When we were putting together our latest white paper, How to Engage Customers and Deepen Relationships, we were both impressed by some amazingly great transactional emails, and appalled that so many great brands continue to send emails that look like no more than half-hearted afterthoughts.

So much so, in fact, that we’ve decided to keep it going and publish a monthly Hall of Fame / Hall of Shame to highlight both the really good and the really bad. We hope you enjoy them — and learn from them — as much as we do.

Hall of Fame:

Who:

Nanoleaf, the innovative lighting company

What’s Good:

The email is clear and to-the-point, with product details and simple CTAs to either track the shipment or do more shopping. But here Nanoleaf does lose a point for providing two CTAs when a single, primary CTA would probably serve their customers better. They might consider replacing the link to ‘Visit the Nanoleaf Shop’ with some personalized product recommendations below the ‘Items in this shipment’.

What’s Exceptional:

The email’s branding is spot-on, reflecting the same minimalist aesthetic as the Nanoleaf website.

Wayfair Shipping Confirmation

Who:

Wayfair, the home decor and furnishings ecommerce company

What’s Good:

Wayfair’s shipping notification tells the customer everything they need to know right up front — when the order was placed, when and by what method it was shipped, when delivery can be expected, and what was ordered.

What’s Exceptional:

Wayfair exceeds expectations by including what the customer can expect on delivery day and by addressing questions about the possibility of a return and what to do if the item arrives damaged. But there’s more — they also offer 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.

Who:

Credit Karma, the free credit score and credit monitoring company

What’s Good:

This email is simple, concise, and on-brand, reflecting Credit Karma’s website experience.

What’s Exceptional:

The email has a clear purpose – your mid-year credit checkup – with a single, obvious CTA.

Hall of Shame:

Who:

Western Union, the financial services company

What’s Bad:

Western Union’s account activation email is a bit too concise, telling the customer to return to the website to enter the provided PIN with no clear indication of why — or of what to do if the PIN wasn’t requested. The subject line provides a clue but the body copy could definitely be more informative.

There’s also no obvious CTA, just a hyperlinked home page URL.  And even though Western Union does provide Contact Us links, the DO NOT REPLY messaging is a bit heavy handed, and repeated far more than is necessary.

And speaking of repetition, there is absolutely no reason this email — or any email, ever — should have two footers. It’s completely unnecessary and looks unprofessional.

Who:

Zoom, the video conferencing service

What’s Bad:

Where do we start? The email is boring, ugly, plain text. If Zoom didn’t want to go all-in with an HTML template, they could have at least made their CTAs easier on the user by making them hyperlinked text, instead of these long, complicated URLs. The fact that they’re clickable is their only saving grace.

But why the aversion to HTML in the first place? This short, simple email would provide a much better customer experience by reflecting the Zoom brand and simply by looking nice. And with HTML comes the ability to create CTA buttons, an added bonus that we’re sure customers would appreciate.

And where Western Union went overboard by including two footers, Zoom went too far the other way and doesn’t have one at all. A new Zoom user with a healthy amount of skepticism might easily suspect this email of being a spoof — and delete it without clicking.

To learn how to create Hall of Fame worthy emails — and how to avoid ending up in the Hall of Shame — download our white paper today!

And 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.