At Uncanny Owl, our team works hard to understand what people are doing with Automator…
Today’s Uncanny Automator 4.3 marks a big milestone for our WordPress automation plugin: it puts us over the 100 integration threshold. To get there, we have several new integrations to announce: Easy Affiliate, WP Mail SMTP Pro, LinkedIn Pages, Airtable, KonnectzIT and Make. As usual, the free version of 4.3 also adds several big new features, including the ability to rerun actions for app integrations and duplication actions inside a recipe. And we have completely new branding to announce for Uncanny Automator!
Let’s get started with an overview of some of the new integrations.
Created by the MemberPress team, Easy Affiliate is a popular affiliate management plugin for WordPress ecommerce and membership sites. It offers an easy-to-use affiliate dashboard, real-time reports, fraud detection, integrations with popular CRMs and ecommerce plugins and more. In today’s 4.3 release, we’re adding 2 new triggers:
- A new sale is recorded for an affiliate
- An affiliate is added
These new triggers enable use cases like adding users to a social or learning group when they’re added as an affiliate, giving affiliates store credit when they make their first sale as a bonus, adding affiliates to a Hubspot list when they join, etc.
As with most of today’s announcements, stay tuned for the addition of even more features in the imminent Automator Pro 4.3 release.
WP Mail SMTP Pro
Ever wish you could fire automations when users open an email without having to buy into an expensive CRM solution? That’s what today’s new trigger for WP Mail SMTP Pro offers:
- An email with specific text in the subject line is opened
Keep in mind this is in our free version, so you can add powerful email reporting (via Google Sheets and our new Airtable integration) to your site at no extra cost. And with Automator Pro features, you can do things like trigger new drip campaigns when an email is opened (or perhaps only when it’s opened by users with a specific email domain).
Adding to our suite of native social media integrations, now Automator lets you publish posts on LinkedIn! As a App Integration, this is available to free plugin users as part of our credit system. For now, we’re adding a single new action:
- Publish a post to a LinkedIn page
Here’s what it looks like:
To make things as easy as possible, we have a 1-click integration made possible with the new Automator app for LinkedIn. Just click a button to connect your account, approve permissions to Automator and you’re in! There are no API credentials or developer settings to worry about.
Airtable, Make and KonnectzIT
In the interest of getting to our new features and branding faster, we’re consolidating the Airtable, Make and KonnectzIT integrations into one section because they all allow the same action: Send data to each of these platforms. They’re super useful, satisfy many customer requests and will enable powerful third-party reporting and automation solutions. All unlimited use, all in our free version.
Retry failed API-based actions
Sometimes the actions for some of Uncanny Automator’s App Integrations (e.g. Slack, Google Sheets, Facebook, ActiveCampaign) might fail, perhaps because the service is down, the connected account is throttled, permissions in a connected app changed, the connected free account ran out of Automator credits, etc. Currently when that happens, users are stuck with a recipe that failed and no way to pass the data again after fixing whatever issue caused the action to fail. We’ve seen a few tickets where users only noticed weeks after a change they made caused actions for the previous few weeks to fail and manually entering all of that missing data is a prohibitive expense.
In Uncanny Automator 4.3, we’re adding a new system that makes it super easy to resend data to non-WordPress apps. From inside the Recipe log, click into the Details for a recipe with actions linked to App Integrations and you’ll see a new Resend button. Clicking it does exactly what you would expect. Here’s what it looks like:
Yes, we know it’s amazing addition and that it needs to do more, so in upcoming releases you will see additions like similar support for webhook actions, automatic delayed retries, retrying failed actions in bulk, etc. We want Automator recipes to be super reliable, including covering situations where other WordPress sites and non-WordPress apps might be down.
You can already duplicate recipes, so why did we develop a way to clone individual actions? There are a lot of use cases here, but we built it with a specific one in mind: it makes it a lot easier to churn out if/else conditions.
Suppose you have an action that you only want to run if a user has a specific email domain, and you want to run another action on users that don’t have that email domain. You spend lots of time setting up the first action and getting everything right, but rebuilding it with small tweaks for the “else” condition is time-consuming. Instead, you can just duplicate the first action, make the small tweak, add the opposite condition and you’re all set.
Automator cache controls
By default, Uncanny Automator enables a caching system to improve performance when loading recipe elements. In a small number of cases, we have seen conflicts with some Redis caching, and while a filter has always been available to disable caching, now there’s a setting to make enabling and disabling the Automator caching system easier to manage.
New Emails integration
We decided to move the “Send an email” action from WordPress to its own dedicated Emails integration because it wasn’t directly a WordPress function. We had a few new users report difficulty finding how to email users in recipes so we broke it out to make discovery easier.
Uncanny Codes got some extra attention in this release, and while these new additions sound uninteresting at first, hang in there for the use cases:
- New trigger: A code batch is created
- New action: Generate a batch of codes for Automator
On their own, these probably seem a bit boring. Sure, you can generate a new batch of codes in a recipe, but how does that help users if you can’t distribute them or output them to another system? And yes, you can trigger recipes when batches are generated, but if an admin creates the batch, can’t the admin just pull and use the codes immediately anyway?
The magic happens when you combine the new trigger and action into connected recipes. In the first recipe, you use whatever you want to generate the codes: a purchase, event attendance, course completion. The new codes can unlock anything on the site. But then you have a second recipe that watches for new code batches from that first action (probably based on prefix or suffix using recipe conditions) and can send them by email, transfer them to Google Sheets, whatever fits your use case. Maybe an educator attends a 1-hour workshop and their attendance unlocks 10 codes that their students can use to try out a sample course. Or perhaps a purchase of a $500 product comes with 2 bonus codes to unlock a membership level for 2 of the customer’s friends when they register. Now these are some pretty compelling workflows for sites selling something.
Other new 4.3 features
The sections above cover the key changes, but we have a huge number of additional changes packed into Uncanny Automator 4.3.
Our Mailchimp integration adds these new actions:
- Add a contact to an audience
- Add a note to a contact
- Add a tag to a contact
- Remove a tag from a contact
- Unsubscribe a contact from an audience
The “Create a post” action in WordPress core now supports setting taxonomies (like categories and tags) when creating a new post. Here’s what it looks like:
FluentCRM adds a “Add a tag to a contact” action.
LearnDash gets a new “Course access expiry date” token.
In Google Sheets actions, clicking the “Get columns” button doesn’t clear existing values when columns are refreshed.
When duplicating recipes, conditions are now preserved, as are the original status of triggers and actions.
Finally, we have consolidated the menu entries for the recipe, trigger and action logs under a single “Logs” entry.
Introducing the new Uncanny Automator branding!
With all of the plugin features out of the way, we’re excited to introduce the new Automator branding that we’re starting to roll out as part of the Automator 4.3 releases. Here’s our new logo:
Yes, it’s a brand new mascot too. We have lots of pose illustrations lined up to use in different contexts, so you’ll start to see those used throughout our site and also inside the plugin on your own sites. Here’s an example of “U-Bot” all ready to blend your favourite plugins together into new recipes.
Let us know what you think about the new branding and the 4.3 release in the comments!