What Is Zapier? And 5 Things You Can Do With It!

Explainer
what is zapier

According to a survey conducted in 2021, 88% of Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs) believe business automation lets them compete with larger organizations, and 9 out of 10 knowledge workers believe automation increases productivity. Efficiency is essential in today’s fast-paced digital world. 

Zapier allows you to effortlessly automate workflows between your favorite apps. Imagine automatically saving new Trello cards to Evernote or posting new Mailchimp signups to Slack. With over 1,000 integrations, the possibilities are endless.

In this article, I’ll walk you through exactly what is Zapier, how it works, and five useful ways you can put it to work for you today. Whether you’re looking to boost your productivity, streamline business processes, or build simple apps to sell to clients, Zapier is a skill worth learning. 

What is Zapier?

Zapier automation tool lets you integrate your favorite apps and connect them together without needing to code. It’s perfect for small businesses, marketers, and anyone else who wants to save time by connecting the tools they use every day. 

Common Zapier Terms

Zapier has its own set of common phrases and language, which can assist you in grasping what the service can do. While many complex features have their own terminology, there are the general ones to be aware of:

Zap

A Zap is a pre-configured workflow that connects your apps. It is made up of two main parts: the trigger and the action.

Trigger

Triggers are events that happen within a given app and start a workflow. Once configured, Zapier actively monitors these triggers.

Action

The action represents the tasks that your Zap will complete. Depending on your workflow plan, Zaps can have various actions.

Paths

Paths allow you to design complicated workflows with conditional logic that allows you to perform different actions based on particular criteria.

Task

Task is a metric for your platform activity that tracks each time a Zap completes an action successfully.

Integration

Integration refers to the connection between two apps, allowing them to work together through Zapier. Integrations enable the automation of tasks and data flow between different applications.

Multi-Step Zap

A Multi-Step Zap is a Zap that includes more than one Action step. This allows for more complex and customized workflows.

Filter

A Filter is a condition that you can add to a Zap to specify whether or not an Action should be performed. It helps to control the flow of data and automate processes selectively.

Delay

The Delay feature allows you to introduce a time delay between steps in your Zap. This can be useful for scenarios where you want to stagger actions or allow time for data to be processed.

5 Things You Can Do With Zapier to Streamline Workflows

Here are a few ways you can use Zapier in the real world:

1. Create Email Notifications

Do you use project management software like Asana or Trello? You can create a Zap to automatically email yourself whenever a task is completed or a due date is approaching. This helps ensure nothing slips through the cracks.

2. Streamline Your CRM

If you use a customer relationship management (CRM) system like Salesforce or HubSpot along with a marketing email service like Mailchimp or Drip, you can create a Zap to automatically add new email subscribers to your CRM as contacts. This eliminates the need for double data entry.

3. Sync Files Between Services

Do you use Dropbox for file storage and Google Sheets to track inventory or client records? Create a Zap to automatically upload new files added to a Dropbox folder into a Google Sheet row. This keeps your records up to date in real-time without needing to log in to both services.

4. Post to Social Media

Are you active on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn? You can create multi-step Zaps to automatically post updates to all your social profiles at once when you publish a new blog post or have a big announcement. This saves you the hassle of posting to each network individually.

5. Track Your Time

If you use time-tracking software like Toggl or Harvest along with a tool like Google Sheets or Airtable, you can create a Zap to log your time entries into a spreadsheet. This gives you a consolidated view of how you’re spending your time each week and can uncover areas for improvement. 

Zapier connects thousands of apps and is a must-have tool for any entrepreneur or productivity enthusiast. The examples above are just a few of the many ways you can save time and streamline your workflows using Zapier.

How Does Zapier Work?

You’ve understood what does Zapier do. Now, let’s learn how this tool actually works.

The power of Zapier comes in how it is able to create “Zaps,” which are basically automated workflows driven by certain events or actions in one app that subsequently prompt action in another. When you get a new email (event) in Gmail, for example, Zapier can immediately generate a task (action) in your project management application, such as Trello or Asana.

To begin, create a Zap by selecting a trigger app and defining the event that will launch the workflow. Then, in response to the trigger event, you’ll select an action app and indicate what should happen. Zapier handles the rest, ensuring that your chosen applications work together to complete the tasks at hand.

Top Apps and Zapier Integrations

With over 1,500 applications supported and hundreds of thousands of processes imaginable, it’s difficult to choose some of the greatest Zapier integrations and apps. As a result, this list is centered on what will most likely be the most valuable for your team — as well as the greatest headache relief.

  1. Email: MailChimp
  2. Communication: Slack
  3. Calendars: Google Calendar
  4. Leads: Eventbrite or GoToWebinar
  5. Content: Zight (formerly CloudApp)

If you’re curious, take a look at all of the apps that Zapier interacts with.

Zapier for Beginners: Getting Started With No-Code Automation

Now that you know what is Zapier and how it works, let’s understand how to use it. Here is a step-by-step guide to getting started:

1. Choose a trigger app and event

The trigger app and event start your Zap. When the trigger event happens, your Zap will run. For example, choose a trigger like “New email in Gmail” or “New row added in Airtable.” Select the app and event you want to use to kick off your Zap.

