ShipStation can send two types of customer notification emails to your customers:
Shipment Notifications let your customer know their order has shipped, and Delivery Notifications let them know their shipment has been delivered. Delivery notifications are only available for services that include automatic tracking updates from the carrier.
A valid email address must be present on the order for ShipStation to send shipment and delivery notifications successfully.
You may want to use ShipStation's shipment and delivery notification emails instead of your selling channel's notifications for several reasons.
For instance, you can:
Control when the shipment notifications are sent using each store's notification settings.
Create custom shipment and delivery email templates using either ShipStation's WYSIWYG or HTML template editor.
Create as many custom templates as you need to take advantage of different branding for each store or send emails that include coupon codes or other special offers.
Assign custom email templates at the store level or at the individual order level.
Assign custom email templates to orders based on unique order criteria using ShipStation's powerful Automation Rules.
Use ShipStation's Branded Tracking Page to keep your customer engaged with your brand even after shipping the order.
Shipment and delivery notifications are turned off by default in ShipStation since you may already be using your selling channel's shipment notification feature. Should you choose to use the ShipStation customer notifications feature, ShipStation will include a tag in the marketplace notification to let it know ShipStation has sent an email to the customer, thus preventing your customer from receiving multiple notifications.
Amazon, Walmart, and Rakuten do not allow third-party apps like ShipStation to send email notifications directly to customers. For these selling channels, the email notification options will not be present in the store's Notifications settings.
Shipment and delivery notification emails must be enabled at the store level in ShipStation. This means the notification settings become the default behavior for all orders that import from that store.
To enable customer notification emails:
Go to the Notifications tab.
Click the Shipment Confirmation Email drop-down menu.
Select the desired email template from the list (if you have not created any custom templates, select the Default Shipment Template).
Any custom email templates you've created will appear in this list. The selected template will become the default email notification template for all orders imported from this selling channel.
Repeat for Delivery Notification emails if you wish to enable those as well.
Click Save Changes.
Repeat the above steps for any store you wish to enable ShipStation's customer notifications. Going forward, ShipStation will email shipment notifications to customers for all orders imported on each store with enabled customer notifications.
If Delivery Notifications are enabled, ShipStation will send the delivery notification as soon as the carrier notifies ShipStation the package has been delivered. Depending on the carrier, this may happen immediately upon drop off, or could occur several hours after the shipment has been delivered.
To disable customer notification emails, simply set each drop-down menu to (don't send email) and save your changes.
A valid email address must be present on the order in ShipStation for the notifications to send successfully.
By default, notifications are sent from the email address email@example.com unless you enter and verify a company email address in the Email field of your stores' Branding tab. Review our What is Branding? article for details.
If you find your notification emails are routed to your customers' spam folder, consider adjusting the subject and body text of your notification emails to avoid spam words and phrases. Adding a company email to your stores' Branding tab will also help avoid emails getting filtered into your customers' spam folders.
If you'd like to receive a copy of the actual email your customers receive, enter an email address into the Blind Copy on Shipment and Delivery Email field in your store's Notifications tab. This will tell ShipStation to add that email address as a BCC on every Shipment and Delivery notification it sends to your customers.
When you enable customer notifications, ShipStation sends the customer notification at the same time it sends the marketplace notification. By default, this occurs when you create the label for a shipment. However, you can delay the shipment notifications in each store's Notifications settings.
To delay notifications:
Go to the Notifications tab.
The default behavior for Send marketplace Notification when... is set to when Shipping label is created. To delay the notification you must select one of the conditional options.
Select The first of these conditions in met...
Choose which condition must be met before ShipStation will send the notification.
The shipment first hits the mail stream
ShipStation will send the notification when the carrier first notifies us it has received and scanned the shipment.
For carriers that electronically submit shipments, this can cause notifications to be sent before the shipment is in possession of the carrier.
This option can only be used for trackable services with carriers that automatically send tracking data back to ShipStation.
When this option is selected, ShipStation also provides the ability to set notification options for any un-tracked services.
At a specific time on the ship date
ShipStation will send the notifications at the specified time. Currently, ShipStation relies on US Pacific Time for this setting.
Number of hour(s) elapsed after label creation...
ShipStation will send the notifications after the specified number of hours have passed from the time of label creation.
You can choose multiple options and ShipStation will send the notification when the first condition is met.
Click Save Changes.
Marketplace and customer notifications will occur at the same time (if you have customer notifications enabled).
Not all carrier and service combinations support auto-tracking. These carrier / service combinations cannot use delayed notifications since ShipStation does not receive any data from the carrier to trigger them.
If changing from delayed notifications to notify on label creation, ShipStation will not send notifications for shipments already created. Be sure to look up any outstanding shipments and resend their notifications manually.
Settings to delay marketplace and shipment notifications do not apply to delivery notifications. Delivery notifications are triggered only when the carrier alerts ShipStation the package has been delivered.
ShipStation lets you know if your customer notifications were sent and received successfully using Smart Document Tracking.
Check the Shipment Notification and Delivery Notification columns in the Shipping tab, or the Smart Document Tracking in the Shipment Widget or Shipment Details screens.
If you do not see the Shipment or Delivery Notification columns, click the Columns button at top-right of the screen.
