How was the talk "CRM for your school online. Connect Learndash and WooCommerce with Zoho"

The numbers

  • Registered for the talk: 77 people.
  • Assistants: 26 people.
  • It was performed on May 25, 2020 by streaming due to coronavirus confinement.

Important: We remind you that in the tool Slack have a channel registered to organize and to share the management of the meetup, specifically the channel we use is #wpalicante of Slack WordPress Spain. If you want to lend a hand, contribute ideas and become more active part of this community follow the instructions on the following page->

CRM for your online school: The talk

In spite of the confinement by the coronavirus COVID-19, from WPAlicante we want to continue offering you interesting talks and more in these moments where we cannot leave home. So one more month we can't see each other in the space of ULab where we usually meet, but streamed to Alberto Verdú, ZOHO trainer, podcaster and director of the online academy "Pills for ZOHO CRM". He updates us on how he has set up his online academy so that we can all learn to ride ours and he teaches us very interesting tricks.

Of course, at the end of the talk we had the traditional round of questions, but unfortunately, while the meeting is still online, we will continue to skip the networking accompanied by refreshments for obvious reasons. The streaming has been possible thanks to our sponsors: WeglotThe WordPress Plugin to translate your website into the language of your choice. You can try it out without any obligation, as it is free to use for translating up to 2000 words into a language, and it takes up very little space on the server. We also have in this meetingup as a sponsor a very cool SEO agency from Alicante: SEO Force Agency. And as if this wasn't enough, we have two other out of series that also sponsor us: the great gamification plugin for your WordPress GamiPresswhich simplifies the whole world of gamification so that you can include it in your WordPress in a simple and cool way and Company Web a specialized WordPress hosting, among other services, with several plans available to suit your needs.

Here are some points that we found interesting, although we include them at the end of this entry The full video of the presentationThis time it was streamed and recorded to be posted on Youtube.

Fundamentals: Do we want a profitable and scalable business?

Today the evolution of markets and companies, as well as technology, is exponential.

We are in the fourth industrial revolution and we are living in the age of knowledge, so our greatest asset is people. That is why the companies that are growing the most are those that invest the most in training, since the need to learn new technologies, new ways of doing things, new systems, is constant.

The objective of this talk is to see how we can take advantage of this situation and these needs in the new reality we are living. To this end, Alberto tells us about his experience setting up and running the onlineonline academy "Pills for ZOHO CRM" that he has created. We take advantage of his knowledge so as not to fall into his same mistakes.

The presentation is divided into three main points:

  • Origin of the ideaThe idea of the academy: It tells us about the business model or the idea with which the academy was born, in case it can serve as a reflection or inspiration.
  • Elements of the AcademyThe academy: We will see the elements that form the academy, mainly wordpres, theme, plugins, ... has needed to be able to carry out it.
  • Advantages of integration with ZOHOWe gutted a little Zoho and how he has integrated with this academy to get the most out of the information we have.

Origin of the idea

The academy arises from active listening. Alberto has been a consultant for more than 10 years CRMThe company has helped many companies to implement this methodology.

During this time as a consultant, he saw that one of the most expensive phases of the projects he was dealing with was the post-implementation of the projects, since, once the company has adapted to the new methodology and the relevant training courses have been given, it is easy to see that there is a need to adapt the methodology to the day-to-day reality of the company. This requires changes and new training of the same, which often involves logistical problems in the company so that all people involved receive training and economic problems by having to pay constantly for continuous training.

