Time is money.
Every minute you spend doing manual, repetitive tasks is a minute wasted in your business.
You’ve heard how Zapier saves time with automation, but you’re not 100% sure if it will work for you.
Fortunately, you’ve landed on the right post.
In this Zapier review, we’ll look at its pros and cons, pricing, and how it works.
By the time you finish this post, you’ll know if you should skip it or get it.
Let’s dive in.
What Is Zapier?
Zapier’s a software tool that connects to your favorite apps to automate your repetitive tasks.
How does this look in practice?
Well, imagine you’re an event marketer, and you spend hours updating your spreadsheet with new event registrations.
Sounds like a pain, right?
That’s where Zapier comes in handy.
It creates a connection between these two channels — when users register, it automatically adds all of their information to your spreadsheets.
So even if your event registration software can’t do that, it’s no biggie! Zapier handles it for you.
Here at AppSumo, we go way back with Zapier.
The online automation tool was launched on our marketplace in January 2013, and it had just 157 integrations.
Now? It offers over 2,000 integrations and has amassed more than three million users.
It’s come a long way.
Zapier Pricing Plan
It’s free to start Zapier.
Once signed up, you automatically start a 14-day free trial of Zapier’s Professional plan.
This gets you 1,000 Tasks and unlimited Zaps, by the way!
After the 14-day trial period (and assuming you don’t upgrade to a paid plan), Zapier downgrades you to its free plan, which includes:
- 100 Tasks per month: Every time Zapier completes an action, a Task is created (e.g., updating an entry in a spreadsheet is one Task).
- Five Zaps: Zaps are automated workflows that connect your apps. Each Zap consists of a trigger (e.g., submit an entry to Typeform) and one or more actions (e.g., update a Google Sheets entry).
- 15-minute update time: Zaps check your triggering app for new data every 15 minutes.
- Single-step Zaps: A Zap with one trigger and one action. Multi-step Zaps have more than one action or include filters or searches.
If you’re looking for basic automation needs, Zapier’s Free plan is enough to get you going.
For complex automation (e.g., you want to add customers who buy a product to a specific email list and filter them according to their location), you’ll need Zapier’s Starter or Professional plans.
Zapier Core Features (And Pros)
Zapier’s strength lies in its simplicity and flexibility.
Take its user-friendly Zaps, for instance.
Choose a trigger, define an action, and you’re good to go. You don’t even need any coding skills, as it’s built for beginners in mind.
(We’ll take an in-depth look at how Zaps work in a later section.)
Another winning feature of Zapier? The variety of integrations.
You can easily find any automated workflow that suits your use case.
Are you a small online business owner who wants to share content across Twitter and LinkedIn?
Zapier has that.
Want to email a new lead each time you receive a new Google Form submission?
Zapier has you covered.
Here at AppSumo, we use Zapier’s Paperform and MeisterTask integrations to pull in relevant project information and create new tasks. It eliminates manual work and frees up a ton of time for the content team.
Suffice to say, Zapier’s useful for just about anything!
Pro Tip: If you want to see what Zapier can do for a specific job role, check out its Explore page.
Cons Of Zapier
Zapier’s far from a perfect tool, and there’s plenty of room for improvement.
For one thing, Zapier’s prone to breaking.
Users experience occasional failing Zaps and struggle to pinpoint the cause behind them.
Even though these breaks happen rarely, you can’t deny it puts a damper on productivity.
A word of caution: It’s extremely easy to burn through the Tasks on Zapier. One user reportedly used up all 750 tasks in just two weeks for a simple timesheet automation.
If your Zaps are complex (i.e., you want to integrate data with large volumes of events between two channels), brace yourself for the impact.
Zapier Review: An Example In Action
Of course, don’t let these drawbacks stop you from trying Zapier.
It’s still very much a cool automation tool that simplifies your workflow.
Let’s do a quick walk-through on how to create a single-step Zap.
Imagine you’re a freelance graphic designer, and you just created a survey on Google Forms.
You promote it on social media every week, and it attracts a steady stream of responses.
You want to add these new contacts to your email list. (This example assumes the users have given you permission.)
Normally, you’d export these responses to Google Sheets and copy-paste their email addresses in SendFox or your email service provider (ESP).
Now that you’ve signed up for Zapier, you know this is going to be a walk in the park.
So how should you go about it?
First, two things:
- Export your Google Forms responses to Google Sheets (click Responses > Google Sheets icon).
- Create your new email list in your ESP.
These ensure Zapier will pull in the data and the Google Sheets and email list will become selectable in the dropdown list.
I know, I know. It bugs me, too, that Zapier can’t automate these two steps. There’s a little prep work involved when you’re using the tool for the first time.
A heads-up: Zapier triggers new entries only after creating and turning on a Zap. It doesn’t natively import or export your existing data. To overcome this limitation, check out this handy trick by Zapier.
Next, go to Zapier and click Get Started Free.
Right after signing up, Zapier directs you to its onboarding page.
Select your persona, industry, and number of employees. Click Continue.
[Caption] A mini-rant: The user experience would be so much better if the dropdown list is sorted alphabetically. It took me a while to find my persona and industry.
Select the apps you use in your business and click Finish Setup.
Click Make A Zap on the top left corner.
Name your Zap, and click the Google Forms app.
In the Zap editor, select your Trigger Event.
Note: I selected New Response in Spreadsheet. This means Zapier will start the Zap whenever there’s a new response row added to the bottom of a spreadsheet.
Next, click Sign in to Google Forms.
After you grant Zapier’s access, click Continue.
Next, in Customize Response, select your spreadsheet and worksheet. Click Continue.
Click Test Trigger and look for a confirmation message. If you spot a confetti emoji, that means it’s working.
Click Continue to get directed to the Action step.
Select your Action Event and click Continue.
Next, click Sign in to SendFox.
Click Continue after granting Zapier’s access.
Customize your contacts, and click Continue.
If you still don’t see your list on Zapier, click Load More in the list dropdown field. Your new list should appear.
Pro Tip: If you want to add multiple steps in your Zap (e.g., add a conditional workflow, delay an action for a certain amount of time), click the ‘+’ sign.
You’ll see a selection of apps, and four options under Helpers (Paths, Filters, Delay, Formatter).
Pick the most appropriate Helper to further customize your Zap.
Once you’re done designing it, click Test & Review.
You’ll see a green box that indicates success.
Scroll down and click Turn On Zap.
You no longer need to manually copy-paste your contacts from your spreadsheet to the ESP.
Zapier automatically does that, while you focus on running your business.
Final Thoughts: Should You Get Zapier?
If your patience is running thin from doing the same manual tasks over and over again, then yes, you should get Zapier.
Just about anyone can benefit from this zero-coding automation tool.
Whether you’re a time-strapped business owner or a non-technical marketer, Zapier can help streamline your workflow and reclaim your hard-earned free time.
Looking for more software tools to help you work more efficiently? Check out the AppSumo store. We have loads of tools that are just as cool as Zapier.