How to Convert and Retain MyListing Website Customers With AutomateWoo

Building better MyListing websites. One guide at a time.

Table of Contents

Overview

Guide Updated: 8/25/2021

Our How to Convert and Retain MyListing Website Customers With AutomateWoo guide will show you how to implement this powerful solution to help grow your business and make more money.

AutomateWoo is a plugin that hooks into your WooCommerce store, extending it beyond what we store owners get out of the box, and should be considered a must-have solution for many MyListing websites. 

As we move through this guide, we will show you how AutomateWoo should be part of your overall WooCommerce store toolbelt, either through its core functionality, integrations, add-ons, or all of the above.

AutomateWoo Add-Ons & Integrations

Before we get started with setting up AutomateWoo, here is a breakdown of all the current add-ons and integrations.

Add-Ons

  • Birthdays (Paid)
  • Refer A Friend (Paid)
  • AgileCRM (Free)

Integrations

  • WooCommerce Subscriptions
  • WooCommerce Memberships
  • WooCommerce Bookings
  • WooCommerce Points and Rewards
  • WooCommerce or Yith Wishlist
  • Twilio SMS
  • Mailchimp
  • ActiveCampaign
  • Campaign Monitor
  • Mad Mimi

AutomateWoo Setup

If we do not mention a specific setting, it is safe to assume we left them at their default setting. Every business is different, so be sure to review all of the available settings, especially when it comes to things like government regulations for your particular region.

For the purposes of this guide, we will be covering the core AutomateWoo setup, along with setting up the Mailchimp integration.

General

  1. Install and activate the AutomateWoo plugin.

A page named ‘Communication Preferences’ is automatically created and the following shortcode is added to it. (Note: We found, as seen here, that simply leaving the page created in Gutenberg, was all that was needed. However, we have provided the shortcode here, in case you want to create a custom page using Elementor, and you need to quickly reference the shortcode.).

Also please note that spaces have been inserted into the shortcode, before the ‘a’ and after the ‘s’, to keep the shortcode from firing on this post. If you copy this shortcode, be sure to remove the spaces so the shortcode will fire.

				
					[ automatewoo_communication_preferences ]
				
			
  1. Mark your Communication Preferences page as a ‘no-index’ page. (Note: We recommend doing this with any pages you have that hold absolutely no SEO value, as they count towards your overall crawl budget.).

You have the option to add a ‘Communication’ menu item to your WooCommerce Menu (i.e. MyListing Dashboard) but with MyListing websites, the dashboard space comes at a premium, and a lot of people may not want to clutter it further.

So, rather than adding another menu item to your user’s dashboard, another option would be to just link to the ‘Communication Preferences’ page within your Privacy Policy.

Whatever you decide, be sure to update the ‘Legal Text’ within the ‘Communication Preferences Page’ section of AutomateWoo to accurately reflect how people can update their preferences.

  1. AutomateWoo > Settings > Communication Preferences Page > Legal Text > Adjust the text if needed.

Mailchimp

This section only applies to those who also use Mailchimp for email marketing. Once you are done with these settings, what this will do is set up Mailchimp to be used with AutomateWoo.

What it doesn’t do is sync the users that opt into receiving updates, with your Mailchimp account, as one might initially think. So, what you would want to do is create a Workflow to get customers added to your Mailchimp audience, so you can then reach them with your promotions and whatnot.

  1. AutomateWoo > Settings > Mailchimp > Enable.
  2. Insert your Mailchimp API Key.
  3. Save Changes.
  4. Perform a user registration test, opting into receiving updates.
  5. AutomateWoo > Opt-ins > Verify that the newly-registered test user shows up.

Workflows

This is the area of AutomateWoo where you make all the magic happen, whether it’s creating a custom workflow from scratch or by using one of the preset workflows already built for you. Workflows are what you tell AutomateWoo to look for (trigger), how to further narrow down a trigger (rules), and then what to do once a trigger/rules are activated (actions).

