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WordPress Marketing Automation WordPress Grand Rapids

WordPress Marketing Automation: July 2014 meetup

We talked about WordPress Marketing Automation at our July 2014 meetup. Dan Kaufman, marketing consultant at Empowered Marketing and co-organizer of I Love Marketing GR spoke about how to automate a sales funnel and must-have plugins.

Get ready for WordCamp Grand Rapids 2014, August 15-17! You can buy a ticket, volunteer, and/or sponsor.

Remember, you can also find us on Meetup, Twitter (@wpgrandrapids and #wpgr), and Google Groups.

Download Dan Kaufman’s presentation on WordPress Marketing Automation (PDF).

WordPress Marketing Automation WordPress Grand Rapids WordPress Marketing Automation WordPress Grand Rapids

Marketing automation defined

Marketing automation: streamlining sales and marketing by replacing high-touch, repetitive manual processes with automated solutions.

Marketing automation systems


Lead generation

  • LeadPages: good-looking custom landing page, high conversion rate
  • OptinMonster: popup and lead generation plugin, with exit intent

Marketing automation cont.

  • Popups: if pop up in 5-10 seconds, response rate goes up by at least 20%
  • Exit intent offer: can give higher response rate than standard popups
  • Zapier: automate by creating “zaps” between systems (such as MailChimp to GoToWebinar)
  • IFTTT: automate by creating “recipes” that connect various systems. Free.

Must-have WordPress plugins

Sales funnel

  1. Lead magnet
  2. Welcome mat offer
  3. Core offer
  4. Profit maximizer
  5. Return path

Traffic tips

  • Blog and guest blog
  • Contest/giveaway: do something creative; don’t just give a Starbucks gift card
  • Buy targeted traffic
  • Social media
  • Helpareporter.com
  • Press releases
  • Solo ads: buy right to send emails to targets (minimum $300)
  • Media buys

Lead magnet

  • Small “chunk” of value that solves a specific problem for a specific market offered in exchange for an opt-in
  • Promises “one big thing”
  • Speaks to a known desired end result
  • Offers immediate gratification
  • High perceived value
  • High actual value (has an “aha moment”)
  • Can be consumed in under 5 minutes
  • Components
    • Professional logo
    • Branded/lifestyle image
    • Lead magnet offer
    • Simple, above the fold opt-in form
    • Privacy policy and TOS
    • “No thanks” link

Welcome mat offer

  • Irresistible, super-low-ticket offer that converts prospects into buyers
  • Once a customer has purchased from you, they’re far more likely to keep spending. Maximize front-end conversions by keeping price point as low as possible.
  • Typically under $20 (low-cost report or book); sometimes offered for free with shipping and handling.
  • Checklist
    • Low barrier to entry; impulse buy
    • Easy to understand and explain
    • Seamlessly leads to core sale
    • Useful but incomplete
    • High perceived value
    • High actual value

Core offer

  • Flagship product/service
  • Irresistible offer

Profit maximizer

  • Upsell, cross-sell, or subscription
  • Increase average customer value and overall engagement

Return path

  • Put non-buyers in follow-up series
  • Generate additional revenue from existing
  • Exit offer ideas
    • New lead magnet
    • Highlight an unadvertised bonus
    • Quiz or survey
    • Sale/discount
    • New appeal
WordPress Grand Rapids WordPress Perfomance Optimization

WordPress Performance Optimization: May 2014 meetup

We talked about WordPress Performance Optimization at our May 15, 2014 meetup: testing, hosting, caching, CDNs, image optimization, queries, transients, and more. Get ready! WordCamp Grand Rapids 2014 is August 15-16! Remember, you can also find us on Meetup, Twitter (@wpgrandrapids and #wpgr), and Google Groups. If I missed anything in the notes below, please leave a comment, and I’ll add to the post.

WordPress Grand Rapids WordPress Perfomance Optimization WordPress Grand Rapids WordPress Perfomance Optimization

Testing, hosting, caching, CDNs, image optimization

Chad Warner

Performance testing

Performance guide

Managed WP hosting

Note: this section contains hosting affiliate links.

