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Uncanny Automator vs. WP Fusion

Uncanny Automator and WP Fusion are both very powerful and easy-to-use plugins for WordPress in the no-code automation space. How they work, what they connect to, and what you can do with them, however, are all very different. In this article, we’ll try to make the differences more clear.

For full disclosure, we use WP Fusion ourselves all of the time, and it’s running on the Automator website right now. We’re big fans of WP Fusion, the support Jack Arturo and his team deliver and the never-ending stream of improvements and new features. If you connect your WordPress site to a CRM, we absolutely consider WP Fusion a must-have plugin.

And as the developers of Uncanny Automator, certainly we’re quite biased about our own product. On most sites that we build and/or maintain, both WP Fusion and Uncanny Automator are indispensable parts of the tech stack. Here’s a sample recipe that combines the best of both worlds:

Automator recipe with WP Fusion

Introduction to WP Fusion

WP Fusion is a CRM integration, marketing automation and membership plugin all rolled into one. To derive value from it, you must be using a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool. Popular examples in WordPress include Groundhogg and Fluent CRM, while outside of WordPress, platforms like ActiveCampaign, Hubspot and Mailchimp are popular.

WP Fusion’s features depend on being connected to a CRM. One that connection is in place, you can store all sorts of data about contacts and WordPress users—from biographical data and mailing list membership to information about site activity and ecommerce purchases. It helps create very detailed profiles about your users, which you can then apply to automated workflows, site access, content availability and more. It does all of the heavy lifting between your WordPress site and your CRM.

Beyond some of the CRM, tagging, list and profile capabilities, WP Fusion has a powerful suite of membership features. You can control access to course content, memberships, pages and more using tags and other controls. There are a plethora of shortcodes that can be used in the front end to make this easier.

WP Fusion supports an unparalleled number of CRMs, but it also connects with a huge number of WordPress plugins directly. It allows finite control over how CRM tags and lists are integrated on your WordPress site. Examples here include tagging a user when they complete a course in your LMS plugin and adding a user to a group automatically if they have a certain tag.

How is Uncanny Automator different?

While Uncanny Automator has native integrations with a few CRMs, it’s nowhere near what WP Fusion supports. Part of the reason for this is that Uncanny Automator does not depend on a CRM. That’s one of the key differences. For many use cases on WordPress sites, Automator can reduce the need for a CRM, as it supports scheduling, conditions and complex workflows natively. You can even use custom meta to replicate many tag-based scenarios.

Where Uncanny Automator excels is with connecting almost anything together to create powerful automations–all inside WordPress. Here are a few examples of scenarios where Automator is a better fit than WP Fusion:

  • Pass form entries to Google Sheets to build dashboard reports
  • When a post is published, share it automatically on social media
  • When a code is redeemed, add the user to a social group
  • When a user attends a live event, generate and send them a certificate after the event
  • When a user completes a purchase, show an offer in a pop-up
  • When a user purchases a product, register them in a Zoom meeting
  • When a user with a specific email domain submits a form, create a LearnDash group
  • When a user completes a series of courses, notify their instructor by email
  • When WordPress receives data from an HR system via webhook, create a user and enroll the user in courses

All of the above examples are simple situations where there is no CRM component and where diverse tools need to talk to each other directly. Whereas WP Fusion is all about users and building user-based profiles and workflows, Automator goes beyond that to automate system workflows and may or may not incorporate user data in its automations.

Here’s how WP Fusion explains it.

WP Fusion is primarily an integration tool between WordPress and your external CRM or marketing platform.

Uncanny Automator is a Zapier-like solution but for WordPress plugins (and we’ll extend that to include non-WordPress apps and other WordPress sites too, because our scope has really expanded since WP Fusion wrote that).

The text above is still a good way to think of things. With WP Fusion, your CRM is the hub of your automations, user data, site access and more. With Automator, it’s WordPress that’s the hub, with Automator connecting everything together.

For a full take on this from the WP Fusion perspective, make sure to check out

When should you use each plugin?

Start with Uncanny Automator when…

  • You’re not yet using a CRM or marketing automation platform
  • You want to link your plugins, apps and sites directly together
  • You want to build complex automations inside WordPress that may not involve user data

Start with WP Fusion when…

  • You’re already using a CRM or marketing automation platform
  • Most of your automations are related to emails, campaigns and user data
  • You need membership features

We use the word “Start” above because in many situations, and as needs evolve, you may find use cases that benefit from using both products together.

The best of both worlds

As we mentioned earlier in the article, WP Fusion and Uncanny Automator are plugins we ourselves use together wherever possible. We love integrating WordPress with a CRM (to grow and send newsletters, profile users, track user analytics, restrict content, etc.), and for this purpose, nothing can touch WP Fusion.

Building complex automations in WordPress to connect plugins together, to connect WordPress sites to each other and to connect sites to apps like Slack, Google Sheets, Twitter and more is also pretty fantastic. And in this area, nothing can touch Uncanny Automator.

Best of all, Uncanny Automator has a native integration for WP Fusion. Maybe you need to add or remove CRM tags based on scenarios WP Fusion can’t support; that’s where Automator comes in. The combination of the 2 products unlocks use cases that go far beyond what each plugin can offer independently.

Are you using WP Fusion and Uncanny Automator on your WordPress site? Let us know how it’s helping your platform in the comments below!

author avatar
Ryan Moore Director
Ryan Moore (MA, PMP, BCom) is the Cofounder and Director of Uncanny Owl, creators of Uncanny Automator and a suite of popular add-ons for LearnDash. Since 2013, Ryan has helped thousands of companies add elearning and automation capabilities to their WordPress websites.

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