Zapier automates web tasks

Zapier Web TasksZapier which has been called IFTTT for business by Frederic Lardinois has started to gather more steam and added support for more web applications following a $1.2 million seed round of funding back in October 2011. The number of services it supports has grown from 60 back then to 160 today which shows the potential of their platform.

Zapier is a platform that allows you to create microtasks “zaps” which allows preset actions to be automatically run when a trigger is activated. Their platform is setup to run thousands of micro tasks each month or order to keep your business or hobby ticking along and reducing the amount of repetitive tasks you are currently doing everyday. Unlike other platforms Zapier does offer support for both standard versions and premium “paid” versions of the apps which means users who have paid for Evernote Business can get added functionality if offered.

The idea is you can build custom integrations between most of your preferred web services without the need to code and only the need for one or two API keys and maybe some authentication with your current accounts.

Their platform is fairly quick and easy to use as it’s powered by a dynamic drag and drop screen where you select your application that causes the “trigger” and then application that produces an “action”. Also unlike IFTTT it seems that Zapier still has access to twitter but with a limit of 10 per hour which should reduce the chance their platform could be used for spam, which should be more than enough for most people!

Drag and Drop
Zapier Web Apps

How would we use it?

We thought about some fun and useful ways we could make use of Zapier to automate some fairly manual tasks that you might do several times a day.

  • New Aweber subscriber is added to a list we create a new customer record in Magento
  • When we add a new domain purchased to our Raventools account we create a new Task in TaskRabbit to setup webhosting and install WordPress
  • When I add a new keyword I’m trying to optimise for in RavenTools it would create a new task in TaskRabbit to create a new content writing task
  • When I post a new item on WordPress it would add that Post to BufferApp
  • When Pingdom posts an alert you could potentially pause AdWords Campaigns (Need to confirm)
  • When Pingdom posts an alert you could create an issue in Jira 5.0
  • When there is a new item in a RSS news feed you can create a Tweet
  • When you get a new FourSquare checkin at your home you can create a new SMS in Mobyt SMS
  • When a new account is created in SalesForce you can create a new client in Freshbooks

How Hard is it to use?

After you do the drag and drop to select that platform you want to push the data from and what platform you want to push the data to there are just 4 steps. I thought the WordPress tweets of new blog posts would be good and save me a little bit of time and do a better job that NetworkedBlogs of posting the link.

WordPress ZapStep 1 – Choose WordPress RSS Feed & Select Twitter Account

Step 2 – Drag and drop the fields to create what information you want included using dynamic and static text in every tweet it creates.

fields

Step 3 – Selection Optional Filters so you can decide which new posts in wordpress triggers a creation of a tweet, just a matter of selection from the drop down based on the fields shown above.

Filters

Step 4 – You have the option of importing samples from wordpress and see what a text version of the message will look like that are ready to send. You can even see what hidden wordpress fields you are not adding to the tweet.

Ready to Send

Step 5 – You are now ready to send and click to enable the zaps, but you have two options one is for syncing new data only and soon you will be able to select migrate existing “past” data (not yet available).

Enable Zap

What platforms are missing?

We would love to see the following platforms added when possible, but I understand that not all have suitable APIs yet, but think there could be value in adding some of the following and why.

  • MajesticSEO – Monitor SEO Signals
  • SEOmoz – Monitor SEO Signals
  • Link Research Tools – Monitor Competitors Backlinks
  • DomainTools – Monitor Domains Ownership change or trademark violations
  • AuthorityLabs – Monitor Competitors Rankings in Search Engines
  • Facebook Advertising – Monitor Social Impacts of Campaign and increase/decrease bids
  • Elance – Monitor changes in task demand/backlog
  • Quroa – Monitor brand or topics and check against sentiment analysis before sharing
  • eBay – Monitor bids and check available paypal balance before bidding
  • Bing Search – Monitor news feeds for brand mentions and check against sentiment analysis before sharing
  • Google App Engine – Monitor your application
  • Last.FM – Monitor brand sentiment analysis and change instore music
  • Yelp – Monitor competitors listings
  • Instagram – Check new followers for relationship to you before following back
  • Amazon AWS – Monitor website performance against Pingdom for uptime and adjust resources
  • Echo – Monitor brand mentions and reshare popular media via social channels afte checking sentiment analysis
  • Linkedin Ads – monitor Elance task backlog and adjust recruitment ads
  • ViralHeat – Monitor brand or comeptitors sentiment and adjust AdWords & Facebook ads
  • Google Analytics – Monitor conversion rates and adjust AdWords bids
  • Google Webmaster Tools – Monitor website issues and check against Pingdom uptime

How is their platform charged?

Like a growing number of cloud based platforms they are getting smarter and only charging users on active “zaps”, because there is no real cost for them to maintain any paused or unfinished zaps. The benefit to new users is that you can plug away and experiment with zaps until you get your head around their platform without costs for up to 100 tasks/month.

Zapier Plans

Why test it?

There are often a dozen tasks that you do each day such as sharing content across social media channels or logging into Paypal to check on transactions.  This and so much more can be done automatically with platforms like Zapier, and they offer a free 14 day trial so it’s risk free! with a Free version for low volume users…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *