You can now listen to this article
I first wrote about the Zapier platform a few years ago in this newsletter. A lot has changed in that time.
Zapier is a web-based platform that lets you easily connect 2,000+ web apps that you use so you can automate tedious and time-consuming repeating tasks.
Zapier is an API for APIs.
An Application Programming Interface (API) is a set of programming instructions and standards for accessing Web-based software applications or web tools. A software company releases its API to the public so other software developers can design products that are powered by its service. An API is a platform to platform interface, not a user interface. With APIs, applications talk to each other — to share tasks and information — without any user knowledge or intervention.
A Zap is a Zapier-created connection between 2 (or more) apps that automates a time-consuming task.
I recently upgraded my Zapier account from the free version to the Starter Plan at $20 per month paid annually.
Example of Zapier Use
This picture shows an example of one of my first Zaps.
The purpose of this Zap is to automatically download a new Zoom meeting recording to my Google Drive and then send me an email with the appropriate links to the downloaded file. I am currently working on updating this app to:
- Upload the Zoom meeting recording directly to my Vimeo account.
- Send me an email with the Vimeo share link so I can forward it to the individuals I want to access the recording.
This may not seem like much of a time savings. But, I have a reoccurring weekly Zoom meeting that I want the participants (and those who could not join the meeting) to access the recording. This one Zap saves me quite a bit of time.
So, how much is your time worth?
I’m now making a list of all the tasks I am doing manually that I might automate. The time savings will keep adding up.
There are a small number of agencies I have talked to that have used Zapier to connect their agency management system to their CRM platform. This allows them to automatically move a new contact into and out of their agency management. For example, they can now add a new customer to the agency newsletter list maintained in a different email platform.
Zapier has a free version that is limited to 5 Zaps and 100 tasks per month. The Starter Version allows 20 Zaps with 3 Premium Apps and 750 tasks per month and costs $20 per month ($240 per year). The improved productivity by automating information sharing between Zapier and supported apps could make this a worthwhile investment.
I recommend that you explore Zapier and the apps they currently support to see if you can automate any existing tasks.
With agency managements and vendors creating more open platforms with agency accessible APIs, now might be the time to explore the possibilities to further automate the workflow in your agency.
Does your agency use Zapier? If so, what are some examples of Zaps you have created that streamline your agency operations? Leave a comment below.