What if I told you that you could automate a lot of the $10/hour marketing and sales tasks that you do every day?
How much time would that save you? How about money?
Zapier is a tool that makes it easy to automate tasks between web apps. (Note: I have no affiliation to Zapier.)
To paint a little context on just how many web apps we use today, let’s just take a look at what private companies valued at $1B (also known as unicorns) and above use:
In a group of 50 unicorns, over 976 web applications are used.
That is a ton.
Obviously, there’s utility to using one web application. But if you could have them talk to each other, what would that mean for your business?
Even better, what if you could create a rule where multiple applications talk with each other? Think of it like a marketing funnel—where users are continually moved through a workflow based on their behaviors.
For us, Zapier has been indispensable. We consider it one of our secret weapons, and I’ll show you why.
Here are 15 time saving Zapier workflows to create if you want to save time (and money):
1. Marketing – Push new blog posts to Slack
We create a decent amount of content and for us, it’s important that we spend 80% of our time on promoting vs. producing it. As our content production calendar continues to get more aggressive, it’s hard to keep track of new content as it comes out.
Sure, we have a checklist that our content promotion specialists follow, but it always helps to have a quick alert when a new piece of content is published.
We use Slack as our chat program and use the Zapier RSS Zap to hook new posts into Slack.
Here’s what it looks like in our channel:
Read this post here: How To Write Blog Posts that Actually Convert Readers into Customers
Bonus tip: We also have other channels dedicated specifically to marketing topics such as Pay Per Click (PPC), content marketing, and more. Pick one or two top industry blogs and have those RSS feeds pushed into Slack so that your team can continually be updated on the best posts. Don’t put in too many, though, as it can get unwieldy pretty quickly.
Main benefit: Get your team to take action on new blog posts as they go live.
2. Marketing/Sales – Find out who your new leads are
Your e-mail service provider and CRM might differ, but the concept is still the same: you want to know as much as possible about your new leads.
We connect our ESP (E-mail Service Provider) with Full Contact to scour the web for information such as:
- LinkedIn URL
- me URL
- Twitter URL
- AngeList URL
- and more
After Full Contact pulls the information, it’ll automatically load it into our CRM, which is SalesforceIQ.
Main benefit: Find out more information about your leads.
3. Operations – Create a client onboarding workflow
If you’re in a service-based business, you know that the process for onboarding a client can be tedious. What if you had a workflow that could do everything at once?
Here’s the workflow we put together:
- Client accepts proposal
- Our Slack channel is notified that a new client has come onboard
- The proposal is taken and loaded into Dropbox
- A new Basecamp project is created
- The client is subscribed to an onboarding campaign in Drip (our ESP)
- An outbound e-mail is sent to our finance and onboarding team notifying them to watch for this new client and to prepare a kickoff call
- An invoice is instantly created via QuickBooks. No more waiting for the finance team to prepare the first payment.
Here’s what it looks like:
Main benefit: Reduce human error in your onboarding process and collect cash faster with automatic invoicing.
4. Sales/Marketing – Have your new leads texted to you
If you have a ‘free consultation’ type of form like we do, it’s helpful to get these leads texted to your sales team on the fly. We use Gravity Forms for our forms and it plays well with Twilio.
Whenever someone fills out a lead form, we’ll get a text within a few minutes so we can act on it quickly. This is especially helpful if you’re not looking to shell out a few hundred bucks a month for sales technology.
Bonus tip: You can also have these leads sent to your chat program (like Slack or HipChat) for quick access.
Main benefit: Act on warm leads faster to generate more revenues. Remember: time kills ALL deals.
5. Marketing – Create a content bank automatically
If you’re investing in content marketing, it makes sense to have a content bank to keep track of all the material that you’re putting out there. By doing that, your content team can reference past links and cite all the great stuff you’ve published. It’ll also keep your managing editor on top of what has or hasn’t been created by your team already in order to eliminate redundancies.
Here’s an example of what our spreadsheet looks like:
Main benefit: Creates a content bank to help drive your content strategy.
