Steve Dotto, how the heck are you this fine
day? Me? I think I can best be described today as being peachy. Thank you for asking. The
topic du jour is Zapier. It may be pronounced Zăpier, which actually I like better. Zăpier
sounds better but I think they pronounce it Zapier. Zapier is automation software allowing
one business app to speak to another app. It’s very similar to a product that we looked
at earlier called IFTTT but it’s more business-focused. It allows us to take repeating tasks and automate
them even across different applications. It can be an enormous time-saver. So stick around
and learn today learn a little bit about Zapier. All right, let’s get going and have a look
at Zapier but before we do, a quick shout-out and thanks to all of our Patreon supporters.
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Now today’s content, as I said, Zapier is a little bit of a difficult concept to understand,
I think, until you start to realize how much integration there can be between different
applications. We all know that we take email and we use it to create appointments within
our calendar. That’s the sort of integration that really adds to productivity. What Zapier
strives to do is to take that sort of integration to create automated processes between all
of our different business and social media applications, our customer service applications
to allow certain triggers to happen—they call them triggers—and cause an action in
another application. Let’s just jump in and take a quick look.
Now if you want to get a bit of a primer, we’ve looked at an app in the past called
IFTTT, which is a little more open-sourced version that does pretty much the same thing
as Zapier. It’s a little more social media-focused whereas Zapier is definitely business-focused.
IFTT is free. I think it’s completely free. Zapier has a paid model. Let’s just dive
in and take a look. Actually before we do, let’s do this. As
soon as you sign up for Zapier, what they will do is they will send you this document
which is a great primer document. With apps like Zapier, you really need to see what other
people are doing to spark imagination within you so you can say, oh, that’s something
that might work for me. There are 101 uses. I don’t expect you to read through all of
the uses but here are the kind of 30,000-foot level types of things that you can do: automate
your inbox, time management, project management, archiving and backing up—do you start to
get a feel?—social sharing, social media monitoring, news and media notifications going
on to lead generation, customer support, even into accounting and invoicing. With all of
these different actions, you can start to create cross application pollination for any
action that happens. So this is a great document to go through
and as you work your way through it, they give you examples. The cool thing about the
different Zapier actions—they call them Zaps—is once one is created, you can use
it. In IFTTT they call them recipes and I actually like that word better because it’s
a recipe that you can then follow and you put your ingredients in. All you do is you
basically sign in and give permission t your Gmail account and to your Trello account and
all of a sudden those two apps can talk to each other through whatever the programming
is that’s created in the Zap. I think it’s now time for us to take a look.
When you start, they have a free trial for 14 days. Then you can choose a free plan or
you can choose a paid plan. I will show you the plans at the end of today’s video. Now
let’s just go in and start a new Zap. Now this is a fresh, virgin account. This is a
complete virgin account. I’m going to be doing the same things that you’d have to
do when you first open the account. I have no integration between any of my apps or any
of my services in Zapier. You start by choosing a trigger app. A trigger
app is where the first action takes place that causes a cascading series of events.
Here, you get a peek at just how potent this application is. There are applications in
there that I don’t even know. First of all, Aweber, that is my email tool so immediately
I know I can do stuff with my autoresponder, with my email software. As you take a look
through it, they’ve got Amazon SES and all of Amazon’s online services. There are lots
of apps here that I don’t even know what they are. There are small vertical apps. There’s
Constant Contact, another autoresponder. As you work your way, Dropbox of course; Disqus,
the dialogue manager; Emma’s another email program; Eventbrite, I love Eventbrite; look
at that, Evernote and Evernote Business, good to see those in there.
But if you go through, you will see there has to be hundreds of different apps that
can cause triggers to happen. Let’s do something simple. Let’s just go for some low hanging
fruit. Let’s see if I can create Zap that will automatically reply when somebody starts
to follow me on Twitter. Does that make sense? So I’ve chosen the app to be Twitter. Now
I choose a trigger and here are the triggers that are available to me. If there’s a trigger
from the mention of a search term, when I tweet something new, trigger when a specific
user tweets so I can follow somebody, when there’s a new tweet, when I get a new follower;
there it is. So they actually have that as a pre-defined selection.
What am I going to do? I want to tweet back to them. I want to say thanks for following
me, something just simple. I might actually do this on Twitter. I’ve never actually
looked but it’ll give you an idea of the sorts of things that we can do. So I choose
an action and create a tweet although it will be limited to ten per hour. Well, I don’t
have more than ten people following in any one hour so I’m going to do this. I’m
going to create a tweet. When this happens, when I get a new follower, create a tweet.
