Imagine you asked all 50 of your employees to send you photos of themselves to use in the end of year newsletter. Now every individual emails you their photo attached. This means you have to open 50 different emails and download the attachments.
That's a lot of work, isn't it?
Or maybe not.
Zapier could do all that for you and store the photos in a cloud file that is linked to your Publisher or whatever tool you use to design the newsletters.
That's just the scratch on the surface of what you can achieve. When you learn how to connect the apps you use often, you can automate hundreds of repetitive tasks that your business has to perform. But let’s start from the beginning.
Zapier is an online tool that acts as the “hand of the king” (the user is the king). It helps get things done between different apps and saves the user from performing manual tasks such as copying and pasting information or downloading and then uploading from one app to another or saving documents in a particular app. Zapier is used to automate the integration of different apps used by both individual users and businesses.
If you take the above example of 50 employees sending emails to a single recipient, Zapier can be used to connect your email account (Gmail/Outlook) to say Google Photos so that every attached photo is automatically extracted from the email and sent to Photos and a notification is sent to the recipient that the pictures have been sent.
Most people are concerned that they may need to write a few lines of code to automate different actions. However, since Zapier is a no-code tool, there’s no reason to know ones and zeros or hire someone who knows how to code. It works based on triggers and actions. Any ordinary user can set up a trigger and then determine the action.
To understand this better, let us go back to the photos being sent to an email address:
Users can create zaps that determine what automated task will be performed. With the use of simple integration between apps, it can turn the most mundane yet important business tasks into routine automations that get more work done.
To use Zapier, you need to understand the following terms:
Trigger: This is an event that will set off an action. A user indicates a trigger that is recognized by Zapier as a green light to begin an action.
Action: It is the task performed by Zapier once the trigger occurs. A user defines the action they want to be taken once a trigger occurs.
Zap: A zap is a combination of a trigger and action that create a workflow between two apps for example an email app will be connected to a cloud storage app using a zap.
Filter: A filter is added information that sets conditions for an action to be taken. For example, you do not want every email attachment to be forwarded to Photos so you set a filter that only emails with image attachments should be forwarded to Photos. You can even specify which email addresses will be triggers.
Autoreplay: Sometimes a zap may fail and may need to be replayed. An autoreplay happens when there is a failure to execute a zap (a user can also run this manually).
Now that we have key definitions, we can go on to describe how to use Zapier. Obviously, you need to have signed up for an account and logged into that account. Once that is done, you can follow these steps.
Step 1: Choose a trigger from any of the apps you want to use.
Step 2: Indicate the action you want to be taken once the event is triggered.
Step 3: Run a test zap to see that it is actually working.
And that is how to use Zapier in 3 simple steps. Once you have created a zap, Zapier will do the rest and you can continue doing other business-related tasks.
There are over 2000 Zapier integrations and counting. The tool is designed to give businesses and users the ability to integrate without the need to code. Under normal circumstances, customizing app integration would be a long process involving developers. Now with this web-based tool, you can integrate thousands of apps that you use daily.
Many businesses use apps independently and this means you have to transfer data from one app to another manually. The amount of time spent doing this can add up to significant losses in productivity. By integrating these apps to work as a single process, you ensure continuity and efficiency within your business. Zapier automations are achieved within a few minutes. A salesperson can extract contacts of leads and enter them into an emailing list on MailChimp and then go ahead to send particular information to the leads based on certain triggers.
Zapier zaps depend on a user’s need, you can mix and match the integrations to achieve automation between apps. The platform however has drop downs with suggested triggers and actions that are commonly used. At the same time, you can customize a zap with your desired trigger or action.
Zaps can be a single step or multistep. A single step involves one trigger and one action while multi-step zaps may include a series of actions and will have filters and searches as well. These zaps are available only to paid users.
Zapier pricing includes a choice of free or paid plans. The cost is determined by the range of features and apps a user will have access to. The free version restricts access to premium integrations while paid plans will give you access to integrate premium apps like Salesforce, PayPal, and Shopify among others. These are the plans available:
Free: Is Zapier free? - The answer is Yes and it is a modest plan that can be used to learn more about the platform and how you can use it. With Zapier free plan, the user is limited to 100 tasks per month with restricted app access. You would have to pay for premium services.
Starter: This plan costs $19.99 a month with 750 tasks and a limit of 20 zaps. A user can gain access to 3 premium apps and they can create multi-step zaps. There is the option of an upgrade to 1500 tasks if you pay $39.
Professional: At $49 a month, a user gets unlimited Zaps and 2000 tasks with the option of upgrading to 20,000 tasks at $189 per month.
Team: This plan offers unlimited zaps and 50,000 tasks for $299 per month. It includes features that support collaboration between teams. Upgrading within the Team tier costs $3,499 with the perk of 2 million multi-step Zaps.
Company: This is the top tier at $599 and includes 100,000 tasks and enterprise admin features. You can upgrade at $3,599 to access 2 million tasks. The company plan also entitles the user to training how to get the best of Zapier apps integration.
The majority of customer Zapier reviews are positive and give support to technical reviews. Most people enjoy the speed at which automation is achieved as well as the consistency in delivery. Key features of this tool include:
Since users connect apps with private data through Zapier, it is natural that they would ask if Zapier is safe? Zapier asserts that they use “bank-level encryption” this means every bit of data that is shared between apps is encrypted and there is no reason to worry about the transfer of data and its safety.
However, users need to be sure about the apps they choose to integrate and the safety that those apps provide. If a bank linked customer emails to their social media account, that can create a privacy breach that Zapier would not be responsible for.
Zapier is not the only bull in the kraal when it comes to workflow automation. Some people may find Zapier alternatives a better fit for their needs when it comes to features and pricing. However, Zapier is one of the most popular and there is a higher chance of finding the app you use integrates with Zapier than some of its competitors or alternatives. Those that compare closely to this tool include:
All in all, Zapier has been tried and tested by many people who find it just what they need to achieve flawless app integration. Businesses and individuals can automate mundane tasks so they can free up time to focus on what matters.
If you've just discovered us, we're excited. Try Windward Hub with our 14-day free trial and start creating documents in a snap. Know more about our zaps and integrations here.