Our client was looking for a team who can create a story subscription system that sends stories every friday to members through a email service. For managing these emails easily, they were looking for an integration with an email newsletter service, like AWeber or something similar. Another requirement was that it has to support 7 languages. These sounded like a new kind of challenge to us. So we took the job.
Our task mainly was to:
- Choose the appropriate Mailing API
- Make sure that email subscription API works with WooCommerce
- Make the email service Multilingual to support 7 languages
- Store Custom Fields with entries
- Automatic adding and removing of users from the mailing list based on subscription status
- Make it compatible with variable subscriptions for 2 payment intervals
This is a fairly simple project with many sweet and complex details. We had to approach the project as a whole when planning. We had to make sure that our plan covers all the aspects – frontend, backend and email delivery – when the project is finished.
Here’s how we solved the problem:
Choosing the right API
We’ve had discussions with client. And our client decided that Mailchimp suited better for our needs than AWeber. It has a better interface, better documentation, better categorization etc. We also needed to add additional information with the entries to differentiate between persons – support for which was great on MailChimp.
Email Subscription + WooCommerce
There were plugins like Memberpress for this. But it did not support WooCommerce – which was required by our client to maintain the subscriptions. In order to maintain the multilingual nature of the project, we went in and worked on our own integration with WC, which works with WC Memberships + WC Subscriptions.
MailChimp helped us on the way. MailChimp has a good segmentation feature which we utilized for categorization. We simplified the process by preparing 7 separate lists for 7 languages. It made it simple for us to integrate and simple for client to manage.
Custom Fields with Entries
We needed to have various data attached to the entries to make it link with the Subscriptions and users on WP. MailChimp API has a way to attach the data with “Custom Fields” which made it easy for us. We also attached some other minor information, which can then be used inside the emails. A nice thing to have to create engaging emails.
User Management with Subscription Status
We had to use WC Subscription hooks to make sure that the user is listed only when he is subscribed to the service from the WordPress side of things. We had to test extensively for all the situations that might occur regarding the subscription status scenario. Client was helpful to setup a staging for us which helped us through the testing. We used normal subscription process with test payment method and Scheduled Actions combined to test the subscription.
Putting it all together
And the end result was beautiful. A seamless automatic story subscription system supporting multilanguage was born in our hands.
It was a complex but interesting project. We had fun developing it.
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