Check the Shipment Notification and Delivery Notification options. Scroll right to view, and click and drag to move the column.
Successful notifications will appear in dark grey and say Notified. Failed notifications will appear in red and say Failed. Hover your mouse over the failed icon to view a pop-up with details on why the notification failed.
The Notifications option here indicates both marketplace and customer notifications. Sent notifications will appear in dark grey and say Sent. If either notification failed, this icon will also include a red dot. Hover your mouse over the icon to view a pop-up with details on which notification failed and why.
You can resend failed notifications once the cause of the issue has been addressed.
ShipStation includes a default email template for both Shipment and Delivery emails. The default template already includes store specific details from each store's Branding tab to the email, including your store logo image, company name, store name, phone, email address, and website.
If you'd like to enhance the default template with your own layout or design, or build new email template from scratch, you can do so in the Email Templates Settings in ShipStation.
To access your email templates:
From here, you can choose to either Copy the existing default template (or any other templates you've already made) and make modifications from there, or create a New Shipment Email Template from scratch.
Whichever you choose, you will have the option to use the visual editor (called a what you see if what you get editor, or WYSIWYG) or the HTML editor.
WYSIWYG stands for What You See Is What You Get. This is ShipStation's visual editor for your email templates, and is what you see when you choose to copy, create new, or edit any of your email templates.
In this editor, you can set the Name of the template, the Subject of the email that will be sent, and add/delete/modify any information in the editor as needed. Use the Content buttons to assist with fonts, text size, and other text formatting needs.
In the editor, any text inside square brackets [ ] are actually Field Replacements. Field Replacements tell ShipStation to replace the bracketed text with the associated store or order value. This ensures the emails contain store specific branding (like logos, store names, and website information) and order specific information (like Order #, tracking #, and ordered items).
More information on field replacements is included below.
If you'd like to customize your email templates beyond what the visual editor allows, you can switch to the HTML editor. The HTML editor supports both HTML4 and HTML5 as well as internal CSS so you can create email templates exactly to the specifications you require.
To access the HTML editor, click the Edit HTML button in the editor. ShipStation will then display the HTML for the template you are viewing and allow you to edit it.
Field Replacements work the same way in the HTML editor as they do in the visual editor.
Use Field Replacements to add content dynamically to your email templates. Field Replacements will pull store specific, order specific, shipment specific, and recipient specific information for each email ShipStation sends.
Field Replacements are indicated by the square brackets [ ] surrounding the text. Below is a table of the available field replacements you can use in your email templates. Field Replacements work the same whether you use the WYSIWYG or HTML editors.
To see what your email will look like to your customers, you can send yourself a sample email directly from the editor.
In the email editor:
Click the Send Test Email button.
Select which store from the Use Branding From drop-down menu.
This will use the store logo, name, and other company details you have set in that store's Branding tab in the test email.
Enter the email address you'd like the test email sent to.
Click Send Test Email.
Check your email.
Alternately, if you'd like to receive a copy of the actual email your customers receive, enter an email address into the Blind Copy on Shipment and Delivery Email field in your store's Notifications tab. This will tell ShipStation to add that email address as a BCC on every Shipment and Delivery notification it sends to your customers.
Not all HTML tags and attributes are supported. If you add an unsupported element in the HTML editor, red text will appear above the body editor to alert you and let you know which tag or element needs attention. You will not be able to exit the HTML editor until the unsupported element is deleted.
CSS can be added either inline or between <style> tags at the top of the template.
ShipStation does not provide custom HTML assistance. Our support team is available to help troubleshoot, but they do not provide design or consultation services. Check out our user forum for Custom Template help from other ShipStation users.
Once you have created some custom email templates, you can apply them to orders in a few ways.
Apply the template at the store level. This method will apply the same template to all orders importing from that selling channel.
Apply the template at the order level. This method allows you to change the template used on individual orders while leaving the store's default template in place.
Apply the template using automation rules (advanced feature). Use automation rules to apply a different template to an order when it imports based on some preset criteria. For example, apply a template that includes a coupon code for all orders over $100.
To ensure all orders that import from a specific store use the same email template, assign the template in the store's Notifications settings.
Go to the Notifications tab.
Click the Shipment Confirmation Email drop-down menu and select the desired template.
Click Save Changes.
Repeat the above steps for each connected store. The selected template will then apply to all new orders when they import from the store.
Orders that have already imported will not be affected by this change. To change the template used by orders that have already imported, follow the instructions in the next section: Apply Templates to Individual Orders.
You can change the email template used for individual orders either in the Order Details screen (for a single order) or using a bulk action (for multiple orders).
To change the email notification template for a single order:
Open an order's Order Details screen.
Click the Shipment Notification drop-down in the Order Templates section.
Select the desired template from the drop-down menu.
Close the Order Details screen.
Repeat steps 1 - 3 for Delivery Notifications if desired. ShipStation will now use the selected template for just this order when emailing the notification to your customer.
To change the email notification template for multiple orders at once, do the following:
Go to either the Orders or Shipping tab.
Select the orders you wish to apply the new template to in the grid.
Click on the Update menu and choose Email Template.
Select a template from the Shipment and/or Delivery Template drop-down menu.
Click Update Selection.
ShipStation will update the templates for the selected orders and use those templates when sending the email notifications to your customers.