Podcast Episode

465 – Automate Your Store with AutomateWoo


Is there a plugin for that?

With more than 50,000 plugins in the WordPress repository, it’s hard to find the perfect one. Each week, I will highlight an interesting plugin form the repository.

For more great plugins, download my 50 Most Useful Plugins eBook.

[Edit Usernames](https://wordpress.org/plugins/edit-usernames/} allows WordPress admins and WooCommerce managers edit the user’s usernames in the WordPress Dashboard, instead of in the database.

Automate Your Store with AutomateWoo

In today’s episode we are going to dive into a plugin called AutomateWoo.

This plugin can do some great things to make you more money with your WooCommerce store. A few things we talk about are:

  • Send abandon cart emails
  • Coupons for your customers birthdays
  • Check for expiring credit cards and

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Full Transcript

Business Transcription is provided by GMR Transcription.

On today’s episode, we are going to talk about a new plugin used for WooCommerce that I just discovered this past week and I’ve started to use it on that site that I built for my wife just a few weeks ago, and we’re going to talk all about it. It’s called AutomateWoo, right here on your website engineer podcast Episode No. 465.


Hello, and welcome to another episode of your website engineer podcast. My name is Dustin Hartzler and I’m excited to be here with you today because we are going to be talking about something that is really cool. It’s a way to automate your WooCommerce website. And I love automating things. Even just today, I figured out how to set up and configure a reminder’s list through the series shortcuts or the shortcuts app on my IOS device and how I can say, oh, here’s the things that I want to pack to make sure that I do not forget anything as I’m getting ready to pack up and get ready to go to WordCamp US.

That’s actually the first announcement this week, is all about WordCamp US. It’s this weekend, and so if you’re heading to St. Louis, make sure you say hello. I will be in and around the check-in area for the first full day most of the time and you’ll be able to find me in organizer’s gear. I, unfortunately, won’t be wearing orange. I do have some bright orange sneakers that I will be wearing. I like to wear orange wherever I go just so it’s easier to spot. And orange is kind of my favorite color. So, if you’re heading that way this weekend, let me know. Say hello. Make sure you stop by and just pull me aside and just say hello, I like to listen to the podcast, etc., etc.

And if you can’t make it, there is a link in the show notes for an article over on WP Tavern and it talks about how you can livestream, and so there is actually three different rooms or four different rooms that are going to be taking place in the same time and you can livestream both Friday and Saturday. You can see the state of the word; you can see all of that. And next week, I’ll provide the state of the word recap as the kind of the general, each year these are some of the things. This is how big WordPress is, this is how many people are using it, and kind of the trends and things that we’re seeing. And so, that is something that I wanted to share. We’ll talk about that next week after the event, of course.

And then, the other thing that I wanted to share is completely not WordPress related whatsoever. But if you’re interested in hearing a little bit more behind the scenes about this website that I created for my wife and some of the other pharmacy-related projects that we’re working on. There’s a good podcast and a link to it in the show notes. And it’s the Your Financial Pharmacist Podcast. And it is done by a friend of mine from college, and it basically is my wife and I going back and forth on an interview. It’s actually kind of cool. We got to use my recording studio and whatnot, and it was just a good time.

And so, if you want to hear a little behind the scenes something that’s not quite 100 percent WordPress, I mean, there is a few pieces about WordPress and how I built the site and whatnot. But mostly, it’s targeted about how we created this site household series and just are able to use our passions. And my wife is really good with functional medicine and all that kind of stuff. So, if you’re interested in any type of details around that, I recommend checking out that and there you can find a link in the show that’s for Episode No. 465.

All right, the plugin that I want to share with you today is probably one of the most basic plugins. And it is something that is really cool and it’s a good way to illustrate that there is virtually anything you can create a plugin for. And this one is called Edit User Names. And this is a plugin. It just recently was released, but it is a plugin that will allow you to edit the user names for your WordPress site users, or WooCommerce managers can edit their user names through the admin dashboard. And so, if you’ve ever tried to do this before, like a area’s always grayed out, the user name field is always grayed out and so you cannot change it unless you go into the WordPress database.

But Edit User Names is the plugin that now allows you to do that. It gives you a little pencil icon next to the user name, you can click it, and then you can go ahead and change it. See, one of the most basic, simple things that you couldn’t do with WordPress, now you can with a plugin. So, if that’s something that’s been plaguing you for years and years and years, I do recommend checking out Edit User Names, and that is a plugin in the WordPress repository. That’s the name; you can search for it. Or, as always, there’s a link in the show notes for Episode No. 465.

All right. Today, let’s go ahead and talk about AutomateWoo. And this is a plugin that came to WooCommerce via the acquisition of Prospress. And so, a few months back, I talked about Prospress was acquired by Automatic and that included the WooCommerce subscriptions plugin and this plugin called AutomateWoo. And it is one of those plugins and, I say, why do you need this and what type of thing is? And if you’ve heard of Jilt, it’s very similar to Jilt, but this is kind of a way to automate your WooCommerce site. And I’ve installed this on my wife’s site and we’re starting to get some really interesting data and some cool things that you can do.

