Do you want to customize how your WooCommerce emails look or how they are sent?

WooCommerce sends two types of emails: 

  1. Transactional emails to customers.
  2. Notification emails to store administrators.

Transactional emails provide customers with details about their order’s status, for example, confirming a successful payment or when their order shipped. 

three colleagues look at the computer and laugh

Notification emails give you real-time updates on store-wide transactional activity. For example, notifying you when a new order is placed or when a customer cancels their order.

And there is a third possibility of WooCommerce email:

Custom email notifications.

These enable you to make entirely new email templates and send them to any recipient as triggered by many different events. For example, a ‘back in stock email’ to customers on a waiting list instantly drives sales at the push of a button.

In fact, customizing any of your WooCommerce emails gives you a chance to improve communication with customers and staff, promote your products and increase sales.

In this article, I’ll show you how to customize WooCommerce emails and, of course, how to create custom email notifications, to automate your sales growth.

Why should you customize your Woocommerce emails?

Most of us get a lot of emails. And, of course, time is limited. 

Remember, a customer’s motivation for reaching your store is interest in your products. And each point of contact with customers is an opportunity to feed their interest. 

Your business brand and style of communication play a big part. 

If your emails are memorable and personal, customers will be more likely to read them and act on them. Research suggests transactional emails are 4x more likely to be opened by customers than your marketing mailshots. Reason enough to use the advantage.

But by default, your WooCommerce transactional emails will look like this:

Screenshot with default WooCommerce email template.

Really, they’re not supposed to send them like this. It’s just a generic starting point from which all WooCommerce store owners can make changes to suit their needs. 

A blank canvas. The same is also true of the default email copy, which is bland and needs your personal touch.

Adding your own layout, logo, brand colors, text font, and tone of voice is the least you should do, especially given the positive impact your emails could have on customer interest. 

Customizing transactional emails makes the content in them a better fit for your customers. This keeps them better informed on what to expect after making an order, increasing the chances of customer satisfaction and repeat sales. Also,  promotional offers coupled with coupon codes can be used to stir up more sales during convenient periods.

Now, on the other hand, adding branding touches to admin notification emails for staff won’t make a difference to the outcome. But customizing the email content will. 

For example, passing on helpful guide notes or processing instructions within order emails is a smart way of reminding your team members of record keeping best practices. 

Simply, more useful admin emails lead to frictionless workflows: higher productivity, better outcomes – lower business costs, and more significant profit.

Now, let me show you three methods of WooCommerce email customization. The first uses global settings, the second uses web code, and the third with a suite of plugins designed to bring you ultimate flexibility – opening up many ways to make more profit.

Customizing WooCommerce emails using global settings

Making design changes

To begin customizing your WooCommerce email design, like swapping around the colors and features, you can access the basic controls in the WooCommerce global settings.
Go to Woocomerce » Settings in your WordPress admin dashboard:

Screenshot how to find settings in WooCommerce.

After clicking, you’ll arrive at the Settings page. The tab you now need is five from the left, called Emails:

Video how to find email setting in WooCommerce menu.

After clicking the Emails tab, you’ll see all the various emails that WooCommerce sends to your staff and customers. Each type of Email is highlighted in blue as a link:

Screenshot with the list of default email on WooCommerce

From here, there are two options to customize – Email Sender (where you can define which recipients get which emails) and Email Template (where you can pick the brand color, background, and text colors).

But if you are looking for a few more options and better control over email features with a more drag-and-drop experience, we recommend you use Mailpoet. 
Simply install the Mailpoet plugin, and within the WordPress admin panel, go to Mailpoet» Emails.

Mailpoet plugin on WordPress menu

Having clicked on Emails, you’ll find the WooCommerce email editing options at the furthest right of all the tabs. Click » WooCommerce.

Mailpoet plugin integration with WooCommerce


Next, scroll down the WooCommerce email options and Click » WooCommerce Email Customizer.

Video, how to customize emails with Mailpoet Plugin

After clicking on WooCommerce Email Customizer, this will load the tool. At the top of the page, a drop down box lets you select the email template you want to customize.

Types of mails in Mailpoet Plugin.

Once you’ve selected the template you want to change, next choose your design preferences under Content, Columns, and Styles.

Overview of message customization, through content, columns and styles.

Content allows adding text areas, buttons, and more. With Columns, you can change the layout, and then after, you can add custom brand colors and backgrounds under Styles.

Editing text content

Returning to WooCommerce » Settings » Email and finding the template you want to edit, click on the ‘Manage’ button to edit text content.

Click manage button to set up one of mail's templates

Now, you can change the default text and write a personalized message instead, like with this example of the Completed Order email template:

Example of a thank you email sent to a customer for a purchase

Click » Save Changes, and your new email copy is ready to fly.

Making template edits using web code

Editing code within the PHP templates

For more exact control over your WooCommerce email customization, it is possible to make text edits within the PHP code of each email template.