6. Marketing – Automatically create new transcriptions
If you’re producing video or audio content and you’re interested in driving more organic (SEO) traffic, transcriptions might be of interest to you. In my opinion, if you’re spending 30+ min talking, you’re already creating long-form content. Why not max out on the benefits?
Transcriptions used to be another tedious step in the content creation process, but with Zapier, it’s now much easier.
And what if I told you that you could automate that process?
Here’s the workflow:
- Upload your video or audio file to a Dropbox folder
- Rev.com will automatically create a transcription
- Load the transcription into Basecamp (or whatever service you prefer)
Main benefit: Save time and gain more organic traffic by utilizing transcriptions.
7. Sales – Scan a card and automatically add that individual on LinkedIn
How many of you go to conferences and eagerly collect a bunch of business cards only to throw them away afterwards?
*slowly raises hand*
Well, I used to.
But what if you could simply take a picture of a business card and have the following happen:
- Contact information is added to your phone
- Contact is sent a LinkedIn request
That’d be a lot more valuable, right?
When someone sees you make the move to actually add them on LinkedIn and sees what you’re all about with your LinkedIn updates, you start to build a relationship.
Much better than just throwing a card away (a.k.a. throwing a potentially fruitful relationship into the dumpster).
Main benefit: Saves you time by adding contact information and sending a LinkedIn request by just snapping a photo.
With over 500+ apps, the combinations you can create with Zapier are endless. Here is some additional inspiration:
8) Automate social media posting – Imagine taking one more thing off your social media manager’s task list. Simply hook in your blog RSS feeds with a tool like Buffer to put social media posting on autopilot.
Main benefit: Save time.
9) Twitter lead generation cards auto-responder – If someone fills out a Twitter lead generation card, have Twitter send an auto reply to engage with the new lead. You can also add in a delay with the new Zapier workflows so it doesn’t seem so automated.
Main benefit: Save time and build a more personal relationship.
10) Follow up with new leads via Gmail – If you aren’t using an e-mail service provider, a simple way to instantly follow up with new leads is to hook in your lead form with an e-mail zap to stay on top of the communication. Remember: the fortune is in the follow up.
Main benefit: Close more deals.
11) Nurture webinar/event registrations – Let’s say you just finished a webinar and you want to put attendees and registrants into two separate e-mail auto-responders. No problem. Just connect a tool like GoToWebinar with your e-mail service provider (e.g. Drip, MailChimp, AWeber) and load them into the proper sequence. A lot more effective than sending canned e-mails from GTW.
Main benefit: Increase your funnel conversion rates.
12) Build a social media advocate list – Automatically populate a Google Spreadsheet with a list of people who are engaging with your content (e.g. liking, sharing, etc.). Sort through this list once a month and identify the influencers who can really help move the needle and see what you can do to help them out. In return, you might just see some benefits in the future!
Main benefit: Build a list of your most rabid fans and create a deeper relationship that will pay dividends down the road.
13) Chat widget to CRM – If you’re using a chat widget like Intercom.io or Olark, it’s helpful to load the leads directly into your CRM (e.g. Salesforce, Pipedrive, Close.io). Chat leads are especially warm because they’ve taken time out of the day to engage you for a few minutes (sometimes more).
Main benefit: Close more deals.
14) Trello to Dropbox – Let’s say you’re having a meeting and you’re responsible for taking all the notes. You might house these notes in a tool like Trello (or Evernote or Basecamp), but you also want to keep the notes for safekeeping in a folder that everyone can access. It’s simple: just connect your project management tool with Dropbox and your whole team can have access to the notes.
Main benefit: Save time.
15) Send calendar reminders to your chat program – Let’s say you have an all-hands meeting every Monday sitting in your calendar. You can hook in Google Calendar with Slack/HipChat and remind the group every week.
Main benefit: Keep your team on track.
My recommendation is to make a list of all the critical web apps you use and figure out how to get them to play nice with each other. In fact, get your team together and brainstorm possible workflows that you can create. You’ll be amazed at what you can do.
One more thing: If you liked this, you might like our growth marketing agency Single Grain, which focuses on scaling customer acquisition.