Just Zap It! 3 Workflows Made Possible with Zapier

Zapier is a web-based service that allows users to translate data between web APIs. Under the hood, Zapier builds HTTP requests, receives the responses, and then parses that data and makes it available for different actions in the ‘zap’ (further information on the backend structure of Zapier can be found here). Zapier’s clean and intuitive interface makes these requests simple and effective, allowing users to make both basic and complex requests across hundreds of web APIs.

While it is possible to create custom web API scripts and spin up frameworks for each new data integration project, Zapier allows users to drastically reduce time and manpower in automating these processes in an all-in-one system. Our dev team finds the logging and error notification aspect of Zapier especially useful as well; not only is every task recorded and logged for reference and quality control, but error notifications are also sent right to your email inbox, indicating precisely when and why a ‘zap’ didn’t properly process.

We’ve created dozens of ‘zaps’ for numerous clients, connecting a variety of apps for continuous, automated processes. Some ‘zaps’ are incredibly simple (like sending form fill data to a CRM) and others can become more complex, requiring custom Python code to parse through JSON strings and push data through to another system.

Constant and Accurate Data Transfers

One client of ours needed an ActiveCampaign automation to trigger based on a field update in Salesforce. Here’s how we were able to make a workflow centered around Zapier to make this possible:

  1. Create a Workflow Rule in Salesforce that triggers when a specific Contact Field is updated.
  2. Set up a Workflow Action to post the contact field data to a Zapier endpoint URL.
  3. Zapier catches the data and sends the desired fields to ActiveCampaign, updating and/or creating a new Contact and subscribing them to a list.
  4. Create an automation in ActiveCampaign to trigger upon list subscription and add a ’tag’ to the contact, which determines a workflow path in another existing automation.

While this workflow has many pieces across several platforms, Zapier acts as the centerpiece by receiving the Salesforce data and pushing that data into ActiveCampaign.

Emails and Payment Forms

Another client needed their ActiveCampaign contacts to be updated when a payment was made for one of their services on their website. Custom Python code within a ‘zap’ helped make this workflow happen in the following steps:

  1. The WooCommerce form sends data to a Zapier webhook URL, where it is received as a dictionary set.
  2. Run custom Python code within Zapier to parse the dictionary and send JSON data to ActiveCampaign, updating and/or creating a new Contact and subscribing them to a list.
  3. Create an automation in ActiveCampaign to trigger upon list subscription; this sends the user the appropriate email based on the service they paid for.

This workflow uses Zapier as a translator between the WooCommerce form and ActiveCampaign, allowing us to send out a payment confirmation email to a contact who just submitted a payment.

Contract Proposal Emails

Lastly, a client needed an email to send in HubSpot once a proposal for their services was signed. Custom ‘zap’ filters and HubSpot automations attributed to this workflow’s success:

  1. Once a proposal within Proposify is signed, the ‘zap’ is triggered.
  2. A filter in the ‘zap’ looks for a specific proposal ID number.
  3. The ‘zap’ sends data to HubSpot, creating and/or updating a Contact and subscribing them to an automation.
  4. HubSpot automation removes the Contact from the previous nurture workflow and sends them the proposal info via email.

Zapier requests data from Proposify, filters the data, and pushes it through to HubSpot, where the automations take care of the rest. The ‘zap’ is a crucial step in this workflow, as the HubSpot automation removes the Contact from their previous nurture series so they don’t continue to get those messages and instead receive the proposal information.

Final Thoughts

Zapier offers a user-friendly interface and can connect with hundreds of applications across the web. For many of our backend workflows, it acts as the middleman, allowing the beginning half of a workflow to communicate with the latter half, generally across multiple platforms.

While these ‘zaps’ could be done manually via custom scripting and frameworks, Zapier allows us to create these requests in a fraction of the time, enabling us to focus on high level project challenges rather than writing custom integration code for each project.

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