Transactional Email

Email Design

Get inspired: transactional email designs

My go-to places for outstanding transactional email designs

Tom Blijleven

Marketing Manager

@

Flowmailer

I've been writing about how to improve your transactional emails for a while now. However, I never talk about the resources I use for my examples. Apart from what our customers send, there are many resources for (transactional) email design. I figured it was about time for me to share my favorites.

Published on:

Jun 2022

My go-to places for transactional email designs

Without great examples, all I write about is merely theoretical. Seeing how other brands do it gives you a live example of what I'm trying to convince you about and makes it applicable to your brand too. To do so, I show the emails I snatched from the Internet or my inbox. Digging through your inbox is something you've probably done already, so here's my list of favorite email inspiration hubs (in no particular order):

Really Good Emails

Really Good Emails (RGE) is the ultimate collection of really... good... emails. Their collection spans over 10,000 examples in 200 categories ranging from legal notifications to enhanced gamified promotional emails - and anything in between. With me, there are more than two million email professionals using Really Good Emails regularly. No surprise: most of the examples I use come from this website.

Email design isn’t just about how “pretty” something looks but also about cadence, content, and clarity.
- Mike Nelson, Really Good Emails (DDMA Email Marketing Automation Summit, 2022)

More than just inspiration

Next to their massive collection of pretty emails, RGE also offers a plethora of tools to make these email designs work for your brand. When you select an email design, you can see and alter the code - making email coding life more accessible than ever. They also have a feature that allows you to create collections, so you can store your favorite {category} designs and share them with your colleagues - or in a blog.

Really Good Emails Code View in a Nutshell
RGE's Code View tool

Swipe File (by Wonderment)

The people behind the post-purchase experience platform Wonderment have been collecting transactional email examples from DTC brands - specifically eCommerce. Their collection might not be the largest, but it is hyper-focused on the post-purchase part of an order - from order confirmations to delivery notifications.

Filter Transactional Email Designs at Wonderment
Wonderment Swipe File

Contrary to Really Good Emails, Wonderment only shows the design of the email. Enough for me to analyze and blog about - not very useful when you're trying to recreate the template.

Thanks to Chris Byrne for recommending them!

EmailLove

EmailLove is a growing collection of emails curated by Rob Hope (LoveCurated). You might know them already, or its 'family members' OnePageLove or UXLove - EmailLove is a collection of beautiful emails for inspiration and references. Each email preview comes with valuable features, such as Code View and Image Download. Though their transactional email collection is somewhat small, you can find some excellent welcome emails here.

Welcome Email inspiration at EmailLove
A small yet beautiful collection of welcome emails

MailCharts

I hadn't thoroughly investigated MailCharts until recently when someone in the EmailGeeks Slack channel pointed them out. You have to sign up to access the collection, but when you've done that... Their collection is vast! And not only do they show examples of emails, but MailCharts also lets you explore how other brands design Email Journeys and even SMSes. MailCharts is your place to be if you're looking for inspiration beyond email design. Besides, they offer functionality similar to RGE, meaning you can view the code and add emails to your collections.

Purchase Journey at Hypebeast (MailCharts)
An example of the Purchasing Journey at Hypebeast

Inspiration from marketing emails

Though transactional emails differ from marketing emails in many ways, don't be afraid to look for inspiration in marketing emails. Especially when it comes to interactivity or upselling, transactional emails have a long way to go. So, look at some great marketing emails and imagine how they could benefit your transactional emails! One example that I often use when I talk about enriching transactional emails is this one from Glenlivet, which includes a simple quiz-like element. When I look at that, I see the potential for personalized blocks based on what people buy.

What you need to be aware of when doing this, though, is inbox support. Only a few email clients support advanced interactivity. And if there's one thing you need your transactional emails to do, it'd be 'display fully.'

Regardless, marketing email examples offer endless inspiration to create even better transactional emails. Next to the resources mentioned above, take a look at these email resources too:

Summarized:

Get inspired: transactional email designs

There are thousands of examples of transactional emails waiting for you to explore. The listed resources only scratch the surface of all the excellent transactional email designs out there. Next time you're ordering something online, reset your password or get an invoice in your inbox: look at how they designed their email. See what you can learn from them - and what they could do better.

Missing a good resource on this list? Let me know!

Tom Blijleven

Marketing Manager

@

Flowmailer

With years of experience in the email (marketing) industry, Tom currently manages the marketing department at Flowmailer. In this role, he writes mainly about transactional email, email deliverability, and the API-first economy.

Want to stay up to date on Flowmailer resources?