We think that, by now, everyone noticed it: whatever the field you work in, if you work with a computer, you work with a multitude of apps, each one filling a different role, sometimes even two or three communication apps just to make sure information reaches everyone in your team… Needless to say, sometimes, these situations can get messy: you get a new lead on Facebook, then you have to relay it to your CRM, send an email from your Gmail account to the concerned team, set up a reminder on Slack, inform the boss through Outlook and update the offer on your Salesforce…
What a waste of time!
Well, this kind of jumble inspired two guys in Missouri (yes, for once, that idea didn’t sprout in the Silicon Valley!), Mike Knoop and Bryan Helmig, to develop a new kind of platform, to streamline the communication between all those apps that (supposedly) make working easier, and automate repetitive tasks which make work tedious. Today, we’ll try to decipher the reasons that made Zapier successful, and why they now have the trust of big names like Netflix or NASA, but also tens of thousands of smaller companies.
What exactly is Zapier? As for the example above, Zapier would allow you to create and define an automated process called a Zap, to seamlessly have the lead generation trigger a string of no-code automated workflow, sending out email, messages and updating your databases and your web apps, in the blink of an eye, basically eliminating the need for those pesky and repetitive Ctrl +Cs and Ctrl + Vs, the myriad of “To whom it may concern” emails, or the hours spent doing data entry manually.
The whole platform is convenient, easy to use, and extremely versatile: the string of one or more actions in a new zap can be ordered, conditioned and split into different paths depending on the way the trigger event occurs, or a response from one of the other apps. The Zap Editor gives you an intuitive UI to fine-tune your zaps to your needs and again, as you might have guessed since you’re here on our no-code website, no coding experience is required to create zaps and make your own app workflows. However, we’ll note that the UI can seem a bit clunky at first, which might scare some beginners. The learning curve isn’t too steep, and within a few hours of training, anyone can get the gist of it.
Offers the promise of optimizing your workflows by automating them: managing data has never been this easy. Its no code interface is intuitive: you don’t need a background in coding or web design to create your zaps and start working.
Is Zapier free to use? As for the pricing, most solutions to purchase a Zapier account are rather affordable: you can try it out with a free account plan with 100 tasks per month (with no time limit), to get a sense of what the platform can bring to your business, and scale it up according to your needs, with paid plans for two or more apps, billed annually ranging from 19.47€ per month to 583.55€ per month for the Company package, with 100 000 tasks per month, unlimited premium apps, advanced permissions system, SAML Single Sign On features and live training with Zapier’s experts. There’s a solution to use Zapier for every budget.
Let’s have a quick look at all the features proposed by this affordable platform, full of promises…
What is Zapier used for? One of the big selling points for Zapier is the fact that their automation processes are highly adaptive: as of today, the big and small zaps you can create on the platform can be triggered by and actioned to more than 4000 individual applications, and the list grows everyday, as the developers at Zapier aim for a system that is universally compatible.
Social media giants, like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, even Reddit or Twitch; the entire Google and Microsoft Office suites, for all your files; the productivity champs, including Slack, Google Calendar, Notion, Product Board; your web tools like Wordpress, Webflow, Yoast for your SEO, Workable and Bamboo for your HR reps, Airtable for your databases, HubSpot for your marketing department, Salesforce for your sales guys, Zendesk for your support team… The list of apps with Zapier integration goes on and on and on and on, and I don’t think it would be productive to list them all here! You can check a complete and updated list on Zapier’s website.
In short, there are two kinds of apps that you can let Zapier tasks automate: the ones that are already compatible and integrated, and the ones that will be compatible and integrated. And when you get 4000+ apps that can be linked with 4000+ different app workflows, “endless possibilities” doesn’t even begin to describe what you can do to weed out repetitive tasks in just a few clicks.
And of course, if it’s not enough for you, you can also use Webhooks to receive and send data to any service, for even more customization in your automated workflows.
It all begins with a trigger event: one data point on one app, that gives a little nudge to get the ball rolling. Where does the ball end up? It’s all up to you: once a zap is triggered, you can program up to 100 actions that will chain in response to the data of the trigger app. All the work you had to do by hand can now be fully and seamlessly automated: it even (sort of) does the thinking for you! You can manage branching paths, separated by logic points, to have your zap run the action in a desired way, and thus sort your inputs in different categories: different leads for different teams, databases, lists, etc. Zapier works for you.
Let’s bring back our example from earlier: a new lead is generated through your Facebook Ad account; depending on the data received, your zap can be set up to send it to sales if it’s a potential new customer, or forward it to marketing for analysis on the traffic. Either path will then follow its own chain of events, also fully customizable. That means you don’t waste your time sorting and forwarding all the stuff that’s generated from your favorite apps and services, and that you can use all that saved time to work on some more important things. The opportunity to automate tasks is a good thing no matter your line of work: time management is one of the pillars of a successful business!
Another point tackled by Zapier’s logic system is the conditioning of the actions in a zap. Basically, that means that you can filter actions by conditions: through logic gates, you can sort inputs in a way that allows or blocks a zap from running unless some or all conditions are met. Quite handy to weed out irrelevant data, and only relay information that’s important to you and your team.
Everyone works differently, and visual aids are a staple in modern data-related tasks. The era of dull, illegible and dizzying black on white lines of codes by the hundreds is long gone: that’s the reason why Zapier is one of the most popular online automation tools: the auto-formatting feature.
While setting up a zap, you will have the option to assign a specific format to each action’s output to match your idea of color-coding. You want to have the sales of garden-related items coded in green in Airtable, and change the format of the newsletter to related customers for something more eco-friendly, and post a custom tweet? Sure, just select the conditional formatting for that input, and let Zapier do everything right down to the email attachments. Of course, I’m simplifying, this is just to give you an idea of the visual possibilities available.
Another good weapon in the Zapier dashboard’s logic arsenal is the option to treat different inputs in different ways, and different timelines. You can for instance select a type of data, that, when received, will trigger an action in a delayed manner: you get a new lead for shoes but your summer sale for that category is only in two months? You can ask your zap to send out a reminder in 45 days for those customers, or on a specific date of your choice. You get your data, and Zapier will manage it for you, exactly the way you want to.
Last, but not least, Zapier also offers a Transfer service: you will be able to move all of your data around easily and in a timely manner. Through a user-friendly interface, all your records can be moved from any of the integrations to another, even on cloud storage like Google Drive or Uptobox, either at once or sorted by category, source, or timeframe. No data entry, no cleaning up required, nothing left behind. A fast and safe alternative to the old work-intensive way: having interns copy and paste all the data from one app to another. The Transfer features are currently available in Beta, don’t hesitate to try it out and give them feedback.
In conclusion, if you’re looking for a way to streamline all your processes, speed up project management, and save precious time and manpower for what really matters, look no further! Zapier is your go-to to automate the tedious, and optimize your growth.
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