Zapier is an automation tool that takes all the time and stresses out of your busy life. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed with keeping up with new leads, sending follow-up emails, or setting up new client profiles whenever someone fills out a form on your website. That’s where Zapier comes in! If you’re looking for an in-depth explanation of Zapier integrations, you’ve come to the right place. Shanty Town is full of Zapier experts just waiting to make your life simpler by helping you understand what it’s all about. Whether you have a lot of simple automation or ones that are ten steps long, Zapier can make them work perfectly for you. Let’s dig a little deeper.
What is Zapier?
It’s hard to keep up with all the new developing technology that’s coming out, especially if technology isn’t your thing. There are apps, databases, and plug-ins galore! So what are they, and what do you need to know about them? Well, we think that Zapier is worth talking about because it’ll save you a lot of time and effort in your business. Let’s start with the basics.
Simply put: Zapier is a software that automates communication between over 5,000 different applications. Say you’d like your team to be notified on Slack whenever you get a new lead on Facebook. Instead of doing that yourself, you’d use Zapier. You can tell Zapier to send a message to your team every time a new lead from Facebook generates. Clear as mud? Let’s try to make it clearer.
There’s a reason why Zapier is becoming more and more popular by the day! It’s user-friendly for everyone. You don’t need to code, understand techy language, or design a website. Simply tell Zapier what you’d like it to do, and you’ll be on your way. Zapier is also easy to test, which is an important step. It’s easy to make sure Zapier is doing precisely what you want it to before relying on it to do its job. Another huge benefit of using Zapier is the multi-step zaps (we’ll get into zaps in a bit). That means you can tell Zapier to notify your team on Slack and add the new lead to an email list every time someone fills out a form on your website. Crazy right?! Zapier makes things even more effortless by following conditional logic. Simple if/then statements allow you to understand your automation. If we get a new lead on Facebook, then send my team a message on Slack. See how easy that is?
Why Do We Recommend It?
Shanty Town is a full believer in automation. Automation is designed to work for you and make your life easier. Let automation be an employee and put it to work! Zapier will save you so much time and stress. Think about how much time it would take if you had to message your team every time you got a new lead. And what if you got 200 leads in a day?! As fellow business owners, we know how precious your time is. Saving yourself stress is often overlooked as a business owner. Who wants to be pulling out their hair and gritting their teeth all the time? Not us. Using Zapier allows you to sit back and let your business run itself while you focus on the more important things, like showing up for your clients. As a business that actually uses Zapier, you can trust that Shanty Town has firsthand experience with its positive benefits.
How do Zapier Integrations Work?
Let’s dive a little deeper into Zapier integrations and what they actually look like. Zapier is an easy-to-use, no-coding application for automation. The first step is to ensure that Zapier supports the automation you’re trying to set up. Zapier has over 5,000 application integrations, so chances are it does, but there might be an automation you’re trying to set up that Zapier doesn’t do (yet). Once you know that Zapier can support your automation, you’ll set up a trigger. The trigger is your “if.” It’s the action that starts the automation. If we get a new lead on Facebook…there’s your trigger! Once someone does a specific action, it triggers Zapier to start the automation. The corresponding action is your “then.” If we get a new lead on Facebook, then send a message to my team on Slack. With some integrations, you can be as specific as to which inbox or channel you want your message to appear in.
Once Zapier is crystal clear on what you want it to do and when you want it to do it, you can sit back and watch it do its magic. Now, each trigger and corresponding action are called Zaps. Zaps can be a straightforward step or 100 steps, depending on what you want. Maybe after you get a new lead on Facebook, you’d like to send a message to your team on Slack, create a CRM profile for the new lead, and send a follow-up email to them with a meeting scheduling link. Can do! Each Zap is entirely customizable and can be as simple or complex as you need it to be.
With over 5,000 application integrations, it’s easy to see why Zapier has become a valuable tool for many business owners (check out https://zapier.com/apps for a complete list). Zapier is also super helpful by providing some of the most common Zaps that occur for you so you can either update them yourself or connect as is and go. We personally use Zapier at Shanty Town and have loved how simple it has made our lives. Our most common use for Zapier is used in conjunction with WordPress. We use it to collect info for client profiles and have Zapier connect to Gravity Forms, Airtable, Salesforce, and Hubspot!
Maybe you’d like a simpler way to set up meetings and are overwhelmed with managing different apps to make it happen. Here’s an example of how Zapier integrations work to set up specific Zaps. Let’s say you use Gravity Forms for people to fill out if they want to set up a meeting with you. They fill out a form using their email address, and that info filters right into your SalesForce account, which triggers a “New Prospect” and creates a basic profile for them. When they submit the form on Gravity Forms, they also receive a link to Calendly, where they can schedule a meeting with you. That link is also added to their SalesForce Profile while creating an event for both of your calendars and also creates a zoom link for the meeting. Mic drop. Talk about a time saver! Now, all that weight is off your shoulders, and all you need to do is show up for the meeting that Zapier scheduled for you!
There are 5 different pricing plans at Zapier, ranging from FREE to unlimited access. The free version is a great place to start and get familiar with how Zapier works. It includes 5 single-step Zaps. This could be a perfect place to start for a business just starting out that doesn’t have a lot of automation needs yet. The Professional Tier at Zapier is $49/month + a $73.50 annual fee. The Professional Tier gets you unlimited multi-step Zaps, filters, unlimited premium apps, and custom logic paths. The Company Tier is $599/mo + $898.500 annual fee, which provides all features from the previous tiers and more! For a comprehensive list of their pricing with features and some of their FAQ, check out their pricing list here.
Shanty Town has been consistently using Zapier for a long time and we’ve learned a lot along the way. There are some things you can only learn through trial and error, and we’d like to share some of those with you so you can save yourself some effort down the road.
- Plan your Zap before you start to build it. Get a pen and paper and plan out what you’d like your Zap to do, especially if it’s a complicated one. Make sure you know each touchpoint of the Zap so that you know exactly what needs to happen at each point. It’s much easier to go off of a flowchart than to try to build a Zap while you’re thinking of how it needs to work.
- Make copies as you update. We’ve learned this the hard way. If you plan on updating an existing, functioning Zap, please (in the name of all that is holy) make a copy of the Zap and make the updates to the Zap copy. This way, you will know if any of your updates have broken your automation without actually breaking your original Zap. Save yourself some heartache.
- Name each Zap appropriately so that you know which automation you’re looking at with a glance. This is especially useful if you have a lot of Zaps going that you might lose track of. Don’t forget to name your Zaps so that other people can understand them too. That way, you don’t need a code for someone else to decipher what your Zap means.
Zapier isn’t the only automation app out there! There are many great automation tools you can use for your business. Here are a few similar automation tools that you may want to consider.
- Pro: it does most of what Zapier does but at a lower price range
- Con: There are fewer integrations
- Pro: much cheaper than Zapier, and you can load pre-made automations
- Con: Not as simple to use
Microsoft Power Automate
- Pro: This is a solid choice for Microsoft users that want to keep data centralized
- Con: the interface is more difficult to use since there are no visualization tools or drag-and-drop features.
Thinking About Hiring Someone for Zapier Integrations?
We hope you feel more confident in using Zapier and see the benefit it can have on your business. If you’re still feeling overwhelmed, please reach out to us! We love to help people feel more confident going forward, and we’d love to help you connect your apps and automate your business. Let Shanty Town do what we do best and streamline your business into a well-automated machine! Reach out with any questions, and let’s see if we’d be a good match for each other.