  1. Specify a Trigger 
  2. Specify Rules (Optional)
  3. Specify Actions

Trigger

This is the part of a Workflow where we tell AutomateWoo what to look for and we have listed some examples below.

  • Order Created
  • Customer Account Created
  • Cart Abandoned
  • Subscription Renewal
  • Membership Status
  • and more

Rules

This is the part of a Workflow where we tell AutomateWoo what criteria must also exist prior to activating a Trigger and we have listed some examples below. Please note that available Rules are not shown until you first select a Trigger.

  • Customer User Role
  • Customer Is Subscribed To MailChimp List
  • Order Status
  • Cart Total
  • Subscription Status
  • Products
  • and more

Actions

This is the part of a Workflow where we tell AutomateWoo what to do when a Trigger and optional Rules have been met. We have listed some Action examples below and please note that available Rules are not shown until you first select a Trigger.

  • Send Email
  • Change Customer Role
  • Change Order Status
  • Change Subscription Status
  • Create/Change Membership Plan
  • and more

Workflow - Subscriptions On-Hold

We thought it would be good to walk you through the creation of a couple of different Workflows that are useful for MyListing websites and our example here is specifically for those that use the WooCommerce Subscriptions plugin to provide Listing Subscription Packages and possibly membership access based on packages purchased.

Subscriptions are placed On-Hold when an associated order is awaiting payment, or it has been manually suspended by the store owner or customer. By default, only customers are alerted to this, and given that subscriptions can remain On-Hold indefinitely, this is potentially a significant problem.

What if your customers are not getting the email notifications for some reason? What if they are getting the notifications, and they just forget to act on them?  Whatever the reason is, you, the MyListing website owner, should stay on top of any ‘On Hold’ situations, and AutomateWoo allows you to do that.

Furthermore, when a subscription is On-Hold, the user associated with the subscription will be assigned the default inactive role, and may no longer be granted special access by other extensions, like WooCommerce Memberships, code snippets you have in place to hide/show areas of your website, etc.

  1. AutomateWoo > Workflows > Click the ‘Create Workflow’ button.
  2. Title > ‘WooCommerce Subscriptions ‘On Hold”.
  3. Trigger > Subscriptions > ‘Subscription Status Changed’.
  4. Status Changed To > ‘On Hold’.
  5. Actions > ‘Add Action’ > Action > ‘Send Email’.
  6. To > Add the ‘shop.admin-email’ variable. (Note: This variable and any variable can be obtained under the ‘Variables’ menu, by simply clicking on the variable button, and following the instructions.).
  7. Email Subject > Adjust as desired.
  8. Email Heading > Adjust as desired or skip this if you don’t care to see it, and you are not also sending this email to the customer.
  9. Email Content > Adjust as needed. (Note: We have provided the content that we use if you would like to use it yourself.).
				
					First Name: {{ customer.first_name }}
Last Name: {{ customer.last_name }}
Email: {{ customer.email }}
Subscription ID: {{ subscription.id }}
				
			
  1. Is Transactional? > Enable. (Note: This is very important, as you will not get notified, as the admin, unless you yourself have opted into AutomateWoo marketing emails. Enabling this setting simply bypasses the opt-in so you can then get the alerts as the shop admin.).
  2. Click the ‘Preview’ link to see how your email will appear (ours is shown below) to the customer.
  3. Save Changes.

Alerting a customer that their Listing Subscription is ‘On Hold’ on your MyListing website, not only shows them that you are looking out for them in general but also shows that you are ensuring their Listings stay active, and membership access is not interrupted.

Subscriptions that were manually suspended, will need to be manually reactivated. If a subscription was suspended awaiting payment, for reasons like Credit Card Expiration, it will only be reactivated once that payment is processed, and in the next section, we cover a Workflow to help combat this particular scenario.

Workflow - Credit Card Expiry Reminder

As with the Workflow outlined in the previous section, alerting a customer that their credit card being used on your MyListing website is about to expire, not only shows them that you are looking out for them in general but also shows that you are ensuring their Listings are active, and membership access is not interrupted.

