WooCommerce Subscriptions Emails: Go Beyond Basic Reminders with Personalized Notifications!

Editorial Team
September 21, 2022
WooCommerce Subscriptions Emails: Go Beyond Basic Reminders with Personalized Notifications!

If you have a subscription-based business powered by WooCommerce Subscriptions, you already know the importance of retaining customers.

Along with the plug-in, you get their BASIC WooCommerce Subscriptions email notifications - the ones that go out whenever a new subscriber joins or a subscription is about to expire, etc.

Their built-in email notifications functionality is good for standard templates, but if you want to level up your customer retention game - you need a robust follow-up engine.

No doubt, timely communication helps you retain more subscribers, add automated WooCommerce email reminders to the mix, and see better results.

What will you learn in this post?

  • Challenges and limitations of WooCommerce Subscriptions email notifications
  • Create 5 advanced personalized automated email notifications

What Are WooCommerce Subscriptions Email Notifications?

The WooCommerce Subscriptions is a WordPress plugin that allows you to create and sell subscription-based plans on your WooCommerce stores.

The WooCommerce Subscriptions emails are the email notifications that are sent to your subscribers at the time of new subscription, renewal, cancellation, and other status changes.

woocommerce subscriptions email notifications - product page

With the plugin, you can either create a simple subscription plan, where you can charge your subscribers weekly, monthly, or annually.

Or, you can create a multi-tier subscription plan, wherein each tier comes with different services and at different prices.

For example, hosting services provide multi-tier subscription plans.

What Is Missing in WooCommerce Subscriptions Email Notifications?

The WooCommerce Subscriptions plugin comes with an in-built email notifications service that can send some standard notifications, but even with that, you’d have to know basic HTML to modify them.

This could elongate your process of building your follow-up emails.

The in-built notification service has some serious challenges and limitations. It cannot do some of the most crucial things. Such as:

  • Ability to personalize emails
  • Design aesthetic emails
  • Subscriber analytics
  • Create an email sequence/follow-up emails
  • SMS notifications

Apart from that, if you head into the email section of WooCommerce, you will see there is not much customization or personalization you can do there.

To go to this section, WooCommerce >> Settings >> Emails

woocommerce subscriptions email notifications tab

The pre-built email subscription notifications are not only limited but also difficult to personalize.

If you click on the Manage button of any email notification, you can see there is nothing much you can do with customizing the content or adding a personalized touch.

woocommerce subscriptions email notifications - manage/edit emails

Fortunately, there are tools specifically designed for WooCommerce stores on WordPress that can allow you to send custom content and personalized subscriptions-related email notifications.


FunnelKit Automations, is one such marketing tool. The most powerful WordPress marketing tool that can handle all your CRM needs - build automated workflows in minutes, an ever-growing library of pre-built recipes, real-time insights, advanced customization, and SO MUCH MORE!

Challenges and Limitations of WooCommerce Subscriptions

Some subscription-based businesses have multiple products or services with different subscription plans.

Maybe you publish a magazine edition every month and need to customize your subscription reminders to remind your subscribers about the upcoming edition.

Or, maybe you need to personalize your email subscription notifications for a particular set of subscribers.

It is difficult to do these things with the in-built email notifications.

Even though your subscribers are aware of the subscription cycle, it is only polite to let your subscribers know that they are going to be charged for their subscription.

This will not only lead to creating a good brand image but also lesser complaints and angry customers.

As a WordPress user, this is common knowledge that the more plugins you install, the more load it puts on your website.

Hence, you need a plugin that can do it all.

What FunnelKit Automations brings to the table is a complete framework to design beautiful on-brand emails using our drag-and-drop email builder.

You can also set advanced delays and create condition-based workflows to better engage with your subscribers and prevent churn.

You can even set Goals for your automations to achieve exactly what you need.

Getting Started with FunnelKit Automations to Set Up Subscription Emails

With FunnelKit Automations’s next-gen automation builder, i.e., the Canvas interface, you can visualize your email workflow as you build it.

FunnelKit Automations’s ever-growing library of pre-built automations comes with 3 WooCommerce email sequences and various other essential workflows such as first purchase anniversary, abandoned cart recovery, turning new subscribers into customers, and many more.

Our ever-growing library of pre-built automations comes with 3 WooCommerce email sequences and various other essential workflows such as first purchase anniversary, abandoned cart recovery, turning new subscribers into customers, and many more.

So, first, you need to install and activate FunnelKit Automations on your website.

