Email is an essential part of running any WooCommerce store. From order confirmations and receipts to marketing messages and newsletters, email is how you communicate with customers.
While WooCommerce has robust email tools built right into core, to send a greater range of messages you need to integrate your online store with an email service provider and install marketing extensions.
In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the top WooCommerce plugins and extensions currently available that help WooCommerce-powered shops do more with their email communications.
For more on email marketing and WooCommerce, be sure to read 10 Excellent Free and Premium WordPress Email Marketing Plugins (2019) and A Complete Guide to Email for WooCommerce.
Let’s kick off with MailPoet.
MailPoet is the most popular newsletter plugin for WordPress. More than 300,000 websites trust MailPoet to send their marketing messages. It provides all the tools you need to create, schedule, and send stunning emails from the comfort of your WordPress dashboard.
It’s grown a following over the years as a newsletter plugin but these days it offers so much more. Now you can integrate MailPoet with WooCommerce to encourage signups at checkout, send personalized recommendations to customers based on their previous purchases, and set up all-important welcome and abandoned cart emails.
- Intuitive drag-and-drop email designer and templates
- Welcome emails and abandoned cart emails
- Automated post email notifications
- Secure and reliable deliverability via MailPoet’s email servers
- Advanced analytics for tracking open rates, clicks, and unsubscribes
- Segmentation and personalization
- Send emails that get delivered on time, every time via MailPoet’s reliable and secure email servers
How to use MailPoet
Once you’ve installed and activated MailPoet on your WooCommerce site, you’ll see your customers have been added to a new email list called “WooCommerce Customers.”
After configuring the basic settings (MailPoet > Settings) you can start sending emails to your list right away. Go to MailPoet > Emails > Add New to choose what you would like to send.
If you choose to set up a WooCommerce email, you’ll find four options: Abandoned Shopping Cart, First Purchase, Purchased In This Category, and Purchased This Product.
Let’s say you want to set up an abandoned cart email. When you click through to set up, you’ll be prompted to choose the timing of your email.
Next comes the fun part: designing your email. MailPoet has a fantastic collection of professionally-designed templates, which you can completely customize to suit your WooCommerce store.
Once you’ve picked a template, use the user-friendly drag-and-drop designer to customize every part of your email, including text, images, and colors.
Once you’re happy with your email, click “Next” to send or schedule your email.
MailPoet is free for up to 1,000 subscribers, with premium plans starting at 12€/month. Plus, you can send via MailPoet’s email servers for free.
The free version of MailPoet lets you enjoy all of its advanced features immediately without having to pay a cent, which is perfect for small business owners who are getting started building an email list. As your business grows, MailPoet will grow with you. It’ll take care of your automated emails and segmentation, and provide advanced analytics so you can track your marketing efforts.
There are lots of email customizer plugins for WooCommerce around for a reason—the standard WooCommerce email templates design is rather, well, standard. You can change the color scheme and that’s really about it.
If you want to change the look and feel of the default email, including colors, fonts, and add your logo, you’ll need a plugin like Email Customizer for WooCommerce with Drag and Drop Email Builder.
This easy-to-use plugin provides an intuitive interface for adding a logo, header image, footer text, body text, custom paragraph texts, text color, social media icons, images, and more.
- User-friendly drag and drop email editor
- Add a logo, header, footer, body text, custom paragraph texts, social media icons, images and more
- Send single-use, unique coupon codes to your customers to use for their next purchase
- Supports translations and WPML
- Shortcodes for dynamic data
How to use Email Customizer for WooCommerce with Drag and Drop Email Builder
Once you’ve installed and activated this plugin, go to WooCommerce > WooCommerce Email Customizer. Choose the default template you want to customize from the dropdown at the top and then select the sample order you want to show.
The screengrab above is from the developer’s demo site for the plugin. I recommend having a play if you’re looking for an email customization plugin for WooCommerce as it lets you get hands-on.
While similar plugins use the WordPress Customizer for editing, this plugin is much like a page builder, giving you plenty of options for completely customizing the default templates. You can drag and drop elements like text and paragraph blocks, and add images, coupons, social media icons and more.
A regular license is $49 and includes future updates and 6 months’ support.
This is a handy extension for any WooCommerce store owner looking to customize their emails. It’s super easy to use and takes no time at all to change how the various default emails look.
AutomateWoo is a marketing automation plugin that has flown under the radar in recent years as primary developer Dan Bitzer has quietly worked behind the scenes building a powerful set of features.
With AutomateWoo, you can create and automate welcome, abandoned cart, win-back, and other types of follow up emails. It also enables birthday emails, refer a friend, personalized coupons, and discounts for reviews.
Prospress bought out AutomateWoo last year, and Prospress has since been acquired by Automattic. AutomateWoo is now available for purchase from the WooCommerce Extensions Store.
- Create follow-up emails based on a variety of triggers and actions, including welcome, abandoned cart, win-back, birthday, and wishlist emails.
- Display products from your WooCommerce store in emails.
- Send personalized discounts and coupons to customers.
- Advanced analytics and statistics.
