WooCommerce Email Marketing Guide: How to Grow Your Store With MailPoet

As a WooCommerce store owner, you probably know that email marketing is important. It gives you a chance to connect with your customers on your own terms and without needing to pay for ads on platforms such as Facebook and Google.

But how can you actually get started with email marketing for your WooCommerce store? What types of emails should you be sending? And once you have that knowledge, how can you actually go about sending those emails?

Even if you know that you should be “doing email marketing” for your store, those questions can make it a bit intimidating to get started.

Email marketing doesn’t have to be scary, though. With the proper knowledge and tools, you can set up an effective email marketing strategy for your store, all without leaving your WP Admin.

In this post, you’ll learn what types of emails your store should be sending. Then, you’ll learn how to grow your email lists, send one-off emails, and set up effective WooCommerce email automation strategies using the MailPoet plugin.

Let’s dig in!

What Types of Marketing Emails Should WooCommerce Stores Send?

When you’re talking about WooCommerce email marketing (and eCommerce email marketing in general), there are two broad buckets that your emails can fit into:

  • One-off email blasts – these are emails that you manually send to some or all of your customers. You might schedule them in advance and you can still set up a sequence of multiple emails, but the key idea is that you’re manually choosing when to send each email.
  • Email automations – these are emails that are automatically triggered by a shopper’s actions, such as them purchasing a specific item or abandoning items in their shopping cart. You don’t need to manually send these – you just tell your email marketing tool something like “send this email to every person who purchases X product for the first time”.

Let’s go through both types of emails…

One-Off Email Blasts

One-off email blasts help inform your customers about one-time events such as sales, announcements, new product launches, and so on.

For example, let’s say you’re running a big holiday sale. Sending an email to all of your shoppers will drive traffic to the sale and, consequently, boost your revenue and sales numbers.

To send this email, you would open up your email marketing tool, write the text, add some visuals, and then send it right away or schedule it in advance. 

That is, these types of emails require some manual effort on your part, but that effort is worth it because you can engage your customers and drive traffic to important promotions.

Email Automations

Email automations are emails that your store automatically sends based on a user’s actions.

These types of emails can offer an excellent return on investment (ROI) because of that automation. Once you set up your automation sequences, they’ll run on autopilot in the background to boost your store’s sales.

There are a lot of different ways that you can automate your store’s emails, but here are two of the most popular and highest-value automations:

  1. Abandoned cart reminders
  2. Post-purchase follow-ups

Abandoned Cart Reminders

An “abandoned cart” is when a shopper adds one or more items to their cart but doesn’t complete their purchase.

You’d be surprised by how high this rate is – the Baymard Institute put together numbers from 44 different studies and found the average cart abandonment rate to be around 70%.

Now, many of these shoppers were never going to make a purchase. But 70% is a large enough number that finding ways to recover even a tiny fraction of those abandoned carts can make a huge improvement to your store’s bottom line.

Note – “recover” in this context means convincing the shopper to come back to your store and complete their purchase.

Abandoned cart reminder emails give you a chance to recover those carts by letting you automatically send one or more emails to shoppers who’ve abandoned their carts. 

Typically, you’ll want to send these emails in a series. In the first email, you might want to just remind the shopper to check out. In subsequent emails, you can offer a special coupon code to add a little incentive.

And guess what – these automatic emails work pretty well. Klaviyo found that abandoned cart emails can recover 3-5% of abandoned carts on average. 

That might not sound like a lot, but let’s do the math:

If your store’s abandoned cart rate is 70% (the average) and you recover 5% of abandoned carts (at the higher end of average), you just boosted your store’s orders by a whopping 12%! 

What effect would it have on your store’s bottom line if your orders were 12% higher than they are right now? It certainly wouldn’t hurt, right?

Even recovering just 3% of abandoned carts would still mean ~7% more orders for your store, which is nothing to sneeze at.

Post-Purchase Follow-Ups

Post-purchase follow-ups are emails that your store automatically sends to a shopper after that shopper makes a purchase. You can use these emails to:

  1. Boost your sales by encouraging shoppers to place more orders/purchase more items.
  2. Maintain engagement with your shoppers.
  3. Help your shoppers get value from the products that they’ve purchased (which makes them happier and more likely to remain customers).

One common strategy is to send an email after a shopper makes their first purchase at your store. Your goal for this email is to thank the shopper for their purchase and encourage them to make another purchase in the future. Many stores will include a special coupon in this email as an incentive for the shopper to make another purchase.

Another strategy is to send a follow-up email after a shopper purchases a specific product. You could use this opportunity to provide the shopper with information on how to get value from the product, or you could share similar products that you think the shopper might be interested in (or both!).