This is how the idea of democratizing the information available through online courses with subscription came about, so that it is more economical and more people can access it,

Elements of the Academy

With the academy the aim is to sell training courses through membership. To do so, it has gone through two stages, one of creation and a second evolution when improvements are detected. In the first version, which lasted 3 years, it had:

  • WordpressBecause it is a standard CMS and very powerful, stable and with many features. The theme used at this stage is Genesis, which is actually a Framework theme. For more information about it, you can check our article: "Learn how to make your web-Themes WordPress".
  • WooCommerceLayer that we include on WordPress (plugin) to be able to mount an online store with which we can invoice, that is to say, to monetize the formation.
  • WC SubscriptionsIt's a WooCommerce plugin which allows within WooCommerce the management of recurring payments. It's payment.
  • SenseiWordPress Plugin : A WordPress plugin to create online courses and that integrates with WooCommerce to be able to invoice them. This integration with both WooCommerce and WC Subscriptions is very convenient and simple because the creators of all three are the same team.
  • VimeoThe video of the course is available on the web site. They are not on Youtube, because Vimeo allows more configuration at the security level so that the videos cannot be downloaded or shared if they are not within the platform.

Then it suffered an improvement when finding that Sensei works very well and integrates perfectly with the two commented plugins but it had become a little obsolete at design level, useful but with few functionalities. It is at this point that Sensei's layer is removed and introduced in its place:

  • LearndashTool to create a platform LMS. The company, of the same name, has a plugin to transform the courses from Sensei to Learndash, in case you already have a web with courses created with Sensei and you want to make this migration. It takes away 90% of the work, which is not little; then you have to make adjustments because it leaves some courses a little broken, but in general it does it very well.
  • There is also a change in design, as the theme was changed from Genesis to Elementor, as Elementor was a much better fit for what Alberto needed.

Why change from Sensei to LearnDash?

  • Because LearnDash was also compatible with WooCommerce. This was vital because in version 1 all the logic and billing was already created with WooCommerce and there were already students paying on a recurring basis, so any problems had to be avoided at all costs.
  • It is very easy to install, as well as to configure.
  • It has an important typology of courses:
    • OpenThe "S" and "T" are the same: anyone can do them without registering. They are considered as courses for hooking up so that people can have confidence in the quality of the platform without getting involved in the first place.
    • FreeThe same as the open ones but you have to register in the portal.
    • One-time paymentYou pay for a specific course you want to take.
    • Recurring paymentWhen you pay a fee to do all the courses you want as long as you pay, or the ones you select...
    • ClosedVIP courses, in which you can include manually selected students... that is to say, that not everybody can do it, not even paying.
  • In addition to the courses, it also allows you to do:
    • Evaluations
    • Certificates

LearnDash also has a number of other elements (Addons) that you can add to it that add value, such as

  • Course GridDisplay of courses in table mode, with a square for each course, which looks very good.
  • StripeAlthough in our case it is not used because WooCommerce already has it, if the latter were not used, this Addon could be added that allows this additional form of payment.
  • WooCommerceThe one that allows to work with this platform.

Why maintain WooCommerce?

One thing to keep in mind is that LearnDash has already implemented the billing logic for all the types of courses it offers, through paypal. If this is enough for you, you would not need WooCommerce or WCSuscriptions.

Now, WooCommerce allows you to do much more:

  • Making product packages
  • Managing sales better
  • There is a panel to see information with graphs of the products you are selling, by months or weeks...
  • Allows the generation of coupons
  • Manage affiliates (with other plugins added to WooCommerce)
  • Multiple forms of payment
  • Integration with other products. Being a standard in online stores, it has more and more integration with external platforms and this is a very important plus, and in our case, necessary to be able to integrate properly with Zoho

Advantages of integration with ZOHO

Why start using Zoho in this project?

WordPress is a fantastic tool for the management of the core of the business, it is the one that contains the courses and allows you to control and structure them. But in a company, not everything is the core.

To move forward, we need marketing techniques, sales control, customer service, web analytics, measuring user behavior (or at least what the user does on our website). As we said at the beginning of the article, the customer is our greatest asset and having tools that help us understand him is fundamental. For every action we need there are a thousand tools and that can be expensive and complicated to manage. The ideal is to have everything you need in a single tool that gives you a global vision of the client.

This is what Zoho allows: an ecosystem of applications/tools that helps us choose each one of them at every moment according to our needs.

