In this tips and inspiration part of the community, I'd like to ask you about inspiration. The problem I have is that I do not know where to introduce automation. I certainly can see some proposals in most popular tasks on Zapier website, but too many of them look like the increasing of entropy in my life.
Could you please write here about Zaps that indeed made your life better? I guess I and readers of this topic will find the inspiration while reading your stories.🙂
Beforehand thank you!
One that has saved me countless hours is grabbing RSS feeds of searches on Upwork and then running my own filters on them (upwork's search function doesn't have a negative search term function) and then passing all of the remaining gigs to a "final" zap via a webhook that de-dupes and processes the gig and puts it into a CRM/lead area for me. So now when I do a new search at Upwork I just have to create one zap that triggers off of the RSS feed and dumps it into the "final" zap which does all the heavy lifting. This has made upwork leads come to me, instead of me having to go to upwork. I only see the gigs that pass all my filters.
I created a zap that makes client onboarding much easier for the recurring tasks. And there are a lot of them administratively and that I need new clients to complete.
It's kicked off with a trigger from Practice Ignition and touches the following other apps:
Originally the zap was 18 steps. I bumped it up to 58, then 62, then down to 38 as we paired back services. It saves a ton of time during onboarding because now I have my new clients doing work that I would've otherwise requested them to do manually. It all happens automatically because of Zapier!
I've made more interesting/complex ones since... but the one that first got me hooked on Zapier, I remember that well.
I started a small lead referral business for language teachers and my CRM was a Google Sheet - one row per customer. There was a status column and then a column for a date on which I'd want to email the teacher to get an update on the latest referral.
My first zap triggered when I added a value in a specific column for each row matching today - the zap would email them an update.
All good - but I wanted to completely automate it. Then I realised you could use a webhook to make a zap loop on itself. So I created one zap that triggered each day, then kick started another looping zap with a webhook, passing the date to it.
The zap would then find the first row with that date, send an email, and then update the date column with a future date. The zap would then trigger itself again, finding the next row with the date. I used a filter to make it cut out when all rows were actioned.
Not overly complex, but that saved me 1-2 hours a day. $50/month for Zapier suddenly seemed like a steal! 😅
I was also doing copywriting on the side, and with all the spare time I decided to sign up to Upwork to make some extra cash. They rejected me as they had too many of those it seems, so I tried re-applying with the only other skill I had... Zapier 😀
Might have to follow that idea
@PaulKortman! Upworks own search setup is rubbish!
That's where I find myself leaning on tools like Zapier or Apps Script
@AndrewJDavison_Luhhu whenever I complain about something I try to find a workflow/process to improve that... still hasn't fixed the bad drivers on the roads around me, but We've got self-driving cars for that!!!
The biggest one for me is the customer journey. For many of my projects I need multiple stages of forms to be filled in by the customer as they progress through our tasks. I use zaps to send emails where a typeform link has many entries pre-filled, such as their customer number and decisions they've made in the past. I can then use Typeform's logic to change what questions are asked depending on their history and what I already know.
...so if I send an email to the user, I can include within the Call to Action a link prefilled with their UID and, say, if they are an existing customer. You can set up hidden fields within typeform and if they have the same name as the variables within your URL it will prefill them. You can then use Typeform's logic to skip asking them for their contact details, or ask them about their recent purchase or what have you. It's a quick-and-dirty way to create a contextual user interface without creating a transactional website.
Thank you for an interesting case,
@AndrewJDavison_Luhhu! This automation saved you much more in the end?🙂
@PaulKortman! Yes, search not only on Upwork but in many other services is indeed weak, thank you for the inspiration!
@blueprintbrian! Your description made me think of a food processor, so many aspects it touches. The whole process seems like a significant piece of bureaucracy when done by hand, and it is charming to see it automated.