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Turn Automator Into a WordPress Points & Credit System

Uncanny Automator’s primary function is to automate routine tasks, saving you and your team time and money. But with the right recipes, you can turn Automator into a WordPress points and credit system that will put any Swiss bank to shame.

What’s the Point?

Introducing a points or credit system to your WordPress website or online business can pay dividends—literally.

Motivate Members

Memberships are a great way to monetize your WordPress website and improve user engagement. In addition to the usual membership benefits such as access to premium content and members-only discounts, give your members different ways to earn and spend points and credit to keep them engaged and motivated. It’s an easy way to gamify your website—and who doesn’t love games?

Cut Back on Transaction Fees

Transaction fees can eat away at your bottom line faster than a runaway amortization schedule. By selling points and credit, however, you can reduce your merchant fees without having to cut back on the number of transactions you process. Additionally, selling points or credits gives your users more flexibility on your website and allows you to perform micro transactions without incurring macro fees!

Mint Your Own Money

If you’ve ever wanted to print money (let’s be honest, we all have) then Automator can help you get there. Without facing charges for counterfeiting, no less. Minting your own digital points and credit is one of the best ways to build up your distinctive brand and create loyal customers. We’re not saying that your face should be on both sides of your digital coins but… why not?

How to Create a WordPress Points & Credit System with Automator

In setting up a WordPress point/credit system with Automator, you’ll first need a simple recipe that creates user metadata to store your customers’ balances. You can think of this kind of like opening up a bank account for each of your customers on your WordPress website.

Follow the steps in this recipe to open point/credit “accounts” with opening balances for new and existing users on your WordPress website. In just a few clicks, you’ll be minting your very own digital coins faster than Rich Uncle Pennybags can sprint past “Go”.

Step 1: Create A New Recipe

From your WordPress Admin Sidebar, navigate to Automator > Add New. In the pop-up window that appears, select Logged-in users and click Confirm.

Uncanny Automator Recipe Type Selector Logged-in users

Step 2: Name Your Recipe

Give your recipe a title that makes it easy to identify at a glance. We’ve named this recipe New User Credit Account Creation.

Step 3: Configure Your Trigger

In the Triggers panel, click WordPress. Note: If you are using another user/member creation plugin (MemberPress, Paid Memberships Pro, WooCommerce Subscriptions, etc.) make sure that this plugin creates new users under the Users tab in your WordPress Admin Sidebar.

Automator Trigger Integrations WordPress

From the drop-down list, select A user is created.

Automator WordPress Trigger A user is created

When you’re finished, the Triggers panel should look like this:

Automator WordPress A user is created Trigger Live

Step 4: Configure Your Action

In the Actions panel, click Add action then click WordPress. From the drop-down list that appears, select Set user meta.

Automator WordPress Set user meta Action

Automator will then prompt you to set the user meta key/value pair(s). Though this might sound complex at first, it’s a very simple concept and we have a no-code promise that we intend to keep.

Databases, such as your WordPress website, store information in key/value pairs. Simply put, keys describe values. For example, if your website stored weather data, you might have a key called “temperature_celcius” that describes an integer value such as “25”. You might also have a key called “location” that describes a non-integer, text value such as “New York”.

Values can be static—meaning that you set them manually—or dynamic meaning that they are set automatically, according to conditions you define.

In our example, we’re defining the user meta with the key “user_credits” and a static value of “100”. In other words, we’ve named our digital currency “user credits” and we’re giving our new users 100 free credits just for signing up. But, if you were feeling particularly generous, you could give your new customers 1,000,000 credits!

Automator WordPress Action Set user meta Meta field

If you intend to offer multiple types of points/credit, click Add pair and define as many key/value pairs as you’d like. When you’re finished, click Save. The Actions panel should look like this:

Automator WordPress Action Set user meta Live

Step 5: Give Yourself Some Credit!

In the Recipe box on the upper right-hand side of the screen, toggle your recipe from Draft to Live. Now give yourself some credit—you’ve just set up a fully-customizable points/credit system on your WordPress website!

Automator Credit Account Creation Recipe

Step 6: Credit For Existing Users

The recipe that we’ve just cooked up will create “point/credit accounts” for all of your new users. But what about your existing users? Don’t they deserve some credit as well?

To create “credit accounts” for your existing users, you can simply duplicate this recipe with a different trigger. Perhaps the simplest way to accomplish this would be to use the WordPress trigger A user logs in to the site so that whenever your existing customers login, Automator will create the user metadata for them. Add an action filter to sort out users who already have the user metadata “user_credits” to avoid creating multiple “credit accounts”. Here’s what that would look like:

Automator Existing User Credit Account Creation Recipe

How to Display Your WordPress Points & Credit System

Now that you’ve created all of this new user metadata, you’ll need an efficient way to keep track of your users’ point/credit balances. Fortunately, there are a few plugins that make it easy for you to get to the “point”—and they don’t require any knowledge of coding or double-entry accounting!

