As a business owner, you have your hands full when it comes to staying on top of business operations, managing your team, and providing great service to your customers.
When it comes to marketing and how time-consuming it is, sometimes it feels like there just isn’t enough time in a day to run an effective marketing strategy. So how do you do it all?
That’s where marketing automation comes in.
What is Marketing Automation Software?
If you’ve read the post on Marketing Automation and Why It’s Important¸ then you already know the basics.
Marketing automation software is designed to help businesses and marketers automate manual marketing tasks, capture leads, nurture leads, and analyze the performance of marketing campaigns. It can automate everything from email marketing to social media posting to reporting.
Automation is now an essential tool when it comes to saving time on manual marketing tasks, analyzing customer data, and scaling up your marketing efforts.
Without it, you run the risk of tying up your time in marketing activities when you could be providing a better experience to your existing customers–and your time is money!
Benefits of Marketing Automation:
- Automate manual marketing tasks
- Harness customer data from multiple marketing channels
- Analyze customer behavior with detailed reports
- Publish content tailored to your audience’s interests
- Spend less time on marketing and more time selling
- Reach a wider audience in less time
- Scale up your marketing efforts without hiring more employees
There are many marketing automation software providers to choose from – all of them offering a variety of automation features.
Here, we’ll be focusing on how to use Zapier to automate your marketing.
Zapier is a marketing automation software that allows you to automate your marketing workflows. It connects with your favorite apps and works by sending “Zaps” between applications in order to trigger an action.
For example, you might set a “Trigger” that when you get a new email in your Gmail account, Zapier copies the attachment in the email and saves it in Dropbox. Then, Zapier sends an alert to your Slack channel that you have a new Dropbox file.
Instead of you having to open the email, download the file, and save it to Dropbox yourself, Zapier does this automatically.
You can set up these types of workflows for nearly any marketing activity.
Zapier connects with 1500+ different applications. In most cases, if you use a tool and it’s popular, it’s likely to integrate with Zapier.
How to Automate Your Marketing with Zapier
Think of the marketing tools you use in your business already. Which ones come to mind? How much time could you save if you automated all of your daily marketing tasks?
With Zapier, you can automate nearly any marketing task by setting Zaps, Triggers, and Actions. Here are some terms you need to know to get started:
- Zap: an entire Zapier automated workflow (from start to finish)
- Trigger: an event that “triggers” (starts off) your Zap – like making a sale or receiving an email
- Action: an automated action that occurs after a Zap is triggered
- App: an application or tool that integrates with Zapier, like Slack, Gmail, Asana, Zendesk, or Shopify.
Once you understand these basic terms, you’ll be able to set up an automated workflow using any of Zapier’s 1500+ integrated or built-in apps. Here’s how it works:
1. Sign Up with Zapier
You can access Zapier’s core features for free, and you shouldn’t need more than that for starters. Save your money.
2. Create You First Zap
Before creating your first Zap in Zapier, you have the option of either starting with one of their existing templates or creating a Zap from scratch.
To add a Zap template to your account:
- Go to your Dashboard and search for the app you want to connect to.
- Then search for the app you want your first app to connect to (like “Connect this app… Gmail with this one: Slack” )
- Set a Trigger for your Zap. This is the Trigger that will begin your Zap. For example, you could select “New Contact” as being added to your Salesforce CRM.
- Choose the Action. For example, maybe you want an email notification to be sent to your Gmail account every time you get a new contact in your Salesforce CRM.
- Scroll down to see popular Zapier templates. Click Use Zap when you find the one you want.
- Click Sign In to sign into the apps you are connecting with. You may be asked to configure some additional settings.
- Click Finish Editing to turn on the Zap. You can also Test the Zap to confirm that it’s working. Your Zap is now ready!
To create a Zap from scratch:
- Log into Zapier and click Make a Zap.
- You’ll be taken to the Zap Editor where you can set up the Trigger and Action.
- First, select the Trigger app – the one that will start off the sequence.
- Next, select the specific Trigger you want to set, like New Contact, Document Updated, etc. You can also use the search function to find Trigger suggestions.
- Click Continue.
- Connect to your app account and sign in. You may need to configure some additional settings.
- Once set up, click Test to confirm that the Trigger is working.
- Next, choose the Action app – the app that you want to perform an Action in response to the Trigger.
- Choose the action by creating your own Action or by selecting from a list of options.
- Connect to the app and sign in to your account.
- Customize your Zap. Zapier will give you a variety of fields to fine-tune your Zap to perform the Action you want it to take.
- Test the Action to confirm that it’s working. If it is, click Done Editing and toggle the On/Off button to On.
- Once your Zap is Triggered, the workflow will begin automatically and the Action will be taken without you having to do anything.
Create Zaps for Your Marketing Tasks
Once you’ve created your first Zap, it becomes fairly simple to create automations for all of your manual marketing tasks. Zapier provides tons of plug-and-play Zaps for you to choose from if you don’t want to set them up yourself (or if you’re stumped on what to automate first).
Here are some of the most popular automations available in Zapier:
- Collect Typeform responses and add them to Google Sheets
- Get email notifications for each new Google Forms response
- Send emails via Gmail for SurveyMonkey responses
- Add subscribers to MailChimp email list from Google Sheets
- Post upcoming Google Calendar events to Slack
- And more
Zapier integrates with so many marketing apps that you have almost endless possibilities when it comes to automating your marketing tasks. You can create an entire set of automated marketing tasks that you can monitor at a glance.
With Zapier, gone are the days of adding new contacts to a spreadsheet, manually uploading them to your CRM, sending a follow-up email, and assigning the lead to your sales team. Zapier can do all of this automatically, without you having to do a thing.
Let Zapier do the menial work for you so you can focus on what matters–building and scaling your business.