In my last post I talked about customizing the style of WooCommerce emails. But brands are more than just logos & colors. A brand is a combination of every experience from each of your customers. That includes the text they read on your site.
A Tale of Two Newsletter Services
Good brands can be recognized from the copy alone. Read this excerpt from a newsletter service:
Today, it seems like everyone [is in] e-commerce. Even my mom, once so leery about the whole thing, now sells cross-stitched pieces on Etsy. It’s easy to set up a store, and even easier for customers—no matter where they live—to buy your stuff. And if you’re selling online and using **, there’s probably an integration available to help you sell even more.
When you connect your store to your ** account, you’ll send better email and learn more about the people buying your products. Plus, it’s simple to get started. You’ll find integrations for popular platforms like Magento, Shopify, and WooCommerce, along with hundreds of others in our directory.
And then contrast it against another newsletter service.
Let’s face it: online shoppers have lots of buying options, and, with all of the technology that exists today, their expectations are higher than ever.
If your ecommerce site doesn’t meet their expectations, it could mean the difference between a sale and fail. In fact, 43 percent of consumers visit a competitor’s site after a negative mobile experience, and 51 percent of online shoppers say site slowness is the top reason they abandon a purchase.
The first one is personal – the author even brings up their mom's online experience. The second is more business-y and starts off the blog post with facts and figures. Without and branding you might be able to guess which companies these are. The first is MailChimp and the second is AWeber.
Can you do that with your brand? If you removed all logos & styling from your blog would your customer know who is speaking to them?
What does this have to do with WooCommerce? Well simply put you can and should do this with every aspect of your site. Including your emails. I'll show you how to do this with a plugin and then with a bit of code.
Using “Say what?” to Customize WooCommerce Email Text
One of the most useful WordPress plugins out there is Say what? (free). It lets you change the wording of any translatable string in WordPress itself or in any plugin.
For example, when a customer places an order they get an email that says:
Your order has been received and is now being processed. Your order details are shown below for your reference:
That's about as exciting as a beige wall to an interior designer. Now if you're doing business to business (B2B) sales you may want to stay with the formal language. But if you sell to people and you want to connect with them you may want to inject some of your brand into that message. Depending on your brand something like this might do:
We got your order! Give us a day to ship it and it'll be in your hands in before you can say Speedy Gonzales. Here are the order deets if you forgot:
Once you install Say what? You can enter the original string and change it.
And when you're done it'll look something like this. And you can of course take it farther and add a bit or personality the header text & the email subject line.
Hint for Entering Strings
For Say what? to work you have to enter the exact string. I recommend looking through the email templates to see the string available to you. You can find all of the emails in the WooCommerce plugin files under
Using Code to Customize WooCommerce Email Text
If you want to translate strings but don't want to use a plugin can still do this but it takes a bit of manual coding. I've talked about the gettext filter in WordPress before. You can use that filter to change any number of strings including the strings in the WooCommerce emails.