Helpers with Helpers

Helpers with Helpers

These days, every platform is surrounded by an ecosystem of developers, implementers, and tools. We’re fairly fluent in these and can recommend the best-in-class in most cases. Here’s a sampling of what we call helpers with helpers:

  • Shopify – Bold Apps, Out of the Sandbox Themes, Webhooks to Zapier
  • Infusionsoft – Revenue Conduit, Memberium, Parsey, PlusThis…
  • Gmail – Sortd, Gmelius, DragApp…and many more

For some techies, this is a sign of the failure of the initial product to incorporate the necessary features. To me, it’s the sign of a market that’s moving too fast for everyone to do everything. And, the proliferation of open systems with API connections makes it possible for other operators to extend the initial capability of a platform without having to start at zero. I think this benefits consumers of technology a great deal. You just have to be smart.

What do I mean? There’s a danger that can be missed if you’re charged with selecting a product that does a task. In most cases it is best if your core needs are met by a product’s core features. Helpers get a job done, but they are often relying on the edges of a product to do that job. In a later release, this capability may not be available, it may change, or the helper company or developer may not continue to support later versions.

For example – Shopify has itself a rather limited feature set for e-commerce. If your model requires a complicated pricing structure, only available in an add-on app, perhaps Shopify isn’t a great choice for your needs.

Similarly, I worked with a client who wanted me to effectively build a CRM out of Zapier and Outlook. This wasn’t a good thing, ever.

Or the client who insisted on Gmail, but really needed a full help-desk along the lines of Front – meanwhile, fighting the missing features all the way.

On the other hand, if your e-commerce solution does everything you need except for the occasional discount and this can be covered by a coupon app, great. Sign yourself up. As this isn’t part of your core offering, you can adjust it if the available capability shifts slightly.

Think of apps, extensions, and helpers like side dishes at a restaurant – make sure the main course is going to meet your needs and then go ahead, enjoy the fried okra.

38 Ways to Use Zapier: Get Started with Workflow Automation

38 Ways to Use Zapier: Get Started with Workflow Automation

Zapier is a workflow builder that allows you to pick a trigger from an app and run a series of actions automatically. With over 1000 apps in their library, you can connect almost anything! Here’s 38 ways to use Zapier that we’ve tried and you can too.

Keeping Track Of Customers

A man holding a magnifying glass inspects a profile of a customer.

1) Collect a New Customer from Stripe and log them in an Airtable base with key account information such as Stripe ID, subscription, and billing date.

2) Collect billing outcomes from Stripe and update a customer in Airtable to reflect their billing status as successful or capture the failed charge code to take action.

3) Log cancelled subscriptions from Stripe in Airtable by updating a customer’s account information with a cancelled status and their subscription end date.

4) Send an email to cancelled subscribers asking for feedback with a pre-filled Jotform.

5) Update a Baremetrics profile via Augment with cancellation feedback from Jotform.

6) Or pass the cancellation feedback to Baremetrics from Airtable.

Eliminate Some Data Entry for Business Operations

A woman types out a message on a keyboard.

7) Process email receipts for expense tracking with Mailparser to a Google Sheet.

8) Pre-fill contracts with Jotform for PandaDoc.

9) Push support requests from social media to your ticketing system, such as Zendesk, with Zapier Push.

10) Don’t have support software yet? Track incoming support requests from email with Google Sheets for review and triage.

11) Create a PDF of a form submission from Jotform, Google Forms, Gravity Forms, or whichever form builder you fancy.

Reporting Doesn’t Have to be Manual

Man observes key metrics on a dashboard of his business.

12) Send new Shopify orders to Google Sheets so you can create reusable charts for sales goals and metrics.

13) Send ActiveCampaign data to Google Sheets with webhooks.

14) Aggregate webhook data in Google Sheets to build real-time dashboards and reports in Google Data Studio or Glide.

Skip the Calendar Duels

A woman checks of completed events on her calendar.

15) Push new Google Calendar events from one Gmail account to another to avoid conflicts (such as your personal life and business).

16) Add due dates from Google Calendar to Trello and vice versa.

17) Add due dates from Google Tasks to Google Calendar.

18) Save published Tweets to a Marketing calendar on Google Calendar for archival purposes.

Auto-Pilot Marketing Outreach

A team plans their marketing sequences.

19) Send a voicemail to new leads with SlyBroadcast.

20) Send a text message to leads or new clients with next steps with Twilio.

16) Post new YouTube videos to multiple outlets, such as Twitter and LinkedIn.

21) Auto-respond to leads naturally via Email with Zapier Delay.

22) Use a Campaign Action to send an email via ActiveCampaign or Infusionsoft.

23) Add a lead to a Sequence in ActiveCampaign or Infusionsoft when a desired action or tag is applied.

24) Tag new leads in Infusionsoft after they fill out a Gravity Form.

Curate Notifications and Eliminate FOMO

Individual selectively chooses a notification to pay attention to.

25) Celebrate success by notifying your Sales channel on Slack when a new sale clears Stripe.

26) Send yourself a SMS with Zapier SMS when a Google Form is submitted.

27) Push GitHub Releases to Slack when new updates are live in production.

28) Notify Slack when there’s a new record in an Airtable view.

29) Funnel lead opportunities from a Discourse forum to Slack.

Level Up with Action Utilities

Two women rejoice as their data synchronizes.

30) Record incoming Jotform submissions to Google Sheets.

31) Update Infusionsoft tags if a Jotform submission passes, or fails to pass, a filter.

32) Follow-up with an automated email when a Google Form is submitted.

33) Create a new Google Task when a Google Form is submitted.

34) Update an Airtable record when a Trigger fires.

35) Update a Google Sheet row when a Trigger fires.

36) Update Infusionsoft (or any CRM) with new information when a trigger fires.

37) Receive new data from anywhere that supports webhooks and update a data source (such as #30, #31, or #32).

38) Generate automatic timestamps for anything with {{zap_meta_human_now}}

Automate What You Need, Not What You Can

Automation is a great way to free of valuable time, but it’s very easy to go all in from the beginning. When automating your workflow always remember to start with something simple and build up as you go. Let us know if you try out any of these ways to use Zapier.

If you’d like learn more about workflow automation, join us at Automators Academy! We publish tutorials and simple recipes you can use for your business. Learn the art of inputs and outputs, plus how to think like an Automator, with our Automation Cookbook. Hope to see you there!