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How to edit WordPress email templates: Ultimate guide 2024

Reading Time: 6 minutes

When considering how to edit WordPress email templates, a prevailing myth is that it’s complex and even requires coding expertise. In reality, it’s a straightforward task. 

With the right tools, customizing and editing your WordPress email templates is intuitive and easy. Whether you aim to grow your brand or increase customer engagement, our guide will help you edit WordPress email templates seamlessly.

We’ll cover:

Let’s get into it!

Looking for a plugin to send emails successfully via WordPress? Start with Omnisend for free

Understanding WordPress email templates

WordPress offers a variety of predesigned email templates you can use to contact your subscribers. Using a WordPress email template saves time and is a great way to ensure your communication looks professional. Templates help to:

  • Maintain consistency: When you use a template, you can ensure the design and wording stay uniform across all your emails 
  • Improve efficiency: Templates eliminate repetitive editing tasks, thus saving you time
  • Enhance brand recognition: You can edit a WordPress template to incorporate your logo and color scheme, strengthening your brand’s recognition

When sending emails through WordPress, there are two main email templates to consider:

  1. HTML templates
  2. Plain text templates

Each template has its own unique features. Let’s take a closer look:

HTML emails

Pros

  • Highly visual with rich formatting options including fonts, colors, images, and layouts
  • Tend to have higher engagement rates due to visual appeal

Cons

  • Can encounter rendering issues due to the graphics, fonts, colors, and images 
  • Take longer to load
  • Potential lower deliverability rates as they are more likely to be flagged as spam
  • Can require specialized knowledge or tools to create

HTML email example:

Scenario: A customer places a new order on a WooCommerce store, and the store sends an email notification.

This version uses HTML for a visually appealing email with images and buttons.

How to edit WordPress email templates: HTML example

Plain text emails

Pros

  • Text and message-focused, with a priority on clarity 
  • No rendering issues — they’re compatible with all platforms 
  • Small in size, with quick loading
  • Lower risk of being flagged as spam
  • Easily created and edited

Cons

  • Less engaging — better for direct communication 

HTML offers creative freedom and more engaging content. Plain text is superior in deliverability and simplicity.

So, how should you choose between HTML and plain text? This choice will depend on your audience and what you’re trying to communicate.

Plain text email example:

This version uses plain text for wider compatibility and includes all essential information.

How to edit WordPress email templates: Plain text example

Tools for editing email templates in WordPress

Now that you know which two templates to start with, you probably have another question: “How do I create a custom email in WordPress?”

Taking time to customize and edit WordPress email templates ensures that every email you send reflects your brand’s message and identity. While you can do this by hand, various tools and plugins simplify this process.

With a WordPress email template plugin, you can create striking and engaging emails in no time. Here are our top five favorite email editing tools:

1. Omnisend

Omnisend’s email builder stands out among other plugins thanks to its ease of use and intuitive design. Designed for ecommerce stores, it will help you save time and increase revenue. 

Thanks to its ease of use, Omnisend allows you to  jump straight into creating emails. It features:

  • Multi-column layouts
  • Consistency in branding
  • Integration with a vast range of ecommerce platforms
  • The ability to automatically add products from your store to your emails
  • Infinitely reusable and customizable templates
  • WooCommerce integration

2. MailPoet

MaiPoet is a popular WordPress email template plugin. It’s designed to manage and edit newsletters, automated emails, and post notifications. It also features WooCommerce integrations and has an intuitive interface. 

3. MailChimp

MailChimp aims to simplify communication with your audience. In addition to email editing, it offers list management, A/B testing, and a campaign manager to help with your marketing efforts. 

4. Newsletter

Newsletter lets you create, send, and track newsletters sent from WordPress. It offers attractive features like unlimited subscribers and newsletters, plus detailed statistics and analytics on the performance of your campaigns. 

5. Brevo

Formerly known as Sendinblue, Brevo is a WordPress plugin that integrates email marketing with SMS and other features. Brevo offers marketing automation and CRM solutions and is an intuitive and effective tool for growing your business. It’s a popular WordPress email template plugin for larger-scale campaigns. 

