Read about creative workflows, awesome app tips and interesting use cases.
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Using Google Sheets as a randomizer to spice up your Slack bot
Bots - they repeat themselves repetitively over and overAt Zapier, we use Slack all the time, and there are a ton of “bots” running via Zaps. By their nature, bots can be a bit repetitive, and repetition can lead to people ignoring important messages. But what if the bot had a lot of different variations to keep people on their toes? And what if you could add that variety very simply using a single step? And this doesn’t have to just be Slack - maybe you send regular emails or texts to folks, and you’d like to give those a little bit of variety too!Well, if you know me, you know that I see a problem and I think “Google Sheets can fix this!” It turns out that every problem truly is a nail when Google Sheets is your hammer. Let’s make a table!First, we need to build a sheet with all of our snippets. Feel free to add as many snippets as you want - and in fact, you can add multiple columns if you want to have more than one snippet per message, like so:(view larger)And that’s our table! Sim
Automate behaviors: Force people to make a copy of your Google files
Hi there! Deb here, from the Zapier blog. We write a lot of Google Sheets tutorials on the blog. Think: pivot tables, conditional formatting, and using Sheets as your to-do list. In each of those cases, we offer our readers a template that they can follow along with. So our readers click the link, make a copy of the template (as we instruct in the article), and use it for themselves.Sometimes.More often than not, though, people click the template link, try to use it, and realize they can’t edit it. So they request edit access. This ends with me getting dozens of edit access requests every day, which of course I can’t grant because then the template itself would change.I even made a Zap to automatically write people back telling them to click “File > Make a copy...”And then, Tyler, hero to Zapier support and my professional workflows, came along with this tip:Automatically copy your shared Google filesYOU CAN FORCE PEOPLE TO COPY YOUR GOOGLE SHEET. This is truly the best tech tip I’v
Slack and Microsoft Teams can play nice
Hi! Deb here. On the Zapier blog, we write a lot about the best apps to use for different tasks at work and in business. Slack and Microsoft Teams are on our list of the best team chat apps, and in a category with so many big hitters (Google Chat and Discord are both on there too), it’s very likely that you’ll be trying to communicate with people who’ve chosen a different app.If you work for a business whose clients use a different chat app, you might be tempted to revert to email (oof). But as it turns out, Slack and Teams can play nice. You can connect the two with built-in integrations, Zapier workflows, or full interoperability. Click the link below to learn more.How to communicate with businesses that use a different chat appDo you integrate Slack and Teams? Let me know how in the comments, and we might feature you on the Zapier blog!
Automating positivity: Why the Zapier team has a "win" bot
Hi! This is Deb, from the Zapier blog team. We love our jobs a weird amount, but it’s easy to forget to reflect on that—to think about all the awesome stuff that our team accomplished/learned/felt good about in a given week. So my colleague Krystina created a “WinBot”—a Slack bot, powered by Zapier, that automatically encourages us to share our wins at the end of every week. Here’s what it looks like:You can choose your bot icon (ours is my perfect dog WINston), set it to rotate the GIF every week (you can even exclude NSFW options), and have the message say whatever you want (uh, also SFW please). Here’s the Zap Krystina used to set it up.Get weekly reminders in SlackAat Zapier, we’ve been remote for a decade, so we know that building culture on a remote team can be exhausting. But if you let the robots help you—and encourage you to celebrate your wins—it makes it feel much more natural. Yep, the bots make it natural. Who knew.Do you use automation to help build culture on your team?
How to use automation to improve digital security
Hey, Community!When I was in high school, someone hacked my dad’s business website. The general site infrastructure was still there, but the entire thing was in a language we didn’t understand and couldn’t easily identify. He ran a manufacturing plant, and the website wasn’t part of his day-to-day tasks. I remember having the distinct impression that no one really knew exactly how long the site had been taken over before they caught the changes and started working on a fix.If that sounds like your worst nightmare—even more so these days, because of how the web has become many businesses’ front door—check out our tips for how to use automation to protect your site and improve your digital security.You can add automation to your security systems to help you back up content and important documents, securely store passwords, actively look for weaknesses, monitor for fraud, and add encryption to your workflows.And if you’d like a deep dive on how one company uses automation to support SOC2
Wacky workflow: Slack reaction to email, back to Slack — what?
