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How to Customize Your E-Commerce Store’s Emails

Last Updated on May 1, 2023 by Numinix Developer


Emails are powerful marketing tools because they are very personal. Every email sent to a potential or current customer lands directly in his pocket. Each message sent by your store can be considered a marketing piece. Even your store’s automatic emails, such as order confirmations, account creation or password reminders, can work to encourage customer loyalty and repeat business.

The design and content of your emails plays an important part in building loyalty, trust and brand awareness. Crafting your company’s messages clearly and having a design that is consistent with your brand will go a long way. If you plan to create your email designs and content yourself, we recommend having a look at this email design guide from Mailchimp before tackling your store’s emails. Check our new MailChimp Plugin for Zencart.

Once you have decided on the changes to be made to your store’s emails, you can start editing them. Luckily for us store managers, most e-commerce systems allow email content customization and even layout redesigns if you are familiar with HTML and CSS. Let us show you how to navigate the Zen Cart, WooCommerce, OpenCart, Magento and Shopify platforms to tackle your store’s emails.

Customizing Zen Cart emails

The first step to customizing Zen Cart emails is to change the admin email settings to allow HTML emails. Here is how:

  • Go to Configuration > Email Options
  • Set Use MIME HTML when Sending Emails to true
  • Set Email Admin Format? to HTML
  • Go to Configuration > Customer Details
  • Set Customer Default Email Preference to 1 for HTML

Now you can go to each email file to edit them. For example, the emails may be located in the folder: catalog/email/email_template_checkout.html. Zen Cart uses variables for some of the text values, allowing you to use the same templates for multiple languages. The text content of the emails is located in the language files under catalog/includes/languages/. See the official wiki for more info on how to work with text variables.

Customizing WooCommerce emails

WooCommerce emails are kept in the following folder structure: woocommerce/templates/emails/. However, the best way to edit them is creating a new folder inside your theme folder that will override the default emails: yourtheme/woocommerce/emails/. Check the WooCommerce documentation for the detailed tutorial to email customization.

Customizing OpenCart emails

Much like Zen Cart, Open Cart organizes content and design in different files. The email templates for design changes are located under: catalog/view/theme/YOUR_CUSTOM_THEME/template/mail/ (or catalog/view/theme/default/template/mail/ if your theme does not include emails). If you need to edit the text content of the emails, go to catalog/language/english/mail/.

Customizing Magento emails

Similarly to WooCommerce, Magento template files should be overridden with your store’s customized emails. The default files are stored in app/locale/en_US/template/email. However, to override them you can use the admin panel. Log in to the store’s admin and go to System > Transactional Emails. To create a new override, click on Add New Template.

Customizing Shopify emails

With Shopify, all customizations are made within the site’s dashboard. To personalize emails, log in to your store’s admin and navigate to Admin > Settings > Notifications. Follow the Shopify manual for detailed instructions.

Do you need help customizing your store’s emails? Request a quote today.


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