How to Use MailPoet for WooCommerce Email Marketing

Now that you know the theory behind WooCommerce email marketing, let’s get into the next important question – how can you set up these types of email marketing strategies for your WooCommerce store?

To implement everything that we discussed above, you can use the MailPoet WordPress plugin.

MailPoet is a full solution for WooCommerce email marketing that lets you manage everything without leaving your WP Admin. 

You’ll be able to:

  • Grow your email lists using forms and/or by letting shoppers opt in during checkout.
  • Design your emails using a visual, drag-and-drop interface.
  • Segment your customers based on key details such as their lifetime customer value, number of orders, and so on.
  • Send one-off email blasts to some or all of your shoppers.
  • Set up the types of automation sequences that we discussed above, including built-in functionality for abandoned cart reminders and post-purchase follow-ups.

Once you send your emails, MailPoet will give you detailed analytics on both engagement and the actual revenue that each email drives. This lets you see exactly how effective your email marketing efforts are and make improvements where needed.

MailPoet also includes its own email sending service, which means you can be confident that your emails will make it to your shoppers’ inboxes.

In this post, we’re focused specifically on using MailPoet for email marketing, but MailPoet also lets you customize your WooCommerce transactional emails and improve their deliverability. If you’re interested in those features, we have a separate guide on using MailPoet for WooCommerce transactional emails.

MailPoet is 100% free to send unlimited emails to up to 1,000 subscribers. Once your store grows past 1,000 subscribers, MailPoet’s paid plans start at $13 per month.

Here’s how to use MailPoet to boost your WooCommerce email marketing efforts…

How to Set Up the MailPoet Plugin

To get started, you first need to set up the MailPoet plugin and connect it to your WooCommerce store.

First, install and activate the free MailPoet plugin on your site. If you’re not sure how to do that, we have a guide to installing WordPress plugins.

Then, go to the new MailPoet tab in your WP Admin to complete a short setup wizard.

On the first screen, enter your “From Name” and “From Address”. Your customers will see these details when they receive emails from your store:

Next, you’ll get some optional steps, such as enrolling in anonymous usage stats and joining a free course from MailPoet.

When you reach the fourth step, click the button to sign up for MailPoet Premium. Again, MailPoet Premium is 100% free to send unlimited emails to up to 1,000 subscribers. You only need to pay when your store grows past 1,000 subscribers:

After signing up for MailPoet Premium, you’ll receive a license key that you can add to the plugin’s settings to connect your account.

In the last step, you can connect MailPoet to your WooCommerce store. If you decide to import your existing customers as subscribed contacts, make sure that they’ve opted in to receiving marketing emails from you:

Now, you’re ready to get started with your email marketing efforts!

How to Grow Your Email Lists

Before you can start sending your shoppers marketing emails, you first need to get their permission to send them marketing emails, AKA their “opt in”.

MailPoet gives you two main options for growing your list – we recommend employing both strategies in your store.

First off, you can add an opt-in checkbox to the WooCommerce checkout page that gives shoppers the option to opt-in to marketing emails when they’re making their purchases:

To enable this feature in MailPoet, go to MailPoet → Settings in your WP Admin. Then, click on the WooCommerce tab and make sure to check the Opt-in on checkout box. Below that, you can also customize the opt-in message text:

Second, MailPoet lets you build your own opt-in forms using blocks and the WordPress editor. You can create inline forms, popups, notification bars, and more.

To create a new opt-in form, go to MailPoet → Forms and then click the New Form button. You can choose from one of the pre-made templates or start with a blank form:

Then, you’ll be able to customize your form using the WordPress editor. MailPoet will also show you a welcome video that explains how the editor works:

How to Segment Your Shoppers

Segmenting your shoppers into different groups can be a great way to optimize your efforts, especially when you’re sending one-off email blasts. For example, you might want to send different emails to your loyal shoppers versus people who haven’t made a purchase yet.

With MailPoet’s built-in segmentation rules, you can easily set up these targeting segments and use them when sending emails.

To create a new segment, go to MailPoet → Lists and then click the New Segment button. You can then use the WooCommerce segment conditions to filter out customers with a minimum total spend, who purchased certain products or types of products, and more:

How to Send Manual Email Blasts

We’ll show you how to set up email automation in a second, but first, let’s talk about how to manually send one-off email blasts. You can use these to announce sales, share important notifications, launch new products, and more.

To create a new email, go to MailPoet → Emails and then click New Email. For a one-off email blast, you’ll want to create a new “Newsletter” email:

You’ll then have the option to choose from one of MailPoet’s pre-made email templates or design your own from scratch:

Once you choose your starting point, you’ll be in MailPoet’s visual, drag-and-drop email builder. You can…

  • Add new content using the content elements.
  • Create custom layouts using the column elements.
  • Customize the general style of your email.
  • Customize the style of individual elements by clicking on them.

