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Noob: Send automated emails to unique addresses triggered by events on Google Calendar?

  • 26 March 2020
  • 6 replies
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I am new to Zapier, so please forgive my clumsiness. 

I work for a university research lab and our participants make appointments online through youcanbook.me which syncs with Google Calendar. Because we use only a basic account, youcanbook.me does not allow us to generate automated reminder emails. 

Google Calendar also does not have this function. 

So my question is, can a zap be created to send an automated reminder to a unique email address stored in a Google Calendar event (originally carried over from youcanbook.me) at, say, 4 hours prior to the participant’s appointment? Thank you. 

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Best answer by Danvers 7 April 2020, 16:48

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6 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +8

Hi @flfl - Thanks for writing to us! 

I would start with Google Calendar’s Event Start with a Google’s Gmail Send Email. Here’s a full guide on how to setup an email reminder before an event starts.

 

I hope this helps!

Hi Danvers, 

I really appreciate the time and effort needed to formulate this reply, thank you!

Unfortunately, it still doesn’t seem to do what I was hoping it would do; automatically recognize that an entry into Google Calendar is an email address, and then send a reminder to that email address a specified number of hours before the event. The procedure as outlined here seems to require a human to manually enter the email addresses of all the recipients - it lacks the automatic detection function. If I’m manually entering email addresses, I may as well just send the manual reminders (my current procedure). 

I do appreciate the thoughtfulness of your reply (complete with images!), though. Thank you.

Thank you, Steph. But if I understand correctly, this zap is set up to send a reminder email to US to prior to an appointment (“GET an email reminder 1 hour before a Google Event starts...”) - but I’m seeking a zap that can send an email to our participants; each unique email address entry onto the Google Calendar. 

Userlevel 1

Hi Danvers, 

I really appreciate the time and effort needed to formulate this reply, thank you!

Unfortunately, it still doesn’t seem to do what I was hoping it would do; automatically recognize that an entry into Google Calendar is an email address, and then send a reminder to that email address a specified number of hours before the event. The procedure as outlined here seems to require a human to manually enter the email addresses of all the recipients - it lacks the automatic detection function. If I’m manually entering email addresses, I may as well just send the manual reminders (my current procedure). 

I do appreciate the thoughtfulness of your reply (complete with images!), though. Thank you.

 

Ahhhhh I didn’t quite get it at first either.

I think I got it now youcansend.me makes a calendar event for you, and it has the participant’s email address in the text but not as a meeting participant. So aside from manually reminding folks, you’re left with no way of double checking that a participant remembers they have an upcoming meeting with you.

Good news: It looks like youcanbook.me has an integration with Zapier.

I made a couple of Zaps that might help you. One sends an email to the meeting participant from a Zapier email address, and the other is the thing, but from your own Gmail address.
 

I wasn’t sure what email service you’re using, but you can possibly swap out Gmail for whatever you use. If not, the Zapier email address works just fine! (To be super clear, you only need one of these.)

Option 1: Send reminder from Zapier email

  • There’s stuff to connect in the first step. I’ve attached a gif below.
  • You’ll also want to customize the email in the third step.
  • To get a test of the youcantest.me step, you have to do something a bit funky. You need to book a test event from the booking page you’re trying to connect.
  • It’s coming from a kind of weird email address, so where it says, “From Name” you might consider something clever like “YOUR NAME’s Virtual Assistant” to help students feel it’s trustworthy.

Option 2: Send reminder from Gmail

  • There’s stuff to connect in the first and third steps. I’ve attached a gif below of how to connect the first step.
  • You’ll also want to customize the email in the third step.
  • To get a test of the youcantest.me step, it’s the same delay as above. You need to book a test event from the booking page you’re trying to connect.

 

Hope all that helps!

 

(GIF explainer – from your youcanbook.me dashboard, click your profile name, go to integrations, and find Zapier. Hit “Connect” and then copy the long code it spits out at the top.)

 

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +12

Hi @flfl Ah, sorry, this is my fault - I missed that the events are being created by youcanbookme, which means that the attendees wont be in the usual place in Google Calendar.

 

So, the event is created through you can book me and the email address that you want to send something to is somewhere in the event description, is that right? If that’s the case, then this is still possible, though it will need more than one action to do in Zapier. 

 

You’ll need to add a Formatter step in the middle of the Zap. The Formatter step can search the text in a field for an email address and extract it, so that you can use it in the later steps of a Zap. 

So, as an example, your Zap might look like this:

  1. Google Calendar - Event Start (you can tell the Zap to trigger x hours before the start of the event)
  2. Formatter by Zapier - Text > choose the Transform ‘Extract email address’. For the input use the description of the event (or whatever field the email address is in) 
  3. Send email - use the Output of the  Formatter step as the ‘To’ address

A couple of caveats here:

The Formatter Extract email address action will only find the first email address in a selection of text, from your original post it sounds like there’s just one email address so we should be ok here. 

 

The Zap exactly as above will trigger for the start of every calendar event. If you want only the youcanbookme events to trigger the Zap you can either:

  • Create a specific calendar in your Google Calendar event that only the youcanbookme events are added to
  • Add a filter step in the Zap that will look at the details of the event and use a field to determine whether the Zap should continue or not (you can learn more about filters in this guide). 

I hope that helps! If I’ve missed something, please let me know and don’t hesitate to ask any questions you have!

Userlevel 7
Badge +12

Hi @flfl! I’m sorry for the delay in getting back to you on this!

 

What you would do in this case is to use the Zap template in the guide that @steph.n linked to, but you’d change some of the details in the Send Email action. 

 

To do that, first click ‘Go to Advanced Mode’ 

83e84a429a778f7c4a723b37b28f3498.png
(View image larger)

 

Then click the Gmail step and go to the ‘Customize Email’ section. That will let you change the details of the email that’s sent. 

If it were me, I would add my own email address in the ‘To’ field and then you can put the email addresses of the other attendees in the CC or BCC field. If you need to hide the other attendee’s email addresses from each other, use BCC. Otherwise you can use the CC field. 

 

Let’s say we’re using the ‘CC’ field. 

  1. Click on the CC field
  1. Scroll through the list of fields that you can get from Google Calendar until you see ‘Attendee Emails’

6e4562177c36f982cb74d8b43b3ea296.png
(View image larger)

  1. Click on that to add the attendees to the ‘CC’ field. 

 

Your email will then be sent to you and copied to everyone on the attendees list. 

 

​I hope that helps, please let me know if you have any questions!