaction can quickly result in them clicking on your unsubscribe button.
Make reading your email a worthwhile experience by crafting a clear email subject line and adding lots of value to its content, such as discounts, freebies or free trials of a premium product. Make sure your contact information is clear and that answers to any FAQs can be found.
Furthermore, make sure you’re personalizing your emails to make your readers feel valued (and like they’re talking to a real person). This creates a better user experience and can result in positive referrals.
2. Write short and value-packed emails
If your first email is lengthy and time-consuming, you can be almost certain that subscribers will not read through it.
Sure, sometimes an order confirmation will have to include the necessary information for the customer to understand what happens next.
However, you can just as easily create a separate landing page and add a hyperlink within your email content.
Due to readers’ short attention spans, busy schedules and crowded inboxes, you’ve only got a few seconds to capture their attention and share your message.
Therefore, make sure your emails are short and full of value.
3. Make the design aesthetically pleasing
The famous saying “an image is worth 1000 words” applies to emails, too.
Implement the right design and your readers will instantly associate your brand with a certain style of communication.
For inspiration, sign up to your competitors’ email lists and take a look at their confirmation emails. Are you a fan of their confirmation message and the email design? If not, how could you improve it within your own emails?
You could also search for some confirmation email examples to help you when designing your own.
4. Optimize for mobile readers
Make sure to optimize your emails accordingly so they look great both on computer screens and mobile devices.
More than 50% of all email marketing campaigns were viewed on mobile devices in 2020, according to research by TrueList, while 50% of consumers prefer email communication with a brand.
Moreover, mobile emails have a 65% higher likelihood of bringing customers to your website.
Read our guide to find out how you can optimize your emails for mobile devices.
5. Add a CTA
Even though the primary purpose of confirmation emails is to verify an email address and provide transaction information, there’s always room for more.
Confirmation emails are also platforms where you can upsell and cross-sell products, invite subscribers to your social media channels or offer them additional discounts to increase conversion rates.
To do this you’ll need an enticing call to action (CTA). To gauge your customer actions you could A/B test different CTA buttons and see which ones result in high click-through rates. Then optimize and change your confirmation email’s content over time.
Confirmation emails have several important purposes:
They verify that an action taken by a customer has been successful
They act as a receipt and include all relevant information
They act as a touchpoint between your company and your customers
They can help move potential customers along your sales funnel
When putting your own confirmation emails together, refer back to our five tips and create useful, engaging emails which build customer satisfaction and encourage repeat purchases.