Postmark receipt templates: Design and best practices

Editor’s note: We recently released and wrote an all new guide that dives deep into modern receipt and invoice email best practices.


When we launched Templates, we simultaneously open sourced three application emails that you can use in your own app. In the last few weeks we’ve shared the Password Reset email and the Welcome email. Today I’m going to introduce the Receipt Email template.

A screenshot of the new Postmark receipt email template.

What makes a good email receipt? #

Based on our research, here are some basic guidelines for sending good receipt emails:

  • Use a clear From name and Subject line.
  • Put the important information related to a customer’s purchase at or near the top of your receipt emails. Important information related to a customer’s purchase includes their name, date of purchase, billing address, last four digits of credit card, name, quantity, and price of items purchased, and total price paid for the order.
  • Tell customers how their purchase from your company will appear on their billing statements.
  • Encourage customers to reach out to customer support if they have questions or issues.
  • Consider telling customers how the money they pay you is spent. To do this, tell them how you improved the product or provided value to them in the past month.
  • If you operate an ecommerce business, consider using cross sells or upsells in your receipts.
  • Don’t use a no-reply@example.com email as your from address.

In addition to our own research, we reached out to our good friend Adii Pienaar, Founder and CEO of Receiptful, who has based an entire product around the receipt email.

“An e-mail receipt’s primary purpose is to be functional; so if you had a choice of being clever or clear, always (first) be clear. What this means is that you want to make it as easy as possible for your customers to use and read your receipts, which includes the ability to archive them and easily search for them if / when they need it in future. In that sense, a very descriptive subject line which includes the company name, an amount and possibly even a date is super valuable to customers.” - Adii

The Research #

In order to really create a template that was clear, effective, and secure we researched receipt emails from companies we respect. These emails became the backbone of our template. Below you can see what we liked and what we would improve in each one.

Buffer #

A screenshot of a Buffer receipt.
Buffer displays the important information at the top and makes it easy for customers to reach out by encouraging them and avoiding using a no-reply email address.
  • Clear Subject line and From name
  • Important information related to purchase at the top of the email
  • Includes section that tells customers how their purchase will appear on their credit card statement
  • Encourages customers to reach out to customers support if they have questions
  • Doesn’t use a no-reply@example.com email address

Apple’s App Store #

A screenshot of an Apple App Store Receipt
  • Clear Subject line and From name
  • Important information related to purchase at the top of the email
  • Includes section that tells customers how their purchase will appear on their credit card statement
  • Encourages customers to reach out to customers support if they have questions
  • Doesn’t use a no-reply@example.com email address

Ghost #

A screenshot of the email receipt for Ghost.
  • Clear Subject line and From name
  • Important information related to purchase at the top of the email
  • Includes section that tells customers how their purchase will appear on their credit card statement
  • Encourages customers to reach out to customers support if they have questions
  • Doesn’t use a no-reply@example.com email address

BoltBus #

A screenshot of the receipt for BoltBus.
  • Clear Subject line and From name
  • Important information related to purchase at the top of the email
  • Includes section that tells customers how their purchase will appear on their credit card statement
  • Encourages customers to reach out to customers support if they have questions
  • Doesn’t use a no-reply@example.com email address

Uber #

A screenshot of receipt from Uber.
  • Clear Subject line and From name
  • Important information related to purchase at the top of the email
  • Includes section that tells customers how their purchase will appear on their credit card statement
  • Encourages customers to reach out to customers support if they have questions
  • Doesn’t use a no-reply@example.com email address
“Uber’s "Give $x, Get $x” referral campaign has been massively successfully and accounts for a large percentage of their new user acquisition. When we analysed millions of receipts sent at Receiptful, we saw that the average amount of time that customers actually spends reading receipts is 15 seconds and 10% of all customers take an action based on calls-to-action within their receipt(s). You should definitely augment your e-mail receipt with some kind of call-to-action, but your receipts represents captured, qualified attention which you should leverage.“ - Adii

AWeber #

A screenshot of a receipt from AWeber.
  • Clear Subject line and From name
  • Important information related to purchase at the top of the email
  • Includes section that tells customers how their purchase will appear on their credit card statement
  • Encourages customers to reach out to customers support if they have questions
  • Doesn’t use a no-reply@example.com email address
"Visual impressions are important and your e-mail receipts should represent your brand identity in the best way possible. Beyond that, a visually impressive receipt will craft a much better experience for the customer & recipient, which also means they’re more likely to interact with the receipt.” - Adii

Big thanks to Adii for his input. If you send receipt emails, make sure to check out Receiptful.