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Part 8 – Overview of WooCommerce Emails

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We have now configured our payment gateway and it’s time to look at the emails. WooCommerce has a number of emails that are automatically generated and when you’re doing that, it really starts off with these set of basic options.

Email Options

So you can have a “From” name, it could be your company name and your customer service @emailaddress, something like that, like Whatever it is that you want to show up on that email address or on the email in the “From” form, this is where you want to place that.

Altering Default Templates

You can also alter the default templates without having to copy them and physically alter them. You can do that by inserting that header image, for example. Here, if you’ve got a header image that you want to add to the email template, you can use the media uploader to upload the image then put the URL here. And you can change the text that shows up on the footer here by simply typing a new text there.

Now, the html version of the emails has a set of colors that are associated with it. And these are the colors that show up there. If you want to see what that looks like, click on that preview button there and you’ll see that there’s the background color for the header. That’s that blue color, that’s base color. Background color is the whole background. The email color is that white. The body text color is that 555.

So, you have a fair bit of control over it. You can make this thing look different than it looks right now by swapping out header images and changing colors and this is the place that you would do that.

Automatically Generated Emails

So let’s take a look at the emails that it automatically generates. In the first place, it creates this new order email.

New Order Email

A new order email is sent to the person you specified in the payment gateway settings where you said, send the email to this person. That’s where the email is going.

You can also add additional recipients to this so it doesn’t have to only go to one person. You can send it to account, you can send it to the stock room or the mail room or whatever. It can go to a variety of different places, it doesn’t have to go to one person.

You can change your subject line, right now this is going to be a Thesis WooCommerce new customer order and then the order number is going to be whatever. Then the order date. Then the heading can be “New customer order” but again, you can change it to anything you want.

Then you can choose what kind of email type you’re getting. You can choose to get an html email, which is the way it is set by default. You can get plain text which of course, doesn’t have any styling in it. It’s just going to be plain or ordinary text, which actually, might be useful to you in your situation.

And it can also be both, the Multipart. The Multipart allows the user to decide what kind of email they want to view and they can either view html or they can view plain text. We’re going to leave it at html.

If you want to view this specific template, all you have to do is click “View template”. In this case, what we’re seeing is the actual code that was used to develop the template rather than say, the output of the code. This is really here for your reference, you wouldn’t want to change it here.

Let’s say you want to change the text from “You have received an order from” such and such, “Their order is as follows :”. Say you wanted to change that, well, you don’t want to change it here because the next time you upgrade WooCommerce, that change will be deleted.

So you’ll want to create your own WooCommerce emails folder inside of wp-content/themes/Thesis and then you could copy this file to that theme and then you could edit that file directly. We’re not going to bother with that because this is intended to be an overview, but part of that overview is understanding how these templates can be controlled.

You have a little bit of control over the output here from this page but then if you really need more control, if you really want to show something else or have some other aspect to it that’s not on the template, then you do have access to the template. And you can add your own html to those templates to make them do what you want them to do.

Processing Order Email

A new order. Processing order, this is the email that they get, that is your purchaser gets as soon as they completed their transaction. It’s essentially that email that we looked at on that template where it says your order has been received, we’re processing it, blah, blah, blah.

It does not confirm that payment cleared or that something has been shipped or anything like that. This is just the processing order. If you’re using PayPal standard, this won’t get sent out until PayPal reports back that the money was received. If Paypal does not report back if the money was received, this processing order things never going to get sent.

If your order doesn’t go through, the order doesn’t go through. That’s automatic email. It automatically gets sent when the financial transaction is reported to be completed. That is, you’ve collected the money.

However, in this kind of situation, if you’re just selling digital products the order is processed instantly. There’s no lag time or downtime necessary and so this whole question of this order is completed is not particularly useful. But if you are selling physical products, you’re really not going to send out this completed order email until after you’ve actually shipped the product.

So you’ve got the product, you sell cigars, they bought your cigars. You’ve packed the cigars, wrapped them in a box and gave them in to FedEx. That’s the point at which you send them an email saying that the order has been completed.

There’s an add-on that will include tracking information that we’ll talk about later, that can be added on to this but this is that email. The email that essentially says the product has been shipped and it’s not an automatic email. It’s an email that you click a button to say “send this email”.

Customer Invoice

The next one is the Customer invoice and that’s sort of the bank draft kind of or COD kind of payment system. Again, this is not to be sent out unless you are sitting in front of your dashboard and say, after an order has been processed, to send an invoice. If you do that, then this email will be sent to the purchaser.

Customer Note

Now, Customer note is not really an email. I suppose it actually can be its own little email, now that I see that. When we start creating the products, you’re going to see where this customer note thing comes in. Essentially, when you create a product you can give a product-specific message.

That product-specific message may include something like, “Login to the site to download it” or it could be, “You’ve ordered this engraving, now you need to send us the 20 characters you want engraved”. It doesn’t really matter what it is but obviously, any kind of instruction that is specific to a product is the kind of instruction that’s going to show up in this note, which is what this email is all about. This information is automatically added, you don’t have to send the note from inside the dashboard when the purchase has been made. This is automatically generated.

Automated Emails Not Related to the Purchase

Then you’ve got emails that are entirely automated but have nothing to do with the purchase. For example, allowing customers to set up a customer account. This means that they can save their shipping information, they can login and then download their products again, and they can login and see what their orders were and all the rest of that stuff.

If you have that kind of a system set up then invariably, someone’s going to lose their password. And the WooCommerce system has their password reset system that overlays WordPress’.

WordPress has a password reset but you will have to be at the WordPress login screen in order to be able to take advantage of that. Whereas, with WooCommerce, it’s really set up to not allow the customers to get to the WordPress admin screen. So this is its own system for using the WordPress password reset system and this is the email that gets generated when somebody says, “Oops, I forgot my password”.

Finally, you have this New account email which is an email where you are welcoming somebody who has chosen to sign up for an account. Whether they made a purchase or not, they’ve chosen to sign up for an account and you’re welcoming them to that.

Now, if there’s ever going to be an email that you will edit yourself this, in my estimation, is it because all this says is “Thanks for creating an account. Your username is…” or “You can access your account area here…”. I suppose you could let it go with that but I probably wouldn’t. This is something that I would probably consider adding more information to in the template.

Email Extension and Integration with Autoresponders

So those are the emails that WooCommerce automatically generates. Now there’s at least one extension that you can purchase from WooCommerce that has other kinds of emails that you can add into this process.

Plus, we will be integrating this with MailChimp here in the immediate future and the MailChimp integration will automatically add customers into the MailChimp list when they make a purchase. So you’ve got a whole other set of welcome emails that might kick in that could be more expansive in this one for example.

Email can be as simple as this block of emails here or it can also include autoresponder types of email, whether those autoresponders are controlled by your website or that autoresponder is controlled by something like MailChimp.

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