Alternatives to using plugins

Although they are efficient and user-friendly, it is possible to edit a WordPress email template without plugins. For example:

  • If you can code, you can directly edit the HTML/CSS of your email templates
  • You can learn how to customize email template in WordPress
  • Although expensive, you can hire an external provider to edit your email templates to match your specifications

How to customize email templates with Omnisend

Omnisend’s email builder allows everyone — from beginner to expert — to create professional looking emails with ease.

The email builder tool is intuitive and efficient. With just a few clicks, you can create visually appealing branded emails.

Here’s our step-by-step guide on how to customize email templates with Omnisend:

1. Choose your template: Before you begin, you must choose a template. Omnisend has a massive library of mobile-first email templates to ensure your emails look great on all platforms.

Choosing an email template on Omnisend

2. Build your email: After picking your template, use the Email builder to style and edit your email. You can change the width, theme, and colors in settings.

Building an email on Omnisend

3. Design your email: It’s time to create the layout. A huge premade layout library ensures your email looks exactly how you envisioned it. You can also make changes to paddings and background colors as you prefer.

Designing an email on Omnisend

4. Save your design: Once you’ve created the perfect template, click the top right-hand corner and choose the ‘save as template’ option. You now have a perfectly curated email template you can use as often as you like and edit whenever you wish.

Saving your design on Omnisend

Say bye to boring looking emails — check out Omnisend’s impressive library of free templates to inspire your next campaign!

How to manually edit email templates in WordPress

A WordPress email template plugin like Omnisend is perfect for quickly creating sleek, professional templates. But if you don’t want to use a plugin, you can manually edit WordPress email templates. Here’s how to edit a WordPress email template without plugins:

1. Access your WordPress files: You can access your files using an FTP or SFTP client such as FileZilla. You’ll need to ensure you have FTP credentials from your hosting site. You can also use the File Manager in your hosting control panel to access the files directly.

2. Locate the email template files: There are two email template files: WordPress core and theme or plugin email templates.

  • WordPress core email templates: WordPress core email templates are usually in the wp-includes directory. Unfortunately, you can’t edit these files directly, as updates to WordPress will overwrite your changes.
  • Theme or plugin email templates: Your theme or a plugin may provide email templates. You can usually find these templates within directories such as /wp-content/themes/your-theme/emails/ or /wp-content/plugins/your-plugin/emails/.

3. Create a child theme or custom plugin (recommended): This is highly recommended to prevent your changes from being lost during updates. Create a child theme, then copy the template files into it — this way, a parent update won’t overwrite your changes. Alternatively, create a custom plugin template to protect your email template modifications. 

4. Edit the email templates: Open the files in a code editor. Make changes to the HTML structure, CSS styles, or PHP code. Ensure the design is responsive and looks good on mobile devices and desktops. Inline CSS is recommended, as some clients don’t support external CSS stylesheets. 

5. Test your changes: After editing, test your changes by sending the emails to a range of clients, such as Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, etc. Use email testing tools to ensure the email renders correctly on various platforms and devices. 

6. Backup and documentation: Make sure you save all changes and keep backups of your files. Document the changes you made for future reference.

Additional tips 

We strongly recommend not editing core files on WordPress and instead create child themes or use custom plugins. You can also use version control systems such as Git to track your changes. Ensure you are up to date with WordPress coding standards to ensure optimum performance. 

If you need further information about working with HTML in your emails, Omnisend has guides on customizing HTML and the basics of HTML

Wrap up

Overall, editing WordPress email templates is not as complex as it seems. With convenient plugin options and intuitive tools like Omnisend, even beginners can easily edit WordPress email templates.

If you’re ready to expand your ecommerce business and increase efficiency, get started with Omnisend for your next email campaign. 

Ready to unlock the potential of email marketing for your WordPress site? Get started with Omnisend for free
Edvardas Mikalauskas
Article by
Edvardas Mikalauskas

Edvardas is a Senior Content Marketing Manager at Omnisend. Besides writing and editing all things marketing by day, Edvardas is also an avid tech geek and history buff by night.