  • The host is often the main determinant of performance
  • Use a host that’s optimized for WordPress
    • Speed
    • Security
    • Updates
    • Tools
  • SiteGround: fast, secure WordPress hosting
    • SiteGround is an excellent WordPress-optimized shared host. They’re fast, secure, and reliable, yet inexpensive. They’re the host I most frequently recommend to small business and nonprofit clients.  From firsthand experience, I’ve found their plans to be superior to similar hosting plans from GoDaddy, Bluehost, DreamHost, Hostmonster, HostGator, iPage, and small local hosting companies.
    • WordPress Hosting
  • For clients with larger and/or higher-traffic sites, or who need additional benefits, we recommend WP Engine, but for most smaller sites, SiteGround provides great features for relatively low cost.


  • Use managed WordPress hosting; they often handle caching. Even if you’re not using managed WordPress hosting, use the host’s caching as much as possible.
  • WP Super Cache: simpler, less problematic than W3 Total Cache
  • W3 Total Cache: more powerful but more problematic than WP Super Cache

CloudFlare’s CDN

Image optimization

Caching, queries, transients

Brian Richards

W3 Total Cache

  • Turn on all caches
  • Enable Page Cache
    • For e-commerce, don’t cache cart, checkout, my account pages

Custom queries

  • Queries are controlled by query.php in core
  • Queries use WP_Query class
  • Look at query.php and see all the filters available. You may not want to write a custom query; you may be able to modify the main query with pre_get_posts(). It’s more efficient to modify the main query that WordPress is already running than to add a new query. Be very specific about when you’re going to modify the main query; use conditionals.



WordPress development tools

WordPress Grand Rapids e-commerce

WordPress E-Commerce: April 2014 meetup

We talked about WordPress E-Commerce at our April 2014 meetup: digital products, physical products, membership subscriptions, and events. We started with general considerations, then talked about specific plugins and platforms.

If I missed anything, please leave a comment, and I’ll add to the post.

WordPress Grand Rapids e-commerce

WordPress Grand Rapids e-commerce

General e-commerce considerations

Brian Richards

Payment gateways

  • Most common: Stripe, PayPal, Authorize.net
  • Stripe
    • Brian’s favorite
    • Great for devs
    • Has an iframe option, but people are less likely to trust it because the browser doesn’t show a padlock
    • Easy to test
    • Faster transfers to your bank account than PayPal
  • PayPal
    • Brian’s not a fan
    • Poor documentation
    • Some have experienced delays or holds on funds


  • You must charge for physical goods if selling to MI buyers


  • Most plugins provide flat rate
  • You can use APIs to get shipping rate tables from shippers


  • Major plugins support Google Analytics, and have extensions for other analytics systems


Brian Richards


  • Example site: WPSessions
  • If selling only 1 item, set cart page to the checkout page, so when buyer adds item to cart, they go straight to checkout. Note: this prevents the from editing their cart.
  • Product Data
    • Simple: standard product
    • Variable: variations like size, color. Can attach different thumbnails to different variations
  • Virtual: not physical
  • Downloadable: not physical, but also downloadable
  • A product can be downloadable but not virtual. Example: combo ebook and physical book.
  • Linked Products
    • Up-sells: additional products shown on product page
    • Cross-sells: additional products shown in checkout
    • Grouping: create bundle

iThemes Exchange

Easy Digital Downloads

  • Very easy
  • Many add-ons
  • Only digital products, and great at it
  • User History extension: displays buyer’s path and analytics

More plugins

Chad Warner


Easy Digital Downloads


  • Example site: School Communicators Network (in development)
  • How to restrict page. Show redirection.
  • s2Member
    • Quick-Start Guide
    • General Options
    • Restriction Options
    • API / List Servers

Event Espresso

Gravity Forms and PayPal Add-on

Steve Colthorp

  • Example site: Flowerland
  • Gravity Forms can be more flexible than e-commerce plugins, because it lets you create all the fields you want.
  • Dynamic Population lets you pass values to Gravity Forms using query strings or other methods.
WPGR WordPress Business Workflow

WordPress Business Workflow: Feb 2014 meetup

Our February 2014 meetup topic was WordPress Business Workflow. Four people gave short presentations, then we had an open discussion.

If I missed anything, please leave a comment, and I’ll add to the post.

