John Lincoln

Zapier Review: How to Automate Your Workflow Without Coding or APIs

How to Automate Your Workflow without Coding or APIs

How would you like to automate workflows without knowing how to write a lick of code? If so, then you should check out Zapier.

It’s a workflow automation tool that integrates your favorite apps and handles tasks on your behalf.

What’s not to love about that?

In this Zapier review, I’ll cover its features. I’ll also explain its pros and cons so you can make an informed decision about whether or not you’d like to use it.

Zapier Review: What Is Zapier?

Zapier workflow automation tool

You can think of Zapier as the digital glue that connects thousands of web apps.

Which web apps? It’s probably easier to answer which web apps Zapier doesn’t support.

That’s because it supports a lot of tools. Chances are pretty good that your favorite ones are on the list.

Here’s how it works. You start by creating a workflow that connects two or more apps.

That workflow automation, by the way, is called a “Zap.”

Zapier workflow automation Zaps explanation

Then, you create a trigger. That trigger automates your workflow so you can focus on higher priority items, like building your business.

It gets better. Zapier makes it easy for you to create Zaps with just a few clicks.

You don’t need to know anything about coding, web technologies, or application programming interfaces (APIs) to get the ball rolling.

‘Zap’ Workflow Automation Example

Before we dig deeper into this Zapier review, let’s take a look at a sample Zap.

Zapier Demo – Watch and Learn how to Automate Your Work

Suppose you use Gmail as your inbox of choice. You’d like to save all the attachments you receive to your Dropbox account.

Of course, you could always do that manually by downloading the attachment and moving it to Dropbox.

But that’s going to be an issue if you get dozens of emails every day with attachments. You’ll end up wasting time on repetitive tasks.

Zapier can help.

Create a Zap that automates the workflow of grabbing attachments from new emails in Gmail and putting them in Dropbox.

Zapier workflow automation Gmail example

In that workflow, the trigger is “whenever I get an email in Gmail with an attachment.” The Zap handles the process behind the scenes of moving that attachment to Dropbox.

You can focus on other things while Zapier does all the heavy lifting.

Zapier Review: Templates

I mentioned above that Zapier lets you create automated workflows without knowing how to code. What could be easier than that?

Templates. That’s what’s easier than that.

Zapier offers blueprints for popular Zaps. You can use those blueprints to automate some fairly popular workflows for your own business.

In other words, you don’t even have to create Zaps from scratch. You can just leech off of existing templates that the tool makes available to you.

Zapier also allows you to create your own templates. Then, you can use them later when you want to make slight changes to existing workflows.

Easy Team Sharing

If you’ve got a great Zap, why keep it all to yourself?

You probably work in a team environment. Other folks in your business might find your workflow helpful as well.

Fortunately, Zapier lets you share Zaps with other people.

Get that ball rolling by setting up a Team account. Then you can put your Zaps in shared folders so others in your organization can use them too.

You can also assign access control levels to your shared Zaps. Give team members, read, copy, or edit access as needed.

Zaps for Marketers

We’re all about digital marketing in these parts, so let’s take a look at some ways we can use Zapier to help build our businesses online.

  • Send new leads a personal message – Integrate an app like Facebook Lead Ads with Gmail to automate the process of sending new leads a “welcome” message.
  • Add new leads to a database – You’re keeping your leads somewhere, right? Why not integrate a tool like ClickFunnels with a database management solution like MySQL so you can automate the persistence of lead info?
  • Notify team members about new orders – Set up your own cheer section by telling team members about every new order or client you land. That’s especially useful in a B2B environment. Just integrate a tool like WooCommerce with a message system like Slack or Bootcamp.
  • Create support tickets from negative feedback – Integrate a survey solution like Gravity Forms with a ticketing tool like Zendesk. Let Zapier open tickets on behalf of customers who aren’t satisfied.
  • Send customers an order confirmation message – You want customers to know that you received their orders once they completed checkout, right? Zapier can help with that when you connect a solution like Shopify with Gmail.

Workflow Automation Tools to Choose From

I mentioned above that Zapier enables you to create Zaps with thousands of tools. Here’s a list of supported tools that will appeal to digital marketers:

  • Mailchimp
  • Facebook Lead Ads
  • ActiveCampaign
  • LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms
  • Google Analytics
  • Sumo
  • AWeber
  • GetResponse
  • Eventbrite
  • ClickFunnels
  • HubSpot
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Reddit
  • Medium
  • Buffer
  • Hootsuite
  • Bitly
  • Google Contacts
  • GetProspect
  • Salesforce
  • Zoho CRM
  • Insightly
  • Squarespace
  • Google Forms
  • Unbounce
  • SurveyMonkey
  • Gravity Forms
  • DocuSign
 

Keep in mind: that’s a partial list. Zapier supports quite a few more tools than what you see listed there.

Also, you can only integrate some of the workflow automation tools listed above with Zapier if you opt for the premium service.

Speaking of service levels…

Review of  Zapier Costs

It’s free.

You can create an account and start building your own Zaps without spending one red cent. However, you’re limited to just 100 tasks per month.

You’re also limited to five Zaps with the free plan.

Still, it’s a great way to “try before you buy.”

If you think you’ll need more than 100 tasks per month or five Zaps, then you’ll also need to start spilling some cash.

Plans start at just $19.99 per month. That will get you 750 tasks and 20 Zaps.

If you’re a heavy-duty user and you’ll need to handle as many as 100,000 tasks per month, that’s going to cost you a cool $1,000 every month. You also get unlimited Zaps with that plan.

Reviews

Let’s check in with some folks online and see what they’re saying about Zapier.

First, the pros:

  • Lets you do almost anything without a programmer
  • Very intuitive
  • Plenty of apps you can connect to
  • You can create delays with Zaps, giving you control of when actions run
  • Automates time-consuming tasks

Now, the cons:

  • Pricing per task can get really expensive if you need a lot of tasks
  • Doesn’t allow for lots of variability inside the Zap
  • Poor error reporting
  • Sometimes difficult to work with JSON inputs
  • Company doesn’t have a very good support system

Wrapping It Up

It’s free to start using Zapier, so why not give it a try? This is one workflow automation tool that is worth a good test-run.

After some time, if you like what you see, you can create a few Zaps that handle routine tasks. Keep track of how much time you save.

After a few weeks, ask yourself: “Is it worth it for me to spend money on Zapier if I can save that much time and more in the future?”

You’ll probably answer “Yes” to that question.

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About the Author

John Lincoln is CEO of Ignite Visibility, one of the top digital marketing agencies in the nation. Named #1 Search Engine Marketing company by Clutch.co, Ignite Visibility is a 3 time Inc. 5,000 company. Ignite Visibility offers a unique digital marketing program tied directly to ROI with a focus on using SEO, social media, paid media, CRO, email, Amazon and PR to achieve results. Outside of Ignite Visibility, Lincoln is a frequent speaker and author of the books “Digital Influencer” and “The Forecaster Method.” Lincoln is consistently named one of the top digital marketing strategiest in the industry and was the recipient of the coveted Search Engine Land “Search Marketer of The Year” award. Lincoln has taught digital marketing and Web Analytics at the University of California San Diego since 2010, has been named as one of San Diego’s most admired CEO’s and a top business leader under 40. Lincoln has also made “SEO: The Movie” and “Social Media Marketing: The Movie.” His business mission is to help others through digital marketing.

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