Tuesday, June 28, 2022

How Zapier helps you automate & How does it Work

Zapier is a global remote company that allows end users to integrate the web applications they use. Although Zapier is based in Sunnyvale, California, it employs a workforce of 350 employees located around the United States and in 23 other countries.

we will learn how to create your first zap on zapier . Zapier is an online automation tool that connects your favorite apps, such as Gmail, Slack, MailChimp, and over 750 more. You can connect two or more apps to automate repetitive tasks without coding or relying on developers to build the integration. Move info between your web apps automatically, so you can focus on your most important work. It’s easy enough that anyone can build their own app workflows with just a few clicks.

Zapier is a cloud-based integration platform that helps businesses of all sizes automate daily workflows involving various applications. The solution enables users to transition data between web applications automatically while integrating apps with one-click functionality. Zapier allows users to define actions and set automatic triggers.

What is Zapier?

Zapier empowers anyone to integrate their apps and automate work, without writing any code. For growing businesses that want to make the most of their time, Zapier offers an easy, powerful, and cost-effective automation solution.

Common Zapier Terms

Zapier comes with its own common terms and language and learning these can help you understand what’s possible with the service. While you’ll find many advanced features have their own terms, there are four general ones to know, especially when comparing the software plans:

  1. Zap: A Zap is the automated workflow between your apps. Think of it like the entire process. So, in our examples above, the Zap would be the entire workflow of turning a Trello task into a Google Calendar event. Zaps will always have at least two parts: the trigger and the action.
  2. Trigger: Triggers are events within one piece of software that initiate a workflow. What’s important here is that Zapier will actively look for them once you’ve set it up. So, for Trello, it’ll always look at new cards and tasks as they’re created, but it’ll only trigger your Zap when the new card or task is assigned to you and has a due date.
  3. Action: The action is whatever steps the Zap takes, such as creating the Google Calendar event. Depending on your subscription plan, Zaps can have multiple actions and even work in multiple programs off the same trigger.
  4. Task: A Zapier Task is how the company tracks your actions and it’s important for choosing your plans. Every time a Zap does one of its “Action” steps, Zapier counts this as performing a task. In our example, that means if it adds 10 things to your Google Calendar, you’ve run 10 Zapier Tasks.

Knowing these terms will help you choose the right plan and discuss actions with your team. Plus, it can make troubleshooting a lot easier because the task definition is a bit different from how most normally use it.

When you want to dive in deeper, the company has a great knowledge base about advanced concepts and managing Zaps.

What is Zapier and How does it Work

Before we get started, here are some examples of workflows you can automate with Zapier. This will help you get a better idea of what we are about to explain, in case you’ve never used Zapier before:

  • Turn emails you receive into to-dos within your preferred task management app (Trello, Tallyfy,  Asana, and Airtable to name a few)
  • Save email attachments directly in any cloud storage provider (Dropbox, G Drive, etc)
  • Sending automatic survey completion thank yous
  • Assign tasks to your employees directly from your email
  • And many more

The two terms you’ll be reading often in this article are Zapier, the application name (you can think of it as the name of your secretary); and Zap which is an automated workflow between your web apps. It also functions an action verb.

In a sentence, you could use it as: ‘Okay, Zapier, zap this work from my email to my calendar’ and it will exactly do that for you (although it’s more like setting it up and less like saying, practically).

It almost sounds magical, and a little confusing. However, this will become much clearer once you see how Zapier would work in a SaaS business scenario.

How to Use Zapier in Your Business

Every company will use Zapier in slightly separate ways. You may need it for one or two tasks for some people on your team, or to manage large volumes of tasks for everyone. These requirements will be your best bet for deciding if you want to create a company-wide account or if you have everyone sign up for their own accounts and allow them to create Zaps as needed.

Dashboard and Suggestions

Zapier has a simple dashboard that’ll feel familiar to most. It will show your linked apps and your Zaps as well as make recommendations for you based on your apps or what’s currently popular in the community.

Suggestions can be an immense help as teams and companies learn because you click the “Try This” button and Zapier will automatically work on getting things started. If your workflow needs permissions or other data, such as a message to send to customer, then it’ll ask you for it as it walks you through the process.

Turn Zaps on or off is as simple as a toggle switch on the “My Apps” tab and there’s a dropdown menu that shows exactly how many Zapier Tasks remain for the month. 

Also, when you add an account to integrate, Zapier provides you with a page for that new piece of software. You’ll see integration lists, common links, overview information, plus tutorials. The tutorials are quick — generally under two minutes — and discuss both using Zaps for workflows as well as general software suggestions. For instance, the LinkedIn page discusses how to use Zapier to publish LinkedIn posts automatically on Facebook as well as how to add a resume or block someone on LinkedIn. If you’re researching tools, but aren’t sure what to use, the “Alternatives” section will give you suggestions on other software to use instead.

The “Explore” tab is also worth reviewing when you first get started. This page features the icons of more than 1,500 apps. 

Zapier integration app suggestions
Quickly see what others do with your apps

When you click on any one icon, it’ll show you popular Zaps for that software. If you click on two or more, it’ll show you pre-made Zaps for those specific programs.

