Sending Email Receipts: 8 Best Practices To Follow

Sending Email Receipts: 8 Best Practices To Follow

For online services and businesses, the ability to send receipts, and email receipts in particular, is a necessity. While an invoice email is transactional and generally happens automatically, the process and best practices behind email receipts shouldn’t be taken for granted.

Email receipts (also called electronic receipts or e-receipts for short) are important outlets through which you can leave a great impression on new customers and anyone who interacts with your brand.

Since transactional emails and receipts are more likely to be opened and read, a well-thought-out email receipt has the potential to increase revenue and improve customer relations by including additional information, support team links, a phone number, a call to action, and more.

So, when you send receipts, a dull, text-only receipt page that does no more than record a successful transaction is definitely not in your best interests.

For a quick breakdown of the anatomy of an email receipt, watch the following video by SocketLabs.

If you're wondering what custom text and other design features to incorporate, and what best practices can help you make the most of a great opportunity to call clients to action, that's what this article is all about!

So, follow our list of receipt email best practices—and you'll be sending killer business receipts in no time!

Email receipts shouldn’t be rocket science.🚀📨
Mailer To Go streamlines the sticky bits with fast, failsafe transactional email from inside your apps.

1. Time your email receipts so that they are sent immediately following the transaction

If your business is doing any of its transactions online, you're likely already armed with each customer's email address. This means you're open for email business, at least in terms of transactional updates, receipts, and any other email interactions they've signed up for. 

When making a purchase, customers need to be reassured that the transaction went smoothly and that the billing records are accurate. We're all nervous about virtual transactions, as the internet is awash with tales where a customer pays and, in the absence of an email receipt, the client has no real record of products owed—and their purchase never reaches the shipping service.

Hence, don't waste any time—send email receipts immediately after a purchase is made and as soon as you process payments. Let clients know ASAP about successful payments, issues with their billing information, and whatever other business and customer information you're advised about in this article.

Should you delay receipts of successful payments, you’ll be causing your customers undue stress, and they may see your service as unreliable, unprofessional, and possibly even untrustworthy. We suggest you automate the process with a secure, transactional email service like Mailer To Go.

filling out a purchase

For further insight into the topic of building a trustworthy and professional sender reputation, and simple steps to help improve your email deliverability, please  our latest posts.

2. Keep subject lines short and sweet: right to the point

Avoid wordiness in the subject line of your email receipt, and convey the purpose of the message clearly, so that customers' attention isn't distracted from key information and CTAs.

This is especially beneficial for email receipts that are viewed on mobile devices, which is quite common these days. A read receipt is not enough, you want to generate further transactions and purchases too. For that, clients will need to open the email.

Within the body of your receipt, you may want to link to additional services, suggest other actions, or link to important information on your website, but you need clients to open the email first. To get them to click on the email, you must learn to write strategically within a small subject line space.

To concisely indicate that this is an e-receipt, and briefly mention any further requirements, you can customize the following receipt subject line examples:

  • Your receipt from Mailer To Go: more info inside

  • Mailer To Go Receipt <receipt number>: action required

  • Here’s your e-receipt from Mailer To Go: 5% off your next purchase

  • Your Mailer To Go e-receipt: and your business ebook download link

3. Include all necessary information

An email receipt serves as proof of payment and should, therefore, include all relevant purchase, transaction, customer, and company information.

When you send receipts, keep in mind that receipts are often used as records for accounting, taxes, and expense reports, all of which require proper documentation and accurate information.

Make sure to provide the following:

  • date of billing and/or billing period

  • customer name

  • name of the product/service

  • order number

  • business or company name and phone number

  • quantity of each product/service

  • the sales price of each product/service

  • license key information, if applicable

  • total sales price without taxes

  • rate of tax and tax amount

  • total price with tax

  • payment details or payments due

  • a support request link

  • a company website link.

Besides this information, it is recommended that you provide your customers with an accessible way to reach out for further online information regarding their purchase.

Since you should be using a mail service like Mailer To Go (and your app's own invoice and receipt system) to automatically generate invoices and receipts, you should be mindful to include a support link in both your receipt and invoice email templates.

