How to Work with Email Templates

Create custom email templates to be sent to your customers, your vendors, your staff, yourself or anyone else who may need to be notified regarding your orders. These emails can be sent out automatically based on certain events and filters with your orders, or you can send them manually.

You can create multiple email templates and customize each of them to pull any information from your orders in Order Desk, and they can be designed to fit your brand.

For more information, please see our How to Send Email From Order Desk guide.


Create Email Templates
Sample Templates
Edit Email Templates
Common Code Examples
Send Emails

Create Email Templates

To create an email template, click on Templates in the Settings menu in the left sidebar. Under the Email Templates section, click on Add New Email Template.

When you first add a new email template, it will be populated with the default shipment notification template.

You can either use this template as is, delete it and replace it with another template, delete it to create your own template, or edit it to include the specific information and customizations you want.

Sample Templates

A few sample email templates already exist and can be found here. You can use or customize any of these for your own emails.

Email templates and receipt templates do not use the same syntax. The code that works in a receipt template will not work if copied into an email template.

Edit Email Templates

When starting with the default shipment notification template, to edit or replace the body of the template, you will need at least some knowledge of HTML.

Using code or email templates copied from other websites will not work. If you wish to customize your templates but are unfamiliar with code, please work with a skilled designer or developer.

There are three sections to the template page.

Template Fields and Email Overrides


Give your template a name so you can easily identify it from a list of templates in the Rule Builder or from the email icon dropdown.

This will be the subject of the email that is sent to your recipients.

This field overrides the default from name on the email, which will be your Order Desk store unless otherwise specified here.

Put in the email address you want this email say it is from if you don't want to use your customer facing store email pulled from your store settings.

Please note: if your emails will be sent using Google Servers, this setting will not override the email. You'll need to make that change using the email in your Order Desk store settings or in your Google account settings.

Put the email address you want this email to be sent to if different from the customer's email address. If no address is used here, this email will be sent to the customer.

Put the an additional email address where you want the email be sent.

If any URLs have been added to your order metadata or checkout data fields, add the field names for that data to include them as attachments to your email. For example, create a pdf from an order receipt and attach it to the email.

Email Template Code

This is the code that creates the email template and will need to be edited if you want to change the order data pulled into the template or customize the message displayed in the email.

For a list of field names and a few examples of code that can be added to email templates, scroll down to the next section.

Send Preview Email

You can send yourself a preview email using an actual order from your store to check that your code is working and see what you recipients will receive.

To send a preview of your email template, use a real order number from your store and the email address you want to send the preview to:

If the code is formatted properly, you will see a green SENT message after clicking to send the email.

If any part of the code is not formatted correctly, you will see a little spinning icon, and the email will not be sent. If this happens, refresh the page and check your code for any errors before trying to send a preview again.

Common Code Examples

For a list of Order Desk field names, refer to this reference guide. The most commonly used field names in email templates are:

{{ store_name }} - to pull in your Order Desk store name anywhere it is used in the template
{{ source_id }} - the Order ID (also known as the Order Number)
{{ }} - the product name
{{ item.code }} - the product SKU
{{ item.quantity }} - the quantity ordered of an individual product
{{ item.price }} - the price of the product

{{ shipping.first_name }}
{{ shipping.last_name }}
{{ shipping.address1 }}
{{ }}
{{ shipping.state }}
{{ shipping.postal_code }}
{{ }}

Adding Item Variations

{{ item.variation_list }}

As an example where the variation "size" is used:


{% if item.variation_list|length > 0 %}
{% if item.variation_list['size'] is defined %}
Size: {{ item.variation_list['size'] }}
{% endif %}
{% endif %}

Add Item Metadata

{{ item.metadata }}

As an example where a metadata field for "image" is used (with a link to the image as the value):


{% if item.metadata.image is defined %}
<img src="{{ item.metadata.image }}" width="100">
{% endif %}

Add Logo Image to Email Header

<div class="header_logo"><img src="https://www..." width="250" alt="{{ store_name }}"></div>

Replace "https://www..." with a direct link to your image, which must be securely stored on a site with an SSL certificate.

Add Inventory Cost of Items

{{ (item.quantity * item.metadata.inventory_cost)|money_format }}

Add Internal Order Notes

{% for note in order_notes %}
<p>{{ note.content }}</p>
{% endfor %}

Send Emails

Send Email Manually

To manually send an email, click on the email icon in an order. If you do not see the email icon on an order, make sure there is an email address associated with the order. This is necessary even if the email you are sending will go to someone other than the customer.

If you have more than one email template, choose the template you want to use from the dropdown. After you select the template, or if you only have one template, a Send Email dialog box will appear on screen so you can make changes before sending the email.

Send Email Automatically

Create a rule to tell Order Desk when you want an email to be sent. If you aren't familiar with the Rule Builder yet, read through this introduction.

  • To send tracking details to a customer, see this guide for instructions
  • To send a dropship email to a vendor, see this guide for instructions.

When creating your rule, first choose the event that needs to happen for the email to be sent. Typically this would be when order is imported, when shipment is added, or when folder is changed, but you should choose the event that best fits your workflow. Add any filters, if necessary.

Select the Send Email to Customer action for emails meant for customers, vendors and any other third parties. Remember, if the email is being sent to someone other than the customer, the email address should be in the email delivery override for that template. If there is no email delivery override, the email will be sent to the customer. If you have more than one email template, select the right template from the dropdown.

To send the email to the Order Desk admin on your store, choose Send Email to Admin as the action instead. Unless the email delivery override has been set to another email address, the email will go to the admin's email address, never to the customer. Select the template to be used from the dropdown.

Add any additional actions, if necessary.

When the event you chose happens, Order Desk will look at the filters in your rule, and if they match the order the event happened to, the email will automatically be sent.

For a walkthrough of how to manage your email settings in Order Desk, please visit our How To Send Email From Order Desk guide.


What kinds of emails can I send using templates?

Some common email examples include:

  • Order confirmations, shipment notifications and thank you emails for customers
  • Order summaries and order notifications for admins, vendors or customers
  • Dropship notifications for vendors
  • Potential fraud notifications for store admins

I need help with my code. Can you create a custom template for me?

Code can be difficult, which is precisely why you should hire a skilled developer or designer to create your templates for you! The templates we provide work for most scenarios, but if you aren't able to customize them yourself, we do ask that you hire a skilled professional to take the time necessary to write your code.

Why doesn't the code I copied from a receipt template work in my email template?

The syntax necessary for email and receipt templates is different. What works in one won't work in the other. For email templates, please refer to our API docs for a list of field names that will work in the code or scroll up to the Common Code Examples section of this guide.

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