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A few weeks ago, I wrote about a new Amazon Web Service platform called Honeycode. I suspect for many agency owners, the thought of creating a web or mobile app to automate a manual process was well beyond their comfort zone. What I probably should’ve emphasized was that you should be thinking of whom you can get to do this for you, not how you can do it yourself.
This week’s article is along the same lines. Who can you find in your agency that would like to take on a project that could automate the flow and capture of information within your organization?
Automate Email Data Capture
Today’s topic is how to automate capturing transactional data contained in emails.
What is a transactional email? Anything that sends you an email notification with data from an event that took place. Common examples include new internet leads, online purchases, and appointment requests. It also could be an email with information from a change request form completed on your website.
Let me first give a personal example of how I use this same process.
I read a lot. And most of the time, I purchase Amazon Kindle books. I like being able to quickly highlight passages in the book and take notes that I access on the Kindle website later. I also want to be able to track what books I purchased, which ones I’ve read, and take notes on the best points in the book.
When I discovered Parsey, I realized I could automate the process of capturing the book information into my “books read” database. When I purchase an Amazon Kindle book, Amazon sends me a transactional email that confirms my purchase and contains some information about the book. I was able to use Parsey.com to create an automated workflow to capture that information from the email and add it to my Airtable database.
How to Use Parsey
You can use Parsey to create a similar process to automatically capture information in an email and move it someplace else.
I am not going to give you a step-by-step tutorial. You will find extensive help on Parsey.com. The following are the basic steps you need to go through to begin experimenting with this process.
- An email (or webhook) that contains the data you need scraped.
- An integration platform. Parsey.com has over 150 app integrations with more being added all the time. In my example, I used the Airtable integration.
- A free Parsey account.
My purpose in highlighting this platform is to get you to begin thinking about creative ways you can use automation to streamline data entry in your organization. One place to start is to ask your staff to create a list of emails they receive with information that they have to type into another program manually.
Going back to Amazon Honeycode… When you create a web or mobile app using the Honeycode platform, you can also create email notifications that contain data captured in your app. Using Parsey, you can capture that transactional email data and move it into another program, automatically.
I’m not asking you to become a programmer. But I think it could be beneficial for you to find someone in your organization, or a college or high school intern, who would be interested in working on a project like this. Yes, it will take some time and effort to create the first integration. But once done, the time savings multiply.
What other tools and processes do you use to streamline data entry in your organization?