Today’s workflow is a bit of a quirky one. We’re pretty huge users of Slack here at Zapier. It’s not uncommon for something to come up in a message, or buried in a thread, that I want to refer to later. I’ve built Zaps that create to-do items in my task management app du jour, and that has worked alright (maybe that should be a Workflow Wednesday post itself). But here’s something a little different.The BackstoryI came up with this one sort of by accident. I was looking through Slack preferences, seeing what I may not have come across before. That’s when I saw this:We don’t really use email that much at Zapier, and certainly not enough that I’d want to send those into Slack (though I may use this for the Slack instance that my wife and I use). I tested it out and this is how it appears in Slack:My Quirky IdeaI thought…what would it be like to add a reaction to a Slack message then send an email to that unique Slack address, including the message (and a link to it) in the email body, an
How automation helped this business save thousands on marketing
Hey, folks! Janine from the blog team here. Last month, we published an article by a Zapier user who found a way to use automation to run a successful marketing campaign with a small budget. Rather than thinking about tasks Pawel Sheffler used Zapier to create processes. One Zap took a lead generation form and sent an immediate follow-up email and then reached out automatically a few days later to get feedback about the downloaded resource. He also created a system to nurture leads who came in through webinars, sending reminders, post-webinar follow-up, as well as longer term outreach.Read about how they did it: How Zapier helped us save thousands of dollars on our marketing budget.
Stop paying for software you can build yourself
Hi! Deb here, from the Zapier blog. We don’t always see eye-to-eye on our team (there are some among us who even like cats ), but there is one thing we can agree on: you should never be embarrassed of a productivity system that works for you. We all use random apps for random purposes, some of us use Post-its or scrap paper, and others even use their brains (brave, I know).Our staff writer Justin has taken this productivity personalization one step further: when he couldn’t find a journal app he liked, he built his own using Zapier. He recently wrote a piece for the blog about building your own software—using Zapier in some cases, but also just by tweaking your existing apps to make them the right tools for the job. Check it out.Stop paying for software you can build yourselfHave you built a productivity app for yourself or tweaked an existing one? Let me know in the comments, and we might feature you on the blog!
One way to trigger a Zap with new Zoom meeting registrants
The ChallengeThe Zoom integration for Zapier does not have a New Meeting Registrant trigger, which lots of people would love to see. We have a open feature request for it, so if you’d like to be added to that please let us know in the comments below.One ApproachZoom can send a notification email when someone registers for a meeting, and we can use that email to trigger a Zap (either directly using the email app or by auto-forwarding it to something like Email by Zapier in order to trigger instantly).NOTE: Yes, there are ways to parse the data using something like an email parser, a code step, multiple Formatter steps, or RegEx (maybe someone will comment on this post with that info), but since getting the data into Google Sheets is often a final destination for users, I opted to go that route. Some Zoom CaveatsThis requires a licensed Zoom account, meaning that free Zoom users aren’t able to set up those notification emails. The meeting you are enabling registration for cannot use your
The easy way to monitor social media for mentions, key terms, and more
Hi! Janine here, one of the editors of the Zapier blog.As a writer and editor, I’ve had a lot of experience with using social media to promote content and listening in on it for feedback from readers or to pick up on conversations that I might want to write about. (The listening strategy once landed me an interview with Jim Gaffigan where we talked about pastry. Apologies in advance for the way that article shows up on the website.)Pastry and comedians aside, social media is a powerful tool. It helps you get the word out about your business and lets you listen in to what your customers and prospects have to say about your business or your industry. If you’re only using social to push messages out about your brand, you’re missing out on half the value of being on those social networks. That’s where social media monitoring and brand listening comes in.You can set up specific feeds and searches for your social networks and we’d definitely recommend connecting those with apps like team cha
Automate your PR to avoid missed opportunities
Hi there—it’s Deb, from the Zapier blog. We’ve published a bunch of content on the blog recently about PR—everything from how to prepare for interviews to how to navigate a successful PR campaign. Angel Lawery is a PR specialist who works to get her clients noticed, and she wrote about her suggestion to automate part of the PR process. Of course, PR is all about relationship-building, but in order to make those connections, you need to be available whenever people reach out. So Angel suggests setting up a press page, including a contact form and even a scheduling tool, and then saving all the email address you collect—automatically.An automated PR process can help avoid missed opportunitiesWhat other parts of your PR process do you automate? If you have a tip, we might be able to feature you on the blog!