Install FunnelKit Automations

In your WordPress dashboard, click on Plugins >> Add New >> Search FunnelKit Automations

Installing FunnelKit Automations plugin

Install the plugin and activate it. You can see them in your plugin dashboard.

FunnelKit Automations plugin installed

FunnelKit Automations is available in two versions - the lite version and the pro version.

While the lite version gives you enough resources to start building your abandoned cart recovery sequence, welcome sequence, winback campaigns, and much more, the pro version unlocks broadcasting features and even more triggers.

If you decide to purchase the pro license, then follow these instructions to download the install FunnelKit Automations Pro.

So, now, let’s see how you can build 5 custom and personalized email sequences for your subscribers with FunnelKit Automations.

5 Must-Have Email Sequences to Keep Your Subscriptions Business Running 

Now, we will discuss 5 email sequences that will keep your business up and running even when you are asleep.

You don’t have to worry about communicating with your subscribers for renewal payments or nudging them that their subscription is about to expire.

Once you set up these automations, your business will run on autopilot.

So, let’s create our personalized WooCommerce Subscriptions email notifications.

1. New Subscribers Welcome Emails

Welcome emails generally have high open rates because people are looking forward to receiving them.

You don’t need to emphasize a lot on the email design. Just ensure that the text you send is a straightforward, personality-infused email.

The subject line should be catchy and not something generic like - ‘Welcome to XYZ’ that gets lost in their busy inbox.

The CTA can be a request to join your Facebook community or maybe a Slack channel. These spaces are where they can bump into other members of the community.

To build your own, go to the FunnelKit Automations dashboard. Click on Campaigns and go to Automations (Next Gen).

Click on Add New Automation on the right-hand side.

creating a new automation - add new

Now click on the Start from Scratch button and add a suitable name to your automation.

start from scratch - build a new automation

Add a suitable name, and click on Create.

naming the new automation

Once you are on the Canvas interface, you can start building your automation. Now select the trigger. 

Click on Select Trigger to open a popup window. Now click on WooCommerce and scroll down to the Subscription section and select Subscription Created.

selecting the trigger for welcome email - woocommerce subcription email notification

Now, add a Delay. Click on the ‘+’ icon and select Delay.

adding delay - woocommerce subcription email notification

You can set a delay of minutes, hours, or even days. We are keeping it 1 minute.

adding a delay of 1 minute

Now, again click the ‘+’ icon and add an Action

Now, you will work on the email copy that you will send to your new subscribers. Go to Messaging > Email > Send Email

selecting action - send email

Now, pen an awesome email copy to welcome your new subscribers. You can simply thank them or nudge them to join your community boards.

woocommerce subscriptions email - welcome email copy for new subscribers

2. Subscription Renewal Reminders

With FunnelKit Automations, you can send your subscribers timely reminders to renew their subscription.

Just like above, click on Add New Automation, assign a suitable name, and start building your subscription renewal reminder email sequence.

This time, you will select a different trigger: Subscriptions Before Renewal.

selecting a trigger - renewal emails

Click on the trigger to configure it.

configuring a trigger

We are going to set it at 14 days, so the subscribers whose subscriptions are about to expire in the next 14 days will receive the email.

You can even set the time of the day when the email should go out.

adding 14 days subscription renewal period

Now to send an email, click on the ‘+’ icon and add an Action.

Now select Send Email.

sending an email - woocommerce subcription email notification

Writing this email will be tricky. You have to convince the subscriber to renew and also remind them of the benefits they’ve enjoyed till now.

This is an example that you can use to design your WooCommerce Subscriptions renewal email:

woocommerce subscriptions email - reminder emails for renewal - email copy

Pre-renewal emails will allow you to lower the charge-backs/refunds and maintain a good relationship with your payment processing company.

You can even set up a follow-up email after a week to remind the subscriber that their subscription is about to expire.

Add a Delay of a week, as illustrated in the previous email sequence, and then add an Action. 

Draft an email and let the subscriber know about their impending subscription expiry.

You could add another follow-up email - a day before the expiry - to remind the subscriber if the last two emails didn’t work.

FunnelKit Automations’s smart conditional logic will automatically push the subscriber out of this automation if they renew their subscription after any of the above emails.

3. Free Trial Ending Reminder Emails

The word “FREE” is a powerful marketing message and can urge users to try out your product or your service for a few days.

Our user Wardee Harmon offered a free trial on her traditional cooking course.

She mentioned that due to the free trial, more people continued with her course.

Create discount coupons with FunnelKit Automations and urge free trial users to continue their paid subscription.

Click on Add New Automation.