Now this doesn’t show us cross-platform pollination. Typically speaking, I might be
going into Gmail here and asking it to send me an email if there’s a new follower. You
can do all those sorts of things. It just requires integrating the other accounts. Now
I have to connect to my Twitter account. Name this Twitter account, so [email protected]’s
Twitter account. Okay. Hello, Zapier. Okay. So it’s asking if it’ll auto-follow. Now
it’s asking to authorize the app. Once I click on Authorize the App, it sends me back
and it creates this Zap. I say Continue. Test it. Okay. It’s testing the account.
The account’s working. Okay, I see what’s happened here. It’s going to both sides
of this equation that we create, Twitter to Twitter. It actually had to test both sides.
If I had put in Gmail or something else in here, it would be testing the Gmail account
as well but it’s just confirmed that they’re both talking to each other. So the filter,
only trigger new follower in Twitter. Okay. Now it’s asking what the message is going
to be. Once I’ve composed the message, now I test it. Once it’s tested, it’ll be
five minutes, this is called New Twitter Followers and I turn the Zap on. It’s working. Now
we go back to my dashboard and I can start this new Zap on and off.
Did you get a feel for how that works? Before we leave, I’ll just start to create a new
Zap. It autosaves so you don’t have to worry about losing it and you don’t have to worry
about constantly saving as you go. Let’s say that I was going to do another one. Let’s
say that I was also going to create an email to myself when there’s a new Twitter follower.
Now of course Twitter will do that automatically so maybe I can come up with something better.
Let’s say I’m going to add to a Google Docs spreadsheet. I’m going to add the username
to a Google Docs spreadsheet. So I type in Twitter. I choose that again
as my trigger app but now I’m going to choose as an action app, Google Docs. I start typing
in “Google” and here are different things I can put in Google. I can put in Google Docs,
Google Drive, Google Tasks, Google Glass, Google Contacts, and Google Calendar. I’ll
maybe add the twitter follower to Google Contacts. Why not? Let’s just do that. That’s something
that’s unique. Choose create a new contact. So the trigger is when I have a new follower,
create a new contact. That’s cool. So I connect my Twitter account and I continue.
Now let’s see if it allows—oh, it’s asking me to authorize it again. But it already
had my information there so it authorizes it very quickly. I’m going to now continue
and now it’s going to ask me to connect to my Google Contacts account. This app would
like to manage my contacts so Zapier is asking permission to manage my contacts and now it’s
been connected and I continue and so on and so forth. So now I will continue on through
and finish creating this content. I’m not going to go through the entire process for
you because you’ve seen how it works. I want to get into the pricing because this
is of course quite important. They have four different plans on Zapier and the nomenclature
here is very important. There are tasks and Zaps. Here’s how it works. With your free
account, you can have five Zaps. What we just created, the Twitter to Twitter or the Twitter
to Google Contacts, those are Zaps. You’re allowed five basically recipes that you can
create and use for free, for zero dollars per month. And you’re allowed to have them
perform 100 tasks so every time I get a new follower and it launches that sequence that
is a task which is then completed. So we have a limit of 100 with five different recipes
that we can follow or five different Zaps. That is the free plan.
To upgrade to $15 a month, you’re allowed 3,000 tasks which is an awful lot, I think,
and 20 different Zaps that you can create. It tells you how quickly they run here. They
run every 15 minutes and in the premium plans they run even faster so there’s even more
integration where you can see up $50 and even $100 a month for people that are really using
this very heavily. They obviously have customers that are going to be able to take advantage
of this. This creates an automated workflow for things
that people used to have to do manually or they used to have to pay hundreds of dollars
to have programmers come in and alter their software to create this sort of linkage. It
does everything. We’ve looked at business. We’ve looked at social media. It crosses
over all of those different barriers. It can work great in the accounting area when automatically
when an invoice is created, it creates a series or chain of events based on that invoice,
just some really great services based on a trigger, based on something starting a series
of events that follow on. Overall, I think they’ve done a beautiful
job with Zapier. It’s got a very clean interface. It feels very business-like and it’s quite
trustworthy as far as you feel like you’re connecting to your accounts in a reasonable
way and the clarity as you do each of your connections and create your own Zaps seems
to be quite good as far as I’m concerned. So I think Zapier is definitely worth a look
at, the 14-day free trial and then the free version allows you to test it out and make
sure that it fits in your business practices. That’s all the time that we have today.
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consuming. That is it. I am out. I’m Steve Dotto. Have fun storming the castle!