Editing Magento Transactional Emails

Matt Trimmer

magento_transactional_emails.pngBefore your Magento site goes live, there are so many things to check and test to ensure that your site is ready for the world. One thing that often goes overlooked is your transactional emails.

While most of the project is focused on the look and experience of your site, do not overlook transactional emails. They serve as the voice of your company, and deserve the same attention as the rest of the site.

Every email that is sent through Magento, whether it’s an order update, password reset, or newsletter, is managed by transactional emails. There are a number of provided templates available in Magento, so many users simply utilize the default offerings. These templates, however, tend to have rather stock verbiage, so it’s worth taking the time to edit them to be more in line with your company’s voice.

Editing these templates is where it gets tricky. In order to edit even one word in a default email template, you first must clone the default template and then edit the cloned template. Once you’ve made the edits you want, you can go into the system configuration and update an email’s assigned template so that all emails going forward use the template you have edited.

Another pitfall when editing email templates is that not every part of a transactional email is editable in the message. So, if you want to change something besides the stock wording, simply cloning and editing the default template is not going to cut it.

In order to make other changes to a template, a developer will have to override the actual template files to get to the structures and styles that a typical user cannot access. So, anything that is not plain text in a default template requires a developer to customize or change.

One common reason to override a template is to remove or replace variables such as order number or product description. If a variable is included in a default template, a developer will have to remove or replace that variable using HTML and CSS coding.

Although overriding a template to make changes to an email may sound complicated, it is a request we get from nearly every client.

So, before your site goes live, be sure to evaluate the transactional emails available with Magento. Making edits to these templates is not a flip-of-a-switch endeavor, and takes time and planning to make sure it is ready for launch.

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