Creating the perfect email receipt

Email receipts are an indispensible part of any online transaction today. If you run an online business, you have to send a record of the transaction to your customers after every sale. Is sending a simple receipt enough?

The short answer is no. You have a customer who has already put her trust in you, and now it’s time to impress her with the last email (at least for a while). Look at this email as another chance to market your business, make a good impression once again, and encourage your customers to buy from you again.

There are essential parts of an email receipt, but you can also fill the email with additional information. We will cover the essentials but let’s focus on the rest.

The difference between invoices and receipts

Invoices are sent to customers to request payments, while receipts are sent as proof of payments. In other words, sending a receipt is usually the last step in an online purchase between the merchant and the customer. Businesses may send many invoices and receipts for products ordered by the same client. These emails can be overwhelming; therefore, the best is to send one invoice and one receipt per purchase, including all products purchased.

Why send email receipts?

The most important thing to remember is that email receipts are the most read emails of all. Customers are expecting their order, therefore, receiving a receipt confirms their purchase, providing them with a sense of assurance and completion. They know that they have done their part and now they just have to wait to receive their order.

Email receipts are also serving as records of transaction. Let’s say a customer has to open a dispute (hopefully not), one will use the supplied email receipt to do so. Moreover, another highly important factor is that if a customer is a business, they will use the receipt to write off expenses or to keep record of company expenses. Receipts are also a great opportunity to make a last good impression and drive more sales.

What should I include in an email receipt/invoice?

Several details have to be included in an email receipt but you don’t want to send too long ones. Follow our recommendations and try to keep your email receipt as brief as possible.

Subject line

This is the first thing that your customers will see when your receipt pops up in their inbox, therefore, it is essential to be clear on what your email is about. Some things are worth including such as the words receipt or invoice, the order number, and the name of the purchased products.

Billing information

Inform your customers how you billed them, include a hint of the billed debit or credit card (only the last few digits of the card number, as per convention), and the billing date. Also, if your company name is different on credit card statements, make sure to advise them on what they will see. It is quite important as you might face consequences if customers don’t recognize your business name on their statements.

Shipping information

Customer usually skim the entire email, and would like to find shipping information first. Make sure to list the date of shipping, delivery method, and a tracking number (if available). Also, provide information on who to contact you regarding shipping (it might be your business or the courier service).

Purchased items

Whether you provide services or selling goods, it is essential to include as many details as possible in the email receipt, such as the name of the items/services, quantity, price, and picture (if possible). At the bottom of the list, state the full amount including taxes and fees.

Order number

Email receipts should not be sent out without an order number. You might include it in the subject line, however, it’s also important to be visible in the email as well. If customers have any questions or concerns regarding their order, they will use this number to identify their purchase.

Your contact information

Your contact information is a crucial part of your email receipts. Provide as many ways of contact as possible, such as website address, phone number, and email address.

Thank your Customers!

This is just as important as any other component of an email receipt, if not more. Thanking your customers is crucial in building up your customer base. Thank them as you would in person and make sure to emphasize it design-wise in the email receipt.

Online services

If your business sells a digital product, make sure to place the download link in the middle of the email and highlight it. This is what the customers are waiting for, therefore, this should be the most visible part of the email receipt. Any additional information that helps them access the digital product through the link should be included as well.

Additional information

Last but not least, at the bottom of the email receipt, you can include any relevant actions that could facilitate your customer’s experience with your business such as links to account settings, access to receipts/invoices, and payment information. Use this space to promote your business further but also help your customer get the most out of their purchase. List related products for upselling, include existing and upcoming promotions, and provide links to blog posts and articles that could bring added value to them.

Sending email receipts with Stripe

With Stripe, you can choose to send automated email receipts or prepare them manually. If you choose the automated way, you have to ensure that you have an email address associated with each customer, so Stripe can send email receipts after successful payments. On your Stripe Dashboard, all payments have a receipt history where you can view and send email receipts.

If you choose to prepare and send email receipts manually, go to the receipts history section of a given payment page on your Dashboard. You can even customize your email receipts by selecting a default language and uploading your custom logo. The preview of your changes can be seen real-time on your Dashboard. To learn more about sending email receipts with Stripe, please click here. Also, if you are looking for free email receipt templates, find yours here.

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