How do you decide which app(s) to integrate with?

How do you decide which app(s) to integrate with?
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I asked some Zapier Certified Experts for some advice on how to decide which apps to choose when integrating via Zapier and here’s what they had to say.

The Contributors

 

Checking The App Integration Details Page on Zapier First
by Nathan Weill

When asked “what do you look for when you’re evaluating apps for integration (for yourself and/or clients)”, Nate had this to say:


I’ll go even further, when evaluating a new tool, the first thing I’ll check is what type of Zapier integration does it have? With a tool like Pipedrive, with dozens of triggers, actions, and searches, I know I’ll have an easy time creating automation. On the other hand, a tool like Brivity, with a single trigger and a single action, I know it can be difficult. 

About Nathan

Flow Digital is a boutique, NYC-based agency that focuses on helping businesses revamp their sales and marketing efforts through more efficient automation. Services include CRM setup and optimization, precise workflow automation, and marketing automation.

 

Auditing Apps for Achieving Automation
by Troy Tesselone

Providing 10 questions to ask yourself to determine apps suitable for automation, Troy had quite a bit to say about the matter:


1) Does the app have a publicly listed Zap app integration?
Search here: https://zapier.com/apps
Public Zap apps usually indicate a commitment from the app’s developer to integrate and thus allow automation.
Example: Mailchimp - https://zapier.com/apps/mailchimp/integrations#triggers-and-actions

2) Does the app have a privately listed Zapier app?
Check the app’s help documentation or ask the app’s support for guidance.

NOTE: Private apps may not be as well supported by their developers as publicly listed apps.

3) Does the app support webhooks?
Try doing a Google Search for the app name and “webhook”
Example: Mailchimp webhook
Result: https://mailchimp.com/developer/transactional/docs/webhooks/

4) Does the app have a publicly available API?
Try doing a Google Search for the app name and “API”.
Make sure to be aware of throttling limits for API requests.
Example: Mailchimp API
Result: https://mailchimp.com/developer/

5) What are the available triggers/actions/searches for a Zap app integration?
Generally Zap apps expose their most commonly used endpoints.
Example: Mailchimp - https://zapier.com/apps/mailchimp/integrations#triggers-and-actions

6) What are the Help articles for a Zap app?
Help articles indicate the known knowledge around an app, such as tips and tricks.
Example: Mailchimp - https://zapier.com/apps/mailchimp/help

7) What are the Zapier Community for Topics on the app?
See what the end users are saying about the apps they are using.
Example: Mailchimp - https://community.zapier.com/search?q=mailchimp

8) What are the Zapier Blog for posts about the app?
If an app is being written about in the Zapier Blog, that usually means it’s worthy of using.
Example: Mailchimp - https://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Azapier.com%2Fblog+mailchimp

9) What is the popularity of this app? (within it’s category and overall)
More popular apps tend to be better supported from their developers.
Example: Mailchimp for Email Newsletters - https://zapier.com/apps/categories/email-newsletters

TIP: Also check the bottom of Zapier.com (when logged out)

10) What are the plans and pricing for the features needed with an app?
Is it worth the cost for what you need the app to do?
Example: Mailchimp - https://mailchimp.com/pricing/

Summary

The best way to know if an app is the right tool for the job is to test it out before committing to it, which goes to a phrase I’m fond of saying, “When in doubt, test it out!”.

About Troy

Troy’s your guy, here's why ...
Certified Zapier Expert who automates workflows with no-code and low-code apps to help clients save time and make money
... it's automagical!

 

What Will Solve the Business Problem
by Andy Carruthers

When looking at which apps to integrate with, Andy think it is important to start by asking “what is the business problem that we need to solve?”


To help understand the problem I suggest you write down all the current steps in the process and who or what system is used for each of the steps.

By reviewing this information you can then ask “why do we do each of these steps and how can we:

  • Remove steps
  • Simplify 
  • Remove duplication
  • Reduce the time it takes

After this, we have a new set of steps and we can search for an app that has the features to help us manage most of the steps using automation, and connect with other apps to streamline the workflow.

Great places to search for apps are:

And the integration pages of the apps you are already using (eg https://mailchimp.com/integrations).

Summary

Make sure each integration is solving a business problem — don’t just integrate because you can!

This will save you time and make your solution more manageable.

About Andy

Andy helps business owners without full time IT support to get the most out of technology by automating process and helping them use the tools they already have. Book a free 30min session at https://hardbasket.com to discuss your project.

 

Try Building Your Desired Workflow
by Jimmy Rose

In Jimmy’s experience, the only way to know what apps are going to work well is to actually attempt to build the workflows you want.


1) Start by looking at the Zapier App page (e.g. Google Sheets)

These pages list out the available triggers, actions and searches for each app that Zapier integrates with.

If you do this with several apps, you can start piecing together ideas for workflows that glue them all together.

The app page is surface-level though. It will just say the name of the trigger, like "Add contact" (to your CRM). It doesn't tell you how it works in practice. Almost every app behaves in a different way, and will have slight variations in the way they integrate with Zapier. 

2) Experiment with workflows

The only way to know if what you want to do is possible is to create the workflow you want. That means signing up for a trial account with the potential app, and experimenting in Zapier. 

3) Evaluate roadblocks and workarounds

Sometimes, you'll hit a roadblock and you could find that your initial idea is impossible, simply because the app you're working with doesn't support what you're trying to do. You might have to think creatively and develop a workaround. Creating lots of  workarounds can be messy. At some point you should give up and try a different app. 

A good example is once I was working with a CRM for a client. The product itself was great, and supported adding tags to contacts. However we found that they did not allow adding tags via their Zapier integration. This resulted in having to create several workarounds in their CRM. That became messy, fast. 

4) Build experience

Of course, experience matters a lot here. As you use more and more apps and experiment with different workflows, you’ll build up a picture of what is possible with lots of different apps. This is an advantage when hiring a Zapier Expert or consultant. They have already been through this process with 100's of apps and have a good idea of what's possible and what isn't.

About Jimmy

Jimmy is the co-founder of Content Snare - a software platform that helps professionals collect content & files from clients. Once an automation engineer, his new priority is to help business owners regain their lives, be more productive and get more done in less time. 

Where to find him: https://jimmyrose.me


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