Aside from the customer benefits, there are big benefits to you, the store owner, as well. Why? Simple. If a subscription is On-Hold, you are no longer bringing in revenue for that subscription, and an expired credit card could be the cause.

We are guessing that you see the importance here, so let’s get to implementing a Workflow that will trigger emails to customers reminding them that a saved credit card will expire soon. Please note that this Workflow only works with Stripe, WooCommerce Payments, and Simplify Commerce payment options.

  1. AutomateWoo > Workflows > Browse Presets > Credit Cards: Expiry Reminder > Click the ‘Create Workflow’ button.
  2. Make any desired adjustments. 
  3. Status > Enable.
  4. Is Transactional? > Enable.
  5. Click the ‘Preview’ link to see how your email will appear (ours is shown below) to the customer.
  6. Save Changes.

That’s pretty much it! We have a global customer base, so configuring the settings related to “time” (time zone, send timing, etc.) is a bit complex in terms of knowing when the best time to send is. However, if your customer base is region-specific, it might be a good idea to try and Trigger the email to send at optimal times.

Workflow - Subscription Renewal Reminders

Out of the box, WooCommerce Subscriptions does not alert customers before their next subscription payment is due, and this can sometimes be a problem for certain customers.

Some choose to roll out this particular Workflow immediately. Some choose to roll this out when/if they get a complaint or two, knowing they can also cancel and refund a customer as a worst-case scenario. We just wanted you to be aware of this and to show you how to set up this particular Workflow.

  1. AutomateWoo > Workflows > Click the ‘Add Workflow’ button.
  2. Title > ‘WooCommerce Subscription Renewal Reminders ‘.
  3. Trigger > Subscriptions > ‘Subscriptions Before Renewal’.
  4. Days Before Renewal > Choose the desired value. (Note: We would recommend setting this to 7 days.)
  5. Click the ‘Add Action’ button.
  6. Action > Email > Send Email.
  7. Email Subject > Adjust as desired.
  8. Email Heading > Adjust as desired.
  9. Email Content> Adjust as desired.
  10. Options > ‘Is Transactional?’ > Enable.
  11. Save Changes.

Workflow - Mailchimp

For this Workflow, we are going to automatically add customers to a particular Group within Mailchimp,  based on the product that is purchased, which in this case will be a purchased Listing Subscription.

Mailchimp Group Setup

  1. Log into your Mailchimp account.
  2. Audience  > All Contacts > Manage Contacts > Groups.
  3. Click the ‘Create Groups’ button.
  4. How should we show group options on your signup form? > ‘Don’t show these groups on my sign form’.
  5. Group Category > Adjust as desired.
  6. Group Name> Adjust as desired.
  7. Click ‘Save’.

Workflow Setup

For the steps below, we are assuming that you have already configured the Mailchimp integration with AutomateWoo and that you already have the Listing Subscription product added to your MyListing website.

  1. AutomateWoo > Workflows > Click the ‘Add Workflow’ button.
  2. Title > Adjust as desired.
  3. Trigger > Subscription > Subscription Created.
  4. Subscription Products > Choose the desired Listing Subscription product.
  5. Click the ‘Add Action’ button.
  6. Action > Mailchimp > Add Contact To Group.
  7. List > Select the Mailchimp List that your Group will be a part of.
  8. Groups > Select the Mailchimp Group that is to be used.
  9. Options > ‘Is Transactional?’ > Enable.
  10. Save Changes.

Workflow - Testing Purposes Only

Let’s create a really simple Workflow just so we can quickly ensure that AutomateWoo is working as expected.

  1. AutomateWoo > Workflows > Click the ‘Add Workflow’ button.
  2. Title > ‘AutomateWoo Test’.
  3. Trigger > Customers > Customer Account Created.
  4. Click the ‘Add Action’ button.
  5. Action > Email > Send Email.
  6. To > Enter any email here.
  7. Email Subject > ‘AutomateWoo Test’.
  8. Options > ‘Is Transactional?’ > Enable.
  9. Save Changes.
  10. WordPress Dashboard > Users > Add New > Fill in the bare minimum details. (Note: The only important thing here is to ensure you choose the ‘Customer Role’.).
  11. Click the ‘Add New User’ button.
  12. AutomateWoo > Logs > Verify success by simply looking for a log entry pertaining to this Workflow.

