Anatomy of an Email: Chipotle

When Chipotle comes to mind, your thoughts are probably of burritos, chips, salsa, and that totally-worth-the-extra-charge guacamole. What you may not associate with Chipotle is the ingenuity of their emails, but in this case, that may just be what makes them so great. 

When individual emails fit into a larger strategy of a seamless overall customer experience, they may not be the most memorable—But that’s not the point. When emails like the thank-you order confirmation from Chipotle below arrive in your inbox, you’re probably left with thoughts of a company’s helpfulness and efficiency, which, as a franchise, is exactly the goal.

In this Anatomy of an Email, we’ll break down what makes this email so great.

7 takeaways for your email marketing strategy

1. Lead with kindness.

This idea is something that could be applied in every aspect of your life, but when it comes to business communications, a genuine “Thank-you” goes a long way. Beginning your copy by telling a customer you’re thankful for them is a proactive way to let them know you have their best interest in mind. Whether you’re selling insurance or building burritos, trust is key, and kindness is the best kind of start.

2. Beat them to the questions.

This email specifically calls out frequently asked questions, and it works incredibly well. From “When do I pick it up?” to the where, who, and what of the order, Chipotle uses a customer’s perspective to organize this email, and it’s understated genius.

3. Make answers easy to find.

It’s more than likely that the customer opened this email with one question in mind: “When will my order be ready?” and instead of distracting the reader with other promotions and messaging, Chipotle makes the right functional move with this email, making the answer to this question the email’s focal point.

4. Consider your customer’s next step.

We’ve talked a lot about the customer journey before, but it doesn’t always have to end with a purchase. This email follows the customer’s mindset and answers questions that may arise before they have an opportunity to ask, like “Okay, now that I know when my order will be ready, where do I go to pick it up?” It’s thoughtful and premeditated, just like any good burrito would be.

5. Create visuals with a purpose.

The map listed below the store’s address provides visual context and breaks up the copy with purpose. Imagery can add or detract from your core message, depending on its use, but when it works to help the customer, it’s a win-win.

6. Organize the email in an intuitive order.

If you’re making a purchase in real life, what’s the last thing that happens after your transaction is approved? The cashier hands you the receipt. Following this familiar process, Chipotle lists the receipt at the end, making it the lowest priority yet still organized enough for a quick-reference when you arrive at the store.

7. If you’re a franchise, provide ways to connect with the larger organization and their local location.

By providing multiple ways to connect, Chipotle is allowing customers to connect with their online community on social media, as well as find out more about the location closest to them. This can be a tricky balance to keep when you’re a franchise, but they do it with clarity, which is why it works. 

Wrap up

Chipotle does a great job of showing how simple and effective email design can enhance a customer's overall experience. And as a franchise location, they are great at brand consistency across many locations. If you own a business with multiple locations, check out our new platform, Emma HQ, created specifically with you in mind. 

About the Author

Kaitlin Wernet

Kaitlin Wernet is a content specialist on Emma's marketing team. When she's not restraining herself from using too many exclamation points or grabbing one more La Croix from the office kitchen, she can be found working on her first book or planning her next big travel adventure.

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