Best Tips to Customize your WooCommerce Email Templates

Email will always be the first love of digital marketing. Prompt and personalized messages sent directly to your email list will result in pure customer delight and streamline your communications. Done well, it can even generate up to 122% ROI for your business.

But great email marketing can’t be accomplished in a vacuum. Cookie-cutter templates and out-of-the-box content are a great place to start, but without a bit of finesse, they certainly won’t make a good impression on your audience. In fact, they might even keep buyers from getting emotionally involved with your brand — leading to lost sales as a result.

This is similarly true of WooCommerce’s pre-built templates. While the default emails are a decent starting point for daily automations, they shouldn’t be sent to customers without a touch of personalization.

Thankfully, not all is lost. There are several options for customizing WooCommerce’s default emails. Let’s look at the steps required to change their pre-built templates, and discuss why this process is so important for ecommerce brands.

But first, a quick word about WooCommerce’s default emails.

Default WooCommerce email templates

WooComerce comes with eleven pre-built emails, all of which were built for automation. These include:

  1. New Order
  2. Cancelled Order
  3. Failed Order
  4. Order On-Hold
  5. Order Processing
  6. Order Completed
  7. Order Refunded
  8. Customer Invoice
  9. Customer Note
  10. Password Reset
  11. New Account

The information included in these emails is bare-bones at best. For example, WooCommerce’s new order template reads:

“Hi there. Your order on [DATE]  has been refunded.”

Their new account email template is just as bland:

“Thanks for creating an account on [DATE]. Your username is X. Your password has been automatically generated: [NUMBER]. You can access your account area to view your orders and change your password here: [LINK].”

There’s nothing inherently bad about these templates, but with a significant lack of information and limited personality, they might leave your customers wanting more.

And that’s exactly why customization is a must for WooCommerce emails and beyond.

Why you should customize WooCommerce email templates

It might seem easier to keep your WooCommerce templates on their default settings. After all, it takes a lot of time and effort to shape templates into on-brand emails for your business.

But leaving your emails at their default settings may be worse for your brand than you know.

Remember the last default email you received? Of course not. Consumers are barraged by 120 emails per day, which means that only the best and most on-brand messages will stick in their minds.

Plus, WooCommerce’s default emails leave a lot to be desired in terms of instructions and brand-specific information. You might be creating unnecessary confusion that could be easily prevented by a short note in your footer.

And let’s not forget personalization. More than 70% of consumers expect to see some form of personalization in their interactions with your brand. If you’re not taking advantage of this, you may be missing out on 5.7 times more revenue.

It pays to build custom emails that are sleek, color-coordinated, and personalized to the individual. And knowing how to get started is half the battle.

Steps for customizing WooCommerce email templates

You have three major options for customizing WooCommerce’s email templates: activating default settings, writing code, or installing plugins. We’ll list these steps in order of hardest to easiest.

1. Child themes and codes

If you’re familiar with PHP, you can change your WooCommerce email text and graphics with a few lines of code.

First, open the email customization settings at wp-admin > WooCommerce > Settings > Emails.

Next, you’ll need to select the specific template you’re trying to edit. Just tap ‘Manage’ to open the editor.

You’ll want to copy the HTML template using the code provided at the bottom of each page. Just as a side note, you should always create a child theme to protect your original theme (in case things go awry). Once you’ve done this, you can copy the path to your theme and add a folder called ‘emails’ to make safer edits.

Now you can get started with the actual coding process.

Keep in mind that this is the most complicated way of changing WooCommerce’s default templates. If you want to make more involved changes without teaching yourself how to code, you’re better off using the default settings.

2. Default settings

Simple template changes can be accomplished with WooCommerce’s native features.

Once you navigate to wp-admin > WooCommerce > Settings > Emails, you can perform basic customizations like:

  • Header images
  • Footer text
  • Base colors
  • Background colors
  • Body background colors
  • Body text colors

You can also preview your newly customized templates within the WooCommerce viewer, which can be helpful as you tinker with colors and text.

WooCommerce’s basic editor is a decent place to get started with email template editing.

The catch? There are very few options for customization.

You won’t be able to change the text size or font type at all. You also can’t add any personalization to your default emails, which might prevent your brand from creating meaningful touchpoints with customers.

If you need to make granular changes to your default templates, you may need to consider a different strategy — including those offered by third party providers.

3. WooCommerce’s customization plugins

As you can see, manually adjusting WooCommerce’s default templates can be both frustrating and time-consuming.

If you’re looking to make more complex changes without opening a thousand tabs, you may want to pivot to third-party apps.

We’ve listed two of the best below.

Omnisend

Omnisend

Omnisend is one of the most popular email marketing extensions for WooCommerce. Designed specifically for ecommerce brands, the platform seamlessly integrates with WooCommerce’s email templates.

You can use Omnisend’s drag and drop email building tools to create perfectly on-brand emails without writing a single line of code. Secondary automations are also available, as well as trigger emails designed around user behavior and purchase activity.

Omnisend makes it easy to augment both your emails and your contact list with features that target modern consumers. It’s one of the few WooCommerce plugins to offer gamified popups, landing pages, and signup forms alongside automations for web push notifications and SMS.

Best of all, Omnisend’s free tier is free forever. You can get started today without paying a dime.

Mail Poet

Mail Poet

Mail Poet has become synonymous with WordPress over the last few years. The platform is specifically geared toward WooCommerce and WordPress systems, and offers a lot of flexibility for designing branded templates.

You can use Mail Poet to create automated emails that aren’t offered by WooCommerce, including abandoned cart emails or messages that are specific to your use case. The platform also releases updates every week, which means you never need to worry about breakdowns or incompatible software.

Note that Mail Poet is only free to use if you have fewer than 1,000 subscribers. More than that, and you may want to consider lower cost alternatives.

Picking the right customization strategy

A branded email is a performant email, and when it comes to your WooCommerce automations, you owe it to yourself to create custom templates with a mild pinch of personalization.

Coding is a great way to get into the weeds quickly. But if you don’t have much experience or want a faster solution, it might not be the right option for you.

Default email edits are always included with your WooCommerce plugin, but keep in mind that they provide little freedom or flexibility for detailed customization.

Customization plugins are extremely adaptable and may even be free to use. As long as you pick a provider that scales with your email list, you’ll be well on your way toward a long-term solution.

Regardless of which path you choose, be sure to select a strategy that works well alongside your business, brand, or use case. And if you’re willing to go the extra mile, you’ll be more than happy with your results.