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How to Write a Business Email Confirming a Customer Order
 
 

How to Write a Business Email Confirming a Customer Order


No matter what business you are in, you often have to send e-mails, either placing or acknowledging orders. This type of correspondence offers you an opportunity to convey professionalism, and to promote your business products and services.

Let's look more closely at these types of e-mails and how you can make them as effective as possible.

Placing an order

Many companies have online forms to complete to place your order for supplies or equipment. There are occasions in which you need to send an e-mail, either to go along with the form, or as a stand-alone form of communication.

Even if you have placed an order online or over the phone, an order e-mail is a good way to put the details of an important business order in writing. That way, both you and the other company have a copy of the details of the transaction.

An effective order e-mail has the following components:

  • product specifications

  • quantities

  • price agreed upon

  • expected delivery date

  • other terms and conditions

  • your name and contact information

Whenever possible, find the direct e-mail address of the person in charge of completing the order. Taking the time to visit the company website, or to call the company office for this address is well worth the effort. That way you can avoid your order letter ending up in someone's spam folder.

An effective subject line will make sure your order is read, as well. Be as specific as possible, in terms of product, and indicate that you are placing an order. Here are a few examples:

New order for item #110

Follow-up on online order 071515

Confirmation of phone order for Jan. 20 delivery

Order for 100 copies of Kindergarten Math Fun

Here is an example of an effective e-mail that places an order:

Subject line: Order for 200 copies of Kindergarten Math Fun

Dear Ms. Kingsley,

Thank you for your time talking with me today about your company's interactive teaching tools. I am writing to confirm Jackson Elementary School's order of 200 copies of Kindergarten Math Fun.

I understand that the cost of each book is $45, but that we will receive a volume discount of 10 percent. The cost of our order, then, will be $8100. We understand we can avoid delivery charges by picking them up at your downtown warehouse.

As we discussed, we will have a check ready when we pick up the books on August 15.

Thank you again.

Sincerely,

Your name

Your contact information

Acknowledging an order

An e-mail that acknowledges an order gives you a great opportunity to contact your customer and to offer more information about your company. An acknowledgment e-mail can be an effective sales tool and a way of furthering your customer relations.

An order acknowledgment e-mail should:

  • thank the customer for the order

  • give delivery details

  • recap the cost

You can close your e-mail with a brief paragraph about your company, your service, or your reputation. You can provide a link to your website or social media page, as well.

You also can offer your customers a discount on future purchases as a way of thanking them for their business. Make your e-mail personal by using the recipient's name, and by referring to their specific order.

Here's an example:

Dear Anna,

Thank you for your order of 250 custom wedding invitations, and for your prompt online payment. Your order will be shipped within three to five business days. We will send you a quick e-mail when it is shipped.

We are glad you chose our company for invitations to your special day. We know you have many choices when it comes to wedding invitations, and we are proud to offer you the best quality invitations at the lowest price. We have been in the custom card business for 20 years, and we feel our longevity is because we value our customers.

Have you considered custom thank you notes to go along with your invitations? Many of our customers enjoy using the same design on their thank you notes that they did on their invitations. Please visit our website at (your website address) for details. As a returning customer, you will receive an automatic 20 percent discount when you order by June 30.

Thank you for shopping with us. And congratulations on your upcoming big day!

Sincerely,

Your name

Your position with company

Your contact information

Sometimes a sales acknowledgment e-mail can be a way to ask for additional information such as:

  • a shipping address if, for example, a post office box was used on a form

  • an alternate form of payment, if a credit card was denied

  • more details for the order to be filled (such as a color or size)

These details must be worded in a professional manner. Once again, the subject line is essential to getting your recipient's attention. You might signal that there is a problem with the order with this type of subject line: Order delay: quantity needed.

Once again, these e-mails reflect the type of service your customer can expect in other dealings with your company. Promptness and courtesy are essential for your e-mail to be effective.

Here is an example of an e-mail that asks for more information.

Dear Mr. Olden:

Thank you for your order today of Sun-Ray sunglasses. We appreciate your business and look forward to providing you with a pair of America's top-rated prescription sunglasses.

Unfortunately, your order is on hold, because there is a problem with your prescription. When we contacted your doctor, she said you had not had an eye exam in five years. In order to fill your order, we do need the prescription from your doctor. Would you please contact her office and then let us know how to proceed?

Thank you and we look forward to hearing from you soon.

With best regards,

Your name

Your position with company

Your contact information

In other situations, you may need to send an acknowledgment e-mail that offers the recipient more information.

Perhaps someone has registered for your company's workshop or conference. You have received the registration and payment, and now you need to provide more details about the event.

Here is an example of a registration acknowledgement e-mail.

Subject line: Registration Confirmation for Leadership Summit

Dear Ms. Allen:

Thank you for your recent registration for the Leadership Summit 2016. We received your registration form, your questionnaire, and your payment for the two-day conference.

Please visit the hospitality table on the main concourse of the Richland Hotel by 8:30 a.m. on Feb. 12 to receive your welcome packet. The conference begins at 9 a.m. with the keynote session in the main ballroom. Break-out sessions follow throughout the day and will be detailed in your packet.

Please visit our website (website address here) for further information.

We look forward to seeing you at the summit. If you have any questions, please let me know.

Best regards,

Your name

Your position with company

Your contact information

Another example of an acknowledgement e-mail is one that lets the recipient know you have received some business-related information, such as a job application. In some circumstances, it is polite to let your recipient know that materials have been received, and to let him or her know when you will be taking the next step in a decision process.

These mails can be short and concise. Here is an example:

Subject line: Thank you for your recent application

Dear Mr. Jenkins:

Thank you very much for applying for the marketing director position at IT Resources. My team and I will be reviewing applications this week. If you are selected for an interview, we will contact you on or before Monday, Oct. 10 to set up an appointment.

We appreciate your interest in IT Resources.

Sincerely,

Your name

Your position with company

Your contact information

No matter what type of e-mail you are composing, it is important to proofread your content, you subject line and your recipient's address.

To say thank you, or not to say thanks.

There is some disagreement in the business correspondence world as to whether one needs to respond to all business-related e-mails.

Some people argue that a simple "Thank you" e-mail wastes their time. They say that clicking and opening an e-mail only to see one or two words is a waste of their time. Others say that they always appreciate a thank you.

How do you decide whether to acknowledge a business e-mail? First, consider whether the person needs to know that you got the information or not. If there has been a prior miscommunication or a lost attachment, for instance, a quick thank you shows the recipient that all is well at present.

Since many of your recipients are inundated with e-mails, it adds a courteous touch to say what you are thankful for. Instead of just typing, "Thanks" when you got that previously missing attachment, consider writing, "Thanks. I got the attachment fine this time."

Another time to send a thank you acknowledgement is when someone has gone out of his or her way to meet your needs. An acknowledgement in this situation just makes good sense. Think of these acknowledgments as a way of conveying sincere appreciation, rather than just a quick thanks.

Once again, it is courteous to be specific, but brief, in these cases. Here are a few examples:

Thanks for responding so quickly to my request for more information.

Thank you so much. I appreciate your flexibility

This information is just what I needed. Thank you!

Thank you for letting me know about the date change. I'll see you next Wednesday.

In today's culture, many of us have sacrificed courtesy for speed. Yes, we are all busy and do not want to waste our time reading needless e-mails. However, the other side to this coin is that we have lost some of the basics of business and personal etiquette.

A well-written acknowledgement e-mail demonstrates that you value a customer's business. It shows that you value someone's efforts. An acknowledgement e-mail also reflects well on you, the sender, and your place of business.

 
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