Real Cron vs. WP Cron

WP-Cron is how WordPress handles scheduling time-based tasks in WordPress and many WordPress core features (checking for updates, publishing scheduled posts, etc.) rely on it by checking, on every page load, a list of scheduled tasks to see what needs to be run.

Replacing the WordPress Cron (WP-Cron) system with a real Cron job on your server can improve the stability and performance of your site, and AutomateWoo especially benefits from this since it uses Cron heavily, running many tasks asynchronously in order to avoid slowing down requests to your site.

When using AutomateWoo we recommend setting the Cron interval time to no greater than 5 minutes.

Configuring Real Cron is outside of the scope of this guide, but let’s just say that if you are on the Club’s Kinsta Hosting plan, it is super easy to get it set up.

Configure Kinsta Hosting for Real Cron

  1. Using an FTP application like FileZilla or using a WordPress ‘File Manager’ plugin, edit the wp-config.php file at the root of your WordPress install.
  2. Add the code snippet below to your wp-config.php file.
  3. Save Changes.
				
					define('DISABLE_WP_CRON', true);
				
			

Now, if for some reason you find that your Real Cron needs to run more frequently, like say every 5 minutes, simply jump on a support chat with a Kinsta representative, and them to make that change for you.

For those that are more technical, there are ways to manage Kinsta’s Real Cron yourself, via a command line, and there are docs like this one that outlines how to do it.

Monitoring

Outside of the core setup, integration settings, and workflows, a majority of the menu items for AutomateWoo (Dashboard, Logs, Reports, etc.) have to do with monitoring activity. There’s not a whole lot to say in this area other than to point out the importance of making time to review the various menu items and their associated data so that you have a good understanding of how well your site is converting and retaining customers.

Wrap Up

We are just scratching the surface with what this super powerful solution can do and we plan to continuously update this post with new Workflows that we recommend ourselves, and with Workflows suggested by the MyListing Community. Be sure to check back!

Have a Workflow that you would like to share with other MyListing website owners? Please consider doing so within the MyListing Club Facebook group.

If you received value from this guide, please consider using our AutomateWoo affiliate link to help us keep guides like this available, for FREE. AutomateWoo is a solution that we ourselves use and we hope you find this guide useful for growing your own MyListing-based business.

Video Tutorial

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WooCommerce Subscriptions Ready

The latest version of the WooCommerce Subscriptions plugin is included (unlicensed) and once you have a Starter Site in hand, you can easily put in your own pricing, package features, graphics, etc.

Should you not wish to use WooCommerce Subscriptions, you can simply turn the Listing Subscription packages into standard MyListing packages in just a few clicks and be on your way.

  • Custom WooCommerce Endpoint Design
  • WooCoommerce Subscriptions Setup
  • Listing Subscription Packages
  • Listing Subscription Switching
  • Stripe Payment Gateway Plugin
  •  and more…

Note: The latest version of the WooCommerce Subscriptions plugin is included, but you need to purchase your own license or sign up for a qualifying MyListing Website Care plan if you wish to receive future plugin updates and support.

Premium Assets

Get licensed, premium plugins, valued at over $600 in the first year alone, making a Starter Site investment a no-brainer.

You will get licensed copies of all the plugins listed below, with the exception of the WooCommerce Subscriptions and WooCommerce Product Vendors, and the licenses are yours to keep, for as long as the plugins remain on your website.

  • Admin 2020 ($39)
  • Crocoblock Suite ($130)
  • Elementor Pro ($49)
  • Perfmatters ($25)
  • Permalink Manager Pro ($45)
  • SEOPress Pro ($39)
  • WooCommerce Product Vendors ($79) 
  • WooCommerce Subscriptions ($199)
  • WP Rocket ($49)