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email marketing for woocommerce

Mastering Email Marketing for Your WooCommerce Store

Rosie Greaves

In the dynamic world of eCommerce, where customer relationships are paramount, email marketing for WooCommerce is a fruitful avenue to stand out from the competition and foster lasting connections with customers.

Don't just take our word for it. A staggering 80% of marketers consider email the best marketing channel for customer acquisition, while 81% vouch for its prowess in customer retention.

With its potential to drive sales, foster customer loyalty, and enhance brand visibility, mastering email marketing can transform your online business's success.

So, to empower you in achieving that, we're delving into a few practical best practices for executing effective email marketing. We'll also unveil some of the top WooCommerce email plugins to equip you with the tools you need to take your marketing to the next level. 

Interested? Good! Let's dive in.

Email Marketing: The Basics

Email marketing goes beyond sending sporadic promotional emails to your subscribers. 

Instead, effective eCommerce email marketing focuses on building customer relationships. 

This involves sending valuable information to subscribers with messaging tailored to their specific stage of the buyer's journey.

This begs the question: What are the buyer's journey stages, and which emails should you send at each stage?

Let's take a look:

1. Onboarding/Awareness

The earliest stage of the buyer's journey is the onboarding stage (also sometimes known as the awareness stage). 

This is when a potential customer expresses interest in learning more about your brand. At this point, the shopper may not be ready to purchase, but they might have a clue that your product is the right fit for them.

So, your email content should focus on building brand awareness; such emails could include:

  • Welcome emails: When a subscriber first joins your mailing list, thank them and send a warm introduction written in a tone that conveys your brand's personality. You could even offer a coupon code to ensure you get off on the right foot. It's also worth setting subscriber expectations by telling them how often they'll receive emails from you.
  • Educational content: What problems or issues does your target demographic face, and how do your products help with this? Send emails providing links to informative blog posts, infographics, or videos offering valuable insights into how your customers can solve their issues. 
  • Newsletters: Similar to above, send regular emails (once a week is usually good) showcasing your industry expertise, providing advice, and giving your take on any updates or trends pertaining to your industry. 
Pro Tip: If you have information like the subscriber's name, always customize your emails using merge tags to make them more personal. 

2. Lead Nurturing/Consideration

During this stage, your leads are usually researching and considering different solutions to their problem. 

So, your emails need to further educate prospective customers about your brand, providing them with all the information they need to purchase.

For example, your email content should highlight your products' benefits and how said benefits address customers' needs; this could be via product demos, case studies, testimonials, comparison guides, etc. 

3. Sales/Promotional Stage 

Now, your hard work starts to pay off because, at this point, the prospect should know enough about your brand and its products to decide whether or not to make a purchase. 

However, they might need a final push. So, think of emails sent to prospects at this stage of the buyer's journey as catalysts; such content could include discounts, coupons, a free gift, or a free trial or consultation. 

4. Transactional

Congratulations! Your prospect has now become a customer! When this occurs, you should send automated transactional emails to confirm their order, forward tracking information, or even cross/upsell other relevant products.

5. Behavioral

Aptly named, 'behavioral' emails are triggered when a customer completes a pre-defined action within a particular time frame. 

For example, if someone pops an item into their shopping cart but leaves your store without buying it, this could trigger an abandoned cart email campaign. 

Here are a few pointers for writing killer abandoned cart campaigns:

  • Send the first email within an hour of the customer leaving their cart to remind them about their products.
  • The next email should be sent within 24 hours, informing them that your products are in high demand and will only remain in their cart for a while.
  • Lastly, send another email in three to five days, perhaps with a coupon code to sweeten the deal.
Pro Tip: Include product images in your abandoned cart emails to help the recipient make the connection faster and, hopefully, reignite their interest in the items they were considering.

Similarly, you could create an automated WordPress email campaign to reward customer loyalty. For example, after a customer has spent a certain amount with you or made a specific number of purchases, you could reward them with a freebie or a discount. 

Other ways to nurture loyalty include offering loyal customers early bird surprises and asking for their suggestions —  being asked for opinions always makes people feel appreciated.

