This add-on allows you to send physical, printed tickets to your customers automatically. It relies on the services provided by LOB.com, so naturally, you will need to register an account on their website for this to work. Registration on their website is pretty standard and straightforward and you should end up with registered account in no time.
One thing you should bear in mind is that LOB.com services are not free. You can start off free and do all the testing free of charge but when you start using Live APIs, charges will apply. Depending on what works best for you, you can opt in paying each month (recurring payment) or choose one of the pricing deals.
Price per single letter will vary depending on whether you have chosen color or black and white letter, how many pages your letter contains (in case with Tickera, minimum is two pages where first page is always used for the address while the second is an actual ticket), whether you want to do international address verification (US address verification is free), etc.
For informational purposes, here's a list of prices per single letter for Tickera one page ticket using Developer plan (with $0 subscription fee):
|Black & White||$1.05||$1.76|
|Address Verification||FREE||$0.15 per verification|
These prices include printing and delivering tickets to your customers.
However, if you are hosting large event and expecting to send large quantities of tickets, you should consider one of the monthly plans that fits your needs. Complete pricing comparison can be found here.
Okay, now back to setting up Physical Tickets add-on.
Once registered, log in to your account. When logged in, hover your username at the top right and hit Settings.
A new popup will appear where you should select API Keys area.
In this area, you will notice that you have two API Keys available: Live API Key and Test API Key. While Test API key can be used for testing purposes immediately, Live API Key needs authorization to become visible. To do the authorization, hit Authorize button next to the Live API Key. A new popup will appear prompting you to add a payment method first.
Hit Add a Payment Method button and new popup will prompt you to enter your bank account credentials.
If you decide to use this payment method, you should enter here your bank account credentials, however you can also select to use your credit card instead by selecting which a new popup will appear where you will be able to enter your credit card information.
Regardless of which payment method you have chosen, once you have entered correct information, Live API Key will become visible and ready to use.
Write down your API Keys and head to Tickera Settings on your website.
When Physical Tickets add-on is installed and activated, you will notice another tab in Tickera Settings area named, logically, Physical Tickets. In this area the most prominent is notice that informs you to set ticket template which you want to use for physical tickets to Letter size and portrait orientation. We have to emphasize again the importance of this as failing to set it up like that will cause issues when physical ticket is transferred to LOB.com ultimately, rendering ticket not to be sent to the customer. To set up ticket template format and orientation please refer to the instruction found on ticket templates documentation page.
As for the the rest of the options, you can find following ones:
1. LOB.com API Key - API key used for communicating with LOB.com service. Explanation on how to obtain API Key is explained in the beginning of this instruction. Here you can enter either Test or Live API Keys. It is advisable to first start with Test API key and make a test purchase of the ticket to make sure that everything works well prior to entering Live API Key.
2. Address Verification - Here you can choose whether you would like to verify customer's address prior finishing the checkout in order to avoid entering non-existent address to which ticket(s) cannot be delivered. You can select No which would mean that you don't want to verify the address, Only US addresses to verify US based addresses (which is done free of charge) or Both US and International addresses which verifies addresses anywhere in the world. However, please bear in mind that international address verification is not free so before deciding which option to use, please visit LOB.com to check pricing details.
3. Print in - Decide whether you would like your tickets to be printed in Color or Black & White. Also, this greatly affects the price of the service so prior setting this up, visit LOB.com to compare prices.
4. Allow digital tickets download - Choose whether you would like to allow your customers to download a digital version of the ticket apart from having printed one delivered to their address.
5. Sender Address - Here you can enter information about sender (you or your company) which will be placed on the envelope of the printed tickets.
6. Save Changes - Once done setting everything up, hit this Save Changes button and you are done with this part.
When Physical Tickets add-on is installed, you will notice that there is another menu when creating new or editing existing ticket type.
Now, if you would like certain ticket type to be able to ship as printed ticket, make sure that you have explicitly select Physical in the Type menu. By default, all of the ticket types will be set to Digital so you will have to do this for each ticket type that you want to enable for shipping as printed tickets.
