We love sharing great examples of how transactional email can be effectively used as a marketing tool. The following is from unique gifts and creative design site, UnCommon Goods.

UnCommon Goods always has clever marketing emails that are relevant, on brand, and witty. Fortunately, their transactional emails are no exception—due in great part to their effective integration of marketing techniques. The following order confirmation is not only well branded, but showcases strong calls to action, and takes advantage of personalizing additional purchase suggestions for the customer based on their past buying behavior.

Let’s go over some of the high points of this email:

  • Clear subject line: The purpose of the email is clearly stated in the subject line (“Your UnCommon Goods Order Confirmation”) and all relevant order and contact information is clearly delivered in the opening paragraph.
  • Customer appreciation: The email leads off with a “thank you” and an affirmation to the customer that their business is valued. Way to start the email off on a positive note!
  • Strong branding: This confirmation email is consistent with all other communications received from UnCommon Goods. This makes the email easily recognizable to the customer. The logo is also front and center, so there is no denying who sent the email.
  • Strong calls to action: The email encourages the customer to further engage by signing up for UnCommon Goods’ email newsletter and also provides clear instructions on how to follow up with customer service. The CTAs are straightforward and succinct.

But, our favorite part of this email is how UnCommon Goods effectively incorporates marketing techniques. They take advantage of being able to dedicate 1/3 of their transactional email content to re-marketing by recommending other products that the customer might like (based on their recent purchase) in the highly visible sidebar. The suggestions are all comparable and in a similar price range to what the customer has ordered previously. This technique is a great way to re-engage the customer, show them that you’re interested in their business, and possibly close an additional sale.

If we could, we would make only 2 small adjustments to this already stellar email. First, we would recommend that they personalize their opening salutation with their customer’s name to help reaffirm their relationship from the get go. Second, even though this is a transactional email (and exempt from the CAN-SPAM Act’s unsubscribe rules) we would suggest including an unsubscribe link anyway to protect the email from being marked as spam. For more on including an unsubscribe link in your transactional email, check out this blog post.

Kudos to UnCommon Goods for this great transactional email! They really exemplify how to effectively incorporate marketing into a transactional email. They also follow key best practices to make sure that their emails get delivered.

If you want to learn more about how to follow their good example, watch our webcast: Shades of Gray: Incorporating Marketing into Transactional Email and read our free guide: Leveraging Your Transactional Email for Success.


Jillian Smith
As Twilio SendGrid's Sr. Director of Content, Jillian is responsible for ensuring that SendGrid provides valuable thought leadership content through the blog, whitepapers, webcasts, and more. When not writing and editing, you can find Jillian frequenting Denver restaurants in search of the best queso.