Want to learn a cool tool that will make you (look like) you’re good at your job?
Zapier! What is Zapier!
As a company, Zapier has effectively solved large business challenges for non-techies with an easy to use, robust app. As an application, Zapier is a small part of the reason that digital marketers can “do their thing” without learning programming languages, period. Zapier is a cloud based service which connects other cloud services so that they can work together. And since that explanation kind of sucks, let me try again…
What is Zapier?
To the marketer, Zapier is an app which makes it possible to connect all the other apps out there, making them work together and most importantly, making our lives easier.
Let’s say you have a WordPress website and on your website, you use Wufoo or Cognito contact forms because you’re smart and want your forms to rock! Now, let’s say that, when leads contact you (through your smart forms), you want the lead to be entered into a Google Sheet which you use to use to track all leads. That’s what Zapier helps you do. It’s a service that allows non-techie dummies like me automate the process of adding my website leads to my leads spreadsheet once they contact me through a form. Sort of middle man of sorts. Just a bit smarter and more useful.
How Zapier Works
It might help to understand the basics of how Zapier works to get ideas for implementing it into your day. You don’t need to understand programming to use Zapier. In fact, it’s probably better not to.
You do need to understand two concepts though.
- Triggers: All “zaps” start with a trigger. A trigger is the thing which tells Zapier to do it’s job. Think of triggers as the action which needs to be taken in order for Zapier to help you get stuff done. Sample triggers include: Form completions, blog post created, email sent, spreadsheet updated, etc.
- Actions: Actions are the things that you want Zapier to do once it detects a trigger. Actions are often the same types of things as triggers such as sending an email, updating a spreadsheet, etc.
Now, let’s piece this together.
Uses for Zapier
There are a million ways that savvy digital marketers can use Zapier. Literally a million. But here are a few useful problems Zapier can help solve.
- CRM Integration: Help! My client wants me to send all website contacts to their CRM, how the… can I do this? Zapier. In this case, the trigger (form submission via Cognito) causes the action (add lead to Salesforce CRM)
- Sales Staff Support: Help! My sales team is competing against tons of other companies. I want to send them a text message when new leads come in through the website. How can I do this? Zapier. In this example, the trigger (website contact form) causes the action to send a text message to Jane, my sales superstar.
- Email Parsing: I get the same emails every day from Service X and have to dig through them all for the information I need. Who can help me parse (organize) this information in a spreadsheet. Hmm, Zapier! In this case, the trigger email received to my inbox causes the action to create a new row in my spreadsheet.
- Social Media Monitoring: Let’s say you want to save all mentions of your business to a spreadsheet. You can either hire an overpriced agency to do it, or Zapier. In this case, the trigger twitter mention causes the action to add a row to my spreadsheet.
- Email Marketing Updates: What if you need all website leads to be added to MailChimp so you can send them marketing emails? No problem, Zapier. In this case, the trigger form submission causes the action to add a MailChimp subscriber.
Setting up the above requires a degree in nothing, as long as you understand the basic cause and affect logic.
If you want to read about a few completely obscures implementations as well, there’s a great post on it here.
So, what next? Try Zapier. It’s free, and we don’t get paid to send them traffic!
Rick Maggio brings over 15 years of tactical, hands-on experience managing digital advertising campaigns both small and large. Rick has worked in agency-land and on large in-house marketing teams and loves sharing his extensive experience with the LDA community.