Step 1: Back-end Display

You may already have plugins to show custom user meta records in user profiles and to users in the front end already set up on your site. You may not even know it; LearnDash, for example, includes a handy [usermeta] shortcode for this purpose to show user records in the front end. If you don’t have plugins set up for this purpose, there are lots of free (and paid!) ones available and we’ll show 2 possibilities in steps 1 and 2. If you already have plugins for these purposes, you can skip the installation of new plugins in steps 1 and 2 and use your own solutions instead.

Click here to download JSM’s Show User Metadata plugin or, from your WordPress Admin Sidebar, navigate to Plugins > Add New and type the name of the plugin into the search bar. Click Install Now then Activate.

JSM's Show User Metadata Plugin

From your WordPress Admin Sidebar, navigate to Users > All Users and click Edit beneath any user profile. If you scroll down to the bottom of your screen, you should see a table array with all of the user’s metadata.

If this user has signed up or signed in to your website after you created the Automator recipes above, then you can find their credit balance under user_credits or whichever key you gave to your digital currency.

JSM's Show User Metadata Table Array

Step 2: Front-end Display

JSM’s Show User Metadata gives you the ability to track point and credit balances but your users will also need a way to monitor their accounts. We wouldn’t want them to incur overdraft charges, now would we?

The WHWS Display User Meta Shortcode plugin gives you the shortcode that corresponds to all user metadata so that you can embed it anywhere on the front-end of your website.

Click here to download WHWS Display User Meta Shortcode plugin or, from your WordPress Admin Sidebar, navigate to Plugins > Add New and type the name of the plugin into the search bar. Click Install Now then Activate.

WHWS Display User Meta Shortcode

From your WordPress Admin Sidebar, click on User Meta. A table should appear with User Meta in one column and Shortcode to Use in the other. Scroll down to user_credits or whichever key you gave to your digital currency.

WHWS Display User Meta Shortcode Table Array

You can copy and paste the corresponding shortcode anywhere on your website—membership profile pages, for example—using the Shortcode feature in Gutenberg, WordPress Classic Editor or a different page-builder plugin like Elementor or DiviBuilder.

How to Process Transactions in Your WordPress Points & Credit System

Few interactions on your website are going to be more engaging for your customers than racking up massive point balances—then spending them like the internet is going out of style (which would never happen, we think).

Regardless, now that you’ve opened the doors to your very own digital points bank, you’ll want an easy way to process all of your customers’ transactions. For this, you can use Automator’s Calculations and Actions Filter/Condition features. There isn’t a CPA in the world that can keep up with the transaction processing power of Automator!

Adding Points/Credit

We’re going to use Automator’s Calculations feature to add and subtract points/credit from users’ accounts—but you could just as easily multiply, divide, transpose, invert or find the square root.

First, we’ll look at adding points/credit if, for example, a user purchases a membership from your WooCommerce store.

Step 1: Create a New Recipe

From your WordPress Admin Sidebar, navigate to Automator > Add New. In the pop-up window that appears, select Logged-in users and click Confirm.

Step 2: Name Your Recipe

We’ve named this recipe Bronze Membership Credits.

Step 3: Configure Your Trigger

In the Triggers panel, click WooCommerce then select A user completes, pays for, lands on a thank you page for an order with a product. Select the trigger condition and product then click Save.

Step 4: Configure Your Action

In the Actions panel, click Add action then click WordPress. From the drop-down list that appears, select Update the user’s details. Automator will present you with an editor screen where you change a user’s details such as Email. First name and even Password.

Scroll down to the field labeled Meta and click Add pair then type the user metadata key for your points/credit system into the Key field.

Automator Metadata Field

On the right-hand side, click the Asterisk token icon. A drop-down list will appear. Click Modifiers then Calculation.

Automator Token Calculation

Automator will present you with a pop-up window labeled Calculation and a field labeled Formula. Once again, click the Asterisk icon for tokens then click Advanced and select User meta.

Automator User Metadata Token

A pop-up window will appear, prompting you to select the metadata to use in the formula. Type the metadata key for your point/credit system into the User meta key field then click Add token to return to the previous window.

Automator User Meta key Field

Complete the formula in the Calculation window. In our example, we want to add five (5) credits to the user’s account when they purchase a Bronze Membership. To do this, type “ + 5” into the Formula field after the user meta token. Be sure to include a space before and after each symbol and integer in the Formula field. When you’re finished, click Add token.

Automator Calculation User Credits User Meta + 5

The Meta field should look something like this:

Automator Meta Field Key/Value Pair

At the bottom of the Actions panel, click Save.

Step 5: Give Credit Where Credit is Due

In the upper right-hand corner, toggle the recipe from Draft to Live. The finished recipe should look something like this:

Automator WooCommerce Update User Meta Recipe

Users who purchase the product Bronze Membership from your WooCommerce store will now have five (5) credits added to their account.

Subtracting Points/Credit

Subtracting points/credits from users’ balances is just as easy as adding them. Let’s say, for example, that you wanted to subtract credits from a user’s account when they registered for an event.