WPGR WordPress Business Workflow

Work standards

Ryan Hinkle

  • Work standards are important (version control, backups, SSH, etc.)
    • Taking shortcuts can hurt you
    • Work standards can save you
    • They make it easier to bring people on to your team
  • Tools: Git, Vagrant, Bitbucket

How I started my WordPress business

Kurt Hanson

  • How Kurt got into WordPress development.
  • Found his first (low-paying) jobs on Elance, and some jobs led to good clients. Lately it’s been too difficult to compete with low-bidders (especially in low-wage countries). He thinks oDesk is even more low-wage. oDesk takes 9.5%.
  • Before you start, be prepared to go hungry for 1-2 years. If possible, set funds aside before starting.
  • Work with others with complementary skills. He’s been making local connections at The Factory.
  • Bills hourly with 50% deposits (of estimated total).
  • Tools: Photoshop, email, Google Calendar, Firefox, Dropbox, Camtasia, Vegas, QuickBooks.

Contracts and business hours

Chad Warner


  • Scope of Work
    • What’s included
    • What’s excluded
  • Schedule and Completion Date
    • Targets
  • Client Responsibilities
    • What they must provide you
    • What they must do
  • Cost Estimates
    • Estimates, not fixed costs
  • Payment Terms
    • How much?
    • When?
    • Method?
    • Penalties?
  • Domain Registration, Hosting, Maintenance, SEO
    • Specify who controls these
  • Technical Support
    • What will you offer?
  • Legalese
    • Indemnification
    • Limitation of Liabilities
    • Copyrights and Trademarks
    • Attorney Fees

Business hours

  • Protect your time; no one else will
  • Set an autoreply with your work hours and emergency contact info

Discipline and time-tracking

Luke Rumley

  • Be disciplined. Track time. That helps inform future estimates.
  • Don’t allow scope creep. Something has to give: time, money, or scope.

Group Discussion



  • Topher says you get tax discounts for accepting foreign funds.
  • Save for taxes (25-30%). Make estimated payments. Kurt uses Paychex.
  • Get an accountant. Have them do taxes, advise on deductions, etc.
  • Send 1099-MISCs to anyone to whom you pay over $600.


Recommended Lawyers: Haans Mulder, Todd Stuart, Mike Lichterman, Andrew Longcore.

Prospecting & Estimating

  • Use a Discovery Phase to get to know each other and decide if you want to work together. Give a deliverable (report/plan). Charge a few hundred if you can.
  • Red flags: prospects who want you to reduce your rates because they tell you their site will be a good portfolio piece, or who offer equity in their company, or who promise future work.

Project Management

WordPress Maintenance


WordPress Lightning Talks: Jan 2014 meetup

Our January 2014 meetup topic was Lightning Talks: 6-minute WordPress Presentations. Here are notes from the 5 lightning talks.

If I missed anything, please leave a comment, and I’ll add to the post.

Advanced Custom Fields

Chad Warner

  • Advanced Custom Fields in WordPress Plugin Directory
    • Description
      • Visually create custom fields.
      • Select from multiple input types (text, textarea, wysiwyg, image, file, page link, post object, relationship, select, checkbox, radio buttons, date picker, true / false, repeater, flexible content, gallery and more to come!).
      • Assign your fields to multiple edit pages (via custom location rules).
    • Documentation at advancedcustomfields.com
  • Great when paired with CPTs (custom post types). I use Custom Post Type UI.
  • Create field group
  • Use field in theme
    • the_field(): Displays the value of the specified field.
    • get_field(): Returns the value of the specified field. You can use it to store a value, echo a value and interact with a value.
  • Use field in shortcode

Intro to WordPress Hooks

Brian Richards

Posts 2 Posts

Kurt Hansen

  1. Install Posts 2 Posts
  2. Register a connection type in functions.php
  3. Edit post, find new Connected Pages meta box
  4. Click Create connection. Find page.

See Posts 2 Posts plugin wiki for more details.

Reducing login attempts by changing the login URL

Topher DeRosia

Install Rename wp-login.php and use it to change URL to something obscure. Then add code below to .htaccess to deny access to wp-login.php. The code makes it impossible to log in at wp-login.php for everyone. Bots keep trying and get a 403, but humans go to the new login page that you’ve told them about.

<Files wp-login.php>
deny from all

Passwordless 2-factor authentication with Clef


Bob Orchard

  • What’s Clef?
    • Authenticate to your WordPress site with iOS and Android app instead of password
    • Free
  • How do you use it?