Happy New Year! Welcome to the final Email Hall of Fame / Hall of Shame of 2018, highlighting some the best and worst transactional and triggered emails for December.

This month’s selection features emails from Amazon, Adobe, Capital One, and more. We hope you enjoy them — and learn from them — as much as we do.

Hall of Fame:

Who:

Capital One Eno, the credit card company’s ‘intelligent assistant’

What’s Good:

What’s not to love about this email? Capital One detected two identical charges, from the same retailer, occurring at exactly the same time. But rather than waiting for the customer to dispute the duplicate, the unusual card activity triggered this email, asking the customer if the second charge might have been a mistake.

That’s what we call a phenomenal customer experience.

What’s Exceptional:

If your credit card company sends you an email with the subject line, “It looks like you were charged twice,” what are you going to do? You’re going to open it, of course, and immediately.

And once opened, the body of the email is clean and uncluttered, providing everything necessary — who, what, where, when, how much — and nothing else. Providing the last four digits of the card number is a nice touch, particularly for a customer who has multiple cards.

And the copy on those CTA buttons virtually screams clarity. There’s very little that could possibly be easier to understand than, “Yes, I made both,” and, “No, help me fix this.”

And bonus points for allowing the customer to rate the helpfulness of the information from right inside the email itself.

Who:

Wayfair, the home decor and furnishings e-commerce company

What’s Good:

We’ve featured a Wayfair email before but damn, they’re good at this. Their shipping notifications tell the customer everything they need to know right up front — when the order was placed, when and by what method it was shipped, the destination address, when delivery can be expected, and the item ordered.

What’s Exceptional:

Wayfair exceeds expectations by including a photo of what the customer ordered. Customers appreciate the visual reminder but it’s surprising how many retailers fail to include an image (see Amazon below).

But there’s more — Wayfair also offers related product recommendations and daily deals. It might seem like a lot — and it is — but by putting the most important information first, Wayfair makes sure the additional content doesn’t detract from the email’s primary purpose. And it’s a pretty safe bet those offers generate revenue.

Who:

Wealthsimple, the online investment management service

What’s Good:

That GIF.

The email itself is simple and straightforward, offering an existing customer a clearly-explained, newly-launched service.

What’s Exceptional:

BUT THAT GIF!

It’s simply gorgeous and quite mesmerizing. But even beyond the novelty factor, the GIF is totally on brand. The Wealthsimple website is peppered with equally beautiful animations, all incorporating their signature gold color.

And with a product targeted toward millennials, a well-conceived GIF is never out of place.

Hall of Shame:

Who:

Amazon, the… oh, you know who it is

What’s Bad:

As order confirmation emails go, this one’s pretty bad.

The items ordered are listed only as, “MacBook Pro Charger and 2 other items.” And while the email confirms the order has been split into two shipments, it fails to say which item(s) are in which part of the order. That’s pretty crucial information. When a customer places a single order with items being shipped to two separate addresses, the first thing they’re likely to want to check is that they’ve sent the right items to the right places.

But with this email, Amazon is basically saying, “You ordered a charger and some other stuff (but you have to visit our site to find out what), and you split the order between two different shipping addresses (but you have to visit our site to find out what’s going where).”

How helpful is that? I’m going to go out on a limb here and say not helpful at all. Surely if anyone can and should be doing better, it’s Amazon.

Who:

Tangerine, the Canadian branch-less bank

What’s Bad:

It’s a bit hard to see but check out that preheader. We all cringe when we see anything customer-facing with the dreaded, “Lorem ipsum…” text but it’s especially bad when it’s a preheader. It means someone expended the time and effort to create a template with a preheader field, then the person who created the email either forgot or didn’t bother to update the placeholder copy.

Aside from that, the email actually isn’t horrible. They might’ve used a better color than that institutional grey for the CTA button, but overall, it’s not a bad email.

But that preheader. Ay yi yi.

Who:

Adobe Creative Cloud, the suite of design software and services

What’s Bad:

You’d expect an email from Adobe Creative Cloud to be stunningly beautiful, much like their website. But those expectations would be instantly dashed by this boring receipt email. And you’ll be underwhelmed repeatedly since it’s the receipt for a monthly billing plan.

The only part of the email that is on-brand is the Adobe logo – everything else might as well be plain text. And there’s nothing wrong with that, but when your product line is about creating beautiful digital experiences, shouldn’t you be delivering exactly that?

If you have any transactional emails you’d like to suggest for either the Hall of Fame or the Hall of Shame, we’d love to see them. Simply forward them to team@dyspatch.io.