How to use Zapier with your company

So you’ve heard about Zapier and it’s capabilities, either through your searches or as a referral, and maybe are looking to utilise some of their connections in bridging your systems together? You’re on the right track, as software like Zapier has opened up a world of opportunities when it comes to enterprise level solutions on a start-up budget. But where do you start? Let’s walk through some of our tried and tested Zapier connections we’ve built for clients and how they work. Get ready for some inspiration!

Stuart Halley
Head of Marketing

At CBO we really sing Zapier’s praises for the power and flexibility it provides in our strategy development. The ability to create adaptive tailor made solutions that feed directly into our marketing plans really helps us scale efficiently, which clients obviously appreciate. But what actually is Zapier and how can it help your business?

We simply describe Zapier as a bridge that allows information to be shared freely from one system to another. With a range of predefined ‘bridges’ to choose from, it’s a matter of simply finding the apps you want to connect with and building that bridge with the info you want to share. With each system being unique, this is something that’s typically done with developers and API calls or web hooks, which if you didn’t figure out already is quite technical and requires software development work. Zapier removes those technical boundaries and creates a simplified solution (otherwise referred to as a “Zap”) however some know-how is still required; but more specifically from the apps you’re connecting.

Connect Shopify with Piperdrive

Setting up a Zapier connection is pretty straightforward and is pretty much defined by what your business objectives are and what you want to achieve.

  • Select the applications you want to connect together.
  • Define the parameters of what you want to happen as a “Trigger”. 
  • Define the outcome of what you want to happen as a result of the primary “Trigger” being actioned. This is typically thought of as an if/ and/ or type scenario.
  • Test the Zap and you’re good to go!

Obviously this is a basic overview and the complexities can multiply based on what your desired outcome is. Let’s explore how the CBO team of Zapier experts use the software to create automation tasks for our clients and save time for everyone across the board!

Start by keeping it simple.

Zapier is able to handle a series of automated events to support your business operations, and some of the best use cases involve streamlining operations. From sales to marketing, if you can think of something to automate the chances are high that Zapier can help bridge the gap.

At CBO, we always refer automation to a business process as a means to make someone's workload easier, less tedious and smarter. The fewer steps that are involved in the short term, the better the outcome, allowing you to focus on more pressing matters. But where do you start? If automation is something you’re keen on implementing in your business, we’ve built up a list of questions to ask your team to help create some direction on where to start. It doesn't matter if you're an enterprise company looking for scalable solutions or a start-up with minimal budget, the same principals apply in both bases.

  • What is the core objective of our business?
  • What is the end-to-end process we go through for a new sale/ lead acquisition?
  • What systems and technology do we rely on internally?
  • What are the potential bottlenecks that do/ might occur?
  • Is there a manual/ human component required to move my automation project forward?
  • What marketing channels do we currently use?

Once you’ve outlined the basics you can really start to piece together the puzzle that is automation, with Zapier helping you fill in the gaps. It’s always best to start top-line and then work your way through the processes your business adheres to, as it will provide a great overview of the operations your business utilises.

Capture leads & customers from your website in real-time.

If you’re using websites like Shopify or Wordpress then you’ll know that collating your leads can not only be a challenge but a very tedious process. You might even be using a spreadsheet to collate all that user data in an attempt to keep things organised. Get Zapier to automate that for you with a simple setup to collect user leads and customer data.

Some out of the box solutions already exist for direct CRM integration which are pretty self explanatory, especially if you’re using HubSpot, PipeDrive, Salesforce or any of the larger CRM solutions.

(WooCommerce to Pipedrive integration)
(WooCommerce to PipeDrive integration)
(Shopify to Salesforce Zapier integration)
(Shopify to Salesforce Zapier integration)

But what do you do if you have multiple systems that stem from your CRM as a part of your sales funnel pipeline, such as emails, quote management and support queries? Can you automate these operations as well? You bet!

  • Firstly check to see if a Zapier connection exists between your platforms and build your triggers and actions accordingly. An easy example of this is email management solutions such as Autopilot or MailChimp.
How to check to if a Zapier connection exists between your platforms

  • Create a trigger event from your CRM based on new customers or orders being created that prompt an email action, typically in the form of audience segmentation and list management. This is something usually managed within your email platform after a user is added to a specific list of assigned a specific tag/ category.

