Sometimes you come across a WordPress plug-in that is so powerful and useful that it could re-define your business. That's how I felt when it finally clicked for me how I would use WP Fusion.
It's a funny thing, really, because I had actually known about WP Fusion for over a year. I even recently worked with a coaching client that decided to go that route for his site. Even then, while I was aware of WP Fusion, I didn't really... get it.
When the whole COVID-19 thing began, a lot of business owners were looking at how to "pivot". It became a buzzword, but essentially we were all looking at ways to adjust our businesses in a way which would have us be better positioned for what's to come.
For me, I decided to use this opportunity to handle some pesky technical constraints and to re-build the business (from a technical standpoint) to make it easier to manage and concentrate on really growing THE LAB.
It began with... getting myself out of MemberMouse which was really feeling like a dead end. So, I went looking around for different options.
I ended up landing on WP Fusion yet again. Only this time...
The time was right. My head was in the right place to really evaluate this thing.
The light bulbs went off. I got freakin' excited about the possibilities of what I could do with this tool.
For the right kind of online business, I think WP Fusion could be perhaps one of the most useful plug-ins you ever get.
Table Of Contents
- What Does WP Fusion Actually Do?
- What Are Some Of The Things You Can Do With WP Fusion?
- #1 - Turn Your Site Into A Membership Site
- #2 - Follow Up With People In An Extremely Personal Way
- #3 - Sync Any WordPress Field To Your CRM
- #4 - Automatically Create WordPress Profiles For All New Subscribers
- #5 - Give Auto-Login Capability To Email Subscribers
- #6 - Track Logins And Act Accordingly... Like A Ninja
- WP Fusion Can Work With Another Membership Plugin... Or BE Your Membership Plugin
- How WP Fusion Works
- Who WP Fusion Is For (And Not For)
- Some Of The Best Support I've Ever Seen
- Anything Bad About WP Fusion?
- How To Get WP Fusion
- Need Some Help With WP Fusion?
- My Final Word On WP Fusion
What Does WP Fusion Actually Do?
Here's the short version...
WP Fusion will tightly integrate your WordPress site with your CRM, thereby allowing you to control numerous aspects of your site via tags.
Think of it like this...
By adding or removing tags on the profile of any of your subscribers in your CRM, you can change what they see on your website. Automatically.
This is an extremely tight integration. This is a totally different ballgame than some list-building plug-in that can make pretty opt-in forms and drop new subscribers into your CRM. WP Fusion is not a list building tool.
WP Fusion literally FUSES your blog with your CRM, making your WordPress site a direct extension of your CRM and marketing automation platform.
Using this integration, WP Fusion can dynamically change your site based on your subscriber's tags. It can also secure content (hello membership site owners!). The integration between your site and your CRM is two-way, as you'll see in a moment.
Not only that, but WP Fusion works with a TON of other plug-ins, making your entire site capable of tight integration with your CRM. Want to add a tag to anybody who fills out a form built with Gravity Forms? No problem. Want to secure an online course built with LearnDash based on a tag? No problem.
This is truly one of the most useful plug-ins I've ever used.
What Are Some Of The Things You Can Do With WP Fusion?
The true measure of any piece of software is what it will DO for you. I'm not even (yet) using all of what WP Fusion would enable for my business, but let me give you an idea what you can do with it...
#1 - Turn Your Site Into A Membership Site
You can lock down any WordPress content based on tags, thereby allowing you to build a full membership site and control the whole thing right out of your CRM.
This is the "Plan B" discussed in this rundown: Membership Site Setup: The 4 Main Components Of The Membership Site Tech Stack (And What I’m Now Using). This is a much more robust approach to membership site setup than the traditional levels-based approach, in my opinion.
For any content on your site, you can:
- Lock it down based on any tag in your CRM, including the ability to require multiple tags or require they don't have certain tags.
- Control what they see if they don't have access, therefore giving you the ability to route them to a custom error page or (better yet) a sales page to upgrade and gain access.
- Add or remove tags when they VIEW the content. (more on that in a minute, because this has a lot of potential uses)
If you are using a supported course management plug-in such as LearnDash, WP Fusion can even tag people when they mark a course as completed. You could use this simply to send them a congratulatory email... or even upsell them on their next step.
