Here’s how to get sales from your Order Confirmation email

By Lisa Oberst | Nov 22, 2017

Order confirmation emails get some of the highest open rates (70% on average). Customers are eager to open these because they expect them, and they want to make sure they didn't mess up their information (I almost shipped a recent wine delivery to my college dorm… that would have been one happy college student).

When customers receive their Order confirmation email, you are still fresh on their mind. They are still proud and excited about their purchase. It's a logical time to connect!

Why not take advantage of this situation and send more than just the order details? Something to continue the conversation, attract clients back to your store and turn them into loyal buyers?

A little can go a long way... with returning customers.

Many stores spend significant resources on converting first time visitors and very little on repeat purchasers.

Yet, it's much easier to convert a returning customer into a repeat buyer than it is for a new visitor to make their first purchase. 

It's five times easier to convert a returning customer than a first time buyer, and nine times easier to convert a repeat buyer (Adobe).

Wouldn't it make more sense to dedicate more of your time to nurture these high value buyers?

Yes, but how?

Enter, the Order Confirmation email.

This email carries a lot of weight in your clients' inboxes (remember the 70% average open rate).

One easy way to take advantage of the above average engagement is to add a "Bestsellers" or "You might also like..." section to this email that goes out to every single buyer. This little bit of marketing is a simple approach to re-engage your customer at an optimal time.

Of course, there are many other techniques to optimize your Order Confirmation emails (good design, entertaining copy, friendly tone, helpful contact information…) But this one tip, in our experience, has proven to be very effective.

Our clients' order confirmation emails convert between 0.9% and 3.4%. In other words, between 1-3 out of 100 customers are coming back to buy immediately after placing an order. This is a huge chunk of automated revenue added on each month!

Beardbrand confirmation email

Implementation tips:

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when setting this up.

  • Don't overwhelm your customer by showing them too many products. We tend to go with four, maybe six recommended items. More options could deter your customer from clicking anywhere (that's the paradox of choice!).

  • Only add this section after what customers expect to see: their order confirmation details. Starting off with product recommendations would confuse and likely annoy readers.

  • Start by showing helpful information and thanking them for their order. That should create a positive mindset, raising interest rather than making customers defensive.

    Also keep in mind the CAN-SPAM law that requires 80% of your transactional email to actually be transactional information. That leaves 20% for your marketing.
  • If possible, try to make your product recommendations as relevant and personalized as possible. If you use Klaviyo, you can drop a product feed in your emails. This feature makes recommendations based on popularity and historical purchase data.

    Note: Sending Order Confirmation emails through Klaviyo is a little complex and takes some coding skills. You may need to hire someone who's done it before to avoid making mistakes with this important email.
  • You might wonder about discount offers for your order confirmation. We try to stay away from those because we don't want to train customers to expect a discount at each turn. A customer who just made a purchase already demonstrated their trust and interest. Giving away a discount so soon is an easy way to get a sale but could come back and bite you in the long term.
Lisa Oberst

Lisa Oberst

Lisa Oberst is an email marketing and automation expert here on the Fuel Made team, specializing in ecommerce and Klaviyo.