  • Create push triggers between platforms so you always have the most updated customer contact records, so everyone in your business knows what’s going on.

Even if your CRM doesn’t have an existing Zapier connection established, there’s still a way to process automation through back end workarounds. Such custom solutions can include pushing data to structured Google Sheets, which can feed directly into Zapier connections too. The options are endless and really come down to your business operations and desired outcomes.

Create internal notifications and team reminders:

Project management is something that varies between companies, however the process is relatively similar once you break it down. Given the currency landscape we all find ourselves in (April 2020) working remotely is a big part of our lives, and communication is essential for managing projects of any scale. This has seen software like Slack, Teamwork and Monday seeing exponential growth in users and sales as we all become accustomed to working to deadlines and key deliverables. Why not use Zapier to better manage those deadlines?

We’re big fans of Slack at CBO and use this across all teams in our business. Notifications are something we rely on in terms of project reminders, but what if I told you they could extend further? How would you like to get notified if a sales prospect came back to your website or visited a specific product/ page? What if you could then use that data to push into other software applications to better manage your marketing communications?

Setup a range of automated Zapier connections so you never miss a beat and retain those customers/ sales with minimal effort.

Notifications can also go both ways (ooh!) allowing you to set up automated notifications going to your customers as well. Keep your customers informed on order progression and vital steps via email or SMS. (eg; via Autopilot or Twilio)

There’s several components you can automate to simplify your communication with customers, keeping them informed and happy whilst you focus on business as usual. Whatever notifications you’re looking to implement, we can help build the process for you and brainstorm some new ways to keep your clientele informed.

Creating automated solutions when Zapier connections don’t exist.

Just because an application in Zapier isn’t listed doesn’t mean you’re out of luck when it comes to automation setup. Zapier has created a suite of tools to aid in situations like this, making solutions available to the masses no matter how obscure the process. This can require additional workflow setup but in logic the possibilities are there to achieve your business automation goals.

A prime example of this is when you’re using a system that doesn’t have any direct integrations or partnerships with other platforms. This is mostly commonly found in smaller providers and tech services, like HealthEngine, OneFlare or Studypool. So what options do we have to best integrate with platforms like these?

Email Parser by Zapier:

If you’re using a service which emails you with updates, then you can capture this data in real-time by using the Email Parser tool by Zapier. This allows you to connect your email client to Zapier and scrape emails for content, pushing as an action into any other application. Let’s run through an example of how this works:

  • You’ve signed up to a service like OneFlare that sends emails in real-time based on a service people are looking for. Let’s pretend that service is “house cleaning” for now. Those people looking for a “house cleaner” will get sent to your mailbox as and when a request is made. Speed is going to be important in replying to those emails!
  • You’ve got two options. Answer all those emails in real time when you have a chance (or remember) or automate a response to mimic real-time communication.
  • You’ll want to set up Zapier’s Email Parser tool to scrape those emails you receive for specific information, and then push that information back into your email marketing tool. In this instance we’ll refer to MailChimp as the primary email marketing solution.

So you’ll receive an email that contains something like this:

email parser zapier support

But you want Zapier to only focus on the common areas of interest like:

zapier email parser help

.and with that information captured you can then push a customer contact record through to MailChimp directly to process an automated email workflow and sales followup.

But why stop there, why not also use that data received to bolster your marketing efforts and create some custom marketing opportunities? Below are some examples of things you can do having captured data from an email:

Create custom audiences for Facebook & Instagram Advertising purposes:

Create custom lists in Google Ads for re-marketing purposes or to target people via Gmail Ads if they have a Google mail account:

Create an online quote instantly by integrating with additional software to handle customer relationships in real-time:

You really are bound by your own creativity when it comes to your options, but it always starts with your business objectives and desired outcome. The main thing to remember with Zapier is that most things are possible, and they usually simply require some brainstorming or alternative thinking to create a desired outcome. Our experts are pretty good at coming up with solutions, as every business is different and utilises varying systems to get a job done.

If you need help with your Zapier setup or any custom software integrations, then we’re happy to help. We offer a free 30-minute consultation for businesses who need some guidance on how Zapier works and how to set up Zapier workflows. Contact us today and let’s get the party started.

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