Best Email Marketing Practices

Now we have a better idea of the different steps comprising the buyer's journey (and the kind of emails you should send at each stage), let's take a look at some of the best email marketing for WooCommerce practices:

WooCommerce Email Automation

We've hinted at the importance of WooCommerce email marketing automation already, but it's worth stressing that automation is key to ensuring emails reach the right people at the right time.

In a nutshell, automated email campaigns involve using an email marketing platform to send a pre-set flow of emails according to the conditions you define. This makes it possible to send personalized emails at the right time without manually sending individual messages.

Ensure Your Product Recommendations Are Relevant

If you send promotional emails, ensure they're relevant to the recipient. 

Don't just send random sales messages. 

Personalized product recommendations resonate more with prospects, enhancing their shopping experience and leading to a boost in engagement. 

After all, it stands to reason that customers feel valued when they receive recommendations catered to their preferences. So invest in a recommendation engine that automatically provides customers with relevant suggestions based on products they've bought or viewed on your WooCommerce store.

Re-Engage Inactive Subscribers

The average email list has 60% inactive subscribers. Send an automated email series to your inactive users to re-engage them. The first email could remind them they haven’t purchased from your site in a while and that you miss them! Then, a couple of weeks later, you could offer a perk like free shipping, a product discount, a free gift, etc.

WooCommerce's Native Email Functionality

So, now, let's put what we've learned into practice and start sending some emails!

WooCommerce's in-built email functionality is limited to transactional emails, which, as we've explored above, neglects a massive chunk of the customer journey. 

If you want more flexibility with your WooCommerce email marketing, don't worry; below, we'll list a few platforms that empower you to create customized, automated campaigns for different customer journey stages. 

However, before we do that, if you want to modify WooCommerce's native transactional eCommerce email campaigns, follow the steps below:

  1. Log into your WordPress dashboard
  2. Head to the left-hand menu and click on WooCommerce
  3. Click 'Settings'. 
  4. You'll see several tabs at the top of the page; click 'Emails.' 
WooCommerce email settings

From here, you can manage the following emails:

  • New order: This is sent to recipients when a new order is received.
  • Canceled order: This is sent to recipients to notify them of a canceled order.
  • Failed order: This is sent to recipients to inform them of a failed order.
  • Order on hold: This is sent to customers to provide details if their order is placed on hold.
  • Processing order: This is sent to customers to provide order details after payment.
  • Completed order: This is sent to customers when their orders are marked as complete (and usually indicates that the order has been shipped).
  • Refunded order: This is sent to customers when an order is refunded.
  • Customer note: This is sent to the recipient when a note is added to the order.
  • Reset password: This is sent to a customer after they request to reset their password.
  • New account: This is sent to customers when they sign up for an account.
WooCommerce email types

To edit the above templates, click the 'Manage' button to the right. You can then customize the email subject line, heading, content, and email type.

WooCommerce email customization options

To tinker with the email's aesthetics, scroll below the list of email templates, and you’ll see a few global customization options. 

Please note: These update all of your email templates in one go, including your email's:

  • Header image
  • Footer text
  • Body text color
  • Base color (This is the color used for your email's headings, links, and the background of your email title).
  • Background color (This is used for your WooCommerce email template background).
  • Body background color (The primary body background color).
WooCommerce email template settings

Popular WooCommerce Email Marketing Tools

Suppose you find that WooCommerce's in-built email tool to be too restricting (both in terms of design and only being able to send transactional emails).

In that case, you'll consider using WooCommerce email marketing plugins. MailPoet, AutomateWoo, and Mailchimp are just a few of the many WordPress email marketing plugins you can integrate with your store to create customized, automated email campaigns. 

To install such tools for email marketing, follow the steps below:

  1. Log in to your WordPress dashboard
  2. From the left-side menu, select 'Plugins' and then 'Add new.'
  3. Next, search for a plugin via the search bar in the top right corner.
  4. Once you've found the WordPress email marketing plugin you want to use, hit 'Install Now.'
  5. When the plugin has been installed, click 'Activate.'
Mailpoet integration

You'll then need to follow the plugin's instructions to hit the ground running with it.

Best Marketing Email Examples

To inspire your email marketing for WordPress/WooCommerce, we've listed a few best-in-class examples to help get your creative juices flowing:

Wix- Blog content round-up/newsletter

Email example_Wix

Bonsie- Transactional/ thank-you email

Email example_Bonsie

Rent the Runway- Exclusive offer/Rewarding customer loyalty email

Email example_Rent the runway

Are You Ready to Execute Effective Email Marketing for Your WooCommerce Store?

