Nowadays, there are so many amazing business and productivity solutions on the web that you can truly find an app for everything. Whether you want to find connections with influencers, grow your email subscriber list, or find the best keywords, there’s an app for that!
Many of these apps even integrate with each other so you can really maximize what you can do with them. That is, until they don’t.
Take Picreel, for example. This actually happened to us. Picreel is an exit intent pop-up ad software that helps you capture users before they depart your website. Picreel makes a bold claim. If you use Picreel, you can increase your conversion rate by 25%, guaranteed. Who wouldn’t want that?
One of the ways Picreel does this is through capturing email addresses via pop-up ads encouraging website users to sign up for mailing lists. To use, just create your own ad on their platform and add it to your site. You can do this in as quickly as 10 minutes. From there, Picreel is supposed to easily sync with big-name email marketing apps like MailChimp to make it a one-step process of receiving the email address and automatically signing them up for your mailing list.
But let’s say something goes wrong, and Picreel won’t talk to MailChimp. You then have a bunch of leads that aren’t connected to your email list, meaning you’ll have to input them manually. Not only that, but you might also be frustrating these potential customers because they’re waiting for your email to show up, and it never does.
This is precisely where Zapier comes in. Zapier is an automation tool that can get all these apps to talk together so you can stop wringing your hands, trying to figure out what’s wrong.
After hours trying to get Picreel to work with MailChimp (even connecting with customer support), Zapier saved the day in just a few minutes.
That’s 81 headaches saved thanks to Zapier. By the way, we’re still waiting on an email response to the problem from Picreel. Fortunately, Zapier has made that no longer necessary.
Think of Zapier like the glue that connects everything together. It’s easy to use, affordable, and can save you from some severe headaches. These days, it’s even gotten so popular that people have taken it outside the business space and use it to improve their personal productivity on their email and other correspondence.
In this review, we’ll explain what Zapier is, how you use it, how much it costs, and whether it’s the right tool for your business needs.
The coolest thing about Zapier is they do have a free plan so you can get a taste of how great it is before upgrading to a paid subscription. Read on to learn more about one of the handiest and innovative apps out there.
What Is Zapier?
Here’s how you’ll remember how to pronounce it. Zapier rhymes with happier. Their company tagline is “Zapier makes you happier.” And you’ll see why quickly when you use it.
Zapier is a web app that connects various apps together to automate your workflows. After you set it up, it operates behind the scenes moving information between apps automatically.
Zapier’s goal is to let humans do what they do best—creating innovative solutions—and letting computers do what they do best—automating routine tasks. With the right strategy and use, Zapier claims they can increase productivity while improving personal impact by up to 10x.
You can use Zapier to do a whole bunch of things that will go into detail about later. It’s super handy because you can connect all your accounts, import via Google sheets, create dashboards, and much more.
Plus, the cost is super flexible. You can get free for a few Zaps (that’s what Zapier calls what it does) or flexibly priced to match your business needs.
Zapier only really does three things:
- Start workflows from apps
- Finish routine tasks automatically
- Automate ideas into practice
But, Zapier does these three things incredibly well and it works with 2000+ web apps. We’re not just talking about the big names like Google Drive or Asana, you can even use it with tiny, niche software solutions.
Best of all, you can do all this with zero programming or design knowledge. That means anybody can use this app with almost no onboarding time.
Think about it like this. If there is any place in your schedule where you have repetitive activity, there’s a good chance you can create a Zap for it. We’ll give you a few different use cases below.
Learn The Zapier Lingo
Before we go any further, you should get to know a few of the key Zapier terms. This will help you navigate things more easily.
An automated workflow between your apps. For example, you may have a Zap that saves all Google Drive documents in Gmail into Asana. Or a Zap that saves emails with a star into a text file. All Zaps have two or more parts: a trigger and one or more actions.
An event that starts a Zap. Once set up, Zapier will watch an app until the event happens. For example, you might have a lot of emails with MS Word and other docs. Zap monitors your inbox to only save Drive documents.
The event that finishes the Zap. This is the action that happens. In our example, it’s uploading Drive documents to Dropbox.
Every piece of data you use through Zap counts as a task. So, if you add 100 Drive documents to Dropbox, the Zap performs 100 tasks.
The number of Tasks you need will determine the right Zapier plan for you.
How To Get Started With Zapier
You can get started creating Zaps in just a few seconds. As mentioned, Zapier has a free account. When you sign up, though, you’ll also receive a free 14-day trial with access to premium factors.
All you have to do is enter your name, email address, and set a password—no credit card necessary. You’ll then be taken to your dashboard, where you can create a Zap or view popular Zap templates.
If you have a particular action in mind, you can hit the + button to create a new Zap and start a workflow. You’ll need to sync the respective app accounts to do this.
You can also view your previously created Zap, track your Zap history, and keep track of all the accounts you keep. If you want ideas, head over to Zap’s Automation Inspiration page to find 300+ things you can do with Zapier.
As mentioned, Zapier does offer a free level of service, but it is limited. You’ll get up to 100 tasks, but only five Zaps. Put simply, you won’t be able much more than a couple of things and only a few times on the free plan.
Free tier also doesn’t support Premium apps, and the Zaps only run once every 15 minutes. Overall, the free account is nice to get a taste of what Zapier can do, but you’ll need to upgrade to a paid subscription.
What’s a premium app? These are ones Zapier keeps behind its paywall, usually because they’re essential for business use like:
- Evernote Business
- My SQL
- Many others.