When I draw money from Paypal into my bank account, Paypal sends me a receipt for the transaction. Study the receipt example below, at the bottom of the receipt you will see a number of links, including one for PayPal support.

paypal receipt

Support links are particularly important when you are automatically sending receipts from a no-reply address. You should consider the addition of links to each product that was purchased, as well as a link to any shipping information, contact information, and further transaction details, if relevant.

To discover how to land your transactional emails in recipient inboxes instead of spam folders, read out latest posts.

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4. Use printer-friendly e-receipts

Although email receipts are meant to be an eco-friendly solution, and convenient for both you and your customers, there are scenarios where the receipts are printed and used for tax or for expense report purposes.

Make it easy for customers to do so; send receipts that include a printer-friendly version of the e-receipt, or simply attach a pdf receipt as well.

You may also consider adding a link to your billing portal, where users will be able to download the PDF version of the receipt after signing in. While this option may sometimes be considered a hassle, it encourages users to keep coming back to your product.

When Parallels sent me a receipt for my annual subscription purchase, they included a downloadable printer-friendly PDF at the bottom. Study the example below.

parallels email receipt

5. Add a Call-To-Action

Use email receipts to guide your customers to take further actions related to the receipt or invoice process, such as changing personal account details, updating payment methods, changing plans, canceling subscriptions, or adding someone else as a recipient of the email receipt notification.

Another way that you can cater to your customers is by providing them with accessible contact methods via email receipt. Following your suggested calls to action and reaching out to your team should be an easy task for them, provided you have a well-structured receipt template.

Adding links to your business's social media pages and blogs is recommended, as this can increase receipt click-through rates and help your company gain credibility.

Add links within the email receipt to specific blog posts that are relevant to the product purchased. This will show that you are willing to go beyond expectations to help your customers get even more out of their purchases.

7. Thank your customer for their purchase

Don’t forget to show your appreciation in your email receipts. Just as you would thank a customer face-to-face for purchasing an item in a store, you should always thank them for making an online transaction. 

Ideally, this should appear above any of the other line items in your receipt. It's not more important than other line items we've mentioned, it's just that it's a personalized way to engage your customers that can seriously enhance the customer experience. 

So, sincerely thank your customer at the very beginning of the email receipt and with the mention of their name, for that extra personal touch.

thank you for your purchase

8. Automate your receipt emails with a secure email service

Even if you’re using a payment gateway or accounting software that produces receipts and invoices on your behalf, you may still want to customize them yourself.

Try to personalize the email according to the best practices we mentioned above, with design and logo features aligned with your brand. 

You will need a transactional email service with which to augment your code, in order to send email from your domain and unique subdomains. Mailer To Go can be used out-of-the-box to send emails from your code in no time. Find out more and give it a try now by clicking on this link.

To learn what subdomains to use to send different types of email, read our latest posts.

About Mailer To Go! 📬
Mailer To Go lets you send game-changing, money-making, transactional, marketing, and regular emails from inside your apps.

Frequently asked questions

What are email receipts?

Email receipts, as opposed to email delivery receipts, are electronic receipts (e-receipts for short) sent by a business after a customer has made a successful payment to a business online. Email receipts are sent by the recipient of the payment to the customer or party that made the payment.

Email receipts serve as records for tax and expense reporting, and offer peace of mind for customers purchasing products or services online. For customers, email receipts provide proof of products/services owed to them, and serve as documentation for any future refund or warranty claims.

What should I include in an email receipt?

When you send email receipts, keep in mind that receipts are often used as records for accounting, taxes, and expense reports, all of which require proper documentation and accurate information.

Be sure to provide the following:

  • sincere thanks to the customer for their purchase

  • date of billing and/or billing period

  • customer name

  • name of the product/service

  • order number, receipt number, and applicable reference codes

  • business or company name and phone number

  • quantity of each product/service

  • the sales price of each product/service

  • total sales price without taxes

  • rate of tax and tax amount

  • total price with tax

  • payment details and payments due

  • a support team link

  • a company website link.

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