So, let’s go ahead and talk about some of the things that you can do. We’ll talk about the pricing; we’ll talk about some of the integrations and stuff, because it is a premium plugin. But here are some things that you can do with AutomateWoo. And, like, I said, I love this automation stuff. Like, if you set it up once and it continues to work time after time, I mean, that’s the programmer right in me. I love doing that kind of thing.

You can set up follow-up emails so you can automatically email customers who buy a specific product and ask them to review. Or maybe you can email somebody specific and suggest other products they may like based on what they’ve purchased before. Or maybe if they’ve come to your store and they haven’t purchased anything for four months, you can follow up and you can say, hey, I haven’t heard from you, and you can send them some fort of coupon or you can do something like that.

They also have the ability to do abandoned carts. So, you can remind customers who have left items in their shopping bag with automatic emails at set intervals. And so, this is the first thing that I set up. I was just curious if anybody came to the checkout page on my wife’s site and said, oh, I got most of the details in and then just left. And so, I set up abandoned carts and it’s only been running for a few days and it hasn’t triggered any abandoned cart emails yet. But I’m still interested to see if that’s something that could happen on their site.

You could also do something that they call Win Back Inactive Customers. And so, this is kind of what I was talking about the follow-up emails. But you can target inactive customers with automated email marketing campaigns. You can include those special offers, those recommendations, come back now. Anything like that, you can go ahead and program that in so your website is continually doing this for you. They also have the ability to send SMS notifications and this will send notifications to customers or admins for any of the AutomateWoo’s large triggers. It integrates with Twilio and it’s got just tons of features in there. So if that’s something you’re looking for, you can do that with AutomateWoo.

You can review rewards so you can get more product reviews by offering discounts for reviews, you can limit the discount based on how many reviews they’ve posted and what the rating was given. So, you can automate that whole process. That’s a great thing. You bought this product. Maybe two weeks later, you send them a reminder, like, hey, I’d love to get you a review. Can you leave me a review on my site, and then you also get 10 percent back or you get 10 percent off, or you can set up any of those types of things?

You can do Wishlist marketing, so you can send timed Wishlist reminder emails to notify when a wished product goes on sale. This works with the WooCommerce Wishlist plugin. You also can do birthday emails, and so you can delight your customers with special WooCommerce birthday emails and coupons with the Birthday add-on. So, we’ll talk about that in just a second.

You can do notifications about card expiration dates. And so, you can notify customers before their credit card expires. And so, this is really good when you have 
subscriptions and you want to make sure that you don’t have all those failed payments. You want to make sure that they have the most updated card information that’s online.

You can do personalized coupons. You can have specialized coupons for more and more people. For people that buy more on your site, you can give them a bigger discount or less of a discount. You can do complete personalizations when it comes to coupons. You can do automation with subscription, so if the status changes or failed payments are renewed, reminders. If all of those things happen on your site, you can go ahead and you automatically can do things based on those things.

You can refer a friend so you can boost your word-of-mouth sales with the Refer a Friend add-on, and you can also what they call Automatic VIP. You can reward your best customers with VIP status based on the different spend requirements on your site. So, that’s one of the things that you can do. If they’ve hit a certain threshold, they’ve bought so many things, then they can be considered VIP, and then they can get special privileges or special things throughout the site.

Now, it does integrate with a bunch of different things like WooCommerce subscriptions and memberships. It also does MailChimp and Agile CRM and Campaign Monitor. There are just a ton on integrations that work with this AutomateWoo. I’m trying to see what else is on here. Mad Mimi, Campaign Monitor, and ActiveCampaign – those are all email, newsletters, subscription services that you can automate things that you can send in contact information to and from those different campaigns.

Now the pricing, we’ll talk about that. Pricing is a little, I don’t know, it is what it is. Most plugins these days coming from WooCommerce run about this price, but it is $99.00 per year. That’s for one license, that $99.00 price point. And then, if you want the five-subscription license, that’s going to be $199.00 per year. And so, that works out to be, you know, you’re saving almost $300.00 based on how many licenses that you are getting. It is like all the other WooCommerce plugins. You know, you pay for the license, it works for a year, the plugin continues to work but you don’t get support of updates after that time has elapsed. So, that’s the pricing structure.

Again, a couple things I want to talk about, abandoned cart and the follow-up emails just to expand just a little bit more. But you set these up right from your backend, your WordPress dashboard. You say, basically, that you send an email, you can set up this email subject, the email heading, the email content, so what’s the body of the message. And then you can also even pull in the user’s information, so maybe you pull in their first name and last name. Again, this is all depending on how much information has been put into the checkout page, so you’re not going to be able to email people that just go to your checkout page but don’t enter any information.

And so, you can do all of that. You can then take that information for the abandoned carts and you can send them a coupon if you wanted to, you can track all the opens, the number of clicks, how many conversions, how many people actually went in and purchased after you sent this message. So, that’s interesting to look through and see. And then, they also have something that’s called Intelligent Session Tracking and Pre-Submit Email Capture. And so, this is a technology that can detect registered users even before they sign in and can capture guest emails at checkout using the common pre-submit technique.