Best Apps and Integrations for Zapier

With more than 1,500 apps supported and a few hundred thousand workflows possible, it’s a little tough to pick some of the best apps and integrations for Zapier. So, this list is focused on what will likely be the most useful for your team — and the biggest headache relief too.

Email: MailChimp

Zapier makes it easy to build your email list and maintain it. Integrate MailChimp or other platforms and set up a Zap to add people. Integrating with web form providers, newsletter subscription options, or even conference tools like GoToWebinar below and you can automatically add newly acquired email addresses to your lists.

Zaps can add people to both general email lists as well as specialized ones. I like it for add new leads to various parts of the sales funnel based on where we get their email from — general info signups go higher in the funnel than an email exchanged for an eBook that provides detailed tool support.

Communication: Slack

Slack integrations make it extremely easy to share information with your team. Whenever there’s an update to your knowledge base or a current blog post for sales to read and share, a Zap can send this to your Slack channel with ease.

If you use a tool like Buffer to plan and collaborate on your marketing efforts, a Zap can notify the whole team when something has been added or you need approval.

You can also use Slack integration to keep everyone on the same page for different events or actions. If you also link a Twitter account, you can set Zapier to automatically share any new tweets or mentions in a specific channel. Create a Twitter list of your competitors and use a Zap to send all of that to a research Slack channel and you’re always able to see the latest efforts from competitors. The same goes for Reddit mentions, Facebook posts, Instagram tags, and more.

Calendars: Google Calendar

If you’re like me, you probably have too many different project management tools running right now. Every client and team uses their own, which makes it hard to stay on top of to-dos and meeting times.

Zapier has been a tremendous help thanks to its Google Calendar integrations. I use it to add any project or task with a specific due date to my calendar. And, for services like Trello, it can add a note to check in on a project in a certain timeframe before it is due — such as a week before. You can also link Google Calendar and Outlook to put every event and meeting on your calendar, automatically adding invites so you never miss a thing.

Leads: Eventbrite or GoToWebinar

How do you meet with clients?

Many small and mid-sized businesses use a combination of online and in-person meetings. Integrating these tools, such as GoToWebinar or Eventbrite, can help you manage sales and leads. If you have large events with potential customers, for example, you can use Zapier to add new Eventbrite attendees to MailChimp as contacts or Salesforce as leads. Businesses can even tag contacts and leads with additional information as soon as they check-in with Eventbrite.

On the digital side of things, it’s easy to use a Zap to capture GoToWebinar registrants and create new customer profiles about them. You can also have a Zap that checks new registrants against your existing customer databases. Or, go the other direction and send HubSpot or Gravity form submissions to GoToWebinar so that you can get every lead on the same page. 

This means your team only needs to manage one list of contacts and attendees, which can greatly reduce their time and eliminate duplicates (which can annoy potential customers).

Content: CloudApp

And of course, we’ve got to highlight the CloudApp Zapier integration.

Zapier integration for CloudApp
Automate sharing and posts for your latest CloudApp creations

With this pairing, you can automatically share and ask for feedback on new items that you create. Create and do more, including:

  • Whenever you add a new drop, it can be sent to Slack or Trello for everyone on the team to see. 
  • Automatically upload files to Google Drive so that the entire team can access every element as soon as it is ready.
  • If your marketing team is using one CloudApp account specific for updated content, use a Zap to automatically tweet out any new drops too! 
  • Give sales a boost by adding newly viewed drops to an Excel or Google Sheet.
  • Receive Slack notifications whenever a CloudApp link is viewed for the first time so you know to start tracking each new view.

Don’t code, just create. Sign up for a free CloudApp trial and then get your free Zapier trial and see what magic you can make. It’s easy enough for any of us without coding experience to not only use, but to build something useful.

Primary features of Zapier include automated repetitive tasks reminders, online templates, activity dashboard, API maintenance, triggers and actions, online developer portal, new app updates and account management. Additionally, Zapier can be synced with Google Calendar and already existing tools.

 Zapier integrates with applications such as Slack, Google Sheets, QuickBooks, Facebook Lead Ads, Google Docs and more. Support is provided via documentation and an online help desk. Pricing is based on a monthly and annual subscription.

History of Zapier

Zapier was started in Columbia, Missouri by co-founders Wade Foster, Bryan Helmig, and Mike Knoop as part of the first Startup Weekend Columbia in 2011. After initially submitting an application for the Winter 2012 funding cycle and being rejected, they then built their initial prototype with 25 apps, and were accepted to Y Combinator startup seed accelerator in the Summer 2012 funding cycle. As a result of the acceptance, the company was relocated to Mountain View, California in Spring 2012. In October of the same year, Zapier received a $1.3 million seed funding round led by global venture investment firm Bessemer Venture Partners. Zapier reached profitability in 2014.

In March 2017, the company offered a “de-location package”, consisting of $10,000 in moving reimbursement to employees who desired to move away from the San Francisco Bay Area. After the announcement, job applications increased by 50%.

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