Click on the Select Trigger button and select Subscription Trial End under WooCommerce.

selecting a trigger - subscription trial end

Now, add a Condition.

adding a condition

When the Condition window pops up, select Add New Condition.

configuring the condition

Select the group of WooCommerce Subscriptions.

selecting a group to set condition

Now, select the subscription item option in the next dropdown.

subscription items - woocommerce subcription email notification

Select criteria: matches any of, and then add your product's/service's name.

selecting a product to offer discount

If the subscriber matches our Condition, a discount coupon will be sent, if not, they won’t get a discount coupon.

adding an action to create a coupon

In the WooCommerce section, select Create Coupon.

creating a coupon

Configure the coupon settings. We are giving a 15% discount coupon which expires after 1 day.

copying the coupon code
  • Coupon Title: Assign a name to your coupon.
  • Discount Type: Type of discount you want to give
  • Amount: The amount of discount you want to give. 
  • Coupon Code Prefix: Add a text that will be sent along with FunnelKit Automations’s auto-generated discount code
  • Coupon Expiry: Create urgency with time-bound coupons.
  • Allow Free Shipping: You can give free shipping 

Now, just like we have discussed previously, add an Action and select Send Email.

Craft a good email that urges your free trial users to purchase your paid subscription. Insert the coupon code (highlighted in blue) into your email copy.

Want to learn how to create personalized dynamic coupon codes? Read this article

Here's an incredibly effective trial-ending email on Copyhackers. You can insert a personal story to connect with your users.

woocommerce subscriptions email - email copy for free trial ending email

4. Renewal Payment Failure Emails

There can be several reasons why a user's renewal payment fails. Minimal usage of your product or service is just one of them.

Other reasons can be - they were unaware that the membership ended, a technical glitch, the card was declined, the card on file expired, temporarily insufficient funds in the attached bank account, and many more.

Click on Add New Automation, and assign a name to this WooCommerce Subscriptions email sequence.

When on the Canvas interface, click on Select Trigger.

As the popup opens up, click on the WooCommerce tab and select Subscriptions Renewal Payment Failed.

After you save the trigger, click on the ‘+’ icon and add an Action.

Select Send Email event under Messaging.

Now create an awesome email copy. 

It is important you remind them of the value of being a member and get them to fix the issue in time.

Here's an email that Skype sends out when the subscription renewal fails:

woocommerce subscriptions email - subscription-renewal-cancelled

Just in case they're done and don't want to renew, you can send a friendly email just asking for their feedback.

You can make a high percentage of your customers come back and stay on by sending timely reminder emails.

5. Card on File is About to Expire

Antifraud laws require credit cards to expire within three years of being issued. 

Therefore 1-in-3 customers need to update their payment information within the next year to keep their payment from being declined.

It's highly likely that people can forget to update their new expiry date in all the subscription-based services they are using, so you can take a proactive step here by reminding them a few days before their card on file expires.

Let them know that their card expiry date is approaching, and they can take timely action to prevent payment failure.

Click on Add New Automation, and assign a name to this WooCommerce Subscriptions email sequence.

When on the Canvas interface, click on Select Trigger.

As the popup opens up, click on the WooCommerce tab and select Customer Before Card Expiry.

Click on the trigger to configure it.

Configure the settings. When do you want to remind the customers that their card on file is about to expire? 30 days is a good number.

You can even set the time when the email should go out.

Click on the ‘+’ icon and add an Action.

Here is an example of how you can craft an instigating email that not just reminds the user about their credit card expiry but also the benefits they’ve gotten from your products/services.

woocommerce subscriptions email - card expiry emails

Are You Ready to Retain More Subscribers with Automated Workflows?

Netflix lost nearly a million subscribers in the 2nd quarter of 2022.

Subscription churn is REAL.

So, if you have a subscription-based business powered by WooCommerce Subscriptions, you need to build healthy bonds with your customers and lower your churn rate with automatic renewal reminder emails.

You need a robust follow-up engine like FunnelKit Automations that gives you advanced customization possibilities, more opportunities to get in touch with your subscribers, personalize your WooCommerce subscription reminders to make them look on-brand, AND MORE!

A well-planned, personalized email communication strategy can secure your revenues by preventing cancellations and angry complaints from customers.

Get on the bandwagon and make your subscription management a smooth sail with the most powerful WordPress marketing automation engine - FunnelKit Automations.

Author: Editorial Team
The Editorial Team at FunnelKit (formerly WooFunnels) is a passionate group of writers and copy editors. We create well-researched posts on topics such as WordPress automation, sales funnels, online course creation, and more. We aim to deliver content that is interesting and actionable.
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