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What is a Confirmation Email? Examples & Best Practices

Email confirmation defined:

Confirmation emails go to accounts after individuals interact with your website. Your system sends this message to their verified email address to acknowledge the transaction or event that has occurred.

Confirmation emails have been a part of the internet since its beginnings. Long ago, when people subscribed to listservs and discussion groups, they received confirmation emails. The growth of e-commerce over the last two decades has redefined the approach many entities use when they send a confirmation message.

The days of users being satisfied with a robot-like reply have passed. An email marketing and automation platform can help you create more impactful email confirmations.

Types of email confirmations people receive

Email confirmations usually take one of four forms:

1. Subscription confirmation email

The earliest form of email confirmation was often responses to subscription requests for electronic newsletters or other online content. Today, a subscription confirmation email covers a vast variety of requests, from basic replies to letting customers know the processing of the transaction has started.

2. Order confirmation emails

As businesses embraced e-commerce and added online portals, emails confirming orders were created to offer reassurance that the transaction was complete. Beyond a simple confirmation, these messages usually summarize the items involved and may include other details, such as tracking information and return policies.

3. Registration confirmation email

A subset of order confirmations involves registration confirmation emails for events or activities in the future. Rather than simply letting the customer know their seat or place is reserved, a well-developed email confirmation strategy helps to build excitement, cultivate or expand a fanbase, and build brand loyalty. Beyond the mere confirmation, subsequent emails may send information packets or other materials, such as a program or learning materials associated with a webinar.

4. Booking confirmation email

Certain types of confirmation emails involve more than saving a place in line or at a location. Instead, they encourage the customer to select a particular seat, room, suite, or other preferred location for a flight, hotel, car, concert, sporting event, or other destination or activity.

Why is a confirmation email important?

The most important reasons your business or organization should send confirmation emails are to acknowledge the transaction, confirm the details, put customers at ease, and offer any additional information that may be helpful so they consider your firm a trustworthy place that may be a source for future transactions.

Confirmation emails are incredibly important to you, too. More than simply responding to their request or purchase, you can harvest valuable information from a well-designed email confirmation portal. Beyond a verified email address, a confirmation email that satisfies your customers also offers you the following benefits:

1. Ability to interact with the customer’s primary inbox

Most customers send requests with a valid, confirmed email address that they frequently access. Even if a client uses a throwaway or secondary email account during their first interaction, they will most likely select their primary inbox for subsequent transactions or if they create a customer profile, as long as their experience is positive.

2. Opportunities to respond to your customers’ actions proactively

As you build customer interest by delivering timely and informative automated confirmation emails, you will be able to gauge their browsing patterns, practices, and preferences. This information allows you to tailor responses that are triggered by their interactions with your online and human representatives.

3. Way to experience increased click-through rate (CTR)

This information allows you to massage the crucial customer information in a way that increases CTR. If a customer prefers cheese pizzas on Sunday afternoons, send them a special deal. When an airline traveler prefers certain destinations, send them alerts about special booking deals to those airports that coincide with past booking confirmation patterns.

4. Methods to upsell, when appropriate

Along with the helpful information in your registration confirmation email, purchase confirmation email, payment confirmation email or other notifications, you can target customers with high-quality products or services that will complement or enhance their experience. Whether it is a chance to upgrade a seat location during a booking or add accessories to a product at a discounted price, allow your confirmation emails to do some of the work for you. If a particular transaction is not appropriate for an upsell, the information gathered may help respond to future interactions.

5. Way to cultivate anticipation and build customer loyalty

Most electronic transactions involve a sense of anticipation. Sending a well-designed, easy-to-understand, and informative confirmation email provides comfort and reassurance. Rather than worrying that their information has fallen into a black hole, you respond to their anticipation by letting them know their transactions with your firm are valued by you.

Best practices for confirmation emails

Remember that a well-designed confirmation email approach does not involve a single, redundant template. Oftentimes, confirmation emails happen in multiple messages that may involve a sequence of events -- with the ability of the customer to have some level of control over their distribution -- similar to the way an individual can track the shipping and delivery status of an item.

On some occasions, more is better; at other times, less email may be perceived by the customer as less "clutter." Strike the perfect balance and increase the value of your email confirmation strategies.

While best practices for creating powerful confirmation emails vary by the nature of the transaction, there are some general practices that usually prove successful:

1. Develop a “short-and-sweet” message

If an individual interacts with your firm, assure them that you value their time. Refrain from inundating them or overwhelming them with the information they may neither want nor need.

Start with a short, upbeat, and personalized reply with a catchy subject heading. Keep it focused on the matter at hand, but offer links or leads for those who may want additional information.

2. Tout your brand

Ensure that your confirmation email represents the best of your business or organization. Successful branding involves an approach that combines professionalism and brand identity with a perception that you want to meet the needs of those who interact with you.

3. Remember your mobile customers

Chances are that most of the people who interact with your websites are not doing so only from a personal computer. They may buy, sell, subscribe, reserve, confirm, and cancel transactions from a laptop in the morning and their mobile phone in the afternoon. To expand the impact of your confirmation emails, think about shrinking your layout so it easily and intuitively fits on a smaller screen.

4. Add a call-to-action, whenever appropriate

For customers old enough to remember handwritten letters and pen pals, they know communication is a two-way street. If you plan to develop an email confirmation strategy that benefits both you and your customers or clients, it should foster opportunities for further engagement. Encourage them to follow your social media, send them discount coupons, or other incentives if they refer others to you.

5. Make your message stand out

In the old days, many people received catalogs in the mail. Most ended up in landfills. To make your message stay clear of the digital landfill, create messages that stand out and have a high impact.

Important next steps after a confirmation email

You do not have to send confirmation emails in a digital silo. Allow an industry leader in email marketing and automation to bring its expertise so you can develop the most impactful and successful approach.

Follow these five steps:

1. Create an opt-in email list

You may want to have multiple lists, ones that separate new from established users, and ones that target certain demographics. Mailchimp allows you to create a successful marketing strategy and build a strong foundation for successful campaigns.

2. Create appropriate triggers

Have a variety of carefully curated and designed confirmation emails to respond to different actions, such as when a customer completes a form, requests a subscription, or seeks information. Replace the generic approach with a personal one.

3. Craft impactful confirmation emails

The marketing professionals at Mailchimp have the talent and resources to help you tailor the best confirmation emails for a variety of purposes. Do not reinvent a wheel when one is ready to drive you in a better, more profitable direction.

4. After you create, automate

Allow Mailchimp's classic email automation approach to guide you as you begin the process. As you develop an automated approach, you can expand its potential to handle more complicated requests and inquiries. Through the use of predefined rules and other criteria, you can partner with Mailchimp to develop a successful automated confirmation email strategy.

5. Expand automation to handle complex conditions

Some customers never see the confirmation email or fail to interact. You want your email confirmation approach to recognize the regular, preferred behaviors of each customer. Mailchimp can help. Beyond simply sending a confirming message, Mailchimp has the ability to create a drip campaign -- a series of automated replies -- as necessary to guide and support your clients.

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