How to use AutomateWoo
After setting up AutomateWoo for the first time, the dashboard will be pretty bare. When in use, it provides stats on how many workflows have been run, conversions as a result of workflows, and other more typical email stats, such as opens and clicks.
So what’s a workflow? A workflow is a sequence you put together to carry out a particular marketing task. For example, you might set up workflows to send abandoned cart emails, invite customers to review a product, send 15% off coupons to customers who haven’t shopped with you in 90 days, etc.
A workflow is made up of different combinations of triggers, actions and rules:
- Trigger – An event that starts the workflow
- Rules – Rules determine if the workflow will run
- Actions – Actions run when rules are met
Let’s take a look at an example: how to set up a win-back email.
In the WordPress admin, go to AutomateWoo > Workflows and click on “Add Workflow.”
Give your workflow a name and then choose a trigger. In this case, “Customer Win Back.” You might want to choose the minimum number of days since the customer last made a purchase, as well as other options listed for the trigger.
Next, choose rules. You don’t have to set rules if none apply. For this example, I’m not going to use rules.
Then you want to set actions. For this example, I want to send an email that contains a 15% off coupon. Here’s are all the fields filled in for this particular action:
To the right, you’ll notice a big list of variables. These are bits of customer, order, and other WooCommerce information you can use to make actions more personalized and dynamic.
Once you’re happy with the workflow, scroll back up to the top and choose the timing (run immediately, delayed, scheduled, fixed, and schedule with a variable) and then set it to “Active” and save. AutomateWoo will take care of running the workflow whenever the trigger is met.
A single site subscription for AutomateWoo is $99 per year, including updates and support.
AutomateWoo opens up a whole world of possibilities for automating WooCommerce communication tasks. This is a powerful email marketing extension for store owners and marketers who enjoy experimentation and testing.
Be warned though, it doesn’t send emails itself. You’ll need to set up an SMTP plugin for that.
Jilt is marketed as email marketing built for ecommerce stores, and that’s a fairly tidy way of summing out what it does. Jilt integrates nicely with WooCommerce, providing tools for creating a range of automated emails that you can track and improve thanks to the extension’s detailed analytics.
- Create and send automated emails, including welcome, abandoned cards, post-purchase follow up, win back, and replenishment emails.
- Easy to use visual email builder for both marketing and transactional emails.
- Advanced segmentation lets you send different versions of your order emails.
- Personalize your emails with dynamic content based on order and customer information.
- Advanced analytics lets you monitor everything from orders to marketing campaign performance and revenue generation.
How to use Jilt
After creating an account with Jilt for the first time, you’ll be taken to the dashboard. It’ll look empty since you need to import or starting tracking orders before any data is displayed. Still, the dashboard is minimalist and easy to navigate.
To create your first email marketing campaign, choose Automations in the side panel and click “Create your first campaign.”
Choose what kind of campaign you want to create and give it a name. For this example, I’m going to create a post-purchase follow up email.
Jilt will go ahead and set up the automation with all the necessary bits and pieces set up, which you can then customize.
For this post-purchase follow up email, the automation consists of segmentation rules and emails. You can add segmentation rules to target a particular audience based on the cart, order, or customer data.
As you can see below, segmentation rules have been set for orders completed at least a minute ago, at most a day ago, and completed any date.
Next is setting up emails, which you can see have already been set up for this automation. You can add as many emails as you’d like to your series. Customers will receive all emails in the automation unless they stop matching your rules.
For example, if you add a rule like “customer order count is 1” and a customer places their second order, they will stop receiving emails in this automation.
To edit an email, click the subject line and you’ll be taken to a user-friendly drag-and-drop email builder.
When you’re done, save your email and click the name of your automation at the top of the screen (in this case, “Post-purchase follow up.”
Once you’re happy with the segmentation rules and emails, click “Go Live” to start sending your automation. Any customer who matches the rules will start to receive your emails.
Jilt is free for up to 300 contacts. Pricing starts at $29/month for up to 1,000 contacts.
Jilt is ideal for WooCommerce stores, big and small, that want to automate the most essential marketing emails. It also provides email customization, which is useful if you need a tool that combines automation and personalization.
The entire experience resides outside WordPress though.
Other plugins we recommend… and don’t
Many WordPress experts will stress that a WooCommerce should not send emails but instead, use an SMTP plugin in order to send the emails from a sending service, like SendGrid. It’s true that hosts are not ideal for deliverability. We do recommend the SMTP plugin, but you can avoid them altogether by using solutions like MailPoet.
For the longest time, Follow Up Emails was a staple of the WooCommerce Marketplace. But this plugin hasn’t been developed in a while, so we recommend to avoid it altogether.
There are quite a few email extensions available for WooCommerce, but these are my top four. Each has its pros and cons, so be sure to give them a test run before adding any of the above extensions to your site.
No matter what you choose, you can’t go wrong with powering up your email communications. Customizing your default transactional emails and sending a greater range of marketing messages will not only help you better communicate with your customers, but will help boost your revenue, too.
Want to read more about WooCommerce email? Don’t miss Email + WooCommerce: Strategies and Tactics for Selling More Stuff and How a Sunglasses Brand Built its Email Following.
Have you used any of the WooCommerce email extensions we’ve covered above? Let us know in the comments below!