Guest emails can also be captured from any form on your website such as a newsletter signup. And so if you have a newsletter signup, then AutomateWoo can grab that and you can get them into the flow of, oh, haven’t purchased yet. And then, you can set up some follow-up emails that will go along those same lines and let people know, like, hey, here’s some things that I’m offering. All of those things that are built into AutomateWoo. And so, the follow-up emails are just simple. It’s one of those things, too, that you can design in HTML website or HTML emails with just the regular WordPress editor, and it matches the style of your stored emails just like that just by starting it.

And this is really cool. Obviously, I’m not getting paid to say this but it’s one of those plugins that I started to use and can really see the huge benefit of just having this thing working in the background, making my site continue to work. So, some of the other integrations that are built on. So, there’s something called Refer a Friend, and this is one that is a place where you can create a WordPress or a WooCommerce referral program from your WordPress admin area. You can choose whether it’s being in an automatic or a manual referral approval process.

And so, basically, that means that you can give people codes that they can give out their code to others so that coupon code is used and they get a discount and the person that gave them the coupon can get some sort of kickback or incentive. There’s some sort of incentive for them to give out that. So, that’s what the Refer a Friend coupon code is. You also have the ability to add into the widget area. So, you can do post-purchase widgets. So at the bottom of the, maybe, the thank you page, you can put like, give 20-get 20. So, if you invite a Facebook or Twitter friend, they’ll get a $20.00 welcome credit plus you’ll get $20.00 in your own account.

So, you can do stuff like that with the Refer a Friend extension to that. So, that’s one of the add-ons you can do. The birthday ones is something that is an additional add-on as well. And this is just one that goes out and it sends any type of coupon that you want. It comes up with a coupon code, it says how much you want off, you can customize it so it’s got a big birthday message or whatnot. It has that it’s a minimal effort, high-return on investment. So, it says that it’s good for your business. Birthday emails are one of the most effective emails you can send. And they have a 481 percent higher transaction rate, they have a 342 percent higher revenue per email, and they have 179 percent higher unique click-through rate.

So, I guess you have to make sure that you have the customer’s birthday, of course. So once they have all that information, then those emails will automatically be sent our as well. So, that is nice there. And then, they have a section that’s all about the ideas board. And so, if you have different ideas of what you to add or what types of things that could be added, there’s a huge ideas board that has just tons of ideas that, if developers had unlimited time, they could go through and find all kinds of other cool things that you could automate within your business.

And so, I just really like to be able to see things that are happening on the backend scene, what type of people are coming, just getting all kinds of information about your e-commerce site, and if it is your bread and butter, you’re making all kinds of money with WooCommerce or with subscriptions. And you don’t even need it for just WooCommerce subscriptions. That’s kind of what it’s built for, to automate that process, but any WooCommerce store can get benefits from these plugins or this particular plugin with any of these add-ons.

The Birthdays add-on is $39.00, the Refer a Friend is $79.00, and you can’t bundle the purchases or anything, but I think once you see how AutomateWoo at $100.00 will impact your store, you could really see that, oh, by adding at $39.00 add-on, if I make one additional sale, it’s worth it for the year to add that type of plugin.

So, that’s what I want to share today – all about AutomateWoo. But just think about not only if AutomateWoo is the solution for you, but just think about some of those other plugins that are out there that could potentially automate things for your site and make things automatically work for you. So, another use case or another example would be with ConvertKit. It’s a plugin that I use to collect email newsletters, subscriptions, and whatnot. But you could set up an entire workflow that was, basically, if somebody signs up, the first email that comes in you can say, hey, are you interested in beginner WordPress or medium WordPress or really advanced developer type topics in WordPress?

You know, what are you interested in there? And then from there, you can say, okay, you’ve clicked these links and now you’re funneling down to, okay now, all the beginners get this type of email newsletter and all the advanced people get this. Now, they’re on sequences and so they get content regularly. And, you know, you can set all of these things up and that’s just an automatic way that customers can continue to hear from you and you’ll continue to drive business towards your website and make more money on your site.

And so, it’s really interesting that now, finally, there’s a site that I care about and passionate about, helping to drive conversions and see increased revenue in my wife’s site. It’s really interesting to see what that can do and some of the tools that are out there.

So, that might be what we talk about in the next couple weeks, but I’m going to do a WordCamp recap, and next week I’m going to be back from St. Louis. And I’m excited to be there, and it’s going to be one of those fun events where there’s going to be – I think they send more than 1500 tickets. I’m getting close to 2000 tickets have been purchased already, and it’s going to be a big event. It’s going to be interesting to have the WordCamp US in not December or in a month other than December.

December is generally when WordCamp has been for the last four years, and it’s always been cold, and you have to bundle up to go outside. And now, it’s going to be fall weather, still a little chilly in St. Louis, but we’ll see what that’s like. And I’ll talk again next week and give you a recap of what happened there, the state of the word, and whatnot. And until then, take care, and we’ll talk again soon.