Zapier is a service that allows you to automate tasks between various web apps you might use.
If you have any sort of online presence, you probably use a number of web services, or web applications, such as Wufoo, Evernote, Dropbox or GMail. Zapier helps you connect them, so when something happens in one, it triggers an action in another.
Using more Web Apps has been a trend over the last few years. Called Software as a Service (SaaS), these Web Applications specialize in doing one thing really well. They all exist “in the cloud” and are often paid subscriptions. In the example above, you can create forms with Wufoo, keep notes and tasks with Evernote, and upload and share files with Dropbox.
Zapier is another service, actually an Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS). It helps you integrate all the web apps you are using to make your life more efficient and save you time.
An example is useful to explain how this is done.
Let’s say you have an online form using Wufoo. When someone fills it out, you want to create a note and reminder in Evernote. With Zapier easy to use interface, it’s simple to connect the two accounts and create a “Zap”, an integrated trigger and action. Here you can see I am making Zapier create a new note from the form.
Being able to connect web applications you use this quickly and easily is pretty powerful, but there are several features that really make it the “killer app”.
Easy API Connections
First is the ease with Zapier connects the two web apps API’s. It’s actually possible to connect two web apps together using their “API”. This is a secure doorway that can be used to move data back and forth. But doing this manually is not especially easy for the beginner. With Zapier, the process is made much easier, a couple of clicks and the app you are using is connected to Zapier.
Connect Once, Integrate to Many
Once you have connected a web app to the Zapier platform you now have a way to integrate to all the web apps that are on their platform. To date, there are around 500 that have Global Apps that can be used and connected to.
Side note: Left Hook Digital helps SaaS providers build both Private and Global Apps on Zapier for their platform. They also provide Zapier customization services for small businesses.
Once your Zap is set up, it continues to work busily in the background. This is, of course, how Zapier makes its money. The free plan does up to 15 Zaps and 2,000 actions a month, about 65 a day. For very small businesses, that’s probably adequate. Heavier users can upgrade to various plans at $20, $50 and $75 a month.
A recent addition to Zapier has been multistep actions. Before a couple of months ago, you could only integrate one to one for trigger-action. Now you can integrate one to many. In our example above, the Wufoo form would create an Evernote note, add a file to dropbox and then create a contact in a CRM.
Setting up multistep Zaps is just as easy as setting up single ones.
Are you using Zapier? If so, leave a comment and share how!