After reading this blog post, we hope you have a better idea of how to leverage email marketing to increase your WooCommerce sales. 

In this guide, we've briefly touched on the customer sales journey and how you should tailor your email marketing campaigns to meet your recipients' needs at different stages of that journey. 

We've also demonstrated that email marketing with WordPress doesn't have to be difficult so long as you have the right tools. If you want to break free of the restrictions of WooCommerce's in-built transactional email functionality, there are tons of WooCommerce email plugins, like MailPoet and Mailchimp, to help you level up your email marketing game. 

That's everything from us! Have you had much success using email marketing to promote your WooCommerce store? Tell us all about your experiences in the comments box below!

Frequently Asked Questions

We hope our guide sheds some light on how to make the most of your email marketing for WooCommerce. 

However, to help plug any gaps, we'll quickly answer a few frequently asked questions about the best eCommerce email automation strategies. We'll also spend a bit more time looking at the best email marketing plugins for WordPress:

What Is the Best Email Marketing Platform for Woocommerce?

The best email marketing platforms for eCommerce, are:

  • Mailchimp for WooCommerce
  • MailPoet
  • Conversio
  • OptinMonster
  • Constant Contact
  • Aweber

What Is the Best Email Marketing Service for WordPress?

Suppose you're looking for an expert to assist you with your WordPress email marketing automation, email copywriting, or even designing the aesthetics of your campaigns. In that case, consider hiring a freelancer on Fiverr or Upwork. Alternatively, if you wish to work with the top 3% of freelancers on the market, Toptal is also worth considering. 

What Is the Best Email Marketing Free Plugin?

There are tons of free email marketing WordPress plugins out there. However, to help narrow your search, we've listed a few platforms that boast consistently glowing reviews:

  • MailPoet
  • MailChimp for WordPress
  • SendPress Newsletters
  • Omnisend
  • Brevo

What Are Three Ways to Measure Email Marketing Success?

There are several ways to analyze the success of your email marketing campaign. However, if we were to boil this process down to monitoring three key metrics, they would be:

  1. Open rate: The percentage of recipients who open your email. A high open rate indicates your subject lines are engaging and your audience is interested in reading your emails. 
  2. Click-through rate (CTR): This is the percentage of your email recipients who clicked a link in your email. This metric alludes to the effectiveness of your email content in directing traffic to your website or landing pages.
  3. Conversion rate: The percentage of your email recipients who undertook your desired action. For example, this could be purchasing, filling out a survey, signing up for a webinar, etc., after clicking a link in your email.

What Is the Rule of 3 in Email Marketing?

The rule of three entails sending three successive emails to maximize engagement and response rates. Each email has a distinct purpose: to move the recipient through the customer journey:

  1. The first email: This should provide a friendly, concise introduction to your brand.
  2. The second email: This serves as a gentle reminder of your brand. Always lead with value while providing information about your offer and a slight nudge toward action. 
  3. The third email: Now the prospect has a better idea of who you are, provide custom product recommendations and remind them you're happy to help if they need assistance making a decision. 

What Are the Five Ts of Email Marketing?

The five Ts of email marketing are as follows:

  1. Targeting: Segment your subscribers based on their demographics, behaviors, and preferences. This empowers you to tailor your messaging to specific groups, increasing relevance and engagement with your emails.
  2. Timing: Consider time zone differences, industry norms, your target audience's habits, etc.
  3. Tailoring: Personalize your email content to appeal to recipients. For example, you could use dynamic content to show email content to recipients based on their tastes and previous interactions with your eCommerce store.
  4. Testing: Conduct A/B tests to pinpoint which subject lines, email copy, images, and CTAs bear the most fruit and optimize future campaigns accordingly. 
  5. Tracking: Track your campaigns' performance and use that data to inform future decisions. 

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Rosie Greaves

Rosie Greaves is a professional content strategist specializing in all things digital marketing, B2B, and lifestyle. In addition to Spocket, you can find her published on Reader's Digest, E-commerce Platforms, and Judicious Inc.

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