How to Add Location Information (State) to a Facebook Lead Ads Phone Number by Area Code
I recently came across a question from a user who was looking to find the State for a New Facebook Lead by using the area code for the phone number the lead entered.Zapier has great tools already in the product for doing this type of data manipulation and addition. Mostly we would find these tools in our Formatter options.If we were to exclusively use Zapier tools here we could set up a Zap that does the following: Trigger New Facebook Lead Ad Formatter > Numbers > Format Phone Number (put the numbers in the same format) Formatter > Text > Split Text (isolate the area code) Formatter > Utilities > Lookup Table (find the state by matching on the 3 digit Area Code) We can also use a Google Sheet in place of Steps 3 and 4 - and my workflow below will step through how to do that - as well as why I prefer the Sheet for this workflow.Step 1 - Trigger Facebook Lead Ads New LeadThis step is straightforward - the Zap triggers when we get a New Lead from Facebook - and pr
How to take better notes: get the right tools—and then automate them
Hello! This is Deb at Zapier. One of my favorite pastimes is having big plans to start a new habit and then never, ever starting it. Note-taking is one of those habits.I’ve always wanted to be a note-taker. I have an atrocious memory, and taking notes would likely help with that, at least a little. Plus, I’m generally super organized, so it feels like a good fit. And yet—I have a few sticky notes lying around, and otherwise, I’m note-free.Once in a while, I read something that makes me want to change that. Chris Thomas, content marketer at Talkative, wrote a blog post for us about how he finally stuck to a note-taking (and note-reviewing) habit, and it brought me back to that “I should totally takes notes!” mindset. Maybe this time’s the charm?5 tools that improved my note-taking and changed how I learnPart of the deal is that you automate the process. Make sure all the notes you take end up in one place, and then set up automations that remind you to review your notes. Our staff write
Use automation to make money, not just earn it
Hey, folks! Janine from the Zapier blog team here. One of our contributors wrote a piece recently that highlights the value of setting up automated workflows that can do work in the background.Daniel Dainty shared some of the specific ways he uses automation to handle manual tasks like promoting new posts on social media and streamlining work from a virtual receptionist, that helps him stay focused on his most important tasks.Learn about his journey, and how these Zaps help him run his business.Do you have any favorite Zaps that keep your business on track? Share them here, and let us know if you’d like to have your business featured on the blog.
Manually approve form submissions with Approval by Zapier
IMPORTANTApproval by Zapier will be discontinued on February 28, 2023. If you’re using Approval by Zapier, you can still create approval steps in your Zaps using Zapier Tables and Zapier Interfaces. Request access to both apps through our Early Access Program. We recently had a Community member with the following question: If you’re in a similar situation, one way to approach this is to create a “person in the loop” step by using Approval by Zapier. What this does is give you (or someone else) an opportunity to review incoming info and decide whether you’d like the Zap to continue or to stop.Demo TimeI’m going to simplify this for demonstration purposes. I realize that in my example, I could just as soon use a filter since I’m only checking to see if a person chose “Yes” as an option. But imagine something more complex in terms of evaluating whether to approve.Trigger: Google Form SubmissionI receive a form submission and want to check whether the person has indicated that they’re inte
How do you decide which app(s) to integrate with?
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 ContributorsNathan Weill, Founder, Flow Digital Troy Tessalone, Automation Consultant, AutomationACE.com Andy Carruthers, Zapier Certified Expert Jimmy Rose, Founder, Content Snare Checking The App Integration Details Page on Zapier Firstby Nathan WeillWhen 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 NathanFlow Digital is a boutique, NYC-based agency that focuses on helping businesses revam
Search for a Trello card on a subset of boards BEFORE searching on a different board
I was perusing the Trello Community and found someone looking for the following: I provided an answer there, which you can check out. In this post I’m going to provide a more detailed walkthrough, with screenshots :)What challenge are we solving?The idea is to search a subset of Trello boards for a card before looking on another board. In this user’s case, there are 5 boards to search before finally looking on a Sales board (if nothing was found on those other boards).There are various ways to approach this, including having a monstrous Zap with multiple nested paths (which is not ideal). Here’s how I tackled it.What are we building here?I’m using 2 Zaps that will run at the same time, triggered by the exact same thing.Zap 1When triggered this Zap will use Looping by Zapier to do the following:Use a comma-separated list of Trello board IDs to search for cards in each Check a filter to maker sure that a card was found, before moving on to... Add the card ID to a key in our Storage app
What is Email by Zapier—and how do you use it?
