Parser by Zapier vs

  • 10 December 2019
  • 3 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +10

Hi y'all.

I often have this question come up and I'm never quite sure why/when a client/zap should switch from parser by Zapier to I know the answer generally is when the templates of the emails are more complicated.

But what specifically does that mean?

Aka what are the "if this" statements that help you determine when you need to plan on using versus the native parser by Zapier?

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3 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +10

Parser by Zapier is a real game of luck... it sucks with some emails, not others... never been able to work out the pattern.

I use Parseur, it's better - but sometimes totally fails.

Email parsing in general is hard to do.

Userlevel 7
Badge +12

Hi @PaulKortman!

There aren't any hard and fast rules around when to use Email Parser by Zapier, but we have some guidelines on what makes an email easier to parse (you can find them in this help doc):

  • Try to keep each parsed item on a separate line where possible.
  • If you can't use separate lines, use a non-space delimiter, like the "|" character, to help the email parser find the field boundary.
  • Try to keep each parsed data roughly the same (e.g if you have parsed one word and it comes in as two words it might break).
  • If the email has been forwarded that can cause trouble - extra threads below, extra signatures, indented content etc.

If you need to parse emails that don't match those criteria (eg the data will be very different in each email, the fields aren't on separate lines, etc) then it's likely that the Email Parser by Zapier will have trouble.

Userlevel 5
Badge +1

I've used both, and have tended to find that Mailparser works better for identifying patterns and analyzing attachments.

Until the import CSV file option was added to Formatter, Mailparser was the only way to easily parse out CSV attachments from emails into Zaps.

The Mailparser feature that does this is still a bit better since it can do more manipulation in one step, but Zapier's is steadily improving.

All of this comes with one big caveat though, that Mailparser ain't free. If you are between the two, I would try to use Zapier out of the gate and then weigh the performance vs what you would get by paying extra for Mailparser.

With Mailparser, you're likely still going to be using Zapier, so it will be an additional cost.