We’ve written tons about selecting an eCommerce plugin for your store, and have lots of tips on customizing or improving your WordPress eCommerce shop. However, one of the toughest things to do is market your products. Marketing requires a lot of effort and time, and if you’re running a small eCommerce business, you may not have the manpower to devote to extensive marketing campaigns.

Automating your marketing efforts can go a long way into making them easier and more sustainable for you as a shop owner. Recently a very handy WooCommerce marketing plugin was released to help automate your marketing efforts and boost WooCommerce sales: AutomateWoo.

AutomateWoo Review: Overview

AutomateWoo helps to automate WooCommerce marketing via workflows for your marketing actions. Each workflow consists of a very simple system of one trigger and one or more actions.

A trigger lets you determine what you’d like to start a workflow from — a completed order, an item being purchased, or other events. You then determine which action should be taken from that trigger — an email sent, a user updated, an order updated, or more.

Each trigger starts the associated actions without any effort on your part, creating marketing actions that work for you to boost sales without requiring tons of time and attention. Here are some video overviews of the plugin in action.

AutomateWoo is currently $99 for a single site license, and provides tons of powerful marketing actions to help you boost WooCommerce sales.

AutomateWoo Review: Setup & Configuration

To set up the plugin, you first need to activate your license, as you won’t be able to access workflows or reports without it. You can do so under WooCommerce > Setting > AutomateWoo.

AutomateWoo Review:  License

License Form

Once the license is validated, you can then access and create your workflows, as there’s nothing else needed to configure the plugin.

AutomateWoo Review: Creating Workflows

Workflows are very simple to set up, and can be created with a single “trigger”. For a trigger, you can add one or more “actions” to perform when the trigger happens.

A trigger can be something that happens with the order (such as a status change or particular product purchase), something that happens with a user (such as a new user or a period without a purchase), or an abandoned cart.

AutomateWoo Review: Triggers

Choose Trigger

Once you select the trigger for your workflow, you can then set up the other criteria for the trigger. For example, if you select a lifetime spend trigger, you can determine the amount for this lifetime spend (i.e., spent $500 lifetime).

AutomateWoo Review: Trigger setup

Trigger Setup

Once your trigger is configured, you can add one or more actions for that trigger. Actions can be sending an email, changing the user role or adding user meta, adding users to mailing lists, updating an order, or executing a custom function.

AutomateWoo Review: Actions

Choose Actions

Emails can contain several merge tags to personalize your emails when sent to customers. This is great for abandoned cart emails, gathering feedback, or asking for product reviews. They can even generate a coupon to send to the customer.

AutomateWoo Review: email action

Email Action

Let’s take a look at 5 quick examples for workflows that can be created to boost WooCommerce sales. I was able to set up several workflows in under a half-hour.

AutomateWoo Review: Workflows

All Workflows

AutomateWoo: Automatically Create WooCommerce VIP Customers

You can automatically create a WooCommerce VIP customer in your store using AutomateWoo. This lets you reward your most loyal customers to increase sales and WooCommerce customer lifetime value.

You’ll first need to set up your workflow to determine what makes a customer a VIP. Your trigger will determine this. You can make a VIP from a single order value over a certain amount (using an “Order Processing” trigger, as this represents a paid order), or when a customer lifetime total spend reaches a certain amount (using a “Lifetime spend” trigger).

I’ll set up a single purchase amount of $300 to create a VIP customer. This lets me change the customer role automatically when an order of over $300 is placed. If you use a plugin like Dynamic Pricing, you can give your VIP customers automatic discounts in your store.

AutomateWoo Review: WooCommerce VIP customer trigger

VIP customer trigger

I can even send an email with an additional action to let the customer know of the change.

AutomateWoo Review: WooCommerce VIP customer email

VIP email

If you wanted to take this further, you could also add VIP customers to a mailing list in your MailChimp / Campaign Monitor account for VIP-only marketing emails with an additional action.

If you want some more detail on creating customer roles and discounts, check out our Dynamic Pricing overview or our tutorial on creating wholesale customers.

AutomateWoo: Recover Abandoned WooCommerce Carts

AutomateWoo can help you recover your abandoned carts to boost WooCommerce sales. Over 68% of shopping carts are abandoned, so recovering these lost sales can increase revenue from sales you may not have otherwise captured.

To recover abandoned WooCommerce carts, you can set up a workflow using the “abandoned cart” trigger. This will let you send an email to the user to re-engage them and remind them to complete the purchase. You can also delay this email for one day to ensure that the customer had abandoned the purchase.

AutomateWoo Review: abandoned cart workflow

Abandoned Cart Workflow

You can also set up multiple abandoned cart workflows so that you send additional abandoned cart follow ups to perhaps offer a coupon to incentivize the purchase. As most abandoned carts are left due to unexpected shipping costs, a free shipping coupon is a great inclusion in these emails, and I typically recommend including it in a second abandoned cart reminder. You can even auto-generate one with the {{ user.generate_coupon }} merge tag.

AutomateWoo Review: abandoned cart email

Abandoned Cart Email

AutomateWoo: Re-Engage Inactive WooCommerce Customers

AutomateWoo has a trigger that I really love — you can trigger a workflow based on how long it’s been since a customer made a purchase in your store to re-engage inactive WooCommerce customers.

Kissmetrics has great tips on re-engaging inactive subscribers, which AutomateWoo makes effortless. This workflow can add your inactive purchasers to a particular email list, for which you can send out periodic discounts or remove them from your regular emails.

AutomateWoo Review: inactive workflow

Re-engage inactive customers

You can also send immediate emails targeted to inactive customers, and add user meta to their WordPress profile to track details about your inactive customers with the help of a developer.