Hello, community folks! I’m one of the managing editors of the Zapier blog. We recently published a guide to Email by Zapier, one of our built-in tools that helps you create Zaps to solve some tricky problems at work.It’s sometimes easier to start with what Email by Zapier isn’t. It’s not a traditional email app. But, as writer Krystina Martinez says, it “tackles three of the most annoying email tasks:inbox clutter team notifications and routine responses”Learn about how to take advantage of these features so you can send automated emails based on activity in another app, collect and share messages, and send email clutter to a separate spot you can check later.Email by Zapier: A guide to putting your email to work, automatically
You can't automate a binder: Why adopting a new tool can make all the difference
Hi! Deb here, from the Zapier blog. We recently had the managing partner at luxury real estate business Manhattan Miami, Ricardo Mello, write an article about why CRMs are core to any real estate business.How a CRM can revolutionize your real estate businessIt seems like a simple concept—use a tool to make your job easier—but it’s one that’s hard to come around to. No matter your role, it can be exhausting and terrifying to add a new app to your stack. But it’s all about keeping your eye on the prize and coming back to the benefits that will come from it in the long-term (and short-term too, honestly).Ricardo’s CRM automates all the repetitive tasks involved in contact management and even helps him build relationships with his clients. And he uses Zapier to connect it with all the other apps he uses, like automatically creating new contacts whenever someone fills out a lead gen form.As someone who’s been using a combination of sticky notes and Google Sheets as their to-do list for thei
Don't let a small budget hold you back at work
Hi! Deb here, from the Zapier blog. We recently published a piece called 10 mistakes you’re making as a startup employee. Tip #1? Letting a small budget hold you back. The author of the article recalls when she asked her boss for more resources (or more people) to help with everything she needed to get done. Her boss promptly gave her a Zapier login, and the rest was history. So here’s some small budget inspiration for you. If you’re feeling like you need a new tool to get going on those big ideas, try this.First, see if there’s something you can automate. If not, figure out if you already have a tool that can do the job. Then, see if there’s a free version of a tool that might help. Make the most of those free versions (for example, Dropbox and Todoist). Read about how one small business owner did social media, brand awareness, and content marketing without a budget—you might get some ideas.Have you figured out a way to do a lot with a small budget? Drop your tips in the comments, an
How social media management can make your Tweets better
Hello! Deb here, from the Zapier blog. This week, our staff writer Justin published an article on how to edit a Tweet. How to edit a Tweet: The secret Twitter doesn’t want you to knowYou’ll have to read the article to get the inside scoop, but one of the suggestions Justin makes—something he’s started doing for his own questionable Twitter account—is using a social media management tool. It’s usually something businesses use to schedule their social content ahead of time, but Justin’s been using it to give himself time to ruminate on things before sending them out into the world.Are there any made-for-business tools that you’ve adopted for personal use? Let me know in the comments!
Side hustle: From idea to full-time business in 1 year
Hi! It’s Janine from the Zapier blog team. We published a great piece this week from Paulina Karpis at brunchwork, outlining a quarter-by-quarter plan to take your idea to your full-time job within a year.She outlines the steps she went through and gives actionable advice for what to think through at each stage, from market research to MVP to marketing and beyond—and she shares the ways she used automation to help her accomplish this.Side hustle: From idea to full-time business in 1 year I love her advice. It’s practical and direct, and is rooted in her own experience. For many, turning a side hustle into a full-time company remains a pipe dream. But I'm here to tell you: With the right idea, with focus and determination, and with a solid plan, you can do it. All you need is a year.
6 useful things you can do with Zapier’s built-in apps
Amongst the 3,000+ apps in the Zapier ecosystem are a couple of dozen built-in apps that let you do more with your workflows. Think of them as automation booster packs, enabling you — amongst other things — to schedule and filter your zaps, format data flowing through them, and pull in data from all sorts of sources that might not have their own Zapier integrations. Whether you’re new to Zapier, or an old hat, there are bound to be some interesting use cases you’ve not thought of. So, on that note, here are 6 useful workflows you can build with Zapier’s built-in apps:Get a daily digest of posts from your favourite blog (used: RSS & Digest)RSS might feel like ancient technology these days, but its sheer simplicity and usefulness has kept it relevant, even in 2021.Zapier has an RSS app, so you can trigger a Zap any time a new item is posted to a feed. Combine with the Zapier Digest app, which allows you to batch multiple pieces of data for later use, and you can build yourself a ver
Todoist's free version is now limited to five projects—here's what you need to know
Hello! Deb here, from the Zapier blog. If you’ve read any of our blog content, you know we’re kind of obsessed with to-do lists. That means we keep our eyes out for big changes in the category. This week, Todoist announced some changes to their free plan, and our staff writer Justin outlined what you need to know.Todoist's free version is now limited to five projects—here's what you need to knowJustin offers some workarounds if you want to stay on the free plan but are running into your project limit. He also outlines all the new benefits of the free version. The good news: integrations are still free, so you can continue connecting Todoist to your other apps with Zapier. Here are our suggestions for the best ways to automate Todoist.
4 ways to automate Facebook Lead Ads for successful campaigns
Hello! Janine from the Zapier blog team here with a few tips for you from one of our recent articles.Facebook Lead Ads are popular, and with good reason. They’re mobile-friendly, easy-to-use, and let you reach highly targeted demographics.As with any ad spend, you want to get the most out of your campaign. That’s where these tips come in. Learn how to use Zapier with Facebook Lead Ads to:Track leads in your CRM without exporting and importing data Get customized alerts for new leads so you can respond quickly and with the right information Nurture new leads with personalized automatic emails Generate custom deals and packagesHow do you automate your ad campaigns?
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