2. Choose an action app and event

The action app and event define what your Zap will do. For example, you might choose “Create task in Todoist” or “Add row to Google Sheets.” Pick the app and action you want to happen when your trigger event occurs.

3. Authenticate and test

You’ll need to authenticate with the apps you’re connecting, granting Zapier access. Then test your Zap to ensure it’s working properly. Zapier will walk you through testing and troubleshooting.

4. Set filters (optional)

You can add filters to have your Zap only run under certain conditions. For example, only add new Airtable rows to Google Sheets if a field contains a certain keyword. Filters help make your Zaps more targeted and useful.

5. Turn on your Zap!

Once tested and configured, flip the “on” switch to activate your Zap. Your automation will now run in the background, 24 hours a day. You can view details of your Zap’s activity and make edits at any time.

Why Use Zapier Automation?

There are several compelling reasons why you should use Zapier automation:

1. Enhanced Productivity: 

Through the automation of time-consuming and repetitive processes, Zapier’s automation capabilities dramatically increase productivity. You can make Zaps to automate routine tasks so you don’t have to manually complete them. This guarantees precision and consistency in the way processes are carried out while saving time.

2. Seamless Integration: 

Zapier’s extensive app support portfolio ensures a smooth integration experience. Because of its adaptability, you can link various technologies and design workflows that are unique to your requirements. The vast collection of supported apps covers a wide range of areas, such as project management, marketing, communication, and more, enabling users to include their current tools.

3. Error Reduction: 

Using Zapier for automation lowers the possibility of human error when doing operations like data entry and task execution. This is especially helpful for tasks that need consistency and accuracy since it produces more dependable results.

4. Customization: 

Because of Zapier’s high degree of flexibility, customers can create Zaps that are tailored to their own needs and tastes. To create a Zap that perfectly matches your workflow, you may select the apps that are involved, specify the triggers and actions, set up filters, and incorporate conditional logic. Users can design distinctive and effective automation solutions for their personal or professional needs thanks to this personalization.

5. Scalability: 

Zapier’s ability to scale is one of its advantages. Zapier may grow with you as your needs change on a personal or professional level. Zapier offers the adaptability to meet your expanding demands, whether you need to add more stages to your current Zaps, include more apps in your workflows, or construct more intricate automation. This scalability guarantees that your automated operations can adjust to modifications and keep up providing efficient assistance for your changing needs.

Also read: 8 Best Airtable Examples and Use Cases

Zapier Pricing

Zapier pricing plans cater to different user needs:

1. Free: 

  • Basic usage with up to Two-step Zaps, 
  • Two-step Zaps have one trigger (e.g., new email lead) and one action (e.g., add to my CRM), 
  • Visual editor and Unlimited Zaps.

2. Starter ($19.99/month): 

  • Everything in Free, plus +Multi-step Zaps-Multi-step Zaps lets a single trigger (e.g., new email lead) perform as many actions as you want (e.g., add to my CRM and message my team).
  • Zapier data tools- Zapier offers a variety of data apps in the App Directory that help you add conditional logic, format data, schedule Zap runs, and much more.
  • Zap versions.

3. Professional ($49/month): 

  • Everything in Starter, plus + Conditional Zap
  • Advanced Zap settings
  • Unlimited Premium apps.

4. Team ($69/month): 

  • Everything in Professional + Unlimited users A user can build and edit a Zap.
  • Shared app connections- Connect your team’s favorite tools so everyone can use them in their workflows without needing to share passwords and API keys
  • Shared workspace – Share access to your Zaps with your team.
  • Premier Support.

5. Company: 

  • Everything in Team + SAML single sign-on (SSO), ensures secure access for your team using SAML 2.0 identity and access management (IAM) providers.
  • Advanced admin permissions and add unlimited teams to your account to better manage workspace-level permissions.
  • Custom data retention.

Conclusion

So there you have it: an introduction to the powerful automation tool Zapier and 5 useful ways to put it to work for you. Zapier can help turn you into an automation superhero, saving you tons of time and allowing you to focus on the high-value work that really matters to you and your business. 

NoCode University offers a beginner-friendly course to learn the basics of workflow automation using Zapier. Sign up for the course today!

Frequently Asked Questions 

1. What is Zapier?

Zapier automation tool that connects your favorite apps, such as Gmail, Slack, or Google Sheets, to automate repetitive tasks and workflows without the need for coding.

2. What is Zapier used for?

Zapier is used for creating automated workflows, often referred to as “Zaps,” to connect different apps and automate tasks like data transfers, notifications, and more. It streamlines business processes and improves efficiency.

4. How does Zapier work?

Zapier works by setting up triggers and actions for your chosen apps. When a trigger event occurs (e.g., a new email arrives), Zapier initiates the configured action (e.g., saving the email attachment to Google Drive). It acts as a bridge between different apps, facilitating seamless automation.

5. Are there no-code courses available for learning Zapier?

Yes, there are several no-code courses and tutorials available online that teach you how to use Zapier effectively. These courses can help you become proficient in automating tasks and workflows without the need for programming skills.

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