Zoho's Content

Zoho has created what he calls an Operating System for SMEs, as it offers a tool for virtually every need that may arise for an SME. Each hexagon in the image corresponds to one of the services that Zoho offers, which today are more than 45:

  • Marketing
  • Financial: invoicing, tickets, personnel expenses, inventory...
  • Collaborative and email marketing: videoconferencing, online training, webinars, project management...
  • Office: Documents, presentations, spreadsheets... in the style of what is already on OneDrive, for example.
  • Systems and technical support: to support our customers
  • Human Resources
Zoho Services Ecosystem
Zoho Services Ecosystem

Of all this ecosystem, the tools recommended for the project at hand would be

  • Zoom CRMCustomer Database: Allows you to manage your customer database in a global and centralized way so that the information can be shared with your work, sales or marketing team.
    • You can display all kinds of metrics in a single panel, from business evolution (customer registrations per month, pej) to KPIs to know what level of compliance we have, going through economic issues, such as what volume of billing I am generating, or data traffic, such as knowing from which senders traffic is coming to us.
    • We also have the student's file where we can have a 360º view of him, showing how much he pays, if he is a subscriber, if he is pending something and needs to be followed up, which pages he has visited and how long he has been on each one, if he has not interacted with the web for a long time... In the customer's own CRM file there is also integration with the email, so that if we have interacted with this customer by email we can also see it in his file.
  • Zoho BooksOnline billing tool, which has both a web and a mobile part and allows both to create quotes and to invoice as well as to manage the invoices generated to the customers.
    • It even allows you to create a customer portal, so you can log in and see all your invoices and quotes directly, without having to ask you for them.
    • If at any time you need to make a manual invoice, you can do it here directly as it has integration with Stripe, paypal and some other payment method.
  • Zoho Flow: Tool with which we can integrate our WooCommerce with Zoho CRM and Zoho Books. That is, every time an order arrives at WooCommerce, all the automation we want to be carried out is generated here without the need to know how to program, since it is very visual, through flows. For those who know Zapier, it would be a clone.
  • Zoho CampaignsEmail Marketing Tool: Email marketing tool, MailChimp style, and therefore can be used for our marketing campaigns, our sales funnels, our newsletter ... This can be done because it is connected with Zoho CRM and as it is connected with our WooCommerce, any information that comes from potential customers can be put into a sales funnel.
  • Zoho BookingTo make reservations. This can be very useful in case you want to offer the client more valuable services, in addition to the courses, such as consulting services. With this tool you can automate the reservation of an hour, with its corresponding payment, showing the available agenda so that the client can choose when it is better for him. All this flow is stored in the tool in real time.
  • Zoho SalesIQWe need to understand customer behavior on our website. Depending on that behavior I will be able to offer you more products or personalized services. What this tool allows is to perform real time analysis. It shows the customers that are browsing the web at each moment, the time they have been there... and it has an integrated online chat to interact with the customer or this one with you. If no one responds to the chat, a potential customer is automatically generated in CRM, transcribing it and including in its file what that person has asked so that you can attend to it offline.
  • Zoho PagesenseIn the previous talk about CROWe talked about the hotjar tool, which allows us to record the user's interaction with our website. The counterpart of this tool in ZOHO is Pagesense. Here you can see heat maps on each page of the website to find out where you click most, or travel maps to find out where the user stops interacting, or if he goes to the end of the pages, or care mapsWe can also use the "web design" tool, to know where the user is most entertained and which parts he passes by without looking at them... This way we can help the web design team to improve it.

Final networking questions and issues

(We only show a summary of the questions. Some of them may have been answered more extensively in the video).

QUESTIONAbout LearnDash, can you explain their plans?

RESPONSEIt's relatively simple (you can check it out on their website just in case): they have a plan to set up a school and another one to set up 10. The benefits are the same in both and only the number of schools you can ride varies.

QUESTIONTo protect the contents of the school membership, which plugin do you use? Do you get along with LearnDash?