You’re also able to enter your email’s subject line and preview text in this interface:

Once you’re happy with your email’s design, click the Next button in the top-right corner.

On the final screen, you can configure some nitty-gritty details about your email:

  • Lists – choose to send your email to all customers or to specific lists or segments.
  • Schedule it – you can either send the email right away or schedule it to send at a certain time.
  • Send and Reply-to – you can customize the contact details for this email.
  • Google Analytics Campaign – you can link your email to Google Analytics so that you can track it.

When you’re ready to send your email, click the button to Send (if sending right away) or Schedule the email:

If you’re not ready to send the email quite yet, you can also save it as a draft so that you can come back to it in the future.

How to Set Up WooCommerce Abandoned Cart Emails

As we discussed above, automatic abandoned cart reminder emails are a great way to try to recover some of your store’s abandoned carts. 

MailPoet includes a built-in abandoned cart reminder feature that lets you send a single email or a sequence of multiple emails. MailPoet recommends sending three emails in a sequence – you can read about abandoned cart email best practices if you’re interested in learning more.

To get started, go to MailPoet → Emails and click the New Email button. Scroll down to the WooCommerce emails section and click the Set up button for the “Abandoned Shopping Cart” email:

First, you’ll choose when to send the email. For the first email, the default of 30 minutes after the last page load is a good starting point:

Next, you can choose one of the special abandoned cart reminder email templates:

You can then customize your email using the same visual editor from above. The key detail here is that you get an Abandoned Cart Content element that will automatically insert the items that each shopper abandoned in their cart:

On the last screen, you can configure a few final details. When you’re ready to activate your automation, click the Activate button:

To add more emails to your sequence, you can repeat the same steps. Just make sure to choose a different timing sequence for each email. A good starting point is the following:

  • First email – 30 minutes after the abandoned cart.
  • Second email – 24 hours after.
  • Third email – 72 hours after.

How to Set Up WooCommerce Post-Purchase Follow-Up Emails

Another very useful WooCommerce email marketing strategy is sending post-purchase follow-up emails.

MailPoet lets you send three different types of automated follow-up emails:

  • First Purchase – your store will send this email after a shopper makes their first purchase, regardless of what product(s) the person bought.
  • Purchased This Product – your store will send this email to shoppers who purchased a specific product for the first time.
  • Purchased In This Category – your store will send this email to shoppers who purchased any product in a specific product category for the first time.

For example, one popular strategy to encourage first-time buyers to become repeat customers is to send them a special coupon code after their first purchase. This coupon code encourages them to make a second purchase which hopefully gets them in the habit and converts them into a long-term customer.

To create a post-purchase follow-up email, go to MailPoet → Emails and click the New Email button. Then, choose the type of follow-up that you want to create. For this example, we’ll do a “First Purchase” follow-up email:

On the first page, you can choose the timing of the email. You could send it immediately after the person’s first purchase, or you could wait X hours, days, or weeks:

As with the other types of emails, you can then choose a pre-made template and design it using MailPoet’s editor.

You can edit your sending details and activate the email on the last screen, just like you did for the abandoned cart reminder emails.

And that it’s it!

If you’d like to set up other types of post-purchase emails for products or product categories, you can repeat the same steps.

Get Started With WooCommerce Email Marketing Today

WooCommerce email marketing is a great way to connect with your shoppers and boost your store’s revenue.

Once you build a list, you can send out one-off blasts to promote one-time events and announcements. Beyond that, you can also set up email automation rules to grow your store on autopilot.

For the easiest way to get started with WooCommerce email marketing, you can use the MailPoet plugin.

MailPoet helps you build your email lists, manage and segment your subscribers, and send one-off or automated marketing emails – all without leaving your WP Admin. You’ll also get built-in analytics so that you can see how effective your email marketing efforts are at driving revenue.

If you’re ready to get started, install the free MailPoet plugin today. And if you want to learn how to use MailPoet to go beyond marketing emails and also improve your store’s transactional emails, check out our guide to WooCommerce transactional emails.

Finally, if you’re still in the early stages of planning your store, click here to learn how the WordPress.com eCommerce plan can handle all of the technical details of running a WooCommerce store for you so that you can focus on implementing tactics like email marketing instead of messing around with technology.

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The WordPress.com Team

At WordPress.com, our mission is to democratize publishing one website at a time. Create a free website or build a blog with ease on WordPress.com. Dozens of free, customizable, mobile-ready designs and themes.

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