The first step, copy the chosen template file from the WooCommerce folder into the child theme folder. (By adding your customizations to child theme templates prevents your changes from being overwritten when updates to the parent theme occur. An important step.)

Thankfully, WooCommerce has a built-in shortcut for setting up Woocomerce email templates within your child theme folder. It’s ‘one-click simple.

Go to WooCommerce » Emails and select a template, like Completed Order, for example.

All email templates sit inside the Woocomerce folder. 

To make a copy of the template in the folder of your child theme: 

Click » Copy File To Theme button.

Once clicked, open up the template file by going to Appearance » Theme Editor, scrolling down the list go to WooCommerce » Emails. Here you’ll find a copy of that template page.

video showing how to save customize templates on the main WooCommerce view

Opening up the page will reveal the PHP code for the template.

You can make your amendments here, like changing text in the email, for example:

php code email content

The options include, but are not limited to:  

  • email-header.php  (global email header changes)
  • email-footer.php  (global email footer changes)
  • email-styles.php (global email style changes)
  • customer-invoice.php (‘customer invoice’ changes)
  • customer-processing-order.php (‘customer processing order’ email changes)

Your imagination is the limit.

Adding email content by using WooCommerce Hooks

Custom content can easily be added to the layout of your WooCommerce emails using WooCommerce hooks.

Hooks don’t allow you to edit template text, but they’re a very convenient method of adding custom inserts to your emails.

To do this, you’ll need access to make changes to your WordPress website’s functions.php file.

Once in there, you can insert the relevant hooks for the content you want to add to your WooCommerce emails.

Want to promote the availability of a newly released coupon code on every order email?

Here’s an example of what a hook inserting your promotion above the order table might look like:

add_action( 'woocommerce_email_before_order_table', function ( $order, $sent_to_admin, $plain_text, $email ) { 

	echo "<p>Launching: Our new line of sustainably sourced peanuts and corn kernels are now officially 20% off with this coupon code = NUTTY23 (valid until 28th February 2023)</p>";

}, 10, 4 );

There are so many hooks and scenarios where you might use them profitably for your store.
We recommend the WooCommerce Hooks article as the first place to visit for greater detail on this subject.

Customizing Woocommerce emails using the Notification Plugin

Automate your emails with the Notification plugin

To take your WooCommerce email customization to the next level, you can use the Notification plugin. It’s the #1 plugin in the official WordPress repository for custom notifications.

It’s the most flexible way of sending automated email alerts from your WooCommerce store. 

The plugin literally listens to every action performed within your WordPress website and has an alert possibility to match. 

Use the Notification plugin for ultimate control over your automated emails for running your business and increasing sales.

First, install the Notification plugin. When active, you can go to Notification »

Add New Notification to get started.

From here, you can set up your first email alert or notification.

To begin with, you can add a title to your notification, 

Video, how to add mail title in the Notification plugin

Then, define a certain action within WordPress that should trigger this notification to send,

Video, how to set trigger to mail with the Notification plugin

Next, select an email carrier 

Video, how to set carrier to mail with the Notification plugin.

and also choose from an array of merge tags to insert personalized content dynamically into notification emails:

Screenshot with possibilties of merge tags to insert personalized content dynamically

The possibilities at your fingertips for customizing notifications emails with this plugin are dizzying. It’s got everything covered.

So far, that’s the bare bones of what’s on offer. But the Notification plugin doesn’t just leave things there.

It comes with a whole host of extended features. Put together, these give you more automated ‘action/reaction’ email potential (made easy) than you probably thought was possible.

Here are some more ways that the Notification plugin could help you grow your WooCommerce store sales: 

First, there are custom WooCommerce triggers

With these, now it’s possible to trigger emails when customers log in, orders are created, products are added or removed from the cart, or when customers write reviews + more.

And, of course, there are all the related merge tags available for the insert. Take these order email merge tags below, for example:

Screenshot with full setting panel to customize messege with the Notification plugin

With conditional triggers, you can easily add logic rules determining which conditions lead to an email notification being sent. Sprinkle a little imagination on top, and you’ve just taken your WooCommerce business to the next level.

For example, this is how you would set up a notification that offers a discount to the customer who places that 1,000th order with your store:

A recording with an overview of the marge tag, operator and values that can be set in the Notification plugin

Simple.

Besides all this, it is also possible to attach attachments to WooCommerce emails using the Notification plugin.

The email attachment extension will neatly package any file uploaded to your WordPress media library within the email.

Now, it’s possible to place inside your WooCommerce emails: PDF brochures, jpg flyers, and more.

Types and locations file attached to WooCommerce emails via the Notification plugin.

For a solid start to using the Notification plugin, you can watch this step-by-step video tutorial.

We hope you can now see the various ways to customize your WooCommerce emails and increase sales – with or without coding experience. You may also be interested in setting up WP Cron email alerts or adding custom fields to your notifications.

Have you already used customized emails to grow your business? Tell us more in the comments below.

Published by Karolina Czapla

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