AutomateWoo: Get WooCommerce Customer Feedback

Getting feedback from your customers is hugely valuable in improving your store, especially when you start out. You can find out what’s non-intuitive about your shopping process, what reservations about buying customers have, or why they decided to purchase from your site. This allows you to implement feedback and improve the shopping experience in your store.

AutomateWoo makes it simple to get feedback, as you can trigger a workflow to email customers after their first completed order in your store or when they first register an account.

AutomateWoo Review: customer feedback

Get Customer Feedback

This also gives you an opportunity to give coupons or promotions to new customers or those who engage with you to provide feedback, encouraging repeat purchases to boost sales.

AutomateWoo: Cross Sell or Upsell WooCommerce Products

You can create triggers for purchases that contain particular products or products in a category, which can allow you to upsell or cross-sell products. This lets you market products to a highly engaged audience.

For example, if customers have purchased a camera from you, you can send an email to cross-sell related products, such as cases, lenses, batteries, or memory cards.

AutomateWoo Review: cross sells

Cross Sell Products

As these customers have already purchased from you, they’re interested in your store and are more likely to purchase again. Cross-selling related products is a great way to help customers find products they’re interested while increasing their lifetime value to your store.

AutomateWoo Review: Integrations & Reports

AutomateWoo also integrates with other popular plugins to add new triggers and actions. You can use AutomateWoo with the WooCommerce Wishlist ($79) extension or the free YITH Wishlist plugin.

This gives you the ability to create workflows using triggers for:

  • a product on the user’s wishlist goes on sale
  • a periodic reminder (e.g., every 60 days) for the wishlist

These triggers can be used to create actions, such as emails or user status changes.

AutomateWoo includes some detailed reporting on sent emails as well under WooCommerce > Reports > AutomateWoo > Email Tracking. You can view sent emails, opens, clicks, and unsubscribes.

AutomateWoo Review: Email Reports

Reports > Emails

There are also reports to let you view logs of all workflow actions and to see any queued actions that have not yet been done.

AutomateWoo Review: Logs

Reports > Logs

AutomateWoo: Other Comments

Typically while testing a plugin, you may run into weird issues or small bugs since you’re poking at all sort of functionality in the plugin. I typically find small issues like this and the developer patches them up, but I didn’t run into any issues while installing and using AutomateWoo. The codebase is solid, and there’s documentation available to help you out with set up. All purchases also include a year of support.

There is one aspect of the plugin I disliked / found odd, which had to do with setup. The plugin “Workflows” menu will be hidden unless:

This means you can do no testing or set up until you go through license key activation (which takes under a minute to be fair), or you’re using a site with a particular URL structure to try the plugin out, which may not fit your workflow. For example, I typically name my local sites something like test.com or woo.com, rather than dev.something or local.something, which means I couldn’t test the plugin there until I was (1) back online, so I could (2) activate the license.

Is this a deal breaker or issue in using the plugin? Nope, it’s more of a personal preference of mine. I think making the settings or menu non-obvious because it’s hidden at installation creates a worse experience for new users. They can’t play with the plugin, nor do they have any idea where its functionality is until entering a license key, while it doesn’t necessarily halt those avoiding the license since the menu can be forced to display with a small code snippet.

In speaking with Dan (the developer behind AutomateWoo), I appreciated that he had a rational for this, as he wants to provide an incentive to keep a valid license and keep the plugin updated without making it non-GPL or obfuscated, so we very politely disagree 🙂 .

AutomateWoo Review: Summary

Overall, AutomateWoo is an extremely useful WooCommerce marketing plugin, and you can automate tons of marketing actions in your store. It’s easy to use and set up, and it was dependable throughout my testing.

You can set up as many workflows as you’d like to boost WooCommerce sales, re-engage inactive customers, increase customer lifetime value, and improve the customer experience with your store. The various triggers available let you automate tons of marketing campaigns, and this plugin lets you easily implement various eCommerce best practices.

At $99 for a single-site license, this is a tremendous value for the different types of workflows you can set up and makes it a full-featured, top-notch WooCommerce marketing plugin.

Ready to give it a go? You can start automating WooCommerce marketing today:


Note: This post was sponsored by AutomateWoo, as the product was provided for us to review. The opinions in this article are solely those of the author without bias, and are based on experiences using the product. For more information, please see our editorial policy.

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Posted by Beka Rice

Beka Rice manages the direction of Sell with WP content and writes or edits most of our articles to share her interests in eCommerce. Or she just writes as an excuse to spend more time jamming out to anything from The Clash to Lady Gaga. Who knows.

6 Comments

  1. I’m really excited for programmatic marketing and advertising to make its way into WooCommerce. This is awesome!

    1. Thanks for stopping by Lara 🙂 agreed, I was really impressed with what the plugin can do! Especially loved the “VIP” customer change you can make, especially in combination with Dynamic Pricing.

  2. I just wanted to say again how excellent & comprehensive this review is. I’ll be sharing this post often.

    1. Then thank you two times 😉 glad to hear it!

  3. Great review. I really appreciate all the articles. Do you have an opinion on wich plugin is better for sending follow-up emails after a purchase: woocommerce follow-up emails or automate woo? I am thinking these emails , in particular:

    10 days post purchase; invite to leave product review (send once)
    60 days post purchase, reminder to buy again (unless sku is subscription item)
    send a different set of emails once a customer becomes a preferred member (group)

    If you have any insight, we would be grateful.

    1. Hey Justin, both plugins will be able to do #1 and #2 — for the second one (only non-subscription products), the easiest way to do this would be to put all non-subscription items into a category and use that to trigger emails, as then you can use the “product in category” trigger for both. As for the last one, Follow Up Emails doesn’t account for a customer type, but AutomateWoo will let you restrict emails to a certain customer type. However, this is based on the role the customer has, not a group (i.e., if you’re using the Groups plugin).

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