Automating Ideas Using Gmail & Trello In Zapier

A Marketing Automation Guide showing how you can use the Gmail to Trello Zapier connector in organising advertising thoughts.

Kenneth Zhu
Digital Marketing Executive

If you have been involved in the advertising space, you would know what it takes to bring a great ad to life.

For most of the time, this means spending many hours churning creative brain juice. 

To some, this would always remain dreadful sounding. To others, it’s rather similar to having a blast at Universal Studios. After a while, all ad creatives come to agree on one thing - there must be an established way when it comes to organising ideas, ranging from advertising insights through to executions. If not, there simply would be an inevitable drop in productivity & performance. 


Simplify Your Thoughts By Marketing Automation

The purpose of this article is to provide you with a method to help sort your advertising ideas. As we are in the 2020 century, what is a better way than to employ automation? 

The Marketing Automation would be ideal for you if Gmail & Trello are part of your existing workflow. If not, you may want to consider adopting such applications depending on the value in which you believe can be obtained from the automation.

Most likely, if you decide to not go with this approach, you would have an existing, simple, adaptive solution in place to sort your creative thoughts. For other marketing automation strategies, check out CBO's blogs around this topic here.

The end result is that you would have a systematic method for grouping ideas into one neat layout.

Automating using Zapier Connector - Gmail To Trello

Suppose that you have a new promotional offer or wish to promote a specific benefit of your product or service.

Once you have figured out what is it exactly you are trying to promote (your proposition), it’s time to start creating your next big ad masterpiece!

Here, like many other creatives, you will be faced with something similar to the following ‘PISIE’ framework.

When the framework is broken down, it essentially involves the following broad elements*:

Proposition 

Insight 

Strategy 

Idea 

Execution 

*Do note that these names vary by country & agency.


Of course, each of these elements can then be split into questions in which the answers would help you to address each element in the PISIE framework. Together, the elements work together in helping amplify your core advertising message. By 'amplify' it is in the sense that it ensures it is relevant (on-brief), distinctive (competition-wise) and memorable (perceptional-wise) to your audience.

Organising Advertising Insights using Zapier

There can be tens of strong insights embedded within the advertising proposition that you decided to promote. And for one insight, there can be multiple strategies, so on so forth.

But, for the sake of demonstration, we will only explore how you can organise your advertising insights. The same process can be applied to strategies, ideas and ad expression/craft separately.

While it is often said that your first thoughts usually end up being the strongest, it would always remain as an invalid claim until you have plowed through enough insights (5 is a good number) in which you can make such a conclusion every time. Often, ad insights come by at times when you least expect it to. This is provided that you frame your mind to think in the right area where appropriate sparks may appear. Creativity is never stabbing the dark.

So, how can you use Zapier automaton to organise the insights that sparked in you?

Step 1. Write it down - somewhere, anywhere! The more detailed, the better. Perhaps you may need to attach an example in your notes. This all helps when it comes to Step 2.

Step 2. Translate your insight concisely into Gmail.

Step 3. Send it to a dedicated email address or to yourself (same email address) & assign a label (e.g. Advertising Insight).

It's now ALL DONE! 

The later steps can be automated by the Zap that you create in Zapier. It will do all the great organisation for you.

An example zap can be seen as the one below. Within the Gmail step in the zap,  select 'Labels' component when setting up.


Example of Gmail To Trello Zap Setup in Zapier (Simplified)
Example of Gmail To Trello Zap Setup in Zapier (Simplified)


Once you push the Zap live, whenever you assign the label to an email, a Zap will fire inside Zapier which will automatically create a card in Trello. The card, containing your ad insight, will be matched and placed in the matching column name (aka. Trello List) same as your label.

If the label does not have a matching pre-existing Trello list name, Zapier can help create a new Trello list! 

“Why is this beneficial?”, you would ask?

The key is that you can group ideas into existing or new, custom lists just by assigning labels inside Gmail. As we move into an increasing digitalised world, it is often more convenient to have all your ideas synced digitally & quickly.

It would also save you tons of time when searching for an idea that you wrote in the past (Ctrl+F) and translating them onto your decks (Copy & Paste your pre-existing work would definitely save you time here). 

If you are using Trello, you would know that the board view of Trello allows you to view all lists (e.g. Proposition, Insight, Strategy, Idea and Execution) in a way that gives you a solid overview of all the components that help create your final ad. From there you can quickly make associations & dissociations of information between your cards contents, helping you to craft the best possible based on your ideas.

United Nations Case Study - Gmail To Trello Connector.

With the COVID-19 situation, the United Nations has called on global creatives and agencies to help build creative strategies and ads to assist with the situation.

Let’s see how the United Nations used the Gmail to Trello Zapier connector to help provide the participants with the necessary organisation assets and latest information in order to help creatives stay on brief. 

UN COVID-19 Global Creative Competition Trello Board
UN COVID-19 Global Creative Competition Trello Board

From the image above, we can see that on the left, the United Nations (UN) has a card on “Hashtags & Useful Links” in which participating creatives can explore & use. All Tweets & Links made by the United Nations are automated to be sent to a United Nations dedicated email. There they are assigned with the label “Hashtags & Useful Links”, allowing Zapier to automatically populate them as unique cards in the Trello board. 


The United Nations also had many other lists created for different information categories (e.g. Campaign/Reports, Global Compact, etc) in which most of the cards & content are populated onto the Board via Zapier.

The UN competition was open for 14 days and captured over 10,000 submissions by creatives all over the world. As announced by the UN, this volume of submissions was not anticipated by them. The automation played a critical role in the competition by providing the most recent, relevant information in a timely manner. It greatly helped facilitate the participants to build creative solutions to help fight against the pandemic. 

For information into how you can create labels in Gmail, you can refer to Google Help Center link (Google Help Center) here.

Want to lift your productivity & performance? As Australia’s largest qualified Zapier Agency, we can help you. Give us a ring!

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