Your customers expect a receipt. This is true whether you deliver your products or services in person or if all of your transactions are done online. And since most customers are embracing email receipts in addition to or in place of paper receipts, it's important to learn how to make one.

Receipt emails can be so much more than a record of a transaction. You can add features to show customers your appreciation for their business, ask for feedback that you can use to improve customer experience, or invite them back to try other services or products.

This article will discuss more reasons you should send email receipts and the important components you should include in one.

Benefits of Sending an Email Receipt

When people spend money, they'll want confirmation that their payment didn't disappear into the ether, especially for online transactions. Sending a receipt lets your clients know that you've received their payment. Your confirmation also reassures them that since they've completed their end of the transaction, you'll be doing your part.

A receipt creates a record that you can use to track your sales. On the other hand, your customers can also use it as proof of payment in case they have issues with a product or a transaction.

Email receipts are what marketers call transactional emails. This means customers can't opt out of them and most people open them. You can take advantage of that by customizing your email message to include promotional content like an upcoming sale event, a new product launch, or an invitation to a referral program.

What to Include in Your Email Receipt

Receipts are packed with relevant information, but a lot of business owners make the common mistake of excluding essential details in their receipt template. Here's a helpful list of the main components of an email receipt.

Subject Line

A receipt is not a promotional email. Even if you opt to use a unique subject line, make sure it's clear to the recipient that the email contains their receipt. Some items to mention in your header are the product or service bought, the amount spent, the words "receipt" or "invoice," the month and year, and the invoice or order number.

Billing Information

Your receipt should clearly detail how you billed the customer. Include the buyer's name, billing date, amount paid, billing address, and payment method (e.g., credit card, debit, PayPal). If you have a DBA (doing business as) name that's different from your legal company name or use a third-party billing system, you should mention that in the email. You could include a line stating, "You'll see this charge in your statement as DFM Academy, LLC," for instance.

Shipping Information

If you're sending a receipt for an item that needs to be shipped, make sure the shipping information is in the email. Details you can include are:

  • Shipping date
  • Shipping address
  • Estimated arrival date
  • Shipping method
  • Shipping cost (if applicable)
  • Link to track the package/shipping notifications

Make it as easy as possible for customers to contact support services if they have questions and concerns about the shipping time or method. That said, your email should display your contact information and instructions on how and where to contact you. If you're not using a no-reply email address, you can simply state that they can reply to the email for any questions or issues.

Items Purchased

Your receipt must include detailed information on the line items the customer paid for. List the product or service name, price, and any features such as size, color, etc. You could also include a photo to represent the product or service.

Be sure to have the total purchase price plus taxes and fees displayed at the bottom of the list. To make it easier for your customers to download or print receipts, you may choose to send receipts as a PDF or include a link to a printer-friendly version.

Invoice/Order Number

Every receipt you issue should have an identifying invoice number, order number, or transaction number. This practice is helpful for both you and the customer because it's a way to track each order. If a customer has questions or issues with their order, you can trace the transaction details quickly. Ensure the order number is highlighted in the email so customers don't have to look for it.

Contact Information

Every communication you send to your clients must have your contact information. Make sure your purchase receipts have your website, email address, phone number, and mailing address.

"Thank You" Note

Add a personal touch to your email receipt with a "thank you" note. It's a small gesture that shows your appreciation. Your customer will surely appreciate the acknowledgment, which could open a way to building a lasting relationship with your customers.

Information or Links to Services

Utilize your email receipts to provide your customers with information or links to services that help improve their shopping experience with your company. Here are a few actions you can add a link to:

  • Account login
  • Edit account settings
  • Print invoices/receipts
  • View statements
  • Update payment information
  • Update shipping address
  • Unsubscribe
  • Close account

Requests, Feedback, and Related Information

An email receipt gives you a lot of opportunities to deliver more value to your customers and drive sales to your business at the same time. For instance, you may offer related content. Let's say you sell hair accessories for infants; you may direct them to an article about choking hazards for babies.

Another way to engage your customers through the email receipt is to ask for comments or feedback. You can add simple questions, such as:

  • "Did you find everything you were looking for?"
  • "How was the ordering process?"
  • "How can we improve?"

Lastly, you can add promotional content at the end of your email receipts. It could be a coupon for a percentage off of their next order, or you could add a reminder about an upcoming sale event or product launch. You could also offer a coupon that your customer can share with a friend.

The possibilities are endless. Know your customers and give them something tangible and valuable and you'll be seeing increased revenue.

Best Practices for Creating an Email Receipt

  • Represent your brand in every communication: You can have fun and be business-like at the same time. Every communication you send out to customers should reflect your brand's personality. Feel free to create one with an engaging, conversational tone if that represents your brand more than a cold, informal email receipt.
  • Include all relevant information in the email: Customers don't like to work. They don't want to have to contact you to inquire about an item or service they bought. Include as much information in your email receipt to avoid back and forth inquiries (this saves you valuable time, as well).
  • Highlight your contact information: Don't make it difficult for customers to contact you for inquiries or support. Make sure your email includes a straightforward course of action and the best way to reach you for quick resolution if they have questions or concerns. Think about it: A simple question about their purchase can turn into a negative experience quickly if they have to spend time looking for a way to contact you.
  • Optimize your email for mobile: More people read their emails on their phones. Make sure customers can view your receipts through mobile. You'll also get more engagement in any of your promotional content if your clients can use their phones to reply with feedback or share referral codes, click send, and be done.

Manage Your Small Business Accounting With Skynova

An email receipt can be more than a record of a transaction. You can add a simple thank you note to show customers your appreciation for their business and you can use it to promote upcoming sale events, product launches, and more.

Create invoices with Skynova's free invoice templates and send invoices with Skynova's all-in-one invoicing and accounting for small businesses. You'll have accurate records of your income and expense reports in one place, saving you time from managing your business finances. Having accurate records helps you make better-informed decisions on running and growing your company.

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Notice to the Reader

The content within this article is meant to be used as general guidelines and may not apply to your specific situation. Always do more research and consult with a professional accountant to ensure that you're meeting accounting standards.