Step 1: Create a New Recipe

From your WordPress Admin Sidebar, navigate to Automator > Add New. In the pop-up window that appears, select Logged-in users and click Confirm.

Step 2: Name Your Recipe

We’ve named this recipe Event Registration Credit Subtraction.

Step 3: Configure Your Trigger

In the Triggers panel, click The Events Calendar then select A user registers for an event from the drop-down list. Select the event and click Save.

Step 4: Configure Your Action

In the Actions panel, click Add action then click WordPress and select Update a user’s details from the drop-down list.

Follow the same steps as in the previous recipe but type “ – 1” into the Formula field instead of “ + 5”.

Automator Calculation User Credits User Meta - 1

Step 5: Go Live

In the upper right-hand corner, toggle the recipe from Draft to Live. The recipe should look like this:

Automator The Events Calendar User Credits User Meta Subtraction Recipe

How to Prevent Negative Account Balances

Automator is more than capable of handling calculations with negative values—but who wants a negative account balance? Additionally, you want to make sure that your customers have a sufficient balance of points or credit to cover their transactions.

To ensure smooth workflows, we recommend using Automator’s filter/condition feature in each recipe that subtracts points or credit from your users’ accounts. We’ll use the same scenario from our previous example—i.e., event registration using credits—to demonstrate how to use filters and conditions. Follow these steps to prevent users with insufficient points/credit from registering for events and/or incurring negative account balances.

Step 1: Create a New Recipe

From your WordPress Admin Sidebar, navigate to Automator > Add New. In the pop-up window that appears, select Logged-in users and click Confirm.

Step 2: Configure Your Trigger

To prevent users without points/credit from registering for an event, you’ll need to create an intermediate step for event registration. For example, we’ve created an event registration form with WPForms and will use that as a trigger.

Automator WPForms A user submits a form Trigger

Step 3: Configure Your Actions

In the Actions panel, click Add action then The Events Calendar or whatever event scheduling platform that fits best into your workflows, such as Zoom or Google Calendar. Regardless of the integration you’re using, Automator will prompt you to select the registration details and the event. Finish configuring these details then click Save.

If you’re using The Events Calendar, then your action should look something like this:

Automator The Events Calendar RSVP on behalf of the user Action

To ensure that only users with a positive point/credit balance can register, hover over the three dots in the upper-right hand corner of the action and click Filter.

Automator The Events Calendar Actions Filter

A window titled Condition will appear. In the drop-down list, select General > A token meets a condition.

Automator Actions Filter Condition A token meets a condition

Automator will then prompt you to define the token. From the drop-down list, select Advanced > User meta.

Automator Actions Filter Token User Meta

A pop-up window will appear, asking you for the specific user meta key. Type the user metadata key for your points/credit system into the User meta key field then click Add token.

Automator Actions Filter User meta key Field

Now you can configure the rule that will define whether or not the action fires. In the Criteria field, we’ve selected is greater than and typed “0” into the Value field, meaning that the action will only fire if the user has a value greater than zero (0) in their “account”. Alternatively, you can define the criteria and value such that the action will only fire if the user has at least as many points/credits as the event costs.

Automator Actions Filter Configure the rule

Click Save filter. Your action should now look like this:

Automator The Events Calendar Actions Filter Run if the user meta user credits is greater than 0

Under the same filter, click Add action. Configure this second action to subtract points/credit from the user’s account just as we did before. With this filter, Automator will only subtract the point/credit if the user has a positive balance. Similarly, if you’ve defined different criteria, Automator will only subtract the points/credits if the user has a sufficient balance to cover the cost of the event. Here’s what both actions under this same filter should look like:

Automator The Events Calendar WordPress Actions Filter Run if the user meta user credits is greater than 0

Step 4: Add a Friendly Reminder to Top Up

Your users might not always know their account balance and simply assume that they have successfully registered for the event when, in fact, they had a balance of 0 and the actions never fired. However, with a third action, you can notify your customers that they have no points/credit remaining and even prompt them to top up their account.

In the Actions panel, but outside of the filter, click Add action. You can use Automator’s default email integration to contact your customers about their account balance. Alternatively, you can use a CRM integration like ActiveCampaign or Mailchimp to auto-tag your customers and send more branded emails. You could even send an SMS with Twilio. For illustrative purposes, however, we’re going to use Automator’s default email integration.

Automator Actions Emails

Automator will open an editor. Fill in the required fields and draft a friendly reminder to your customers to top up their account. Include tokens to personalize the email message and links to your store where your customers can super-charge their balances. When you’re finished, click Save.

Next, you’ll want to add a filter to this third action so that it only fires if the user has a balance of zero (0) in their account.

Automator Actions Emails Filter

You Deserve All the Credit

Whoever said money didn’t grow on trees has never used Uncanny Automator Pro. Once you’ve gotten your points/credit system all set up, we’d love to hear how you and your customers prefer to use it. Let us know in the comments section below and we promise we’ll give you all the credit for our next update.

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