RESPONSEThe WC Subscriptions allows several configurations, so that you can block the content of an entire page so that only members of a "member plan" can view it. In addition, the video is already protected on Vimeo to prevent them from downloading it even if they have access. In this case what we do is add the Vimeo video with a shortcode so that only subscribers can access it, leaving the introductory text of the course public so that everyone can see what it is about and subscribe if they think it might interest them.

QUESTIONDo you know the LearnDash Quiz Reporting Extension? I think it allows you to see very personalized statistics of student performance, but I haven't gotten around to using it, I've just been informed.

RESPONSEI have not investigated it because I am looking for what gives me value and in my case, having everything integrated with Zoho is fundamental.

QUESTIONFor recurring payment drip content, what do you integrate? WooCommerce+Subscriptions+Membership?

RESPONSEI've thought about it but I haven't tried it yet. I understand that it refers, for example, to an opposition academy, where you bring up the subjects little by little. LearnDash allows you to create dependencies between courses or not to leave a course until a certain date without the need for WooCommerce.

QUESTIONIn general, how much is the estimated monthly cost to operate an online training platform?

RESPONSE: It's usually a lot of small expenses: hosting (depends on the plan you need), paid plugins: LearnDash (about 160 ? per year), WooCommerce plugins, Zoho (which in my case I have the Zoho one license that includes everything and has a license of 35 ? per month), and little more. What also requires is a lot of effort and time to create the courses and then to give it visibility. The good thing is that it is scalable and in the medium term you can make all that effort profitable.

QUESTIONLearnDash allows people to pay for a course, as a reservation and without yet having access to it, knowing that the course will start within 2 months, for example?

RESPONSEI don't know, honestly, because it's a method I've never tried. I'm sure, by looking at the settings it offers, you can get this functionality.

QUESTIONWhat is the degree of difficulty in assembling the flow of emails or processes?

RESPONSEZoho Campaigns, which is the tool I told you about, is not complicated. It does require some basic training, which is precisely why I created the course on the platform. This training can give you the initial push to have the basic knowledge and be autonomous from there. Sometimes, it can be difficult to know how to tell the machine what you want it to do, but that's more of a logic issue, that you want to do something very complex.

QUESTIONFor someone who has never used Zoho, how long do you think it takes to master it? How long is the learning curve?

RESPONSEI've been doing it for 10 years... This is like everything else, you'll never really master it. Although it's a relatively simple tool, it has many components and it's easy to require a little help to get started. It's not complicated, but it's one thing to be able to work with it and another to want to master it. In a matter of a few months you can master it quite well.

QUESTIONWhen I do my online academy and someone goes through WooCommerce, how do I make the change so that that subscriber customer has access to the course he or she has purchased?

RESPONSEVery easy, because he does it alone. It depends on whether it is by membership or single payment, because it totally changes the scenario. If it's by membership, it's a little more complicated, not because it's complex but because you have to create the memberships, see what content belongs to each membership... If it's by course payment, it's very simple, you associate a WooCommerce product to a LearnDash course and automatically when you pay you have access.


  • CRMCustomer Relationship Management (CRM): The acronym in English for Customer Relationship Management. It is a work methodology focused on dealing with the customer. It is considered that a company's greatest asset is its customers, so it is necessary to listen to them, take care of them and get to know them in order to serve them as well as possible. In order to know the customer well it is important to have feedback from them.
  • LMSLearning Management System: This is the English acronym for Learning Management System, or Sistema de Gestión de Aprendizaje, in Spanish. It is a virtual learning space. Its main mission is to improve the distance learning experience.
  • KPIKey Performance Indicator (KPI): This is the English acronym for Key Performance Indicator, or Indicador Clave de Desempeño, in Spanish. It is an indicator that helps us to measure and quantify our work. We have both its definition and the values that we consider necessary to achieve in order to comply with it. For example, a KPI for an online academy could be number of registrations per month, and as a valid value minimum 3 and desirable 10.

CRM for your online school: The video

Some photos


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