Further Reading: LearnDash Review: Is It The Right Solution For Your Online Courses?
Plus, it is such a simple thing, but WP Fusion makes it REALLY easy to bulk protect a ton of content at once. You can do this via the Bulk Edit on the post list, or apply to all children when editing a page. Might seem normal, but after spending 5 years with MemberMouse that had no capability at all in this department, this simple time-saver was a breath of fresh air for me.
#2 - Follow Up With People In An Extremely Personal Way
When you use a real marketing automation platform as your CRM, you can trigger any number of things based on a tag.
When you combine this with WP Fusion's ability to add a tag on any number of different events across your entire site, the possibilities really become endless. As one example...
A subscriber visits your sales page, but they do not buy. Using WP Fusion, you can drop a tag when they visit that page. You can then set up an automation in your CRM so that you can automatically email them when that tag is applied.
And for good measure, let's say you want to avoid emailing people like that if they clicked on your sales page by accident. No problem! Because WP Fusion can even be set up to wait a certain number of seconds before it applies/removes tag(s). So, perhaps have it wait 10 seconds or so before it applies that tag, giving non-serious people who clicked by accident time to hit that back button without you following up with them.
#3 - Sync Any WordPress Field To Your CRM
It sucks when your website and your CRM are not really in sync. You might have data in one platform or the other and they're not matched. And it can lead to some embarrassing emails when you say stuff that isn't really accurate.
One of the core functions of WP Fusion is to sync fields in WordPress to fields in your CRM. And we're talking full, tight, and two-way integration. You will never have a sync issue again. You will never sit there and get into a brain-bending session trying to send data back and forth between your site and CRM. WP Fusion just... does it.
It also works with all kinds of third-party plugins. Want to sync custom fields form MemberMouse to your CRM? WP Fusion does that. Have custom fields set up with Advanced Custom Fields or Pods and want to sync them with your CRM? Sure, WP Fusion can do that.
Here's a very simple use case...
Let's say a member changes their name on your membership site. You want emails you send from your CRM to address them properly, right? So, WP Fusion will automatically keep those fields in sync. If the name changes on your site, the CRM is updated. If the name changes in the CRM, your site is updated. Nothing is ever outdated.
#4 - Automatically Create WordPress Profiles For All New Subscribers
One of the big things I have done with my own company is that all of my subscribers now get a free starter membership in THE LAB.
Well, there's pretty much no fancy programming needed to register that new membership. I simply add the person to my CRM like I normally would. Then, inside of Drip (my CRM), I set up an automation to call a webhook for WP Fusion to automatically create their profile, complete with all their data.
Now the membership site becomes the hub for all my subscribers. They're all in there, with a free member level. This required a bunch of custom programming with my previous setup. With WP Fusion, none.
#5 - Give Auto-Login Capability To Email Subscribers
It would be annoying to email your subscribers about something in your membership site, but force them to login to see it. What if they forgot their login info, for instance?
With WP Fusion, you can auto-login them by simply passing the contact ID from your CRM into the link. WP Fusion will recognize them and automatically log them in.
There are some technical limitations to this, but in a lot of cases, it will simply work without any hiccups. Very convenient.
#6 - Track Logins And Act Accordingly... Like A Ninja
WP Fusion has some add-ons that do a number of things. One of them is the Logins add-on. This thing is freakin' AWESOME for a membership site.
It will track user logins, at the simple level.
Want to apply a tag when they first login? No problem. Use this in an automation to (for instance) automatically follow up with a new member if they haven't logged in within the first 24 hours.
Want to automatically reach out to people who have not logged into your site in a certain time period? No problem. You can have WP Fusion auto-tag people who haven't logged in in a certain length of time. And once they have logged in, remove that tag.
It gets cooler...
What if you could tag them a certain way and then automatically redirect them to a certain page when they login? You can do that. Perhaps, at a certain point in their member life cyle, you want them to see a special upgrade offer. Just add the tag and next time they log in, they will be directed to a page on your site accordingly.