Also, if you are using Bridge for WooCommerce add-on, when creating new or editing existing product (as a ticket), you will notice the same menu:
Same goes for variable WooCommerce products (as tickets) with the only difference that you can set each variation whether you would like to be physical or digital ticket. This comes extremely handy if you want to offer both but, naturally, to price those two variations differently. So, for example, you can create two variations of the same ticket, one of which will be digital which should be cheaper while the other one can be physical and therefore have a different price to compensate the expense of the ticket printing service.
First things first: you cannot test this on localhost and Physical Tickets add-on needs to run on the live website.
Now, as we have mentioned at the beginning, it is advisable to first go with Test API Key in order to simulate a ticket purchase and see the end result in LOB.com dashboard. This will not send the actual ticket to the address but it will forward a ticket generated when purchase is completed from your website to the LOB.com and you will be able to see the preview of the ticket in your LOB.com dashboard and this is the exact look of the ticket that will be shipped once you go with Live API Key.
The easiest way to do the testing is to create a free ticket type in Tickera (or product as a ticket if you are running Bridge for WooCommerce), associate it with some event, set it to use proper ticket template (with Letter format and portrait orientation). Next, add that ticket to the cart and proceed to the checkout. On the checkout page, you may enter any address you like as ticket will not be actually printed and shipped but make sure that you have set address verification in Physical Ticket settings to No since address verification is not available in the test environment with Test API Key.
Once you complete a purchase, head to Orders area of Tickera (or WooCommerce Orders if you are running Bridge for WooCommerce). Over there, you should be able to locate your test order. Edit your test order and you will notice another change:
If you are editing Order with Tickera itself, you will notice that there is another section in the order details page named Shipping Info.
Here you can review complete shipping info supplied by a customer, make changes if needed and also resend physical tickets if, for example, customer requests for the tickets to be sent to different address. To resend physical tickets check the checkbox next to the Resend Physical Tickets label and hit Save Changes.
Now, if you are editing the order in WooCommerce (if you are running Bridge for WooCommerce), it will look a little bit different.
As you may conclude from this screenshot, to edit shipping info, you should use WooCommerce's standard shipping info section while if you need to resend physical tickets, you can do so by checking a checkbox marked in the previous image and hitting Save Order.
So, with all of this covered, let's get back to making a test purchase. Once you have made your order, please make sure that this test order has status Order Paid (or Order Processing or Completed if you are using Bridge for WooCommerce). Only orders with these statuses will result in forwarding tickets to LOB.com. If your test order has different status than that, change it manually.
Once your order has one of the aforementioned statuses, go back to your LOB.com dashboard and make sure that you are in the Test Environment (1). Now, go to Letters area on the left (2) and you should be able to enter the list of letters that Physical Tickets forwarded to LOB.com (3)
If you are able to see in this list an item that has a name starting with "Ticket" and then followed by some numbers (those the order numbers), you have successfully set up your Physical Tickets add-on and you are ready to use you Live API key.
While still here, let us take a look how this letter actually looks and some other information available when clicked on each of the letters from the list.
1. Title of the letter - cannot be changed and letters forwarded by Physical Tickets add-on will always start with "Ticket" followed by order number.
2. Progress of the letter - once you start using Live API Key this is where you will be able to see the progress of the letter.
3. Letter preview - this is a thumbnail preview of the letter. By clicking View Letter button below, you will be able to see full preview of the letter and to download it in PDF format. Please note that letters created by Physical Tickets add-on will always contain at least two pages. First page is used only for the recipient address while second (and all the others if multiple page ticket template is used) contains the actual ticket. Please take this into consideration when estimating total cost of the service.
4. Recipient address - an address that your customer have entered on the checkout and that will be used for the delivery of a physical ticket.
5. Sender address - address that you have configured as Sender address in Physical Tickets settings
6. Letter details - various letter details such as whether the ticket is printed in color, is the letter double sided, does it contain return envelope and the date letter is created.
7. Scan data - here you will be able to track the progress of the letter delivery once you start using Live API Key
In case there is any note for some of the orders, it will be clearly presented with the flag icon next to the order status as shown on the picture below.
So, if an order is "flagged" you can edit it and search for the order note on the details page. This comes very helpful when using Tickera with Physical Tickets add-on as all the potential issues in forwarding ticket to the LOB.com will be described here.
Once Physical Tickets add-on is successfully set up and a customer successfully finishes ticket purchase, they will get the estimated date of delivery on the Order Details page based on the address used on the checkout.