Filter to Skip a Single Step Rather than Stop the Zap

  • 16 April 2023
  • 4 replies

Userlevel 1

I’ve been using Zapier for several years now and the biggest limitation and frustration is error handling. I have many Zaps where I have steps that don’t need to be successful in order for the rest of the Zap to work. Sometimes it’s updating an optional property on a record, or looking up a record that doesn’t need to exist but that if it does I want to do some additional processing.

Is there a way to tell Zapier to just ignore an error in a particular step? For example, I have a Zap where I’m processing form input that may or may not contain a mobile number (it’s an optional field). I update a HubSpot contact record with the phone number from the form, which is sometimes empty. There’s no way I can find in Zapier to say “If the field isn’t empty, update the HubSpot contact record”. So, I just run the update contact step regardless, but it throws an error if you pass it no data for the field to be updated.

I would love a checkbox on Zapier steps that says, simply “Ignore errors on this step”. Or, even better, an If/Then option that allows you to say “Run this step only if this condition is met, otherwise skip this step.” Filters don’t work for this since they stop the entire Zap rather than just skipping one step. Paths don’t work either since you can’t “return” to the “main path” after executing one step. You’d need to duplicate the entire rest of the Zap in both paths.

I’ve seen a proposed workaround using paths where the “successful” path calls a webhook which launches another Zap, which continues processing what you want to do, but now you’re managing multiple Zaps just to do a single task. And passing data between Zaps is a real PITA (you need to use Zapier Storage).

Why, oh why can’t Zapier just give us standard branching capabilities like every other programming language and automation tool? Why is the only option for a filter to stop the whole Zap, rather than just skipping a step?

(Sorry, just realized I posted this in “Show and Tell” instead of “Troubleshooting” but the forum doesn’t let you change that after the fact… )

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4 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +11

Hi @Jimbotron3000! 👋

I just spotted this and wanted to pop in here, as it looks like you and I are having a similar conversation about this here: 

Totally understand the desire to have this sort of IF/Then functionality to only run certain actions depending on whether certain conditions are met. Sort of like an embedded filter for each step, right? And I can definitely see how frustrating it must be to not have that, especially when working with complex workflows.

It would be really cool to have that functionality added to Zapier! As Brem mentioned we’ve sent your feedback here over to the Product team. I can’t make any promises as to when/if it would get added but all ideas and feedback that are submitted are taken into consideration when planning out new features.

I’ve just replied in that other topic with some suggestions around utilising nested paths to try and handle the kind of IF/Then functionality you’re after in the meantime. Hopefully that will be of some help! 🤞

Userlevel 4
Badge +6

Hi @Jimbotron3000 

I understand the “skipping part” suggestions, so what I did is I’ve passed your feedback on to our product team to see if they can consider this in the future.

Userlevel 3
Badge +4

Hi @Jimbotron3000 

Thanks for reaching out to the Community!

Have you already tried skipping the test? If so, did you get an error message?

Otherwise, please let me know so I can point you to the right direction. 😊

Userlevel 1

Hi @Charie ,

Thank you for your response.  When I skip the test in “Edit Zap” mode, I don’t get an error message, but when the Zap actually runs it fails and stops on that step because it’s trying to update a HubSpot contact record property with a value that is empty.

Updating this value is not important to the purpose of the Zap, and is kind of a “nice to have” feature of the Zap (i.e. if the customer gave us their mobile number in the form, it would be nice to update the HubSpot contact record, but if they didn’t give us their mobile number then we can just skip updating the contact record).

Unfortunately, I can’t see any way to “Skip this step if this value is empty” nor can I see any way to “Ignore errors on this step”.