How to Create a Thank You Email Design

Posted on March 14, 2022 | Updated on January 27, 2023

Thank you emails show your customers you appreciate their business. You can use them to spur a connection. Thank you email design should grab attention, serve a specific purpose and engage your audience. Although you can change the layout and some of the content, there are a few elements every appreciation message should contain. 

According to the most recent small business profiles report from the Small Business Administration, there are around 32.5 million small businesses in the United States. Whether your company is completely online or has a presence both online and offline, you have a lot of competition. It makes sense to take the extra step to provide the most positive customer experience possible. 

Little touches like a follow-up email or a simple thank you go a long way toward ensuring your customers become lifelong fans. 

How Do I Make an Email Show Gratitude?

Without the ability to add facial expressions or voice inflection, you have to figure out ways to show gratitude without coming across as fake. Fortunately, language can be rich and descriptive enough to accomplish the task. Here are the steps to take to create a thank you email design your customers will appreciate. 

1. Choose the Right Header

When someone opens your email, the first thing they’re going to see is your header. It must present a consistent brand image with a logo and details such as a website address. Your email template should have the same header for each thank you email you send out. 

Pay attention to what your competitors do. Does the logo link up to the website? Is there any special note or hero image?

2. Select a Captivating Subject Line

There are around 254.7 million email users in the United States, and nearly every business sends out some type of message from time to time. How can you ensure yours gets opened amidst all the other notes arriving throughout the day?

Your subject line is the first thing the user sees in their inbox. It should use action words and grab them to make them want to read more. At the same time, don’t go for click bait as it just annoys people.

One example of a strong subject line might be, “Get a 10% Thank You Discount Inside.” A clickbait subject line would read, “Click Here to Read the News.” The last thing you want is to irritate your user before they even read your email. 

3. Use a Greeting

People want to feel they are more than just another face in the crowd. Personalization shows them you understand their needs and see them as individuals. Today’s third-party mailing list software lets you create a template and plug in a line of code to indicate using the person’s full name.

Be sure you add code in case they fail to input their name when ordering or signing up for your mailing list. For example, you could set it to read “Dear John Doe” but if John failed to put his name in the correct field, the email would read “Dear Customer.” Always include a generic greeting in case the name field is empty. 

4. Use Thankful Words

Make a list of all the words that show gratefulness. Start your first sentence with “thank you,” “we appreciate you” or “we’re grateful.” It’s difficult to show gratitude without using the right words.

You should probably thank the customer more than once, too. So your letter might start:


Dear John Doe,

Thank you for being a loyal customer. ABC Brand appreciates your order and we want to offer a 10% discount to show our gratitude. 

See how several words indicating thankfulness are utilized? 

5. Avoid Spam Triggers

According to SpamLaws.com, spam makes up around 45% of all emails. Not only is spam annoying, but many email providers have gotten adept at spotting such communication and blocking it. If you use certain trigger words, your customer may never even see your thank you note. 

Avoid words that create too much urgency or pressure, exaggerated claims or crazy statements that can’t possibly be true. Some specific words to avoid would be: 

  • Bulk 
  • Buy Direct 
  • Congratulations 
  • Money Order 
  • Cures 
  • Dear Friend
  • Winner

Pay attention to the subject lines in your spam folder and avoid those words at all costs. 

6. Find Your Conversational Style

Each brand has a specific personality. Whether you run a serious-minded financial institution or you sell hip clothing in a funky boutique, you have a business personality. Stick to that tone when writing your emails. 

Try to create a business persona and write as though you’re the person when sending out messages. Use fun words and a friendly tone unless the business doesn’t warrant that type of attitude. 

7. Add a Closing

Your mail should have a closing statement that thanks the customer a second time. Tell them what they mean to your business and why you’re so happy to have them as a patron. Then, sign off without asking the customer for anything. 

Something along the lines of, “Thank you again for your purchase/signing up. We look forward to chatting again soon, ABC Brand.”

Focus on the Customer

It isn’t much of a thank you letter if you ask them to make another purchase or share your business with their friends. The point of the thank you email design is to let the customer know you appreciate them and not that you want something from them. You’re trying to establish a relationship with your users so they will want to spread the word about what you do.

About The Author

Eleanor Hecks is the Editor-in-Chief of Designerly Magazine, an online publication dedicated to providing in-depth content from the design and marketing industries. When she's not designing or writing code, you can find her re-reading the Harry Potter series, burning calories at a local Zumba class, or hanging out with her dogs, Bear and Lucy.

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