But plans start affordably enough at $19.99/month. And you have to think about how many wasted hours of productivity that Zapier saves.
Check out the price breakdown here:
What’s nice is you can select additional tasks at every level other than free, so you don’t have to feel pressured to upgrade to a larger plan if you don’t need it. Likewise, you can cancel, downgrade, or upgrade your plan at any time.
What Can You Use Zapier For?
Think about your daily schedule. Do you find yourself doing anything repeatedly? Maybe you always have list schedule events in both Google Calendar and Asana. Or you have to add customer invoices into QuickBooks.
Whatever it is, you can make a Zap for it. Here are some the ways you can use Zapier:
1. Customer Purchases
In most businesses, customer purchases create a lot of data. You have an order, inventory, customer lists, and shipping info.
With Zapier, you can trigger actions to skip all the extra data entry and directly sync all your apps to get on the same page.
In the example, we set up a multistep action. The new order is saved to a spreadsheet, which then kicks off the onboarding email and welcomes information.
Then it also triggers an entry into QuickBooks to make it easier to keep track of transactions.
2. Lead Generation
We already reference Zapier’s capacity for this earlier in regards to Picreel. You can do the same with Facebook, Google, and more.
In our example from Picreel, we received customer email signups for the monthly newsletter. We then transferred them to MailChimp automatically to grow the subscriber list and encourage customers to purchase by using a welcome promo code.
3. Social Media
Social media is an excellent place to drive short-term leads and engagement. But managing it all can be a full-time job. SMM tools like Buffer do a great job of simplifying the whole process. While Zapier may not be as focused on social media, it does offer automation, so you can integrate your web content and social media all in one place.
For example, you can create a Zap to create a Facebook post from each new WordPress posts. You can even customize it to set exactly how you want the WP post to look on Facebook.
Features like these are where you’ll want to spend a little time and experiment to find how you can really use Zapier to your advantage.
4. Get More Out Of Your CMS
Let’s say you want a website action to trigger an event on social media, how do you connect that? If you’re using something notoriously difficult like Squarespace, you might be out of luck. With Zapier, you can program one or several steps following a Form Submission.
For example, let’s say you want to connect with a lead on social media. In this example, after a Submission, the data is added to a spreadsheet, which then triggers a Facebook message.
More than anything, you should see just how flexible Zapier is from this.
These examples are just the beginning of what Zapier can do. Even if you have a couple of set ideas in mind with what you want to do with it, you should check out the Explore section to see all the other ways Zapier can simplify your life.
Who Is Zapier Best For?
Zapier is best for anybody who wants to save time. We all have things we find ourselves repeatedly doing daily. With Zapier, you can set all of this to run in the background.
It’s not just about time, though. It’s also about making sure things never fall through the cracks. Whether it’s ensuring all your customers get on your email lists, keeping track of invoices, social media follow-up, or anything else, you can stay on top of it with Zapier.
Zapier particularly shines for agencies and larger brands. If you find yourself consistently navigating between lead generation lists, social media channels, and web platforms, then Zapier will make your life much easier.
Finally, even though the free plan is limited, it does provide enough functionality for basic use, so even freelancers can get benefit from using Zapier.
Is Zapier Worth It?
100% yes, especially if you’re a digital marketer. You’ll love it for the same reasons we did—it will save you when everything else doesn’t seem to work.
The one complaint you will hear about Zapier, though, is that it can be pricey for tasks. For example, let’s say you want to add all leads to MailChimp and also sync all Dropbox documents mentioned in emails. This can be used for your tasks very quickly.
There are two ways to look at this. If you are budget conscious, then you should find an alternative to using Zapier for a particular task. Try to find a solution within the apps and integrations you use and save Zapier for where you really need it.
Of course, you might run into a wall as we did with Picreel and MailChimp. This is where you look at Zapier as an investment. Sure, it might cost you to upgrade to more tasks, but if you’re adding an extra 1,000 emails a month to your mailing list, then isn’t it worth it?
That’s why Zapier’s flexible plans are amazing. You afford to add or subtract as many tasks each month, so you only pay for what you need.
- Automates connections from 2000+ web apps
- Free plan available
- Multistep automation
- Easy to use
- Flexible pricing tiers
- Advanced features
- No mobile app
- Doesn’t work with IoT devices
Zapier Alternative: IFTTT
There are not many software solutions that not only do what Zapier does but also in such an easy-to-use and intuitive package.
The one you’ll likely come across is IFTTT. The difference is that Zapier focuses more on business and productivity while IFTTT is more consumer-oriented with its sights on Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices like smart light bulbs and doorbells.
There is some overlap like IFTTT does support some of the same apps like Zapier, but the list isn’t as exhaustive. On the other hand, Zapier also has no IoT compatibility.
Finally, IFTTT works with Siri, Cortana, Google Assistant, and Alexa, while Zapier does not. The bottom line is Zapier is for business, and IFTTT is for personal.
Zapier: The Bottom Line
We all wish there were ways to get rid of the repetitive tasks that eat up our time daily. Zapier is an excellent web app that makes it easy to do just this by creating automated actions across a huge variety of business and productivity apps. Best of all, it requires zero programming knowledge, and you can set up a Zap in just a few minutes.
Give their free plan a try now to see what Zapier can do for you.
- Ease of Use
If you have a ton of apps that you work with, you may be considering using Zapier. Zapier is a web app that connects apps together to better automate your workflows, and hopefully save you time. Learn more about this web app and if it will work for you in our review of Zapier.