What if after they've logged in a certain number of times, or every Nth login, you want to direct them to a particular page? Sure. Use case: On their 5th login, present an offer to upgrade to a lifetime membership. You can also do it by tag, so let's say on the 5th login, you want only monthly members to get an upgrade offer for your annual plan. No problem.
WP Fusion Can Work With Another Membership Plugin... Or BE Your Membership Plugin
Seeing as WP Fusion can lock down content quite well, it is perfectly capable of being the hub of your membership site on it's own.
This is what I use it for. However, it is important to note that WP Fusion is not an account management tool. It doesn't process orders or manage accounts. WP Fusion is a bridge between WordPress and your CRM. So, you'll still need something to process orders, handle cancellations, and the usual account-related things typical of a membership site.
In my case, I use ThriveCart to process orders (read my Thrivecart review). Since ThriveCart also closely integrates with my CRM, I have simply built automations into my CRM to handle most of the usual membership related things. By adding/removing tags in my CRM, I can control their access to courses. And, of course, WP Fusion works with ThriveCart nicely and can auto-create your member profiles when they purchase. (NOTE: In the docs, it makes it seem really difficult to get WPFusion to work with ThriveCart, but I can report I had zero issues with it and it was indeed quite simple.)
However, many people appreciate the convenience of a regular membership site plugin like Wishlist Member, MemberPress or the like. WP Fusion can work right alongside these kinds of plug-ins.
Allowing your membership plugin to process orders and manage accounts, while letting WP Fusion lock down content and keep everything in sync. Chances are WP Fusion is already built to work with whatever membership site plug-in you wish to use.
How WP Fusion Works
WP Fusion works with the API from your CRM to fetch subscriber info, fields and tags. It matches every WordPress user by email address and then stores the contact ID from your CRM.
Now that the contact ID and the WordPress user are matched, WP Fusion can keep things synchronized.
WP Fusion keeps a local record of a user's tags and field data, so it isn't constantly pinging your CRM. So, the whole thing is quite fast. You can also choose when you want it to re-sync data.
- You can drop a shortcode on any page of your site to trigger WP Fusion to re-sync tags and/or fields.
- You can use the webhooks from your CRM to re-sync tags and/or fields within any automation.
- You can trigger a manual re-sync if you wish at any time.
Who WP Fusion Is For (And Not For)
I will be the first to say that...
WP Fusion is not for everybody.
If some of the terminology I used in this post is beyond your understanding, then WP Fusion is too advanced for you right now. If you're not sure what a CRM is, what tags in your CRM are used for, etc... then don't get WP Fusion. You won't know what to do with it. Even the coolest tools are useless if you have no idea how to use it.
WP Fusion will be the MOST powerful if you are using a marketing automation platform. While it can work with any CRM which utilizes tags (like Aweber or Mailchimp), it is going to be MOST useful if you have the ability to build real automations based on tags and/or custom fields.
ConvertKit gets into this territory, but honestly WP Fusion is going to be most useful if you're using something like Active Campaign, Drip, Infusionsoft (Keap), or Ontraport. I would say that ActiveCampaign is probably the most popular CRM with WP Fusion users, but it works beautifully with Drip (which is what I use).
Adding/removing tags and synchronizing fields is great and useful, but it will truly automate your business and generate revenue when you can build marketing sequences behind those things. THAT's when you will feel like a kid in a candy store with WP Fusion.
No doubt, WP Fusion will be the most useful to a moderate to advanced online marketer.
Some Of The Best Support I've Ever Seen
WP Fusion is the brainchild of Jack Arturo. And you can email into support anytime. But...
He also runs a group on Facebook called Marketing Automation + WordPress with WP Fusion. And Jack is all over that group.
On numerous occasions as I was learning the ropes, I made a post in this group and Jack personally answered me. Sometimes, he was damn near there in real-time and we were having a chat.
I have never received such personal and rapid support from the developer of a plug-in. And I can't rain enough praise down on Jack for how responsive he is, how well he knows his stuff. I'm not sure if this Facebook group is an "unofficial" support channel, but WOW is it useful if you're working with WP Fusion.
WP Fusion also updates frequently. So, no matter how you look at it, when you are using the paid version of WP Fusion, it is most definitely worth every penny.
Anything Bad About WP Fusion?
I've been heaping all kinds of praise on this thing. That's cuz I like it. 🙂
If I had to say anything bad about it, it would only be in that it could easily get confusing. There are a lot of settings with WP Fusion. The functionality of the plug-in enables a lot of possibility. If you're not careful, you could feel overwhelmed pretty easily.
WP Fusion is not something built for newbies.
While you don't need to be a developer to use it at all, there's no doubt that it does take a certain level of technical knowledge of marketing automation and WordPress to really use this. You'll need to be able to conceptualize how these different things integrate. You'll need to understand how to use shortcodes, webhooks and maybe even a bit of PHP coding if you want to integrate any of WP Fusion's functionality right into your theme.
In general, if you have understood everything in this post, you're probably going to be totally fine and have a lot of fun with WP Fusion. 🙂
If this post seemed like a foreign language to you, I don't recommend WP Fusion. Not yet anyway.
How To Get WP Fusion
WP Fusion has 2 versions: Lite (free) and paid.
I use the paid version, of course. In fact, I got the license option which gives me access to the add-ons because I REALLY wanted the Logins add-in. 🙂 So, I spent $347 for one year for that option. Annual renewals are 30% less, so I'll be paying $242.90 each year. A total bargain considering what it does and the level of support.
WP Fusion also has a free LITE version which may solve a need for you at no cost. The LITE version will synchronize WordPress core profile fields with your CRM, but does not have any support for third-party plugins or the advanced tagging functions. The LITE version can lock down content, sync fields, import contacts from your CRM, etc.
Essentially, you'll have a nice integration between WordPress and your CRM with the free version. But, the moment you want to bring in any third-party plug-in (like WooCommerce, LearnDash, Gravity Forms, Elementor, etc.), you'll need to upgrade.
UPDATE Feb 2021: About Their Welcome Call
I feel a need to forewarn you about something here that just came up here in February 2021. And I'm going to include it in this review...
When you buy WPFusion, they're going to send you an email offering to do a welcome call. In more instances than not (it seems), that call turns into a somewhat aggressive, salesy push for the "ideal" software stack to work with WPFusion. That stack is ActiveCampaign, LaunchFlows, WooCommerce and, of course, WPFusion.
While the call might be helpful to people who are still trying to figure out the right combo for them, I don't recommend you get on that call if you're already comfortable with where you're heading. Reports are, the guy who does the call comes off as pushy and has led to some poor reactions. Based on my bringing this up and my recommendation, they have made some changes to make the nature of the call clearer, but I would probably recommend you simply skip the call unless you are willing to say "no". 🙂 I'll be more than happy to advise you on your software stack right here without pushing you in any particular direction.
Need Some Help With WP Fusion?
As I've said, WP Fusion is not a tool for newbies. It isn't that it is particularly difficult... it's just that the very nature of what the plug-in does means it is built for a more advanced online business.
Even if you understand this stuff, it can still be a brain-bender at times getting it set up. Getting things to integrate. Things like that.
Plus, WP Fusion has a lot of power under the hood, too. For instance, if you're running a custom theme, you can even build custom code into your theme using WP Fusion functions and do all kinds of logic based on a user's tags.
If you need some consulting or hands-on help getting WP Fusion set up for your business, I'd be happy to help. You can check out our technical services, pick up some tech credits, and we can work together to get you set up.
Our tech services are not meant to be a long-term contractual relationship. This isn't some high-ticket thing... because tech service is not the core of what the Blog Marketing Academy does. My interest is to get you set up, empowered to take it from there.
So, if you need some help with WP Fusion, check this out.
My Final Word On WP Fusion
If you are using a marketing automation platform as your CRM and your main site is based on WordPress, WP Fusion will be your new best friend.
No longer will your email list and your website be like two little islands. Your site will be able to do much more than just add people to your list. WP Fusion FUSES your WordPress site with your CRM, enabling you to make your own website into a full extension of your CRM.
You can literally automate your own site using the same automated workflows that you already build in your CRM. It isn't just about emails anymore... it is about what they see on your site when they get there.
Total marketing personalization. All automated. All on WordPress.
This is, by far, the best option I have ever seen for truly turning your WordPress blog into the marketing powerhouse it can be when backed by your email list.